From primitive times till today there is only material, what had remain “The natural stone”. In other word, 7000 years is a long time. It’s so long that we have trouble comprehending it. But monuments built of natural stone more than 7000 years ago are still standing today (in northern of Iran). Also the natural stones were used to create the Takht-e Jamshid (Persepolis).
Defiantly, natural stone is one of the basic building materials. Natural stone has its own unique qualities that not only distinguish it from man made materials but also should be considered in selecting it for a particular project. Stone is not manufactured; it is a product of nature. Then It is not a secret, that natural stones are popular every time as a building and finishing materials with exceptional characteristics: strength, durability, operating life, firmness to weather and variety of colors which is a testament to natural stone’s enduring beauty and strength. The natural stones are originated from the heavy minerals that are there in the core of the earth. However, with the passing of time the crust of the earth started to erode. So, the minerals from the core were pushed up to form the quarries from where the natural stones are derived. There are thousands of types of stone that have been quarried through the centuries. Stone is a natural solid formation of one or many minerals. Most of these minerals can be identified by their color, hardness, and crystal formation. Crystals come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The wide array of these minerals is often difficult to identify. Many stones look very similar to each other; but, they are very different. There are thousands of types of stone that have been quarried through the centuries. Also, The natural stone quarries are located all around the world.
In fact, when you buy natural stones like as Onyx, Travertine, Marble, Limestone, Granite and …, you are looking at materials which may be as much as 300 to 500 million years old. They are from parts of this world that have been constantly shifted by continents and seas, earth movements, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Some stone may even contain fossilized remains of shells, fish, animals and plants.
Different types of stones are classified according to their mineral content and the process of their formation. Good stones are characterized by durability and hardness, strength, amenability to dressing, appearance, weight, fineness of grain and compactness and porosity and absorption. In order to be suitable as building stone, a rock should have specific qualities such as capacity to stand the ravages of time and weather, requisite strength to bear strain and super-incumbent weight and attractive color’ and general appearance. Each type of natural stone used in the building industry brings with it inherent strengths, making them suitable for different applications. Each natural stone is unique, because no two places on earth have the exact same geological composition or experience, or the exact same geological forces. This means that natural stone of the same type can also differ widely. In fact, the appearance and the characteristics of natural stone are determined by the manner in which the stone was formed: by rivers, by volcanoes and …
Natural stone is a collective name for thousands of different types of stone, found and quarried all around the world. For commercial purposes, natural stone is divided into several large groups such as Onyx, Travertine, Marble, Limestone, Granite and … are the most important.
Onyx is actually a type of oxide mineral that has dominant silica ingredients. In fact, Onyx is made as a result of calcify geyser action. Usually, Onyx is seen in different shape of layers among Travertine. In calcify geyser action, if the temperature decreases slowly, Marble will be made and if the temperature descends fast Travertine will be made. In other word, Onyx is formed from carbonate minerals that are dissolved when dolomite sediments or limestone have contact with hot water. Onyx has many different color such as green, yellow, honey, white and red that it will become a luxury and ornamental stone. In fact, Onyx is an extremely variable stone with heavy veining. No two pieces of onyx are ever exactly alike, and one slab might contain dozens of colors.
Onyx is a highly decorative and stunning material that has been used as a gemstone and as a decorative surfacing material. Many varieties of Onyx include semi-translucent veining that may be back light, creating a dramatic effect. It is more fragile than other types of stone, susceptible to both chemical and abrasive deterioration, and therefore more suitable for low traffic areas or vertical applications.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that is made up of calcium based minerals. It is formed by the evaporation of water in hot springs. As the water evaporates the minerals are left behind. These minerals create the colors, the shades and the beauty that is Travertine today. The small cavities which are inherent in every travertine were created when natural gases escaped through the stone; these holes don’t mean that Travertine is not a durable material. In fact, Travertine forms in areas where water is present during their. The color of Travertine depends on the presence of various minerals. This allows for a huge palette of color choices ranging from ivory and light beige all the way to dark browns. Other colors such as red, pink, gold and silver are also available in travertine. One of the characteristics which make Travertine unique is that the same block of stone may be cut perpendicular to the bedding plain, exposing a linear pattern known as vein cut; or across the surface, known as cross cut, which reveals cloud-like patterns in the stone.
