Granite is an igneous rock and is formed from magma. Granite’s magma has many potential origins but it must intrude other rocks. Granite can be pink to dark gray or even black, depending on their chemistry and mineralogy. Despite being fairly common throughout the world, certain areas are well known for their commercial granite quarries: Brazil, Finland, India, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States.
Marble is a metamorphic rock resulting from regional or rarely contact metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, either limestone or dolostone, or metamorphism of older marble. This metamorphic process causes a complete re-crystallization of the original rock into an interlocking mosaic of calcite, aragonite and/or dolomite crystals. It is extensively used for sculpture, as a building material, and in many other applications.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the mineral calcite. The primary source of the calcite in limestone is most commonly marine organisms. These organisms secrete shells that settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors conglomerated in a coral reef. Because of impurities, such as clay, sand, organic remains, iron oxide and other materials, many limestones exhibit different colors, especially on weathered surfaces. Limestone is very common in architecture, many landmarks across the world are made of limestone.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock. Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams, particularly where there are waterfalls and around hot or cold springs. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the water leaves a solution that is supersaturated with chemical constituents of calcite. Travertine is often used as a building material. Travertine is one of several natural stones that are used for paving patios and garden paths. It is sometimes known as Travertine limestone, sometimes as Travertine marble; these are the same stone, even though it is neither limestone nor marble. The stone is characterized by pitted holes and troughs in its surface. Although these troughs occur naturally, they suggest to some eyes that considerable wear and tear has occurred over many years. Some installers use a grout to fill these holes, whereas others leave them open. Travertine can even be purchased “filled” or “unfilled.” It can be effectively polished to a smooth, shiny finish and comes in a variety of colors from grey to coral-red. Travertine is most commonly available in tile sizes for floor installations.
Quartz is one of the hardest, most abundant minerals found in nature, only diamond, sapphire and topaz are harder. Quartz Stone is a dense, non-porous stone that delivers unsurpassed reliability and performance, scratch-resistance and stain-resistance with no sealing required in a large variety of naturally beautiful colors
Caesar Stone is 93% crushed quartz, one of nature’s hardest minerals. The quartz is combined with high-quality polymer resins and pigments and then compacted under intense vibration, vacuum, and pressure into dense, non-porous slabs. The slabs are post cured, gauged to precise thickness, and polished to an enduring shine.
Zodiac, Cambria and Silestone
Zodiac, Cambria and Silestone counter tops are all essentially the same product. They are all engineered stone counter tops made pretty much the same way. Zodiac, Silestone and Cambria are simply brand names marketed by different companies. Deciding which product/company to buy will likely come down to color choices and availability.
Natural stone tile
Natural stone tile is without question is one of the most beautiful flooring materials. One thing that makes natural stone floors so beautiful is the fact that no two pieces are identical. When stone is harvested from the quarry, large sections are removed and sliced into slabs typically used for counter tops. The smaller sections are cut into flooring tiles or squares of varying size and thickness. At that point, the stone tiles can be polished for a shiny finish or left unpolished for a more natural look. If you’ve ever admired the beauty of a stone fireplace, you can begin to appreciate the beauty this type of look can bring to your floor.