How Natural Stone is Made – All You Need to Know
Mar 28, 2023
In a sense, we use “Natural Rocks” and “Natural Stones” terms interchangeably. It is okay at a glance for common folks who know a little about natural stones or stones alone like terms and unaware of its commercial usages or geological perspectives. If you are about to make up your mind for the application of natural stones in your next construction project or idea, we hope the current post may give you a useful insight to know the natural stones and select the right natural stone products using the detailed knowledge.
Remember, natural rocks of all kinds are not suitable for commercial applications like in the construction of residential or commercial projects. A few and selected types of natural rocks give us natural stones to develop commercial products. Thereby, today we will focus on only commercially applicable natural stones.
A Glimpse of the Formation of the Natural Rocks at Geology Perspective
In simple words, natural rocks are a kind of solid lumps of various inorganic minerals and organic substances and exhibiting different properties.
The formation of rocks began with the cooling process of the Earth and its surfaces. The process is continuing in nature. The formation of natural rocks is a prolonged process, which glued the mass of rocks to gather due to different processes.
However, the Geologists give us a glimpse of those highly complicated processes into three simple terms.
- Igneous formation of rocks
- Metamorphism of rock formation
- Sedimentation of rock formation
Let’s get a brief review of each process.
The igneous rock formation is the result of volcanic activity on the Earth. Hot magma/lava is cooling after an eruption. Various factors act on the solidification process and wonderful igneous rocks.
A comprehensive list is given below, showing different types of igneous rocks, and you can know more about all in detail in our post.
Granites and Basalts are commercially accepted igneous rocks and abundantly used in various construction projects as well as in different industries.
Inorganic minerals and organic substances are transporting through various means like water and wind from one place to another and depositing in layers. Over time these layers get solidifications and transforming into solid rocks. Based on the deposition or sedimentation process, these rocks are termed as sedimentary rocks.
The following are a few names to mention here.
Limestone, Sandstone, and Travertine are commercially recognized species of sedimentary rocks.
When igneous or sedimentary rocks are passing through the metamorphic process under the influences mainly heat and pressure like physical factors compaction occurs along with physical and chemical changes in the structure of those rocks. The resulting rocks are called metamorphic rocks with altogether different properties and looks.
Marble, Quartzite, and Slate have known types of metamorphic rocks in the industry. Quartzites are forming at the deepest layers of earth surface white marble at the mid-level, and slates are almost near the top surface.
Therefore, quartzites are the sturdiest stones, while marbles are softer. Slates are fragile due to less compaction and unique layering patterns. Quartzite and slates are rich in silica (Quartz) whereas, marble is rich in lime and assimilation of organic substances including fossils.
The journey of Natural Stones from Mining to Factory
Natural rocks need careful excavation or mining processes to market-ready. Experts identify the sites and use heavy machinery to extract giant blocks of natural rocks. Modern digging, rock cutting, and pulling technologies have made the process easy as well as fast for stone miners.
Cutting the large size of stone blocks with diamond cutters is easy.
Heavy cranes can lift those large blocks and load on suitable vehicles to transport.
Heavy-duty vehicles can carry heavy size blocks safely on odd and unstructured roads from mines located in the deep regions to processing units/factories.
Large stone blocks need further cutting to get commercially viable stone sizes in standard or custom dimensions. It takes place in the processing units with sophisticated cutting and segregation tools.
Different Types of Stone Cuts:
We can get cross-cut and vein-cut slices of the natural rocks. When we cut across the layers or strata of the natural rocks, we can get large swatches of color variations with cross-cut.
Similarly, the vein cut is making slices of stone along with the layers and exposing veining patterns on the surfaces of stone slabs or tiles.
Different Types of Stone Surface Finishes
After cutting of the natural rocks into dimensional natural stones, it needs surface treatments or surface finishing process to be ready for the installations on the interior and exterior sites. You can get details of surface textures of stones in one of our posts.
