A Natural History of Stone
For millennia, humankind has chosen stone to decorate and safeguard our religious, political, residential, and commercial architecture. Stone is quarried as blocks, then cut into slabs, often by hand. Stone tile as such is fairly new, made available for mass production in just the last 50 years. Historically, only royalty could afford it.
- Types of Stone
- Limestone is sedimentary—formed by the interaction of sediment deposits and shells with geological activity. Its characteristic colors include neutrals, off-white, beige, tan, taupe, and light blue-grey. Limestone finishes are usually honed and typically do not hold a high-gloss polish.
- Marble is metamorphic—created when heat and great pressure are applied to limestone. Its characteristics include a huge variety and mixture of colors. The veins found in marble are created by mineral deposits and geologic activity. Marble can take a high polish due to its hard surface.
- A banded, compact variation of limestone. Its characteristic colors include neutrals, off white, beige, tan, and yellow. The look of travertine is created by the interaction of gas, shells and water with geological activity. Travertine finishes are usually honed, but some will hold a polish.
- Types of Finishes for Stone
- A glossy, highly reflective finish that brings out the full color and geologic character of stone. Crystalline stones like marble and granite take polish best.
- A form of polishing used for a satin-smooth surface with little or no gloss. Best for non-crystalline stone like limestone and travertine, it’s recommended for commercial floors.
- A weathered, aging finish with a rustic look. Created when stone is tumbled with sand, pebbles or steel bearings.
- Bush Hammered
- Bush hammered finishes are beaten with a hammer whose face is cut in points to create a rough surface texture that varies from subtle to rough.