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Stone Guide

The two most basic types of stone used in the construction and building industry are natural stone – such as marble, granite, or limestone – and synthetic stones, consisting of stone chips suspended in a cement or resin mix.

Natural stone groups

Sedimentary rock
Formed from biological deposits that have undergone consolidation and crystallization. Limestone and sandstone fall into this category.
Igneous rock
Formed when molten rock (called lava or magma) cools and hardens. Granite is an example of an igneous rock.
Metamorphic rock
Formed when other kinds of rocks are changed by heat and pressure inside the earth. Marble, slate, and quartzite are examples of metamorphic rocks.

Common stone types

HONED
This satin finish looks very “soft”, shows few scratches, and requires very little maintenance. Marble, limestone, and slate are appropriate stones for a honed finish.
SAW-CUT
Matt finish. After initial cutting, the stone is processed to remove the heaviest saw marks but not enough to achieve a “honed” finish. Granite, marble, and limestone can be purchased this way, typically on a special order basis.
POLISHED
High shine. The polish may last a long time or may be unstable depending on the type of stone. Granite, marble and limestone are frequently polished, and require varying degrees of maintenance to preserve the shine.
SPLIT-FACED
Rough texture, not as abrasive as flamed. This finish is typically achieved by hand cutting and chiselling at the quarry, exposing the natural cleft of the stone. This finish is primarily done on slate.
ACID-WASHED
Shiny with small etching marks (pits in surface). An acid-washed finish shows fewer scratches and is much more rustic in appearance than a honed finish. Most stones can be acid-washed but the most common are marble and limestone. Acid washing is also a way to soften the shine on granite.
TUMBLED
Smooth or slightly pitted surface, broken rounded edges and corners. There are several methods used to achieve the tumbled look: 20mm thick tiles can be tumbled in a machine, or 3cm tiles can be tumbled and then split, creating two tiles that are tumbled on one side. Marble and limestone are the primary candidates for a tumbled finish.
FLAMED
Rough texture, very abrasive. This finish is used mostly for exterior applications as flooring or as facing on commercial buildings, is labour intensive, and can be costly. The texture is achieved by heating the surface of the stone to extreme temperatures, followed by rapid cooling. Flaming is primarily done to granite.
BRUSHED
A worn-down look achieved by brushing the surface of the stone, simulating natural wear over time.

Granite

An igneous stone that is extremely hard, dense and resistant to scratches and acid etching. It is an ideal stone for use in flooring and in food preparation areas. Hundreds of varieties of granite exist.

Azul
Bahia

Baltic
Brown

Gold and
Silver

Labrador
Blue Pearl

Nero
Assoluto A

Quarzite
Argento

Rosa
Porrino

Star
Galaxy

This is just a small selection of our most popular granite types. Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available granite types.

Marble

A derivative of limestone, marble is a metamorphic stone that can be polished. Marble is characteristically soft and easily scratched or etched by acids. There are countless types of marble from around the world.

Bianco
Carrara C

Bottichino
Classico

Crema Marfil
Classico

Emperador
Light

Nero
Marquina

Rosso
Alicante

Rosso Verona
(Al Contro)

Verde
Bamboo VC

This is just a small selection of our most popular marble types. Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available marble types.

Limestone

A sedimentary stone formed from calcite and sediment that comes in a variety of earthen colours.

Like many other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. The Limestone is a rock mainly consisting of calcium carbonate, and presents particular characteristics: mostly clear colours ranging from ivory colour, to straw yellow, to grey, until the browner shades and darker tonality of Nanto stone.

Our limestone is extracted from the Berici Hills in Italy. Berici limestone was used extensively during the era of the Roman Empire, when it was employed for both decorative and architectural applications, including elaborate sculptures and facades.

Limestone is readily available and relatively easy to cut into blocks or more elaborate carvings. The material makes for an excellent flooring material.

TWILIGHT GREY

OSIRIS GREY

Ebony Black

Bianco Perlino

FOSILE BROWN

GREY NAVY

ALBORAN GREY

BEIGE PANGEA

This is just a small selection of our most popular limestone types. Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available limestone types.

Sandstone

This sedimentary stone is primarily composed of loose grains of quartz sand that are rough in texture. A number of varieties are available.

Sandstone may be any colour due to impurities within the minerals, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, white, and black. Since sandstone beds often formed form highly visible cliffs and other elements relating to the arrangement of the physical features of the surrounding landscapes, some certain colours of sandstone have been strongly identified with certain regions.

Sandstone has been a popular building material since ancient times, and it continues to be used today. It is relatively soft, making it easy to carve to create ornamental fountains and statues. Some sandstones are resistant to weathering, and prove easy to work with. These qualities make sandstone a common building and paving material both domestically and commercially.

white SANDSTONE

yellow SANDSTONE

PINK SANDSTONE

GOLDEN SHELL sandstone

This is just a small selection of our most popular sandstone types. Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available sandstone types.

Travertine

A crystallised, partially metamorphosed limestone, which because of its structure, can be filled and honed and is dense enough to be a type of marble.

Travertine is a sedimentary limestone rock, widely used in construction, especially in Europe. The colour depends on the oxide content, built-in quite easily and naturally by the porous nature of the stone. The natural colour varies from white milk to walnut, through various shades from yellow to red. It can frequently be found containing shell, fossil footprints of animals and plants.

Travertine is frequently used as a building material. It can appear with holes, giving a rustic look, or it can be honed, filled and polished. Holes can naturally appear at any time.

TRAVERTINE WHITE

TRAVERTINE CHIARO

TRAVERTINE CLASSICO

TRAVERTINE SILVER

This is just a small selection of our most popular travertine types. Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available travertine types.

Slate

This metamorphic stone has a sheet-like structure composed of clay, quartz, and shale and comes in a multitude of colours including reds and greens.

Slate is a metamorphic rock of sedimentary origin. It is a variety of limestone, and the shale can split easily into thin sheets – flat, lightweight, waterproof, and weather-resistant – resulting from low-grade metamorphism of sedimentary rocks, formed by deposition of a fine silt (marl) due to the erosion of ancient reliefs.

Slate is classified as a soft or semi-hard rock. It is a compact stone, leaden-blackish colour and easy to work. The slate tends to clear from extraction, up to a light grey pigmentation – the darker shades are due to carbon residues which oxidise when in contact with oxygen, moisture and ultraviolet radiation.

By virtue of its ability in which the rocks tend to split along parallel planes, this material can be employed in various craft and industrial sections, both for architectural design and building construction, for example: the construction of roofs, floors, steps and staircases.

Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available slate types.

Agglomerate Stone

This synthetic stone is made from natural stone chips suspended in a binder such as cement, epoxy resins, or polyester. The most well known agglomerated stone is poured-in-place terrazzo, used in buildings for thousands of years.

Often known as Quartz Corian Terrazzo, it is a man-made material composed of mechanically fragmented or crushed stone material, mixed with a cementitious binder or resin to make it compact enough to be sawn into slabs, worktops or floor tiles, along with other architectural applications.

The characteristics of this type of material are the consistency of colour, the absence of breakages (normally present in natural materials), and the possibility of having uniform dimensions of blocks and slabs.

Agglomerated stones are widely used in both residentially and commercially – often made to look like natural stone – and in lots of cases the real stone is less expensive.

Please contact us directly to discuss your specific requirements, and to explore our full selection of currently available agglomerate stone types.

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