Learn how to test stone samples for hardness, acid resistance, and porosity. Kitchen designers, architects, fabricators, and restoration professionals can use diagnostic techniques to learn as much as they can about particular varieties of natural stone.
Engineered quartz and natural quartzite are both popular choices for countertops, backsplashes, bathrooms, and more. Here’s a quick and handy reference for understanding where they come from, what they’re made of, and how they differ.
It can be difficult to find reliable information about the practical properties of different types of countertop surfaces. In a quest to bring more data-driven information to the countertop industry, this article offers side-by-side performance testing of four categories of materials.
Minerals are the components of all natural stones. The color of every natural stone, whether it’s jet black, glittery silver, or a kaleidoscope of Technicolor – comes from the individual minerals. Read more in this handy guide to the ingredients of your favorite natural stone.
Many people are curious about the differences between natural stone and manufactured surfaces, and my approach is always the same: be wary of marketing claims, learn as much as you can, understand the properties, and be informed.
Is quartz natural stone? Our geologist analyzed samples from several different quartz manufacturers. Sort fact from fiction using real scientific data to prove performance statistics.
By experimenting on stone samples, you’ll not only gather key bits of information, but you’ll also gain confidence in the real-world attributes of various stones.
Bookmatched slabs sometimes look like butterflies, or Rorschach (inkblot) tests, or many other fanciful shapes. Bar none, bookmatched slabs are one of the most dramatic and impressive ways to use natural stone.
A bit of geology can shed light on why or where we’d want to use a given stone. Geology also helps us appreciate that every slab of stone offers a little glimpse into deep time and the dramatic forces that shape the planet.
Once you’ve come to terms with soapstone’s softness, you can revel in its strengths. Soapstone is remarkably resistant to staining or damage from acids. The density of the stone makes it practically impervious.
Quartzite picks up where sandstone leaves off. It’s a metamorphic rock – one that’s been baked into an extra-tough stone by the heat and pressure that only comes from deep burial way down in Earth’s crust.
Sandstone, by the most basic definition, is any stone that’s made mostly of sand-sized pieces that have been stuck together into a solid rock. That loose definition leaves a lot of room for variation.
Bluestone is a fine-grained sandstone from Pennsylvania and New York, characterized by its grey-blue color—but it’s not always blue.
Let’s explore some green stones and illuminate their properties, minerals, and geologic origins.
Marble is one of the world’s most revered and useful natural materials. Read about it’s formation, patterns, colors, and technical properties.
Next time you come face-to-face with a limestone slab in a showroom, pause and indulge yourself with a little mental time travel to the prehistoric, balmy ocean that created this stone.
In the natural stone industry, “granite” often means any hard stone that is not marble. This article will talk about igneous rocks that comprise most of the granite family including gabbro, gneiss, and basalt.
Gneiss is among the most common commercial stones, but you may not have heard of gneiss because it’s almost always classified as granite.
The sparkly aesthetic comes from mica minerals, which are nature’s glitter.
Instead of just stacking the stones any which way they fit together, this geologist/home owner decided to create her wall using the stones in order of their geological ages.