Common Stone Types & Technical Stone Research Results

The following information has been reproduced with permission from the Natural Stone Council website (www.genuinestone.com). 

 

Material Fact Sheets

Designers are more frequently being asked to identify green building materials but do not always have the needed information. Using the life-cycle data, material fact sheets describing several stone types are being generated to provide useful information in this selection process, among other information. The one-page (double-sided) documents will summarize the current market for stone, regions of deposits worldwide, physical properties, applicable ASTM standards, as well as environmental data and human health considerations. Material Facts Sheets for several of the most commonly used stone types are listed with the descriptions that follow.

 

Life-cycle Inventories

To accurately assess the environmental profile of Genuine Stone products, impacts over the entire life cycle of these products must be identified. Information characterizing stone fabrication was amassed through a rigorous survey of the industry, and life-cycle datasets have been established for granite, limestone, sandstone and slate quarrying and processing operations. The datasets can be downloaded from the links below or the University of Tennessee Center for Clean Products website (click here).

Life Cycle Inventory reports for several of the most commonly used stone types are listed with the descriptions that follow.

GRANITE

The only natural stones harder than granite are diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Therefore, choose granite when permanence, enduring color and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance are prime requirements. Granite is highly heat, scratch and stain resistant, and is commonly used to face commercial and institutional buildings and monuments. It is unequaled as a material for fireplaces, steps, road and driveway curbing, terraces, and to pave plazas and public spaces. Granite is the traditional favorite of countertop materials for its unique colors and patterns, proven durability and lasting value.

Granite comes in hundreds of different colors and is quarried in such places as the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Africa, Norway, India, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and more.

Granite Technical Data & Description

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Granite Material Fact Sheet
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Granite Life Cycle Inventory
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Granite Specifications for Architectural Granite Brochure (NBGQA)
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For more information on Granite, visit the National Building Granite Quarries Association website www.nbgqa.com

LIMESTONE

This grain stone has a very uniform texture and grade, and has gained worldwide acceptance as a premier dimension stone. Limestone weathers naturally over time and its color mellows and blends into a pleasing natural patina. With no artificial coloring agents to fade and no reinforcement rods to rust, the appearance of limestone actually improves with age.

Limestone exhibits no preferential direction of splitting and can be cut and carved in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Thus, it can be sawed, planed, turned on a lathe or hand worked to match the requirements of demanding architectural designs. Limestone has proven its use from simple treads and pavers to landscaping structures and bridges, to soaring cathedrals over and over again.

One benefit that has made limestone a choice product is the consistency of deposit. While subtle color and grain differences are present, limestone is extremely homogenous for a natural product. This is important, not only for the current project being built, but particularly when future expansions are contemplated.

Limestone Technical Data & Description

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Limestone Properties & Use

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Limestone Material Fact Sheet
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Limestone Life Cycle Inventory
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For more information on Limestone, please, visit the Indiana Limestone Institute website www.iliai.com

MARBLE

Most people are familiar with marble. From Greek statues to Roman baths, it has been used for centuries in just about every possible interior and exterior application. Marble is relatively hard, but not as hard as granite. Marble basically classifies into four groups which include: Groups A, B, C, and D. These merely indicate fabrication ability, which is based on the materialís level of hardness. It is very popular for fireplaces, bar-tops, and bathrooms, and comes in a wide range of colors.

Marble has the same general properties of limestone and can stain, etch or scratch, but only becomes more beautiful over time and use. Most marble has veining mineral deposits throughout. It is generally thought to be from Italy, but in actuality it is quarried all over the world. Tumbled marble has become extremely popular in the United States in the last few years for backsplash, flooring and shower areas.

Marble Technical Data & Description

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Marble Material Fact Sheet
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For more information on Marble, visit the MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute website www.marble-institute.com

SANDSTONE

Composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains, most sandstone is composed of quartz and feldspar – two of the most common minerals in the earth’s crust. Like sand, it can be any color, but most commonly comes in tan, brown, yellow, red, gray and white.

The stone generally has a uniform texture and it is somewhat soft, making it user-friendly for a variety of applications. It is favored for wall claddings and flooring because of its low absorption rate, high compression strength, and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Sandstone Technical Data & Description

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Sandstone Material Fact Sheet
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Sandstone Life Cycle Inventory
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SLATE

Slate is a metamorphic rock that is dense, strong, acid resistant and non-absorptive. It is impervious to freeze/thaw cycles and has been used in construction for thousands of years. It is the material of choice for discerning architects, designers, contractors and builders.

Slate produced in North America comes in a variety of colors, including black, gray, green, purple and red. Many of these slates are available with mottling of more than one color and some of these slates include a color weathering characteristic which adds warm earth tone hues.

Most commonly used for interior floor surfaces or exterior landscaping, slate also serves as a durable and stain resistant counter top, beautiful pool coping, shower enclosure, pavers, building cladding, and spectacular, fireproof roof covering that can last the life of the building.

Slate Technical Data & Description

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Slate Material Fact Sheet
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Slate Life Cycle Inventory

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For more information on Slate, please visit the National Slate Association website http://slateassociation.org/