Natural Stone Types
Each corner of the world and each layer of earth yield a multitude of stone varieties, and uniqueness within each stone type, giving you a vast palette of possible applications to create your masterpiece.
Natural Stone is a natural solid formation of one or many minerals. It is quarried out of the earth from all over the world then cut into large blocks. The blocks are then transported to the next stage, cutting & finishing; see Stone Finishes.
The most beautiful characteristic of natural stone is that there are no two pieces alike. It is the individual raw beauty of the Natural Stone that we strive to enhance with each project.
Granite is an igneous stone that is extremely hard, dense and resistant to high heat, scratches and acid etching making it an ideal choice for your kitchen. Igneous rock is formed when molten rock (called lava or magma) cools and hardens. Granite is composed primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica and various other minerals. The only known materials harder than granite are diamonds, rubies and sapphires. In fact, granite is durable enough for any application you can think of. Mother Nature provides us with hundreds of varieties of granite, depending on the percentage mix of quartz, feldspar & mica. Granite is quarried all over the world in places as varied as the United States, Brazil, India, China, Italy, Spain and more. With unique colors and patterns, proven sustainability and lasting value, granite has become the most sought after choice.
Marble is a crystallized limestone, mainly consisting of calcium and dolomite; it is relatively hard, but not quite as hard as granite. It is a metamorphic stone that can be polished. Metamorphic rock is created when other kinds of rocks are changed by great heat and pressure inside the earth. Marble is more susceptible to staining and easily scratched or etched by acids as compared to granite. It comes in many different color variations and usually displays prominent veining pattern with luxurious swirls and patches of contrasting color that make marble so attractive.
Travertine is formed through the accumulation of calcite from hot springs bonded through millions of years of heat & pressure. It is a sedimentary stone containing lots of cavities or holes that were formed from water flowing through the stone. The small cavities that are inherent in all travertine are typically filled with cementicious grout to create a more durable surface, or left unfilled, for a more textured surface. Travertine’s palette of earthy colors and unique swirls make it a prominent design choice.
Limestone another sedimentary stone mainly consisting of calcite, it is created by the accumulation of organic materials such as shells & coral and is known to contain lime from sea water. It has a smooth granular surface and varies in hardness. Some dense limestone can be polished. Limestone is extremely long-lasting and holds up well to exposure to the elements. Subtle shade variation, pencil thin veining and the inclusion of the occasional shell fossil make limestone a sophisticated choice.
Quartz is an agglomerated stone sometimes referred to as an engineered stone. Agglomerated stone is a manufactured stone made from natural stone chips suspended in a binder such as cement, epoxy resins or polyester. Quartz products are gaining in popularity. It is typically nonporous and nonabsorbent, more flexible, and harder than natural stone and is more resistant to mold & mildew than traditional stone, all though, quartz is less heat resistant and not completely UV stable. There are several quartz products being manufactured in the market place today. One of our favorites due to its natural beauty is Cambria.
Cambria offers the natural beauty once thought impossible for quartz, the color, depth, clarity and natural variation found in Cambria designs are without equal, making it a striking enhancement to any room in your home. Cambria is the only family-owned producer of quartz surfaces in the US and use environmental beat practices. Cambria is NSF-51 certified for food preparation and splash zone surfaces and is also certified kosher. There is no safer stone surface for food preparation, period.
Other Natural Stones
While granite, marble, travertine, limestone and quartz represent the most common natural stones we see used here in Hawaii, there are countless other options available such as Basalt, Puka Lava, Coral, Onyx, Quartzite, Soapstone, and Slate.
Most of the finishes are put on the stone at the processing facility before being exported. Some types of Natural Stone are available in multiple finishes. When choosing your material you should select the one that has the desired effect to enhance your specific project’s application.
The most popular finish for granite and marble countertops. The reflective shine brings out the brilliant colors and grains of the natural stone and is the least porous of all finishes. The surface is produced through hours and hours of polishing with varying grits of abrasive diamond pads.
Leather / Suede
The newest trend in the Natural Stone industry. This surface resembles an orange peel or leather texture. This technique closes the pores, compared to honing, and retains the color and grain better than honing. While a leathered finish has a sheen to it, it is nowhere near as reflective as a polished surface. It is soft to the touch as well as on the eyes. The amount of texture will vary from stone to stone and some stone just will not leather.
This finish is achieved by heating the stones’ surface to extreme temperatures followed by rapid cooling. This process is usually done with granite. Flamed is a rough unrefined texture that is very porous making it ideal for slip resistant areas like showers and exterior walkways.
This is a flat or satin finish that is semi polished; it cuts down on glare in brightly lit areas such as outdoor kitchen or BBQ areas. And is the preferred choice for flooring showing fewer scratches and requires little maintenance. It is the standard process used for travertine and limestone which will not take a polish. The surface is still smooth but often very porous. Honed stone is not as vibrant as polished stone but brings out a more subtle natural color and variations.
An ancient treatment using a pounding action that develops a textured surface. Leaving small marks, craters and ditches on the stone surface, it is another textured stone that is best for external use. The degree of roughness can be selected and can be done to virtually any stone type.
The result of a pressurized flow of sand and water providing a textured surface with a matte finish. The texture will vary based on the composition of the stone being blasted. A blasted surface is extremely porous and will be very hard to keep clean. Recommended for decorative use only.
A slightly rough texture that is achieved by tumbling pieces of marble, limestone and sometimes granite to achieve a worn appearance with a slightly pitted surface and rounded edges.
Here are some examples of the most popular countertop edges that we can make. The profiles are shown with a single laminated edge at a height of 1 1/2".
Custom edges can be ordered if desired.