The 7 Categories of Natural Stone
Author: Alessandro Perinato —Kreoo
Date: 2 July 2014
Natural stone is one of the most beautiful materials in the world. With a few motions of an expert’s hand, it can be transformed into a brilliant rendering of the human form or a stunning new perspective on space and line. It is the medium of art. Science and intuition combined. But not all natural stone is created equal. There are seven basic categories that include stones you may not be familiar with.
Just like Kreoo’s name is derived from the ancient Greek language, the term “Marble” comes from the Greek word “Marmaros” and means “shining stone”. In Italian, Marble is still pronounced Marmo. Geologists generally classify marble as metamorphosed limestone. It’s characterized by a certain brightness which comes from light penetrating calcite deposits in the stone’s surface. This is the reason marble is so common in sculpture. The translucence gives marble an ethereal appearance, adding depth to the final piece of art. Marble comes in hundreds of colors, from black and white, all the way to blue and orange. This variety makes marble especially useful for interiors; easily matching any décor and pairing well with other materials such as wood, metal or complimentary stone tile. Marble is extremely well-suited to machining operations like antiquing, flaming and polishing. To maintain this stone’s natural beauty, it’s important to pay close attention to its surroundings. The most common damage to marble comes from acidic substances like vinegar or soda, but these are avoidable with diligent clean up and protective sealants. To maintain the color and vibrancy of the stone, avoid harsh and corrosive products. It’s very important to respect the essence of a natural stone. For expert advice on specific stains, contact us at Kreoo. We can help guide you in choosing the best remedy. Some people have an undue fear of marble’s fragility but with a little common sense and proactive effort, it can be a durable addition to any home. If the ancient Greeks and Romans thought marble was good enough for their temples and arenas, we’d say it’s definitely worth bringing into the personal interiors of a home. At Kreoo, we believe marble is a top-tier choice for any room in your home, but remember, marble is a natural material! As such, specific characteristics may vary according to the story of the individual piece: where it was mined, the time of extraction and even the training of the artisans who crafted it; which is why it’s so critical to verify the true expertise of your stone manufacturers. When working with experts like Kreoo’s staff of Italian artisans, you’re sure to get a beautiful piece to accentuate any area of your home.
Like marble, travertine is a form of sedimentary limestone. This variety forms naturally in mineral springs. Its color depends on the oxides incorporated during that formation process. Usually the natural color varies from milk to walnut, but it can be found in shades of yellow and red. Travertine often contains fossilized animal footprints and plant patterns, adding a beautiful, natural aesthetic. As a natural stone, there are certain products homeowners can use to enhance and sustain travertine’s special luster. At Kreoo, we’ll tell you all about the different processes your travertine may need: plastering, polishing, resin application, grouting, brushing and more. Again, expert advice is a key to finding the right protective products for your individual stone. In order to maintain travertine’s vibrancy, avoid harsh and corrosive products. So do not hesitate to ask, it is a pleasure for our suppliers to explain the history and the quality of the product you’re viewing.
Onyx is a lovely banded stone, a variety of microcrystalline quartz. Usually opaque or semi-opaque, colors can range from red and brown to white, gray and black. In Greek, onyx means “claw” or “fingernail” hitting on the stone’s similarity to a human fingernail in color. Though black is usually the color that comes to mind when thinking of Onyx, in reality most “black” onyxes are professionally dyed. Onyx has historically been used as a material for carved jewelry like cabochons or beads. But in recent years has made an entrance into interior design. In terms of durability, Onyx is less compact than marble and can sometimes exhibit defects and cracks. This isn’t an unmanageable problem and is usually fixed with a natural resin treatment to the surface to keep its pores tightly sealed.
The word granite comes from the Latin “Granum” in reference to its crystal structure. Unlike marble’s smooth veining, granite’s surface is a textural pattern of small to medium speckles and dots; historically white, black and gray. But today, granite is even found in an extremely wide range of colors including pinks and yellows. Polishing is the most requested finish for this stone, due to its ability to enhance the light and reflective quality of surface. Granite is a common choice for kitchen countertops, even though current styles are branching out to include marble as popular alternative. Granite has excellent technical prospects. It is very durable, making it ideal for environments subject to heavy foot traffic. Additionally, it isn’t easily affected by acidic substances, though we recommend caution with oils and grease. Immediate removal is the best course of action, followed by an appropriate protective treatment.
A variety of metamorphic rock, Quartzite is nearly full quartz. This composition allows the stone to retain the enchanting colorless transparency of its namesake, giving it a glass-like appearance. Our experts will advise the most suitable product according to the specifications of each variant of Quartzite, to enhance its unique properties and defend its beauty against decay. Quartzite is fairly sensitive to abrasions, so carful maintainance is a must. Homeowners can maintain the stone’s color and finish by avoiding harsh cleansers or other products. With natural stone, natural products are always the best way to go!
Porphyry is a volcanic effusive rock, composed of large and fine grain crystals. One of the most common varieties on the earth’s crust is rhyolitic ignimbrites. The porphyry is composed of 2-4 millimeter crystals, encapsulated in a vitreous or microcrystalline base. These crystals are more abundant than those of quartz, so that the rock is commonly called “quartz porphyry”. Usually its color ranges from light shades of gray to medium browns. Outdoor applications are perfectly suited to Porphyry because of its resilience in both cold and hot temperatures. It’s particularly found in various types of outdoor flooring, and cladding even adding a sparkle to curtain walls. All of this is a lot of information to take in, but even this has only scratched the surface of natural stone. It is an incredible medium and when choosing the right variety, it can enhance both the personality and functionality of any space. So talk to the experts and choose wisely. If you do, you’ll be enjoying the benefits of nature’s stunning creations for years to come!