Have you ever stopped to think a little deeper about the stone that makes up your kitchen countertops or bathroom tiles? How did these rocks form and end up with aesthetically striking tones and patterns that look perfect in your kitchen? What gives them the properties that make them suitable for use in the home? Well, there are three categories of stone, so let’s look at them at a basic level to find out more.
Sedimentary rocks are formed when small particles of other rocks, grains of sand, and other types of debris, or sediment, accumulate over time and are subjected to pressure, essentially compacting them together to form stone.
Types include: Sandstone, limestone, chalk, shale
Features: The layers of sediment are often visible in these types of stone, showing the different ages across which the stone was formed, and producing an interesting pattern for decorating homes. Sedimentary rock is generally the most porous of the three categories, meaning they may not be as suited to use in the bathroom as others and stains may be more likely to occur in the kitchen. But sealing your countertops can help to prevent this.
Igneous rocks are formed when molten hot materials, like volcanic lava and magma, cool down and solidify, either above or beneath the earth’s surface. Those underneath the earth’s surface are then revealed through erosion and mining at quarries.
Types include: Granite, basalt, pumice, obsidian
Features: Igneous rocks produce varied and attractive results. Granite is an example of stone that has cooled slowly beneath the earth, forming the large crystals that produce its signature look. Whereas those formed above the ground cool more quickly, resulting in smaller grains. This formation process is why every slab of granite is completely unique.
Metamorphic rocks are formed by a combination of heat and pressure at tectonic plate boundaries and faults. Both igneous and sedimentary rocks can form a new metamorphic rock when this heat and pressure is applied.
Types include: Marble, slate, quartzite
Features: Metamorphic stone is characteristically hard, which makes it nice and tough and durable for outdoor use, such as slate roofing tiles or marble sculptures. This is why marble countertops are worth the investment since they are impressively long-lasting. Metamorphic stone also produces an attractive aesthetic, with some having a layered appearance and others not.
We hope that this helps you understand the natural stone used in your home and why it produces such great aesthetic and functional results. You can visit our showroom in Kernersville to see the range of high-quality natural stone available for kitchen countertops, tiles, backsplash, and more.