Stone Types

Get the solid facts about the types of stone we offer

NATURAL MARBLE

Natural Marble is a timeless and classic stone that has been used as countertops for many years. The flowing veins and natural beauty fit into just about any style or decor. Ideal for bathrooms.

NATURAL GRANITE

Granite is typically one of the most affordable stone countertop options and is readily available. Ideal for most applications, including exterior settings.

NATURAL QUARTZITE

Quartzite is generally heat and scratch resistant but other impurities found in many Quartzites, can sometimes make them less durable than natural granite. Ideal for kitchens.

SANTAMARGHERITA MARBLE

Santamargherita Marble exhibits consistent beauty throughout the space, whether in a bathroom, a living room or a commercial environment. Ideal for bathrooms and interior well caldding.

SANTAMARGHERITA QUARTZ

Elegant and resistant, Santamargherita Quartz is the ideal surface for high traffic and everyday use. Ideal for kitchen, bath or other interior applications.

Within the stone countertop slab industry, it’s common to hear commercial product names like marble, granite, quartzite or engineered stone. It some cases, this may be correct, but more often than not, the stones are actually geologically something different. To help you further understand the geological differences and general characterisitics of each, we have put together a list of the most common stone types sold throughout our various locations. We have listed the geological classification name, common commercial name, and general details of each.

Natural
Granite

Natural
Quartzite

Natural
Marble

Santamargherita
Quartz

Sm
Quartz

Santamargherita
Marble

Sm
Marble

GRANITE

Commercial Name: Natural Granite

Granite, often a general term used to describe hard and durable stone surfaces, is actually only one of many types of stone sold for countertop applications. Granite is one of the most durable countertop surfaces you can buy. Granite is strong, heat and scratch resistant and comes in a variety of colors, patters and grain structure.

Granite is a common type of igneous rock composed mainly of quartz, different types of feldspars, micas, and hornblende, along with varying amounts of the elements aluminum, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Although granite is very strong and durable, it is porous. Sealing the stone is recommended to prevent staining. Granite is typically one of the most affordable stone countertop options and is readily available.

BASALT / GABBRO

Commercial Name: Natural Granite

Basalt and gabbro are often referred to as granite in the stone countertop industry. Like granite, they are very hard, dense and are heat and scratch resistant. In general, many black granites are typically a basalt or gabbro. Because of their uniformity and dark color, they tend lend themselves to a more modern or minimalist design aesthetic.

Basalt is a dark-colored, fine-grained, igneous rock composed mainly of plagioclase and pyroxene minerals. It most commonly forms as an extrusive rock, such as a lava flow. The difference between basalt and gabbro is that basalt is a fine-grained rock while gabbro is a coarse-grained rock.

Although Basalt and Gabbro are very dense, they are still porous and need to be sealed to prevent staining. Basalt and gabbro generally fall into the same price range as natural granite.

SCHIST

Commercial Name: Natural Granite

Schist materials have increasingly made their way into the granite countertop industry over the last several years. With the advancement of stone processing technology, these generally fragile materials are now capable of being processed into slab material for countertop applications. The mica that is commonly found in schist provides a natural sparkle not typically found in other stone countertop materials. In general, schist is fairly hard and suitable for kitchen and other countertop applications. One of the drawbacks to schist is that its fragile and can be a challenge to fabricate without chipping or breaking.

Schist is medium grade metamorphic rock, formed by the metamorphosis of mudstone / shale, or some types of igneous rock. It often contains significant amounts of mica, which allow the rock to split into thin pieces.

Schist is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Because they are more fragile than other stone types, they typically require a bit more care. Also, because of the variation in material hardness, they typically do not have a very uniform finish when polished.

QUARTZITE

Commercial Name: Natural Quartzite

Natural Quartzite, not to be confused with Engineered Quartz, has become very popular over the years. Quartzite offers more of a “marble” look, while providing a very hard and durable surface suitable for kitchen countertops and other countertop applications. True quartzite is naturally very heat and scratch resistant and reasonably stain resistant as well.

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that has been formed from sandstone and has been altered by heat and pressure over time. In some deposits, intrusion of minerals during the formation process creates unusual coloration.

Like most natural stones, Quartzite should be sealed to protect from staining and are typically more expensive than traditional granite materials. Quartzite is ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavy use environments.

META-SANDSTONE

Commercial Name: Natural Quartzite

Meta-Sandstone tends to have the same flowing vein pattern and similar grain structure as a natural quartzite. At first glance, looks very similar to natural quartzite. Even to the trained eye, it can be difficult to identify. Although meta-sandstone is very beautiful and desirable, it can be a bit problematic, if not treated with care. Since meta-sandstone has not undergone complete metamorphism, it tends to be porous and prone to staining. These types of stones should be sealed very well and extra caution should be taken. It can also be more brittle than a natural quartzite and should be handled with care.

Meta-Sandstone is a sandstone that has been altered by heat and pressure over time and undergone metamorphism to some degree but has not quite transformed into a true quartzite.

Meta-Sandstone is generally heat and scratch resistant but should be sealed very well and often, to protect from staining. Meta-Sandstone, like natural quartzite is also more expensive than traditional granite materials.

SANDSTONE

Commercial Name: Natural Quartzite

Sandstone is not a common stone type used for kitchen countertops. It’s fairly brittle structure and earth tone colors, tend to be more desirable for exterior applications or rustic settings.

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed of sand-size grains of mineral, rock, or organic material. It also contains a cementing material that binds the sand grains together and may contain a matrix of silt- or clay-size particles that occupy the spaces between the sand grains.

Sandstone is heat and scratch resistant, but very porous. It must be sealed very well and often to minimize staining. Sandstone can also be fragile, so make sure it is a suitable product for your intended application. Sandstone is ideally suited for exterior or decorative applications.

