This Metamorphic rock Is geologically a limestone that has recrystallized over thousands of years under extreme heat and pressure within the earth. There are marbles of many different colours and patterns – some are very decorative and others subtle and classic. Because marble is a porous stone, special treatment and care is needed to protect its natural beauty from staining and scratching.
This sedimentary rock originates from soft sandy deposits settling underwater. Compression over millions of years cements the sediment, fossils and other sedimentary structures, providing clues to the environment in which the stones formed. Limestone can be quite soft and porous, but treated correctly it can be durable and hardwearing and is used on many projects for domestic and commercial flooring and cladding. The properties of each type of stone vary considerably and our experts can advise whether a specified material will perform to the required standard.
One of the most durable and hardwearing stones used in construction, granite is also among the most decorative and interesting options available and comes in a wide range of beautiful colours. Granite is an igneous rock, formed as a result of the slow crystallisation of molten magma deep in the earth’s crust. A polished granite surface is said to be almost indestructible.
A fine-grained sediment, usually a mud stone, develops progressively to shale and then to slate through the action of burial, compression and heat. The physical characteristics of slate enable it to be split into parallel sheets – either riven or cleft. English and Welsh slate are among those that originated as volcanic ash deposits, which tend to be harder and more durable. Slate is non-porous because of its laminated structure, although some slates are quite soft and scratch easily. A riven or cleft finish is ideal for flooring as it provides a non-slip surface, even when wet.
Travertine is a form of calcium carbonate created by deposits from springs or rivers – a dense, closely compacted form of limestone. It is often beautifully coloured and banded because of iron compounds or other impurities in the stone. An excellent stone for residential and commercial use, travertine is available in a number of finishes. It is becoming increasingly popular because it has the elegant look of marble, but requires very little maintenance after sealing.