Surface finishing is exposing or creating unique and natural surface textures. There are different types of surface finishing process found in the industry, such as:
It yields sawn stone surface texture and riven stone surface textures.
Acid Wash Surface Texture & Epoxy Surface Texture:
It gives us acid wash surface texture and epoxy surface texture using acids and epoxy resin, respectively.
Types of Natural Stones Used in Commercial Applications
We know all kinds of natural rocks are not useful in the preparation of commercially applicable natural stone products. Therefore, we are going to list highly used stone types only here.
There are two kinds of stone categories found commercially viable based on their content, strength, hardness, durability, and other standard properties.
- Siliceous stones, which are rich in silica or quartz particles
- Calcareous stones, which have calcium components predominantly.
It is a metamorphic siliceous stone type. The sturdiest product with good strength, color & pattern variation to beautify your spaces, mostly kitchen countertops, and cabinet-tops.
It is an igneous type of rock with high silica and awesome strength. Found abundantly so common in use. Ideal for countertops, floors, and various exterior applications.
It is a metamorphic type of rock & made of volcanic ash and clay particles. It has a peculiar property called fissility. It is great for roof construction and exterior paving.
It is a sedimentary kind of stone with sand as the chief component. It is a sturdy and durable natural stone type. So, highly used as a structural element in the past. At present, it is ideal for flooring and wall cladding.
It is a sedimentary type of stone mainly made of calcites. It mostly found as paving material for outdoor applications. It has other industrial applications like as raw material in the preparation of lime and cement.
It is the most used stone type on the planet. It is a metamorphic rock with rich in calcites and other stuff to make it gorgeous in look. For interior applications, it is ideal for flooring and wall cladding.
It calcareous and sedimentary type of natural stone. It forms from precipitation of calcites present in hot mineral springs and other water resources. It is good for flooring on swimming decks and patio paving.
Applications of Natural Stones in the Construction Industry
Natural stones can use almost in all types of applications in the construction industry. Let’s see some major applications.
Marbles like natural stones are the prime choice for neat and attractive flooring with natural beauty.
Exterior Patio Paving
You can decorate your backyard and garden patios with natural stones. We have enough choices for stone types and textures.
Interior Wall Cladding
Natural stones are superb in wall cladding for interior spaces like bathrooms.
Exterior Wall Cladding
Exterior façade, stairs, and retaining wall cladding with natural stones make the stunning appearance of your property.
The driveway is an essential utility and useful component to beautify your exterior. Natural stones have enough varieties to make it appealing for your visitors.
We can make walking a pleasing experience by using natural stones. Stone slabs are available for narrow to wide path creation with desired patterns and matching colors.
Elegancy in your garden or outdoor landscape comes with carefully & artfully laid stepping stones using the natural stones. Of course, stones assimilate seamlessly in the landscape ambiance thanks to the natural beauty of stones.
When you are looking for aesthetic appeal to the interior as well as exterior look simultaneously, windowsills and headers like minor structural elements allow you to do so. Go to natural stones to create classic and stunning looks.
A swimming pool is a unique place to amalgamate natural beauty with utility. Natural stones have both and suit as the best material for pool deck flooring as well as in rests of components of the pool.
The fountain is an artistic expression and natural stones have enough properties to meet those needs beautifully to beautify your landscape. Marble is an ideal stone type with the desired softness.
A stone water feature is the best way to bring natural agility in your landscape design. Raw stones, aggregates, and slabs are providing the right combinations to make it dazzling.
Most of the standard stones withstand to heat and useful in the construction of fire features to get warmth along with relaxations during cold days or nights. You can make rounded sitting benches from stones.
Who Could Be Your Natural Stone Provider?
World of Stones USA in Maryland is an ideal stone supplier and distributor with a wide network across the country and globe. The right consultancy makes your shopping experience elegant and reliable. Huge inventory is offering enough choices to make for your spaces in bespoke ways. Competitive rates, along with useful services, are plus points to establish long-term relationships.
Would you like to run an online inquiry and check the difference we make?