Natural stone is one of the most commonly used materials these days in homes and gardens. But have you ever stopped to wonder where it comes from or how it’s formed? Natural stone was created thousands and thousands of years ago when the Earth was just a ball of gas and minerals. As those gases began to cool down, they compressed and solidified.
During this process is when the natural stone was formed and the types of stone created depended on the type of minerals combined at that time. This cool-down process was slow and the stones formed over millions of years.
As the Earth began to settle, many of the seams of stone were gradually pushed to the surface by heat and pressure that created the large formations we see today. Stones can come from anywhere in the world. There are quarries in America, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Brazil. Some countries have multiple quarries, while others only have a few.
Marble is the result of limestone that has been altered through heat and pressure. It can be a versatile stone used on virtually anything. Marble is usually seen in white, black, and grey tints. It also has great weather endurance.
Quartzite originates from sandstone that has been altered through heat and compression. The stone mainly comes in whites, but can be found in brown, grey or greenish tints. Quartzite is one of the hardest natural stones which makes it a great choice for countertops and other structures that need heavy duty stones.
Granite was originally an igneous stone that had been exposed to magma and altered through the exposure to different minerals. The stone is most commonly found in countries that have high volcanic activity. Granite can come in a wide variety of colors. It can be seen in red, black, brown, white and every color in between. Granite is usually best in kitchens and bathrooms.
Limestone is the result of the compression of coral, seashells, and other ocean life together. There are two types of limestone. One is a harder type that is full of calcium, and a softer type with more magnesium.
Travertine is created when floodwaters wash through limestone, leaving mineral deposits throughout. As it dries, the extra minerals solidify to gradually create a much denser material called travertine. The stone is good as a replacement for marble or granite, as it’s much lighter and easier to work with. Travertine is often used on floors or walls.
At Firenze International, we offer a wide selection of beautiful and durable natural stone! We also have an experienced board of advisers with over 100 years of experience in the natural stone industry. If you have clients in search of natural stone or looking to start a kitchen or home renovation project this summer, contact us and we would love to help you and your clients find the natural stone countertops, backsplashes, and hardscaping of their dreams!