NATURAL STONE INFORMATIION
Natural stone is a creation of nature. Like so many
natural formations, every piece is unique and matchless. Within
each piece of stone also lies the history of one particular place
on our planet. Today's limestone floor for instance, was once a
mass of tiny sea creatures, then an ancient seabed, and after
millions of years of uplift, a mountainside where the limestone was
discovered in our day.
Your natural stone was cut out from a mountainside originally in
huge 50,000 pound blocks of stone. The blocks were then sliced into
slabs which were then refined to give its natural colors a mirror
like depth, smooth soft surface or left slightly rough to enhance
its rich natural texture.
The luster, hardness, colors and variation are all indications of
the stone's mineral composition and origin. This unique blend of
characteristics is what makes your natural stone a one-of-a-kind,
beautiful yet practical surface for your home.
There are two factors that determine stone's
Origin - How was it made?
What is it made of?
Igneous Stone -
"Born of Fire"
Granite comes from igneous rocks,
formed slowly, as it cooled deep underground. Their minerals look
like small flecks typically spread consistently throughout stone.
Some other types have veining (linear waves) like
marble. They are hard (cannot be scratched by steel) and
- "Cementing of Grains"
Sandstone and limestone would fall
into this category. These stones are formed through the compacting
of grains or pieces of any kind of existing rock material. These
existing rocks may have been weathered, transported, deposited and
then cemented over millions of years by the movement of the earth's
tectonic plates. From the formation of the continents to an
earthquake or volcanic eruption, all of these events have helped
form this stone. Sedimentary stones may even contain fossils or
other distinct features formed at the time of
- "Changed in Structure"
Marble and slate are metamorphic
stones. They were formed at extremely high pressures and
temperatures below melting. The presence of swirls, linear patterns
or banding is a key characteristic. Slate is a fine grained,
metamorphic rock, which cleaves in flat, almost smooth pieces.
Marble is a metamorphic limestone that loses the fossils and other
features during the recrystallization.
These stones are made mostly of
quartz-like particles called silica. They are very hard, durable
and generally acid resistant. Examples: granite, sandstone, slate
The minerals in these stones were
formed under pressure over millions of years from the bodies of
tiny fossilized creatures. These stones are softer, less durable
than silicates and acid sensitive. Examples: limestone, marble and
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN
BRINGING NATURAL STONE TO OUR WAREHOUSE?
Natural stone is found in countries
all over the world... from Angola to Zimbabwe. Depending on the
type of stone, it is found within the earth, mountains, low lying
areas such as plains, or former sea beds where the collection of
sediment has occurred.
Your stone selection probably
started with a sample chip, but that's not where it started for
us. It all goes back to the earth. While the finished product
may be glamorous, the task of finding and selecting and processing
natural stone to bring it to the final application is a long and
Natural stone is mined in quarries
all over the world. Blocks of stone are cut from the earth. Then
the selection process starts to find the right
Once selected, blocks are loaded on
trucks and shipped to a factory to be cut to our specifications.
The processing of natural stone is one of the most critical steps
that ultimately lead to customer satisfaction.
After processing, selecting and
inspecting the final order, the material is packaged, loaded into
containers and delivered to the closest dock. It is then placed
onto a steamship: destination USA. After arrival, usually at Port
Elizabeth, New Jersey, the container is unloaded from the steamship
and goes through US Customs inspection. Upon clearance, the
container is delivered by truck to our warehouse.
IDENTITY AND HARDNESS
OF YOU NATURAL STONE
Natural stone has varying levels of
hardness as classified by Moh's scale of
hardness. The harder stones will better
stand up to frequent usage and heavy, hard or sharp objects.
Therefore, harder surfaces would have fewer scratches over time or
none at all. However, some homeowners, similar to Europeans, desire
the worn, lived-in look and therefore welcome the signs
of everyday usage. Think about your personal preference
for stone appearance and select the stone with the
appropriate level of hardness.
Find an inconspicuous testing area on the stone surface
or use a sample piece.
Use the following testing tools to scratch the stone:
fingernail, penny and steel nail or knife blade.
If the stone is softer than your testing tool, you
should feel a definite "bite" and see an indented scratch. If the
stone is harder than your testing tool, there should not be an
If your testing tool is scratching
the stone, then you can presume that items in your home with
similar hardness to the tool will scratch the
Although we usually think of stone
as "hard," it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying
degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left
unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the
surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee and wine
will also etch acid sensitive stones and leave a dull mark. Acid
resistant stones such as most granite, slate and sandstone will not
Consumer is offered a wide range of
surface materials for use in countertop applications. Once
installed, these countertop surfaces will be exposed to a variety
of contaminative substances. Therefore, surface cleanability (how
easy one can remove contaminants from the surface utilizing
normal reasonable cleaning practices) has become key safety
issue to the consumers.
Marble & Granite Supply of
6666 W. Howard Street
Niles, IL 60714
F: (847) 972-1530
Please note that the information on
this page is a general summary of industry-accepted tips in stone
care that we have compiled to help you in your stone selection and
care. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your
stone specialist what works best for your particular