Mario Marble & Granite offer outstanding service and skilled craftsmanship

Nature and types of stone

Natural stone is classified based on its origin millions of years ago. There are three basic types of stones:

  • Volcanic or Igneous - formed on solidification of lava or magma.
  • Sedimentary - formed due to erosion and deposition of material through natural forces.
  • Metamorphic - formed by modifications in existing rocks due to extreme pressure and heat


  • Calciferous minerals were deposited in layers on ancient river and ocean beds.
  • These layers hardened over the years due to high pressure, giving rise to soft limestone with colours from cream to gray and blue.
  • It does not polish to a gloss.
  • It is porous and liable to stains and scratches.


  • Marble is the result of metamorphosis of limestone due to immense heat and pressure.
  • It is harder and less porous than limestone.
  • It takes on a good shine.
  • It ranges in colour from pure white to pitch black to exotic colours like brilliant green, bright red and creamy yellow.


  • Granite is formed by the gradual cooling and solidification of magma inside the earth's crust under high pressure.
  • Minerals crystallize slowly to give granite its characteristic crystalline structure.
  • It comes in many varieties of colours and patterns.
  • It is available to fabricators in large slabs averaging 5’ x 6’. The slabs are polished to a high gloss on one side.
  • As a stone is a natural product, no two pieces are exactly the same, even if they mined from the same quarry.
  • Each slab is unique, no top can be replicated exactly.


  • Travertine is formed through accumulation of calcite from hot springs, often classified as limestone and marble.
  • It is usually cream or rufescent.
  • It has holes due to water flowing through the stone. These holes are often filled with synthetic resin or cement.
  • Maintenance is required if the holes are not filled.


  • The name comes from the Greek word onyx, which means fingernail.
  • Onyx is classified under chalcedony quartz mined in Brazil, India, California and Uruguay.
  • It has a fine texture and is black in colour. However, it displays white bands or ribbons against a black or brown background.
  • It is formed in caves as stalactites and stalagmites by the slow precipitation of cold, mineral-rich water.
  • Onyx was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans.


  • Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic stone formed from clay, shale, and sometimes quartz.
  • It has a thin texture and breaks easily.
  • It is often split and comes in various sizes or shapes.
  • It can be separated into flat sheets.
  • It is uniform in colour, available in shades such as dark to light green, mottled purple, black, gray or dark red.
  • Slate is characterized by a distinct cleft pattern, unless polished smooth.


  • Tiles are man made, first produced 7000-8000 years ago.
  • Glazed decorative tiles were first produced in Egypt. The art then spread to Persia and across North Africa.
  • Spanish conquistadors popularized tiles across the world. They were used to decorate churches of newly built missions.
  • Initially, tiles were too expensive for utilitarian purposes in the colonies, found almost exclusively in the homes of the wealthy.
  • Today glazed tiles, commonly called ceramic tiles, are used in an almost infinite number of ways throughout the world.