Natural Stones Information Center
Granite is an important structural and ornamental stone, and due to its high compressive strength and durability, it is used for massive structural work. It is the hardest of all natural stones, and second only to diamond. Similar to lava, granite is an igneous rock that begins as liquid magma deep within the earth. In many cases, granite originates from the underside of continents or pieces of ocean crust that are melted by intense heat. The extreme pressure in the center of the earth compresses the liquid magma, creating a very dense material with minimal pores.
Granite is composed of quartz, feldspars and micas, as well as traces of a wide variety of other minerals. These minerals contribute to the color and texture of the various granites. A broad range of elegant patterns make granite the most versatile and durable of all stones. Its tough and almost impenetrable surface makes granite the most maintenance free of all stones.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that begins as limestone. Over time, geological shifting forces the limestone deep within the earth, the porous nature of limestone makes it a great liquid reservoir. Heated by the earth’s inner core, the water evaporates, forming hot springs and geysers. If enough time transpires, mud beds consisting of limestone and other minerals cool and crystallize into solid travertine. The characteristic holes in travertine are the result of trapped gas bubbles; as the gas escapes, crystals form in the cavities. Extraordinary small holes or cavities occur in the cooling process while minerals in the stone create unique variations in color and veining. These variations contribute to travertine’s natural beauty. Travertine is commonly used outside as cladding and pavement, as well as inside for floors, walls and countertops.
Marbles are basically metamorphosed limestones. It begins as a sedimentary stone consisting of seashells and the bones of sea creatures that have settled to the ocean floor. Once limestone is subjected to heat and pressure, the calcium carbonate re crystallizes into marble.
Marbles have similar characteristics to limestones and are typically used on the same applications, though, marbles are almost always more aesthetically valuable and available in much wider range of colors.
Known for its eye-catching beauty and elegance, marble is a timeless classic. It is mainly used for interior and exterior flooring, bathrooms, kitchens, walls, monuments and sculptures.
Onyx, like travertine, is the result of water dissolving existing limestone and re-depositing it as a new kind of stone. In limestone caves, onyx is formed by drip water, as stalagmites and stalactites. Because of its translucence onyx can create an aesthetically intriguing look for several lower traffic areas such as walls, reception desks or bar areas. Look at it and enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of it.
Limestone is a sedimentary stone that consists of bones and seashells of creatures that have settled to the ocean floor. It is primarily composed of calcium carbonate, the basic structure of all limestone, marble and travertine. Limestone contains slight variations in color and veining as a result of minerals that are present during formation. These natural variations add the distinctiveness and beauty of the stone.
Definition Sources: Webster Dictionary and The Marble Institute of America Design Manual.
Natural Stone Maintenance
• Clean regularly with a neutral cleaner and a dust mop to remove the dirt.
Pick up any spills as soon as possible.
• Use a penetrating sealer to prevent staining. Marble, travertine, and onyx are very sensitive to acids and alkalis, and can be stained if spills are not wiped up immediately.
Acidic cleaners; Orange juice, lemonade, wine, vinegar, liquors etc. will cause reactions such as deterioration of dry veins and oxidation on polished marble, travertine, limestone and onyx. If these natural stones are installed in an area where staining liquids are liable to cause problems, then the flooring should be sealed and finish applied. Granite is one of the least porous natural stones so most likely it won’t be damaged if it’s cleaned immediately.
“Special Impregnating” sealers are recommended to avoid these problems.
• Clean natural stones with “special stone cleaners”, “pH balanced cleaners” or “neutral base cleaners.”
• Do not clean any natural stone with acidic cleaners, including (but not limited to) vinegar or cleaners with “lemon” or “lime” on the label. These products will abrade the polish from the stone. Sealers DO NOT protect polished surfaces from these types of cleaners.
Natural Stone is a product of nature and is therefore subject to natural variation of color, shading, veins, marking and texture from piece to piece. The typical variation of a stone is dependent upon the type of stone selected. No claims will be accepted after materials are fabricated or installed. We extend no guarantees, expressed or implied, as to slipperiness, wear resistance or maintenance procedures. All natural stone is subject to some wearing or scratching over time. Food and other acids may stain or etch the surface of some stones. Customer understands and complies with the Trendy Surfaces, Inc. terms and conditions of sale.