Granite is a type of igneous rock that is found in nature. It is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma. This makes granite extremely durable. It is heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and difficult to break. The colors and patterns of granite can vary tremendously, ranging from speckled patterns to exotic swirls and streaks. Granite is an excellent choice for any surface.
Quartz is a man-made product that is composed of 95% natural stone and 5% resin, polymers, and pigments. Although quartz is man-made in a factory, its content is almost entirely natural, making it extremely durable. In fact, the small amount of resin present in quartz provides an added layer of protection from spills and scratches. Quartz never has to be sealed, which makes it a bit more maintenance free than its 100% natural counterparts. There is a vast selection of quartz designs available to consumers. It is an excellent choice for any surface.
Marble is a metamorphic rock found in nature. Elements in the earth’s crust are subject to high heat and pressure over a long period of time, causing rocks such as marble and limestone to form. Marble is less durable than granite. Although it is still heat-resistant, it is a softer stone, which makes it more prone to scratching, staining, and breaking if not properly cared for. The simple, natural hues found in marble (often white, gray, or beige) give it a classic, timeless look. Marble is best suited for bathroom vanity tops or fireplace surrounds.
Quartzite is another type of metamorphic rock that originates in nature as sandstone. Through heat and pressure, the sandstone is converted into quartzite, making it extremely hard. Quartzite is a good option for almost any surface, although it is a less popular choice than granite or quartz.
Soapstone is another type of metamorphic rock composed mainly of talc. Soapstone is a relatively soft stone that is susceptible to scratching, similar to marble. To the touch, the surface can sometimes feel soft like soap, hence the name soapstone. Soapstone is a great option for outdoor kitchens and bathrooms.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock composed of carbonate minerals. Although similar to marble and sometimes called travertine marble, it is actually a type of limestone. Its most common colors are white, tan, and beige, and sometimes even rust-colored. Travertine commonly has natural pits and holes in its surface. It is susceptible to erosion, but has been an important architectural material across the world for centuries. Travertine is best used for bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, and floor tiles.