MARBLE

Commercial Name: Natural Marble

Natural Marble is a timeless and classic stone that has been used as countertops for many years. The flowing veins, earth tone colors and natural beauty fit into just about any style or decor. Although marble makes a beautiful countertop, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. Marble is porous and fairly soft, therefor can scratch and stain. Also, marble will etch when exposed to acidic products like wine, lemon, vinegar, etc. Consider these drawbacks when using marble for your countertop material, especially in the kitchen. Honed finished marble can help minimize the effects of etching and hide some of the wear over time.

Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities within the stone.

Marble is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Marble can also scratch and etch, so be aware of the maintenance concerns before using in a kitchen.

DOLOMITE

Commercial Name: Natural Marble

The trend for white and gray lends itself to the typical Dolomite colors. Dolomites are often oversold as a Marble that performs like Granite. Unfortunately, that is not quite right. Dolomites are slightly harder than your average marble but are much softer than granite, therefore they can scratch. Also, although dolomites will hold up better than marble to acids and etching, they can still etch. Dolomites make a great looking countertop and can be used in the kitchen, bathrooms, etc., but don’t expect the same performance as a harder stone like granite or quartzite. In terms of performance, you’d be better to think of Dolomite as a marble.

Dolomite, also known as dolostone and dolomite rock, is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of the mineral dolomite. Dolomite is found in sedimentary basins worldwide. It is thought to form by the post depositional alteration of lime mud and limestone by magnesium-rich groundwater.

Dolomite, like most natural stones is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Although is performs better than true marble, It can scratch and etch, so be aware of the maintenance concerns before using in a kitchen.

CALCITE

Commercial Name: Natural Marble

Calcite slabs are not new to the stone industry, but lately have become a focus of many stone suppliers. As the demand for white colored stones has increased, the amount of calcite type stones has increased. Calcites are typically white and translucent and can have soft veins of light blue, gray, green and other light colors. Because of their grain structure and quartz like appearance, they can sometimes be mistaken as quartz. Although they look like quartz, they are very different in terms of durability. The coarse grain structure typically found in calcite stones can also prove to be tricky to fabricate in to countertops.

Calcite is one of the most ubiquitous minerals, being an important rock forming mineral in sedimentary environments. It is an essential component of limestones, and occurs in other sedimentary rocks. It also occurs in metamorphic and igneous rocks, and is common in hydrothermal environments. Calcite is a common vein filling mineral in many rock types.

Calcite is soft and can scratch, etch and stain just like marble can. Calcite is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Make sure you fully understand the pros and cons of calcite before selecting one as a kitchen countertop. Calcites are better suited for a bathroom environment.

TRAVERTINE

Commercial Name: Natural Marble

Travertine is a classic stone, commonly used for flooring applications, but can also be used for countertops. Travertine has more of a rustic look and feel and typically has a filler product applied to fill the holes and voids commonly found in the stone. Travertine can be cut along the vein, to produce a more linear pattern or across the vein to produce more contrast and movement to the stone. Travertine is not a recommended choice for kitchen countertop applications, but is suitable for bathroom vanities, flooring and backsplash.

Travertine is a form of Limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave.

Travertine, like most natural stones is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Travertine can also be fragile, so make sure travertine is a suitable product for your intended application.

SOAPSTONE

Commercial Name: Natural Marble

Soapstone, known as “original stone countertop,” is a very popular alternative to granite or marble. Many people are attracted to having soapstone as a countertop because of its soft feel. Soapstone comes in colors of blue, green and gray, and if mineral oil is applied consistently, it will bring out the color making it look older and much more elegant.

Soapstone (steatite) is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock made up of mineral deposits created by nature and quarried from the earth. The main mineral components in soapstone include talc, chlorite, dolomite and magnesite, giving a warm, soft feeling to the touch.

Soapstone is non-porous, so it doesn’t need to be sealed, although it’s sometimes treated with mineral oil to achieve a dark, even appearance. Soapstone won’t etch from acids, and surface stains can be rubbed out easily. One of the drawbacks to soapstone is that it can easily scratch. Fortunately, because it is so soft, scratches can be sanded out fairly easily. Soapstone is commonly used in kitchen applications.

SANTAMARGHERITA QUARTZ

Commercial Name: Engineered Quartz

Santamargherita quartz is a man-made, quartz-based slab material. The variety of colors and pattern options, combined with strength, durability and low maintenance, make it one of the most popular stone countertop options on the market today. Suitable for every day use, Santamargherita quartz surfaces are scratch and impact resistant, acid resistant and easy to maintain.

Santamargherita quartz slabs are made by combining and compacting the materials using a “vibrocompression vacuum process.” The stone mix consists of quartz, granite or other stone aggregates, fine mineral particles and organic based bonding agents.

It’s generally not necessary to seal Santamargherita quartz slabs but may be necessary on specialty type finishes. Santamargherita quartz is ideal for kitchen countertops, bathroom applications and other heavy use, indoor applications.

SANTAMARGHERITA MARBLE

Commercial Name: Engineered Marble

Santamargherita marble is a man-made, marble-based slab material. Santamargherita marble is the original marble based engineered stone and has proven itself as one of the most functional and practical building materials available. Santamarghertia marble offers the beauty of natural stone while providing overall color consistency across slabs and tiles.

Santamargherita marble slabs are cut from manufactured blocks, made by combining and compacting the materials using a “vibrocompression vacuum process.” The stone mix consists of marble aggregates, fine mineral particles and polyester resin.

Santamargherita marble is fairly soft and can scratch, etch and stain just like natural marble. Santamargherita marble is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Santamargherita marble is ideal for bathroom environments, walls and floors.