Natural stone has the ability to add warmth and depth to either your floors or your walls. The unique qualities of each type of natural stone can be used to match or contrast the existing features of your area.
However it is important to understand each type of stones basic properties and features, to make an educated and informed decision when you are ready to select a natural stone product for your next project.
The variety of colours, textures and finishes in stone currently rivals the variety of more traditional floor and wall coverings available. So when making your decision, often it is important to consider not only the look of your stone choice, but also the strengths and challenges of these many varieties, for your selected job.
Points to consider when buying natural stone
If natural stone is being considered for your next project it is important to remember that a variation in thickness, dimension sizes, tones and colour is often inherent over samples you may have received.
Other things to remember when placing your order are as follows:
- We suggest you order the industry standard of 10% extra to allow for wastage, cutting on site and spares.
- Samples only represent the general characteristics of the stone.
- We recommend you test the material for suitability of application.
- Sealing is recommended for all natural stone products.
- Pre-sealing sandstone and limestone is recommended prior to installation around a salt water pool.
- Do not use any acid wash to clean any natural stone.
- A pH neutral cleaner is recommended.
Applications for Natural Stone
Driveways – Granite, Balmoral Basalt or Bluestone either in a cobblestone or a paver minimum 30mm thick to be laid on a concrete slab. Internal Tiles – 15mm or 20mm thick stone.
Pool Coping – 30 or 40mm thick stone in either Bullnosed or Bevelled edge.
Pool – Pool surrounds, patios, balconies or anywhere else except areas where vehicles will be used – 20mm thick stone.
Walling/ Cladding Internal or external – 10mm and upwards thick stone.
It is recommended stone pavers be laid on a concrete slab with a sand cement mortar or soluble glue which will allow for minor variations in the dimensions and thickness of the stone. We advise that before undertaking any flooring or walling project you should consult a licensed trades person who is qualified to produce a professional finish.
Below is a brief description of the popular natural stone product types available through MD Brick.
Formation & Composition: A rock composed mostly of calcium carbonate. Most limestone is made by the decomposition and compaction of marine fossil objects (e.g. shells, coral and bone matter) however freshwater composites can also be obtained.
Limestone finishes: The density of limestone varies significantly and this effects the surface finishes for various types of limestone. High density limestone is often processed to have a “satin” honed finish. Coarser and less dense styles are restricted to a sawn or coarse honed finish.
Appearance: Mostly white, cream or tan generally with golden ‘highlights’ because of the presence of iron ore compounds. Limestone can also be blue-grey, grey and black.
Common uses: Paving, internal and external wall cladding, floor and wall tiles.
MD Brick offers a wide range of limestone pavers, cobblestones and wall cladding.
Formation and composition: A rock shaped by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from mineral springs. The porous nature of the stone is developed by the moss or algae vegetation the calcium carbonate is deposited on.
Surface finishes: Commercial based travertine typically has a high density; making it mostly processed with a ‘satin’ honed finish. Travertine can be used with the pores empty or filled. Rough textured finishes, comparable to sandblasted or bush hammered, are also available.
Appearance: Mostly white, cream or tan occasionally with delicate golden or blue-grey tones. The look of travertine may vary dramatically depending on the way it is cut.
Cuts across the grain will highlight the tonal variations within the layers and exposes the large, commonly elongated pores.
This type of cut is called ‘vein cut’ travertine.
If the travertine is cut parallel, or on the grain, the variations within the layers are given a flowery or circular pattern.
This type of cut is called ‘cross-cut’.
Usage: Internal and external wall cladding, floor and also wall tiles.
Reason for selection: Travertine is usually a dense and sturdy material that’s soft to the touch and stays cool under foot. This makes it a great choice for barefoot areas like bathrooms, pool areas and patios.
MD Brick has a selection of travertine pavers in various thicknesses.
Formation and composition: Bluestone is a loose term covering a variety of stones that are not compareable to sandstone. MD Brick offers an imported range of bluestone basalt.
Surface finish: Most types of bluestone is either natural, split or rock face finish. Bluestone (basalt) is typically a sawn finish. Occasionally bluestone will be honed and sandblasted.
Appearance: Bluestone is black to dark grey. In some areas it has a blue-grey with an autumn highlight.
Common usage: Bluestone basalt can be used as pavers, in pedestrian and transport areas when processed as cobbles. Slabs of bluestone can be used as paving and cladding.
Reasons for selection: Bluestone is usually a robust, dense, sturdy and stain resistant stone product.
Characteristics to consider: Most bluestone is not calibrated throughout processing. So it is important to take into consideration thickness variation when installing.
MD Brick offers a wide range of Bluestone Basalt pavers, cobbles and cladding products.
Formation and composition: Granite is an igneous rock. True granite contains quartz, mica and feldspar. The colour and texture of granite varies greatly and depends on the mineral composition and rate of cooling.
Appearance: The foremost versatile of materials. The variety of finishes includes honed, sandblasted, antiqued and water blasted.
Colour Range: Granite covers a full palette of colours from coal black to ice white. Alternative common colours can be red, brown, grey, yellow-gold and blue.
Granite is a granular stone, however the grain size can vary from lower than 1mm to over 5cm.
Common Usage: Paving, plus internal and external wall cladding, floor tiles, driveways and even benchtops.
Reasons for selection: Granite is typically sturdy and arduous wearing. Granite has a comparatively low water absorption capability and combined with sealers, Granite is great for resistance to most stains.
The beauty of using Granite for pavers around pools, flat driveways, pathways and patios is that it is virtually maintenance free.
MD Brick offers a wide range of Granite products including pavers, cobbles and wall cladding.
Formation and composition: Sandstone is a sedimentary rock made mostly of quartz. Minor minerals containing iron and manganese, within the stone, provide sandstone with its distinctive characteristics. The movement of these soluble minerals throughout the stone is what gives the look of banding.
Surface Finishes: Usually the gritty nature of sandstone produces a sawn, sand-blasted or bush hammered finish. However some denser materials will turn out a honed, smooth finish.
Appearance: Usually white, gold or brown.
Common Uses: Sandstone is often used for pedestrian or pathway pavers, internal and external wall cladding and sometimes in masonry construction.
Reasons for Selection: Sandstone is definitely a very versatile material. The rough surfaces and the sandy grit, accommodates some of the most slip resistant needs. As sandstone doesn’t absorb heat quickly, it remains cool underfoot, making it an ideal selection for entertaining areas.
Care Note: Sandstone, regardless of its origin is subject to salt attack. If using around a salt water pool, it is highly recommended that you pre-seal the pavers and coping before installation, and then clean and seal again post installation.
MD Brick offers a wide variety of sandstone products including pavers and stone cladding.