Understanding stone durability

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Among the benefits of natural stone, it is generally the most durable option. Like porosity, stone durability is another critical factor to consider when choosing a stone for your project. But what exactly is durability and why is it so important in determining a stone’s quality? 

Durability is an all-encompassing term used to describe a stone’s ability to withstand different environmental factors without becoming worn or damaged. 

That being said, for a stone with a long lifespan that maintains its beauty and performance over time, our natural stone wholesale experts recommend that you prioritize durability! A stone’s overall durability is entirely dependent on its physical composition and is largely measured by its strength and resistance to the following environmental factors, including:

Pressure/Weight

Whether a stone can withstand immense pressure or weight without experiencing distortion is one determinant of its durability. A durable natural stone like granite will not fracture under intense force. This trait is often referred to as “compressive strength.” 

Water

How a stone interacts with water and other fluids is another component of durability, meaning porosity and durability can go hand-in-hand. Porous stones will absorb liquids which can cause staining and bacterial growth on their surface, while non-porous stones will not be affected. The more liquid-resistant your surface, the more durable it is. This is particularly important to consider for outdoor projects, as the stone must endure changing weather and precipitation. 

Chemicals

In the case that your stone comes in contact with chemicals, which is particularly common in kitchens, bathrooms or outdoor spaces, you want to know that it won’t have a negative reaction. That being said, as you consider durability, do research to determine whether the stone is chemical resistant or not. 

Scratching

Whether a stone can obtain permanent scratches on its surface is another question to ask as you research its durability. A stone’s hardness, as is measured in the Mohs Hardness test, directly correlates with whether it can scratch or be scratched. Do note your material’s hardness as you shop with natural stone wholesale experts!

Temperature

Another element of durability is a stone’s ability to sustain in extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Less durable stones can incur damage from interactions with very high or low temperatures such as melting, discoloration and freezing. This is particularly important to consider for outdoor projects or in your kitchen, where extreme hot and cold temperatures are common. 

Sun

The sun may seem harmless, but select stones are particularly sensitive to sunlight. In some, sunlight can cause fading and discoloration. For example, quartz is one stone that is particularly vulnerable to the sun. This is especially good to know for outdoor projects or spots of your home that are in direct sunlight.

As you choose a stone for your project, take its durability into account as it will have a direct impact on your stone’s lifespan and quality of appearance and function over time. There are many factors that contribute to a stone’s durability such as its resistance to environmental factors including pressure, liquids, chemicals, scratching, extreme temperatures and sunlight. 

Our natural stone wholesale experts can help you determine the most durable option for your project. Contact us today!                                                                                     

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