Granite is volcanic (or Igneous) rock. When molten material from the Earth's core called "magma" comes up to just beneath the Earth's surface and cools, it becomes Granite. Granite is very hard and extremely durable. It has a very grainy structure and can be polished well. This type of stone comes in a variety of colors ranging from salt and pepper to reddish brown to jet-black. Granite: Primarily made of Quartz (35%), Feldspar (45%) and Potassium. Usually in dark colors. Contains very little calcite, if any. Provide a heavy crystalline and granular appearance with mineral grains. It is very hard material and easier to maintain than marble. Yet, it is still porous, will stain, and much harder to remove scratches if they occur. There are different types of granite depending on the percentage mix of quartz, mica and feldspar. Black granite is known as an Anorthosite. It contains very little quartz and feldspar and has a different composition than true granite. Granite is a wise choice for heavy traffic floor medallions.
Marble: A recrystallized limestone that formed when the limestone softened from heat and pressure and recrystallized into marble where mineral change occurred. The main consistency is calcium and dolomite. Ranges in many colors and is usually heavily veined and shows lots of grains. Hardness rates from 2.5 to 5 on the MOH Scale. Marble is classified into three categories: 1. Dolomite: If it has more than 40% magnesium carbonates. 2. Magnesium: If it has between 5% and 40% magnesium 3. Calcite: If it has less than 5% magnesium carbonate. Marble floor medallions are easier to repolish if scratched.
Travertine: Usually a cream or reddish color. It is formed through the accumulation of calcite from hot springs. It contains lots of holes that were formed from water flowing through the stone. These holes are often filled with synthetic resins or cements. Requires lots of maintenance if the holds are not filled. Classified as a limestone and a marble.
Limestone is a layered (or Sedimentary) rock. Primarily composed of calcium (from seashells), it is the original rock from which marble is created. Limestone: Mainly consists of calcite. It does not show such graining or crystalline structure. It has a smooth granular surface. Varies in hardness. Some dense limestone can be polished. Common colors are black, grey, white, yellow or brown. It is more likely to stain than marble. Limestone is known to contain lime form seawater.
Slate is a shale-type stone, having a straight cleavage. It is sedimentary in its origin often formed by a consolidation of volcanic ash. Colors range from black, gray & green to reddish brown. Slate: Fine grained metamorphic stone that is formed from clay, sedimentary rock shale, and sometimes quartz. Very thin and can break easily. Usually in black, gray or green.
Quartzite is a stone composed of grains of Quartz cemented together by Silica. It is a firm and compact stone with a body harder than marble. Its color is a blend of light & dark grays and silver with flecks of quartz lending a sparkle. Some stones have swatches of orange-rust running throughout.
Ceramic/Porcelain tiles are man-made products, Marble, Granite, Slate, Limestone and Quartzite are natural products made by Mother Nature. Marble has been used for centuries to grace the most lavish buildings in the world. Today, in the United States, Marble is gaining popularity as a residential as well as a commercial finish material for floor medallions and tile borders.
Notice: Granite, Marble, and Natural Stones are a product of nature and therefore will vary in color, veining, surface texture, fissures and naturally occurring cracks.