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Limestone is the result of millions of years of sea shells and bones of sea creatures settling as sediment on an ocean floor (hence it is called a sedimentary stone). The calcium in the bones and shells combine with carbon dioxide in the water to form calcium carbonate, which is the basic mineral structure of all limestone and marble. All limestones are crystalized to some degree.


Given enough heat and pressure, limestone will crystallize (calcify), resulting in marble (hence it is a metamorphic stone). The crystal structure allows marble to take a polish, and bring out the color of the other trace elements. Pure limestone, not being crystallized, will not polish. Each marble is crystalized to varying degrees. The term marble is Greek, meaning "shimmering block of stone".

Marble and granite are products of nature. They are quarried from the earth and are subject to variations in veining, coloration, and shading. No two tiles are exactly alike. Please inspect tiles prior to installation. The finished installation should be viewed as whole rather than individual tiles. Variation is expected and we cannot guarantee to exactly match any marble or granite.

Green marble - may contain impurities that can cause warping and/or blistering when installed with setting materials containing water. We strongly recommend the use of a water-free epoxy adhesive (100% solid epoxy) for installation of these tiles. Black and dark marbles are recommended for vertical and low traffic floor use only (mainly because they tend to show imperfections, staining, and scratching more than lighter colors). If you intend to use these marbles as flooring material, please take the maintenance steps necessary to protect the finish after installation.


Travertine also began as limestone, which over time, through geological shifting has gravitated to deep within the earth. Heated by the earth's inner core, the water rises as steam and hot pressurized water, to form mud baths. This rising hot water, dissolves the limestone and brings with it granules from below, forming mud beds on the surface. If enough time transpires, the mud beds cool and crystallize into solid stone called travertine.


The name granite derives from the Latin ("granum" = grain) refers to the granular texture. Granite began as liquid magma at the center of the earth. It is an igneous stone and very different from the others. Due to the extreme pressure within the earth, and the absence of atmosphere, granite is very dense. Granite is a mixture of ingredients, including common minerals such as feldspar, quartz and mica. The proportions vary considerably according to each type. Granite can also be a metamorphic stone if it is subjected to additional heat and pressure after it is formed (hence a marbleized appearance).


Sandstone is somewhat of a hybrid of granite and marble. Through a sedimentary process, silica crystals (quartz) are bonded together by calcium carbonate. Heat and pressure crystallize the calcium carbonate through metamorphosis.


Slate is metamorphic rock, like the marble. However, instead of forming from a pre-existing limestone (like marble), slate is formed from the low-grade metamorphism of the sedimentary rock shale. Slate, like shale ("mudstone"), is a very fined-grained rock of mostly microscopic clay minerals with some microscopic quartz and calcite. The alteration of shale by heat and pressure produces the pronounced partings (slaty cleavage) that give slate its characteristics. Like limestone and marble, the color comes from trace metals. The unique color of most Chinese and Indian slates is the result of splitting the slate along natural layers, exposing the metals to the atmosphere, which causes them to oxidize (rust).


Quartzite is composed of 95 to 97 percent silica. Calcium from seashells and bones of sea animals accumulate on the ocean floor and combine with carbon dioxide to form calcium carbonate. Norway, with its extensive mountain ranges, has the largest occurrence of quartzite. Quartzite stone resists chemical weathering and staining. It is non-slippery and has low water absorption, therefore it make a good material to use in wet areas. In its pure form, quartzite stone is light-colored, but impurities such as ironcan give quartzite a reddish color.

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