Marble is a rock resulting from the metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone [CaCO3] calcite or dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2]. Metamorphism causes variable crystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains which will modify the texture and structure of the original sedimentary rock (protolith), resulting in a rock typically composed of interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals. The texture of the marble depends on the form, size , and uniformity of the grains formed. The characteristic swirls and veins of colored marble are due to various mineral impurities as clay, silt, sand, iron oxide,…which were present originally as grains or layers in the protolith. The element components of the marble determines the color of the stones, varying from white to black, yellow, red, and green; it may be veined or clouded.
Since marble is resilient and durable, it is one of the best constructing materials. Its functional use is not limited to flooring and wall tiling but since it is soft, it can be carved into sculptures for decorative purposes. It is also used for counter tops, pillars, outdoor tables, tomb stones, stairs, and pavements. Because it is fire resistant, it is used for fireplaces. Since it can get a perfect polish, marble is perfectly used in sanitary areas as in hospitals, clinics, kitchens, and bathrooms. Marble may be used for internal and external applications, but due to modern-days pollution, it may lose its luster!
Granite is an igneous rock which has cooled slowly allowing distinctive crystal patterns to form. These crystals are clearly visible to the naked eye and they contribute to the color and texture of the granite stones. Most granites consist of three minerals that are easily distinguished:
-Quartz: clear or grayish glassy mineral.
-Mica: a soft black mineral which splits into thin flake.
-Feldspar: a mineral which occurs in a range of colors (pink, white, …)
Granite is an important structural and decorative stone. Due to its high compression strength and durability, it is used for immense structural work, It is the hardest structural stone. A large range of colors from pink to gray, red, yellow, beige, brown, blue, white, and black. Its stiffness and density make it an ideal choice for flooring, counter tops, vanities, as well as exterior applications at high traffic areas.
Slate is a fine grained, layered, homogeneous metamorphic rock, derived from sedimentary rock composed of clay, or volcanic ash through a low grade of regional metamorphism. It is composed mainly of quartz and Muscovite or illite. Since it is formed in layers, its laminar structure makes it easy to split and cleave to expose beautifully textured surfaces.
The usual colors of the slates are earthy brown, beige, yellow, black, copper, purple, and greenish-grey. They usually exhibit color variation even in the same quarry .
The lovely colors and unique texture make slates appropriate for interior as well as exterior applications. It is a popular choice for roofing, walling, paving, and landscaping.
It is a sedimentary rock composed largely of mineral calcite (CaCO3), with variable amount of silica in the form of chert or flint, as well as a varying amount of clay, silt, and sand as dissemination nodules, or layers within the rock. It was formed at the bottom of lakes and seas. As organic matters settle to the bottom over millions of years, layers add up, adding more weight; the heat and pressure cause chemical reactions to take place to harden the sediments into solid stone. Note that it may capture fossilized plant and animal life.
Quality limestone have interior and exterior building applications. Limestone is ideal for nowadays casual and comfortable environments. Generally it is suitable for bathrooms, fireplaces, counters, walls, and floors. Limestone’s color varies from white to beige and it may be blue.
Hard limestone will accept a high glass polished, honed, or flamed finish. With striking tones, limestone create a tough yet refined surface that appeals to all construction applications that wish to blend durability and style.
It is a sedimentary rock created when minerals are disintegrated in the ground which is bought to the surface by geysers, rivers, or springs. If limestone is placed under immense pressure for a long time, it becomes travertine. Travertine placed under pressure for a long time becomes marble.
Travertine comes in various earthy colors depending on the mineral content during rock formation, that may vary from beige to walnut, gold or cream to ivory.
After travertine is cut into thin tiles, it may be polished, honed, brushed or tumbled.
Polished tiles shine because the stone is polished until it is flat and smooth. While honed tiles have a matte finish, polished enough to create a flat smooth surface. Brushed and tumbled tiles are textured.
Kitchen, bathrooms, living quarters, sink counter, tub surround, and shower are examples of indoor application.Outdoor uses include decks, patios, driveways, and pool surround.
Keeping in mind that travertine is porous thus it has to be sealed to become durable and reliable, especially if used in kitchens where spills of grease and acidic juices may occur.
Also for the bathrooms it likes water and moist but it’s better to use brushed or tumbled finish to avoid the slippery aspect of the polished and honed finished travertine when wet.