Types of stone in construction

Written by LetsBuild

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Using stone when constructing a building is considered an eco-friendly way to build, because there is less waste and pollution.  However, there is a higher cost involved when it comes to using stone for any type of building.  With that being said, the higher cost of the stone will ensure that the benefits from using those materials is bigger than you could ever imagine.

Main Types of Stone You Will Use within the Construction Industry


Granite is part of the igneous rock category and it is comprised of both quartz and orthoclase, as well as tourmaline, mica, hornblende, and other smaller pieces of minerals.  This type of stone is coarse when you touch it and the pieces are quite large.  You will mostly see lighter colors within granite stone and it often has a spotty appearance.  That isn’t to say that the colors are not appealing though, and you are almost guaranteed to find a color that you will love.  Granite also has a glossy appearance if you take the time to have it polished.

Granite is very strong and durable, and it resists moisture, frost, and most of the other elements.  There is a downside to using granite though and that is because it is not resistant to fire.


Marble is a rock with a layered structure, and it has a calcareous composition.  This metamorphic type rock is formed from limestone naturally and the main mineral is calcite.  The surface of this stone has uniform grains and you will find this stone in almost any color, whether all white, something in between, or all black.

As long as you choose quality marble, you can easily use it in construction, as well as for decorative areas.


Basalts are also called traps and they are from volcanic igneous rocks that formed after lava erupted from volcanoes.  There is quite the variation of the composition of minerals within this type of stone, but most do have hornblende and Augite.  When you are looking at these types of stones, you will notice that they are very porous and may have cavities in the least expected places.  This does not normally cause a problem, but it can in really wet areas.

Most basalt stones are a darker color, due to the composition of minerals, but you can find some lighter colors if you look hard enough.  These stones are also quite hard and durable, plus they resist most of the elements unless there are numerous large cavities.  The downside to using basalt stones is that they are very difficult to make smaller or change the shape, which causes issues when placing them where they are needed.


Sandstone is a type of sedimentary rock that has a siliceous composition.  The main mineral in sandstone is quartz, but you will also find small particles of felspar, mica, and a few other darker minerals.  Most of the time within the construction industry, you will find the sandstone cemented, which makes it more suitable and durable for your needs.

You will find sandstone in many different colors, but the main ones include pink, red, maroon, white, and gray.  The best sandstone for buildings will not have any fine layers and must be rich in quartz and use siliceous cement.


Limestone is comprised of calcium carbonate and they normally have a stratified structure.  The calcite in limestone is what makes up approximately ninety-nine percent of a few pieces, but most pieces are mainly comprised of magnesium carbonate.  Some limestone may contain fossils and it is always mostly soft from the finer texture.

The color of limestone varies, and you can find it in pure white and both gray and darker colors.  The color basically is decided from the types of minerals that the piece has the most of.  Some varieties of limestone should not be used in the construction industry, but others are perfect for buildings.  The ones that you want to use should be free of all cracks and cavities and they should be compact as well.  You may want to polish the limestone you are using, to make it look its best.

While you may think that you will never use limestone for building, you may want to think again, because it is a popular material used for making cement.


Gneiss is another metamorphic rock and it looks very similar to granite.  There is a larger variation when it comes to its mineral composition though, as it depends on which rock it came from.  As long as the stone you choose has coarse crystalline and a uniform texture, you will have no issues using it for construction.  However, without those things, you may want to choose another type of stone or you will be quite disappointed with the results.


Oxides of aluminum and iron are what make up most of laterites, which is a sedimentary rock.  This type of stone is basically created when alkaline igneous rocks chemically decompose and form a porous and spongy appearance.

All laterites are somewhere between light and dark red and the colors you find will be dependent on how much iron the stone has in its composition.  This type of stone is used in basic construction, but you will also see it used as material for a road.


Slate is yet another metamorphic rock and it has quite a distinct foliated structure base.  The texture of this type of stone is so fine that you can barely see the little particles when you place it under a microscope.  Slate can be used for many different things within the construction industry, but the thickness of the stone and the color will keep you from using it everywhere.

Slate cannot withstand lots of moisture and while thicker layers are good for some things, they cannot be used for everything.  If you have thinner sheets of dark slate, you may want to consider them for a roof, but keep them away from sills and pavement.

There are so many different types of stones that you can use within the construction industry, but these are the ones that you will see the most.  Each one offers benefits, while also offering at least one downside when it comes to being used for buildings.

You must find the type of stone that will work best for your needs, instead of the one that you like the looks of.  This will be difficult, since you will continue to feel the pull to the one that you love, but if you want the best results, you must go with the one that will give you the best outcome.