Benefits of Knowing the Type of Your Stone
If you have a neutral stone surface, or if you work with natural stone, this topic is one that you may already be familiar with. In fact, working with natural stone requires that the one doing the work be very familiar with multiple kinds of material; natural stone included. There are several benefits of knowing the type of your stone. In this article, we are going to talk a little bit about some of these. And even though the article may be helpful to stone professionals that are new to the industry, we will address this subject from the standpoint of why it is good for owners of the stone to be familiar with the kind of stone they have. So, let's delve into why knowing your stone's type helps.
Not All Stone is the Same
It is not difficult to see that each stone (natural stone in particular) is different from the others. In fact, often times, you can see the difference between two stones. One may have a very distinct visual texture that makes it stand out in a group of slabs. Or perhaps the coloring of a specific stone makes it more noticeable to the eye than do other slabs. Yet, the differences in types of natural stone go way beyond what is readily visible.
Beyond the visible characteristics that distinguish one stone from another, there are other variations that we do not observe without a little more effort. One of these is the composition of the stone. We won't wander off into the explanation of the differences between calcareous and silicious stone types here. But their composition affects the way they must be worked and maintained. Let's look at how knowing a bit about the natural stone in question affects how you care for it.
Know How to Care for Your Stone
The simplest way to say it is this: not all natural stone is cared for the same way. The variations in the stone and the mineral content impact the way the slab must be cared for and maintained. There are however, some similarities that exist when it comes to caring for natural stone. For example, all surfaces need to be cleaned and this includes natural stone as well. However, when using daily cleaners on natural stone surfaces, it is important to choose a pH neutral cleaner. This is recommended for a number of reasons. For one thing, choosing a cleaner formulated for natural stone is important because using the wrong formula can harm the stone. In fact, some cleaners when used on certain types of natural stone, can dissolve minerals in the slab that contribute to its beauty. One example of this is using an acidic cleaner on a calcareous stone slab. Hence, knowing if your stone is calcareous helps you choose a good cleaner to use on it daily.
Knowing Your Stone's Type Helps You Protect It
We have already alluded to this benefit, but we will elaborate on it a little more here. First, let's explain what we mean when we say "protect it". Natural stone is porous. Each slab has its own degree of porosity and can be stained by liquids that penetrate the pores and leave colored residue after the liquid evaporates. Therefore, in many cases, it is recommended that natural stone surfaces be periodically sealed using an impregnating stone sealer. Knowing your stone's type helps you to get an idea of how often you will need to reseal the slab. Some stone types are inherently more dense than are others. For example, if you have a slab of natural quartzite, it may very well only need to be sealed less frequently than a slab of sandstone that happens to be porous in nature. Please note that we are not saying that all sandstone is more porous than all quartzite. Rather, we are simply saying that each stone has its own porosity. In addition to this, we are highlighting the fact that some stone types tend to be more porous because of their composition. However, there is no specific rule that invariably is true in every case.
Fabrication Factors to Know About
The last benefit of knowing the type of your stone actually matters more when it comes to professional stone fabrication than it does in the way of care and/or maintenance. Knowing the kind of stone you are working with is beneficial because stone types vary in their hardness. Some stone is extremely hard and other stone is relatively soft compared with other stone types. This affects the kind of tooling required when performing tasks such as grinding, cutting, drilling, and shaping. You can use tools for multiple stone types, but there are also tools designed for cutting very specific types of stone. For example, you can use any old diamond blade to cut quartzite. But the White Lion blade is a diamond bridge saw blade designed to cut quartzite and performs very, very well on very hard materials. Knowing the type of stone you have as well the properties of your stone gives you a good idea of which tools will work best on the material you are working.
As we have seen in this article, the benefits of knowing the type of your stone helps you in several ways. We looked at three specific ones in our consideration. First, we saw how knowing you stone gives you guidance on the care of the surface. Then we looked at the insight you gain regarding sealer applications. Finally, we saw how fabrication professionals are helped in choosing tooling while fabricating and working on natural stone surfaces. In the long run, stone professionals have to be aware of what the differences are between stone types. However, as we have seen in this article, it does the owner of the surface good to be aware of the benefits of knowing the type of your stone.