• Marble, Travertine, Granite and Quartzite: what are the differences?

Whether in modern buildings or in old houses, in public places or in private homes, you will very rarely notice the absence of natural stones in a room.

In fact, they have always been used both outdoors and indoors and play the multifaceted role of building materials and decorative elements of value.

Natural stones, however, are not all the same. Each of them has its own characteristics that respond to certain functions and needs.

In this article, we will discuss precisely the most widely used natural stones and their specific characteristics.

Marble: a noble material that comes from afar

Marble is a material that has always been used in the construction of both public and private buildings.

It is a rock of metamorphic origin, composed mainly of calcium carbonate and characterized by a very fine grain.  Marble is among the most prestigious and most widely used materials since ancient times. Ancient Greece, for example, was the protagonist of some of the most beautiful marble monuments ever made, such as the temples of the Acropolis of Athens in the fifth century BC.

What characterizes this extraordinary natural stone is the low refractive index of calcite, of which it is largely composed, which allows light to pass through the surface of the stone, giving the marble a special luminosity.

Travertine: another great classic of architecture

Travertine is among the most classic materials used in architecture, so much so that in ancient times the Romans made it the undisputed protagonist of the monuments of Rome. Perhaps not everyone knows, in fact, that the Romans extracted millions of cubic meters of travertine: records show that the front of the quarry in Tivoli was more than two kilometers wide!

Travertine is a sedimentary rock, formed as a result of deposits of carbonate rocks over time. Its structure is irregular and contains vacuoles that lend themselves to grouting, depending on the finish you want to achieve.

What characterizes travertine is its strength and versatility as well as its resistance to external agents: it is, in fact, a natural stone perfect for both indoor and outdoor solutions and in high humidity environments such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Granite: hardness and beauty in a single stone

Everyone knows the saying “as hard as granite”. But is this really the most important characteristic of this rock?

Granite is a volcanic rock of intrusive origin; this means that it was formed by magmatic material that cooled and solidified in the earth’s crust. It is mainly formed by silicates; this is the reason for its hardness, definitely higher than that of marble and travertine.

Its name, however, derives from its granular structure. Among its most significant characteristics, in fact, we must mention its insensitivity to acids and water, which makes it the ideal material for kitchen worktops.

There are also granites of different colors: white granite, for example, is present in large quantities in Italy and is characterized by a compact texture and, sometimes, with streaks tending to gray. Black granite, on the other hand, is a natural stone extracted in South Africa whose color makes it perfect for interior coverings and luxury bathrooms.

Quartzite: for those who can’t decide between marble and granite

Quartzite is a metamorphic stone, formed when sand is heated and compressed within the earth.

It is a natural stone that stands out above all for its resistance to abrasion and attacks from external agents such as pollution and temperature changes.

Often quartzite is confused with quartz: the latter, however, is composed of oxygen and silicon and can be defined as a crystalline rock and not metamorphic.

Marble, travertine, granite and quartzite: our materioteque

We at MGS Italy have made natural stone the heart of our business. For us, natural stone means uniqueness: each block is irreplicable, whether granite, marble, quartzite or travertine, each slab has its own identity, its own fingerprint.

From the quarry to the environment in which it is placed, natural stone has the power to make the places it inhabits unrepeatable.

MGS srl puts all its experience at the service of the customer, like an open book; a landscape made up of an incredible variety of materials and colors from which the customer can draw, shaping illustrious, emotional, incomparable environments that fully reflect his own aesthetic sense for a unique marble project.

Discover our materioteque