The term “Natural Stone” refers to a number of products quarried from the earth from various parts of the world. These stones have been used over many thousands of years as building materials and decorative enhancements. These products include Mazeras, Granite, Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Slate, Quartzite, Sandstone, Adoquin, Onyx, and many others. They are more than just rocks – natural stones are hand- selected from the best, most consistent sources for durability and beauty. Natural stone products differ in composition, color, and texture even among pieces from the same source. This is usually considered a benefit, lending itself to one of a kind designs and distinctive, dramatic applications.
Natural stone is prized its distinctive beauty and the sense of peaceful tranquility it creates, but there are also many practical benefits to using Natural Stone in your home. Natural Stone products are more durable than many artificial products, often lasting for decades with very little maintenance. With Natural Stone there are no worries about exposure to harmful chemicals in the home or released into the environment during production or disposal. Why invest time and money into a look-alike? Natural Stone is the real thing that the artificial products try to emulate.
The three main types, or classes, of rock are sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous and the differences among them have to do with how they are formed.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from particles of sand, shells, pebbles, and other fragments of material. Together, all these particles are called sediment. Gradually, the sediment accumulates in layers and over a long period of time hardens into rock. Generally, sedimentary rock is fairly soft and may break apart or crumble easily. You can often see sand, pebbles, or stones in the rock, and it is usually the only type that contains fossils. Examples of this rock type include conglomerate and limestone.
Metamorphic rocks are formed under the surface of the earth from the metamorphosis (change) that occurs due to intense heat and pressure (squeezing). The rocks that result from these processes often have ribbonlike layers and may have shiny crystals, formed by minerals growing slowly over time, on their surface. Examples of this rock type include gneiss and marble.
Igneous rocks are formed when magma (molten rock deep within the earth) cools and hardens. Sometimes the magma cools inside the earth, and other times it erupts onto the surface from volcanoes (in this case, it is called lava). When lava cools very quickly, no crystals form and the rock looks shiny and glasslike. Sometimes gas bubbles are trapped in the rock during the cooling process, leaving tiny holes and spaces in the rock. Examples of this rock type include basalt and obsidian.
Natural Stone can be used on nearly every surface both inside and outside the home, including floors, kitchen counter-tops, vanity tops, bathrooms, patios, walkways, fireplaces, facades, wall cladding, and garden landscaping.
1. Remove any loose debris.
2. Blot spills; wiping the area will spread the spill.
3. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times.
4. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth.
5. Repeat as necessary.
6. If the stain remains, refer to the section in this guide on stain removal.
7. If the stain persists or for problems that appear too difficult to treat, call your stone care professional, installer, or restoration specialist.
Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer), or a mild liquid dish washing detergent and warm water. Use a clean soft cloth for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean, non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt, and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt, and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the
underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface.
The large expanses of stone generally found on exterior applications may make it impractical to perform normal maintenance on a frequent basis. Large installations, however, should be given periodic overall cleaning as necessary to remove accumulated pollutants. Easily accessible stone surfaces such as
steps, walkways, fountains, etc., should be kept free of debris and soiling by periodically sweeping and washing with water. Normal maintenance should include periodic inspection of stone surfaces for structural defects, movement, deterioration, or staining.
Homeowners often enjoy bathrooms with bold colors and smooth, flowing patterns. Marble is the perfect choice for this application due to its wide spectrum of available colors. It also lends itself well to carved patterns and details, creating both traditional and artistic designs. While kitchen counter-tops are often exposed to acidic substances, bathroom counter-tops are more likely to be exposed to alkaline products, which do not react with Marble.
The earth tones and rustic look of slate create a comfortable, natural look that is right at home with exterior landscaping and interior garden designs. Slate is naturally slip resistant, even when wet, and is much less likely to show dust and dirt than polished Granite or Marble. It’s also relatively low priced, which makes it a great choice for large, informal areas.
The family or living room in a home is a place for peace and relaxation, and the soft, muted tones and textures of limestone or travertine are the perfect touch. Available in shades of beige, tan, yellow and gold and processed with a tumbled or antiqued texture, limestone complements all types of furniture and upholstery.
A Dimension stone is natural stone or rock that has been selected and finished ( trimmed, cut, drilled, ground, or other) to specific sizes or shapes. Color, texture and pattern, and surface finish of the stone are also normal requirements.
Thanks to the extremely simple ‘Glass Test’ – one can easily identify the authenticity of true quartzite. Here is the procedure:
1. Take a glass tile
2. Select a rough or pointed edge of stone that has to be checked
3. Place the glass tile on a table
4. Hardly press the pointed edge of the stone against the surface of the glass tile and try to draw a straight line.
5. Now check for the appearance of any scratch of the glass surface
6. Identify whether there is actually a scratch on the glass surface or just a removable mark created by the powdered stone
7. In case the stone has multiple shades, try performing the test on different areas of glass surface