Granite is an igneous rock that is formed deep within the mantle of the earth from molten lava. It is composed of elements of quartz, mica and feldspar in varying amounts. It is naturally hard, stain resistant and scorch resistant. The material is quarried in large blocks then sliced into slabs. The slabs are then polished and some of the slabs surfaces are filled with a resin to smooth out the natural pits and fissures that occur. Slabs come in two varieties referred to as either speckled or flow patterns. These refer to the look of the material. Speckled materials have a more uniform look in terms of color and pattern while flow materials have a more varied appearance in terms of color and pattern.
Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground:
coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth look. We carry the most well-known Quartz brands at our premises such as Cambria, Silestone, Ceaserstone and we also import Quartz directly from multiple destinations around the world to offer our customers a variety of selection.
Quartzite is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism. These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength.
The interlocking crystalline structure of quartzite makes it a hard, tough, durable rock. It is so tough that it breaks through the quartz grains rather than breaking along the boundaries between them. This is a characteristic that separates true quartzite from sandstone.
Quartzite, with a Mohs hardness of seven along with greater toughness, is getting more popular in architectural uses. It stands up very well to abrasion in stair treads, floor tiles, and countertops. It is very resistant to most chemicals and environmental conditions. It is available in a range of neutral colors.
Marble and its cousins, onyx, travertine, limestone and Jerusalem stone, is a sedimentary rock. This is formed under pressure by a combination of materials such as silt, plant deterius, animal skeletons and sea shells that accumulate and solidify under bodies of water over millions and millions of years. Its main component is calcium which is much softer than the materials found in granite. It is quarried and cut in much the same way as granite. It is graded on a scale from A to D which does not refer to its rarity, but rather to its content or lack of content of natural fissures and veining. The group A has the least amount of fissures while group D has the most. Group C and D marbles will generally be reinforced on the back of the slab with a fiberglass mesh screen embedded in a coat of resin. This gives the slab greater structural integrity than it would otherwise possess. During the fabrication process, many marble pieces are further reinforced with metal rods to give them added strength.