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There are many doubts about which natural stone to choose for the most diverse applications, we will clarify the differences so that you understand and decide which one to choose.
Normally within each type of natural stone, there are variations of possible applications, for example, there are limestones that are not suitable for a certain application, while granite is good for it.
The different prices of marble, granite and limestone
Natural stones can vary the price depending on two variables: accessibility and rarity. Limestone is more common in Europe, it has been used centuries for the construction of monasteries and castles, and “tradition continues” today. This stone is the cheapest of the three, allows applications in larger projects. Marble and granite usually have higher prices, it varies with the country in which stone is extracted. For example, the marble is more expensive in China than granite, but the reverse happens in Russia.
Granite is the hardest stone, followed by marble and limestone. Granite due to its hardness causes greater wear on cutting machines, which sometimes leads to higher costs. Granite and Marble have properties that absorb less water, unlike limestone, which has higher water absorption values.
Granite is an igneous rock, primarily of volcanic origin, which is formed over millions of years under conditions of extreme heat and pressure from the crystallization of cooled magma. Granite is felsic in composition, meaning that it is predominately quartz, rich in silica, and contains feldspar and/or feldspathoids. The “Feldspar Crema” shown below is a classic example of a feldspar granite. Today, several types of igneous rock (volcanic in origin) are sold as “granite”, such as basalt, syenite, and labradorite. The mineral composition of granite makes it an ideal kitchen work-surface because these minerals are immune to many chemicals found in foods and household cleaners.
Marble is a metamorphic, crystalline rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, either limestone or dolostone, into a new stone. It is extreme heat and pressure which causes the original calcite limestone to undergo this metamorphic process and causes a complete recrystallization of the original rock into an interlocking mosaic of calcite, aragonite and/or dolomite crystals. This violent transformation gives marble it’s much appreciated texture and character, with its large sweeping veins and dramatic variation in color. Marble can be polished to a high shine but scratches and chips easily because it is soft in nature. Without proper sealing, marble stains easily. Though marble is not as hard and stain resistant as granite, it’s unique vein structure and array of colors is undeniable. Marble is widely used today for both kitchen & bathroom surfaces.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, consisting primarily of calcite from marine organisms. It is formed through the cementing together of naturally accumulated rock fragments and organic sediments via a chemical process which occurs in shallow prehistoric marine environments. Crystals of quartz, calcite, domolite, or barite may line small cavities in the rock. Limestone is partially soluble in acid, and therefore needs to be properly sealed with a silicone based impregnator before use as a countertop work surface. The densest varieties can be polished to a high shine. Limestone is quite durable and it’s neutral colors make it an ideal flooring surface, even in high-traffic areas. Deposits of limestone are quarried on every continent, and throughout the millennia it has been used as a reliable building material.
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