Stone in Building Construction

Topics: Metamorphic rock, Limestone, Dimension stone Pages: 9 (2663 words) Published: March 28, 2013


Stone has been used as a construction material for thousands of years. It has long been recognized as a material of great durability and superior artistic quality, the foremost choice for buildings associated with status, power and religion.


Building stone, also called dimension stone, derives from one of three naturally occurring rock types: Igneous - Hard and non-porous rock formed from the slow or quick cooling of molten magma. The best example is granite and quartzite. Sedimentary - Soft and fairly porous rock formed from deposits of eroded pre-existing rock that settled in layers mostly on sea beds, and became compacted. The best examples are sandstone and limestone. Metamorphic - Hard and non-porous rock formed from pre-existing rock that has been altered by intense heat or pressure. The best examples are marble and slate. The most common stone used in building construction are:-

1. Granite

Granite, a solidified liquid igneous rock rich in silicates comprising feldspar and quartz, is the most durable stone in the modern day scenario which can be remolded and crafted to any desired architectures. Nowadays, it is used for contemporary styling and creation. Granite is also taking its place in home decors and business establishments in the form of vases, furniture etc since people are becoming aware of the versatility of this natural product. Granite is used as a building material in the form of granite tiles and granite slabs for wall cladding, roofing and flooring and a variety of other interior and exterior applications. Granite gives a warm or cool look and on the other hand can have a rough finish or a superior shinning finish, either way granite monuments or granite furniture look pleasing. Granite is one of the toughest materials available and hence durable. These products give value for money since it is nearly maintenance free. The uniqueness of granite lies in its crystallinity, extraordinary resistance, noble aging and resistant to humidity, changing temperature and to the aquatic contamination.

Granite is an important structural, ornamental and most exclusive stones amongst all building stones, and due to its high compressive strength and durability, it is used for massive structural work. Fine-grained granite is employed for ornamental and monumental work as well as for inscription purposes. Its mineral-rich colors ranging from exotic white to lavish black, makes it an ideal choice for  flooring, counter tops, table tops, vanities as well as exterior applications. A broad range of elegant textural patterns and colors makes granite the most versatile and durable of all stones. The granite tiles and granite slabs are extremely popular in the interiors of new age homes.

Granite requires a bit of care to maintain that lavish look. Besides just cleaning the countertops, the granite needs to be sealed periodically. Stains on granite can be difficult to remove, but not impossible.

2. Marble
Marble is a recrystallised, compact variety of metamorphosed limestone which can be excavated as blocks and can be sawed to desired shapes. White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures since classical times. This preference has to do with its softness, relative uniformity, homogeneity, and a relative resistance to shattering. Its characteristic waxy look gives marble sculptures an imprint of the human body. The construction marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine, capable of taking a polish. Marble has always been highly valued for its beauty, strength, and resistance to fire and erosion. Very pure calcite marble is used for most statues as they are translucent and hence enhance the beauty of statue. Large blocks of colored marble are used for columns, floors, and other parts of buildings. Smaller pieces of marble are crushed or finely ground and are used as abrasives in soaps and...
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