Travertine is an excellent product for residential and commercial use and is becoming increasingly popular because not only does it have the elegant look of marble, but also once sealed Travertine tiles require very little maintenance, which allows for a timeless & beautiful appearance. It is widely used in commercial spaces due to its suitability in floors and coverings. Travertine is available in a number of finishes ranging from polish, cross cut, regular cut, honed & filled, honed & unfilled. It is rising in popularity for use in bathrooms and living areas. It is very versatile and can be used in many places in the home.
Marble is a metamorphic rock, which finds wide usage in buildings, monuments, and sculptures. Commercially however, all calcareous rocks produced by nature and capable being polished are called marbles. Composed mostly of calcite (a crystalline form of calcium carbonate), marble is relatively hard, though not quite as hard as granite. Marble is therefore more susceptible to staining, acid etching, and scratching. In fact, a recrystallized (a process by which deformed grains are replaced by a new set of undeformed grains that nucleate and grow until the original grains have been entirely consumed) limestone that formed when the limestone softened from heat and pressure and recrystallized into Marble where mineral changes occurred. The main consistency is calcium and dolomite. Geologists use the term Marble to refer to metamorphosed limestone. In one word, it is a metamorphosed rock of outstanding quality with an extensive range of color.
Marble characteristics include rich colors and veining which gives the finished product a unique and distinctive look. Marble is available in a multitude of finishes, the most common of which are polished or honed, although more rustic or antique finishes are also available. The reflective gleam of light off of a polished Marble floor creates a refined look and a classic elegance that is always in style. The different finishes, colors and textures of Marble that make an ideal application for multiple environments such as bathroom, countertops, floors, fireplace and … applications. Many marbles are well suited for wet area application, which extends the versatility of this material to include baths and showers.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, which is composed of calcium carbonate (calcite) or the double carbonate of calcium and magnesium (dolomite) tiny fossils, shell fragments and other plants remains. In fact, Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate. It is formed over many years at the bottom of oceans or lakes from the accumulation of shells, bones and other calcium rich minerals. Limestone occurs commonly in nature, and is a hard and durable choice for a wide variety of projects. Neutral colors like cream, beige, gold, blue, gray, and mushroom predominate the palette available in limestone.
Limestone is an excellent building stone because it can be carved easily. It can be polished to a high gloss finish, but is more commonly known for its honed (matte), tumbled (antique or acid washed) and natural (split face or rough) finishes, typically in more neutral tones. Limestone is most commonly used for flooring (interior and exterior), wall cladding, vanity tops, furniture, and many times, ornate stonework. Totally, Limestone is ideal for today’s more casual and comfortable environments, its beige and tan colors suitable for bathrooms, fireplaces, counters and floors.
The hardest natural stone available for building, granite is composed primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica, and various other minerals. This combination results in a product that is virtually scratch proof, burn proof, and nearly indestructible. In fact, the only known materials harder than granite are diamonds and sapphires. Granites usually have a definite crystal structure, often with inclusions of smoky quartz, crimson garnets, and reflective mica. The patterns can be small and repetitive or large with wild rivers of movement. The more slowly the minerals cooled during their formation, the larger the individual crystals can grow. Usually, granite has darker colors. But, depending on the mineral content present, it will range in color from black to brown, pink, green, off-white. It is commonly used to face commercial and institutional buildings and monuments.
Granite is an igneous rock of great beauty. It is a very durable and stain resistant stone due to its dense nonporous consistency. There are multiple options available for the surface finish applied to the face of a piece of Granite. One of the most popular is a polished finish. Also, flamed, sandblasted, or bush hammered finishes are rough textures that have special applications in commercial and exterior use. In other word, Granite is the best choice when permanence, enduring color and texture, and freedom from deterioration and maintenance are the prime requirements for your project. It adapts to different applications and trends in exterior and interior architecture from walls and floors.