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Stone in Architecture: The Most Common Types

Stone in architecture has been around for literal ages and there are good reasons for that. As one of the most reliable building materials, stone architecture can also last for eons if properly maintained. However, because there are a multitude of different kinds of stones, some are better suited for some applications over others.

Below, we go over some of the main stone types you’ll encounter and how each can be best used.

Stone in Architecture: Basalt

One of the strongest stone materials, basalt can often be found in road construction as it has excellent weather resistance and is impervious to moisture. It has a relatively good compression strength that ranges between 200MPa to 350MPa as well, further making it a good structural choice of material in building homes.

Additionally, basalt is often used as an aggregate in concrete and typically used as a structural support material in applications like dams.

Granite Brooklyn Bridge

Properties and Uses of Granite

Unpolished, granite is another strong material that is used in railway ballast, curbs, stone columns, monuments, and bridges.

Polished granite, on the other hand, is one of the most widely used materials in home countertops, tile floors, and a wide variety of other aesthetic design applications.

Although strong, granite is also often chosen for its aesthetic as it has an appealing look to it and can come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, particularly for countertops.

Why Is Sandstone Used in Building?

A classic material, sandstone is often used in decorative structures but also serves a dual purpose in many structural elements as well. Sandstone is often chosen as a material for building fireplaces, patios, porches, plus retaining walls and walkways. Sometimes sandstone is also used for benches or outdoor tables as well.

Sandstone is frequently used for decorative elements as well because of its ease to work with as a material.

What Is Slate Used For?

The use of slate in construction widely varies in its use depending on how thick it is and the colour itself.

Many know slate for its use in roofing tiles, pavement, and slabs, but it’s also used for flooring as well as it’s an incredibly durable material. Unlike other materials, slate is actually waterproof, which makes it a natural choice for areas where water would accumulate.

Other uses see slate put into the construction of walkways, stairs, and wall cladding as well.

How Is Limestone Used in Construction?

While some types of limestone are too soft to be used for construction, many of the harder varieties are immensely popular and highly durable. In fact, limestone is the core building material of the Egyptian pyramids which demonstrates its longevity.

Limestone is used in construction as a core component of concrete and, like granite, is also used in floor tiles. The rock is also put into facing stone, stair treads, and window sills.

Stone has so many uses in construction and, as a building material, can last for many years to come.



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