Granite is an igneous rock of volcanic origin and is composed of 30% quartz and 60% feldspar, which give it a high range of hardness. It is very resistant to high wear, with a superior abrasion resistance and compressive strength. It is available in a wide range of colors. Historically it used to be available only in a homogenous gran, now it is available in veined and patterned varieties. Granite is an excellent material for internal and external building use because of its hardness and resistance to all types of weather.
Marble is a calcareous rock with a mid-range hardness, formed usually by the fine grain crystals. This composition contributes to a mirror-like polished finish, which is exceptional in stone. It is suitable for internatl use.
Quartzite has the same physical-mechanical features as granite. It has a high range of hardness, and is often used in external applications similar to granite, depending on the particular type. Quartzite is suitable for internal applications.
Travertine is a porous calcareous rock. Travertine may vary in color from white to silver-grey, to yellow, red, and dark brown. Easy to work with; the surface is suitable for a honed, polished, or antiqued finish. It is mainly used for internal applications; however it can also be used externally in warm climates.
When the word stone is used in the context of slab dimensional stone, it usually refers to limestone, slate, and other sedimentary rock. Generally, limestone is rarely polished. Limestone is suitable for internal use, and in block form, used in external use.
Onyx is a calcareous material with a very fine, tight grain and many veins running concentrically to one another. This translucent stone is synonymous with luxury living and has been used to decorate living spaces of the rich & famous. It takes a high polish which is part of its great beauty.
Quartz / Engineered Stone
Quartz offers a very hard surface and consistent coloration. You may know of quartz from some of the brand names such as Silestone & Caesarstone. Quartz countertops are man-made; however they contain about 93% or more of the natural material quartz. Quartz is the 3rd hardest material known only behind diamond and sapphire. The Quartz counters are so non-porous that they have the NSF Certification for use in food prep areas such as cafeterias, as well as laboratory countertops. Not only is quartz harder than granite, but it is more consistent in color and graining. Quartz countertops are very consistent in the overall look, so you can pick the color and style you want from a small sample chip. This would not be recommended for picking granite, as the color and veining patterns differs from area to area on a particular slab. It’s really a personal preference when comparing granite and quartz.