Types of Stone

With a seemingly endless array of choices for countertops and other installations, it’s helpful to know a little bit about each material and how it relates to your space.

Granite

Granite is one of the most abundant natural stones on the planet. It forms the bulk of the earth’s crust and is formed under high heat and pressure deep underground. Along with natural abundance, it comes in a large variety of colors. The incredible forces that create granite also cause it to be a very durable stone. It consists of mostly quartz and feldspar which give it a natural strength. It’s a very versatile stone that performs exceptionally well over time with minimal maintenance. Granite is ideal for practically any installation, indoors or out, kitchen or baths. It ranks a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

 

Marble

This metamorphic stone is well known for its use in famous buildings and sculpture around the world. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, depending on where it’s quarried. Because it’s made of metamorphic limestone, marble is very porous in nature. For this reason, it can be susceptible to staining if not treated and sealed regularly. For the same reasons, it can also etch from coming into contact with acidic foods or liquids. Marble is a much more high-maintenance stone than others, for this reason, we don’t recommend using it in high traffic/high use areas like a kitchen.

Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of ancient corals and marine organisms. Often times, you can see the actual shells and shapes of fossilized animals in the stone. it’s frequently used in exterior construction.” The most common type of limestone that we use to make countertops come from Spain and other places around the world. Due to its porous nature, we don’t recommend using limestone in heavy use areas. Limestone is very susceptible to staining and etching.

Travertine

Travertine is a type of limestone formed by hot springs. The movement of water gives travertine its familiar stripes and the gasses within cause bubbles and holes within the stone, which we call pits. Coloration stays very neutral, beige and gray being the predominate tones. As with Limestone, it’s porous and not suitable for high traffic areas and is subject to staining if not sealed often.

Quartzite

A stone that is gaining in popularity, quartzite is composed almost entirely of quartz in various forms. Found around the world, quartzite comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Formed under extreme pressure, this stone is remarkably hard and rates from 7-8 on the mohs scale. In addition to hardness, it is also very stain resistant. This makes it ideal for a wide variety of installations.

Quartz vs. Quartzite: What’s the difference?

If you’ve been reading up on the latest trends in countertops for kitchens and baths, chances are you’ve probably seen the words quartz and quartzite counter bandied about with nary an explanation about the difference between the two.

Today, we’re here to set the record straight about these 2 extremely popular and vastly different materials.
Kitchen showing natural stone and engineered quartz countertops

A kitchen using both natural stone and engineered quartz.

The first and most important difference is that materials that are referred to as “Quartz” are man-made, engineered stones made of natural quartz and resin in a factory. Quartzite is a 100% natural stone that is dug up out the earth, polished and cut into slabs. They both are made mostly of quartz, one of the hardest substances on earth, which make them ideal for kitchens and high use areas. Because of this natural hardness, both resist staining and etching from acidic liquids. A subtle difference between Quartzite and Quartz is that Natural quartzite can be polished to a high gloss. Engineered quartz often cannot achieve that level of sheen. There is a small subset of material known as “Soft Quartzite” which performs more like a marble. Be sure to ask your salesperson about the specific varieties you’re considering
Engineered Quartz slab

 

 

Engineered Quartz

 

Engineered Quartz can be made into a wide variety of colors, textures, and even made to simulate the look of natural stone veins. Because it is made primarily of quartz, it offers excellent performance in demanding spaces. It is often sold under well-known brand names like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Maestro. The best thing about engineered quartz is that it offers great consistency across all slabs. Because it is made in a controlled environment, a large kitchen can enjoy a uniform appearance of countertop surfaces. Long term maintenance with engineered quartz is minimal. It doesn’t require sealing or specialized cleaners that natural materials need.
natural quartzite slab

 

 

 

Natural Quartzite

 

Natural Quartzite offers the splendid character of natural stone with lasting durability. For those looking for a veined, natural stone, most people immediately turn to marble. Marble has its own characteristics that might not work for all homeowners. (as discussed in this article) Quartzite can offer a similar look but with performance that can keep up with a busy lifestyle. Available in a variety of colors, the only limitations are the natural supply and new material colors come to market quite often.

When debating which one is right for you, consider your lifestyle and your own taste preferences. Do you prefer the look of natural countertops? Or a consistent, smooth coloration? When your choices are down to Quartz and Quartzite, you will get great performance either way.

Cleaning and sealing

How to buy countertops

When making an important investment in your home, like installing new countertops, it’s always nice to know what to expect during the process. With a little preparation, you can ensure your stone purchase goes smoothly.

Planning

As you first start thinking about adding natural stone to your home, there are some steps you can take to make your first visit to the showroom productive.
The space: taking rough measurements of your current counter space will give your design consultant the ability to give accurate estimates of final costs. For new construction, bring your floor plans.

Budget:

Our inventory of over 40,000 slabs gives us the ability to fit in many different price levels. Having a concept of what you would like to spend gives us the ability to steer you in the right direction based upon your needs.

Visit showroom

When you visit showrooms, you’ll get to see many different options in using natural stone. From classic to modern, we can jump-start your creative engines. Our Design consultants are working alongside you as your navigate the multitude of options.
One of the first things you’ll learn is there are 2 ways stone is sold.
All prices are based upon a Per square foot price.
With your square footage information you’ve brought from home, a design consultant can then give you a preliminary quote. Our design consultants will help you match your needs and budget with the right options. If everything looks good, a deposit can be paid and material reserved. In some cases, you can pick your actual slabs for your project in our slab yard.

Production & Installation

After your deposit is paid and material reserved, a template of the project must be made. Our template team will make an appointment to come onsite and take exact measurements that will be used in the fabrication process.
Once the template is completed, your material is moved into our staging and production department. Using state-of-the-art CNC machines, waterjets, and hand sanding, your slabs are cut to the template measurements.
After production, our installation department will schedule time with you to install your stone. Depending on the size, installation can last several hours or even a few days. Our installers will carefully install your project based upon the drawings and templates. If needed, they might trim countertops, install sinks, and drill faucet holes.
Once the project is complete, your design consultant will follow up with any questions and maintenance tips for your new surfaces.
We hope this guide helps you as you begin the process. At any point, feel free to ask us any question you may have.