Variations in Natural Stone


Natural stone is just that, a material that is nature-made.  Shade and color variations are inherent in natural stone.  In fact, variations are one of natural stones’ biggest selling points! It means there’s an unlimited choice of colors and patterns that are virtually one-of-a-kind!

It takes millions of years for natural stone to form.  Stones are made up of minerals from the Earth and sometimes include fossils of ancient sea life and other life forms.  Some have an extensive amount of color and “movement” (i.e. wavy patterns), whereas others are more subdued. It’s all in the eye of the beholder to determine what’s the most desirable.  Selecting natural stone for your home or commercial application adds great value in terms of function and aesthetic appeal.  And just as in past civilizations, it can potentially last thousands of years!  Also, for those interested in using a sustainable building material, you can’t get any more LEED Green than with natural stone!

Just as the natural stone can vary in color and other visual characteristics, it can also vary substantially in its physical properties.  The physical properties of any particular geological stone classification, or a type within a classification, can vary considerably depending on the quarry it originates from and the location within that same quarry from which the stone is extracted. That’s why it’s important on large jobs to make sure the samples and tests you receive are from the actual stone source from which your order will be produced.

Some stones are more suitable for particular applications than others because of their physical properties.  There are some stones that shouldn’t be used at all for certain applications. The stone industry has established ASTM Standards to qualify minimum or maximum physical properties for stones as indicators of suitability for applications within the building industry.  There are different ASTM standards for each geological stone classification that include marble, granite, travertine, slate, limestone, quartz (including sandstone, quartzitic sandstone and quartzite) and serpentine.