GRANITE Return to Top
As a form of igneous rock, granite is composed primarily of quartz, alkalie, and felspar, and is a very dense stone, weighing from 150-190 pounds per cubic foot. The density adds to its strength. Compared to other stones, most Granites have a very small amount of liquid absorption, are abrasion resistance, a high compressive strength and does not react to most acids.
Granite is made of large mineral grains that fit tightly together, which is where its name came from. And the quartz and feldspar that compose it are harder than steel. This makes granite desirable for buildings and for ornamental purposes such as countertops, gravestones, and other applications.
Granite takes a good polish and resists weathering and acid rain. It can be cut in any shape, and it is virtually unscratchable.
MARBLE Return to Top
Marble is a type of Metamorphic Rock and is composed of Calcite, Dolomite, and Serpentine, and has a variety of densities, many are lighter than granites, while others are similar. Marble may not be suitable for kitchen countertops due to the increased possibility of scratching and staining, and has a higher water absorption rate, and a lower abrasion resistance compared to granite. Marble is also reactive to common acids used in a kitchen such as, citrus juice, tomato juice, and acids found in wine. These can etch the polish. Marble must be properly sealed to protect the glossy finish.
Impractical for the kitchen, Marble makes an elegant counter surface for bathroom vanity tops, office, or other applications. Marble renders many more colors and patterns to choose from, with rich veining, and deep contrasting colors. However, Marble is an excellent choice for bathroom floors, tub decks, and showers.
LIMESTONE Return to Top
Limestone is a form of Sedimentary Rock. Limestone is composed of Calcite and Dolomite, is light in density, has a higher absorption rate, and lower abrasion resistance than most marble and all granites.
Limestone can be used in bathroom surfaces but like marble, it must be properly sealed. It is an appropriate surface for flooring, for vanities, tubs, showers and a fireplace facia. However, be prepared to spend more time maintaining limestone compared to other harder stones. Limestone ranges in color from light ivory, to dark tan, beige, and beautiful taupe.
SLATE Return to Top
Slate is a type of Metamorphic Rock, and unlike marble, is composed of Quartz and Mica. It is chemically stable when compared to marble and limestone, thus, kitchen acids do not affect this surface. It has a high density similar to granite, has an abrasion resistance similar to marble and a very low water absorption rate. Slate has variegated patterns from black, greens, browns, and gold and comes in a variety of colors. Slate comes in both a honed (smooth) finish, as well as, a cleft (split) finish, and is a suitable surface for flooring, kitchen countertops, bathrooms, including showers, tubs, and vanities. Slate involves little maintenance, and with minimal sealing, will endure for years.