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Jun 27, 2022/Stone Care Guides

Get Tips on How to Identify Natural Stone Like A Pro!

identify natural stone

Have you ever been interested in purchasing or using natural stone? It's one of the most versatile building materials around and has been used to build everything from decorative floors and counters to entire buildings, but with so many different types available, how do you know which one to choose? Use this guide on how to identify natural stone like a pro to help you make the right choice!

How to Identify Slate

Slate is a type of metamorphic rock that forms when sedimentary rock is subject to high pressures and temperatures. It has a characteristic foliated or layered appearance, with thin, flat sheets of rock that have been split into layers. Slate can be found in a variety of colors, including gray, black, green, and purple.

To test if a rock is slate, try striking it with a hammer. If it splits easily into thin sheets, then it's likely slate. You can also try scratching the surface of the rock with a knife. If the rock leaves a streaky mark, it's probably slate.

Identifying Travertine

Travertine is a sedimentary rock and, as such, is typically found near water sources. This stone is characterized by its pitted and uneven surface, which is the result of carbon dioxide bubbles becoming trapped during the formation process. Travertine comes in a range of colors, from white to tan to dark brown, and often has veins of different colors running through it. When trying to identify travertine, keep an eye out for these distinctive features.

Tips for Identifying Limestone

  1. Look for rocks that are mostly white or light gray in color.
  2. Check the rock's surface for any fossils. If you see any shells or other remains, then you may have found limestone.
  3. See if the rock is crumbly or has a powdery texture. This is another common trait of limestone.
  4. Try testing the hardness of the rock with a nail or another sharp object. If it's easy to scratch, then it's likely limestone.
  5. Examine the edges of the rock to see if they're sharp or smooth. Limestone typically has smooth edges.
  6. Take a closer look at the surface of the rock under magnification. If you see small pits, this is another sign that you've found limestone. 

How to Identify Granite Countertops

Granite is one of the most popular materials for countertops, but it can be tricky to identify. Here are a few tips:

  1. Look at the grain. Granite has a medium-coarse grain, so if you see something that looks too fine or too rough, it might not be granite.
  2. Inspect the surface. Granite should have a smooth, polished surface. If it looks dull or chipped, it's probably not granite.
  3. Check the color. Granite comes in a wide range of colors, from pale pink to deep black. If you're unsure, ask a professional for help.
  4. Feel the weight. Granite typically weighs between 150 and 250 pounds per square foot. If it's lighter than this, then it may not be granite.
  5. Compare prices with other types of countertops in your area and research your options before making a final decision.
  6. Be sure to take care of your granite surfaces by sealing them periodically with a protective sealant.

How to recognize marble countertops

One way to tell if a countertop is made of marble is to conduct a simple at-home test. First, find an inconspicuous spot on the counter and pour a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar onto it. If the liquid causes the countertop to change color, it's likely made of marble.

You can also try scratching the surface of the countertop with your fingernail or a key. If you're able to make a mark, it's probably not marble. The hardness of marble makes it resistant to scratches.

If you're still not sure, take a look at the edges of the countertop. Marble should have softer colors than granite or quartz. Try to find a corner where there are no seams in the stone; this will give you the best idea of what type of material was used. Marble should be much softer in these areas than in other parts of the countertop, where cuts are necessary for installation purposes.

How To Choose The Right Stone For Your Home

You can use natural stone indoors or outdoors for projects like countertops, floors, walls, patios, and more. So, how do you choose the right stone? Here are some tips:

  • Consider your climate. Some stones are better suited for certain climates than others. For example, granite is a good choice for areas with freeze-thaw cycles because it's less likely to be damaged by moisture.
  • Think about your home's style. Do you want a classic look or something more modern? Natural stone comes in many different colors, textures, and patterns, so you're sure to find something that fits your taste.
  • Keep maintenance in mind.

Some stones require more care than others. Quartz surfaces need to be sealed every few years, while slate is generally easier to maintain. Marble can stain if not properly maintained, but honed marble will hold up well over time. Stone veneers also have their own maintenance requirements, which vary depending on the type of material used.

There are also varieties of stone that resist things like mold and mildew, making them a great option for kitchens where water splashes may occur frequently. As always, make sure you read reviews before choosing any product for your home; this will help ensure it lasts as long as possible without requiring extensive upkeep.

Need More Help Identifying Stone?

Trying to identify a type of stone can be tricky, but luckily there are some ways that you can make the process easier. One way is to use the MB Stone ID Kit offered by MB Stone Pro. This tool can help you narrow down the options and make it easier to find the right match for your needs.

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