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Introduction to Natural Stone

Natural stone is a highly sophisticated material that adds dimension and style to architectural and structural designs. Nothing compares to its beauty and elegance. A natural stone is one of the most durable materials and will offer lasting longevity.

What is Granite?

Granite is formed when magma (molten rock) is forced between other rocks in the earth’s crust. It cools and crystallizes deep underground. As it cools slowly large crystals are formed. Granite is used primarily for bar tops, counter tops, shower walls, flooring, monuments, and sanctuaries just to name a few.

 

What is Quartzite?

Quartzite is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism. These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength. The interlocking crystalline structure of quartzite makes it a hard, tough, durable rock. It is so tough that it breaks through the quartz grains rather than breaking along the boundaries between them. Quartzite is usually white to gray in color. Some rock units that are stained by iron can be pink, red, or purple. Other impurities can cause quartzite to be yellow, orange, brown, green, or blue. The quartz content of quartzite gives it a hardness of about seven on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

 

What is Marble?

Marble originated as limestone, but over time, intense heat and pressure caused the limestone to be crystallized. During this metamorphisism, other minerals were introduced producing rich colors and veining. Common uses for marble include fireplaces, interior flooring as well as limited uses for countertops and tabletops.

 

What is Limestone?

Limestone is a sedimentary stone layered and formed from the skeletons and shells of sea creatures. Limestone varies in color ranging from gray to beiges/browns, while some shades of yellow to pink are available. Common uses of limestone are interior and exterior paving as well as limited uses for countertops.

 

What is Slate?

Slate is a fine grained, metamorphic stone derived from sedimentary rocks. Slate can be multi shaded or uniform in color, available in shades of green, purple, black, gray or dark red. Common uses of slate include fireplace facings, interior and exterior paving as well as limited uses for countertops.

 

What is Schist?

Schist is medium grade metamorphic rock, formed by the metamorphosis of mudstone / shale, or some types of igneous rock. It has been subjected to higher temperatures and pressures. The resulting material is coarser and more distinct than that of slate due to the higher degree of crystallization of mica minerals. Larger crystals are formed, and it is often referred to as schistosity. These larger crystals reflect light so that schist often have a high lustre and shine. Due to the more extreme formation conditions, schists often show complex folding patterns. There are many varieties of schist and they are named for the dominant mineral comprising the rock. Common uses for Schist include fireplaces, shower walls as well as limited uses for countertops and tabletops.

Selecting Your Color

The selection of the right stone can dramatically enhance the appearance of your home. Brazilian Exotic Granite offers hundreds of different natural stones colors and variations to complement your cabinetry, wall covering or flooring. After narrowing your selection Brazilian Exotic Granite offers sample materials that you can take with you to view in your home.

Selecting Your Slabs

Once you fabricator has determined the number of slabs and thickness needed for your job, it’s time to return to Brazilian Exotic Granite to select your slabs. Once the slabs are selected, a sales consultant will tag your slabs and they will be held until ready for pick up by your fabricator.

Selecting Your Edge

A proper edge detail adds impact to the beauty of a natural stone countertop, and will integrate stone into the overall design for the room. Check with your fabricator to learn about the various edge treatments available.

1 1/4” – 3/4” Countertop Edge Profiles

1 1/2” Countertop Edge Profiles

2” Countertop Edge Profiles

2 1/4” Countertop Edge Profiles

2 1/2” Countertop Edge Profiles

Selecting Your Contractor

Consult the trade associations or qualified professionals who have been approved for membership based on industry skill and commitment to service.

Ask family, friends, and neighbors for referrals or recommendations.

After you have identified several contractors, schedule appointments for estimates. Most will be free, but confirm in advance.

During your estimate, describe the “look”.