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Natural stone imperfections in a quartzite

The Beauty of Natural Stone Imperfections

Natural stone imperfections – they’re not uncommon! In fact, it’s rare to see a slab of marble, quartzite, travertine or granite that is completely impeccable and unblemished.

Their uniqueness can result from anything from heat, pressure, mineral makeup, volcanic activity or time. We’ve found this article here that explores just a few of the possible natural stone imperfections that can make your stone benchtop one in a million!


Natural Stone: Not A Game Of Perfect.

It might have been Dale Clevenger, former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who at one point during his illustrious career surprisingly said that he is yet to perform a perfect concert. Whether it was truly him who said it, this sort of notion really hits close to home: here at Blue Pearl Stone, we are yet to see a perfect slab of natural stone.

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Natural stone, by nature, is always imperfect.

This is not because of some mystical curse or an outlandish series of mishaps.  There will most likely be a slightly brownish patch somewhere on a beautiful white Carrara marble, a tiny pit in a Luna Pearl granite slab, and amongst the undulating wave-patterns of a Macauba quartzite you may just happen upon a cloudy patch.

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Natural stone just won’t stand up to the fastidious scrutiny of perfectionists.

And it really shouldn’t. The real beauty of any natural stone comes from its unabashed uniqueness. Natural stones are either formed under subterranean pressure, are a result of sedimentation or a product of volcanic activity. But wherever they might come from, the thousands and millions of years that it takes for these stones to form means that each slab is exposed to the caprices of time and stands as a testimony to all the events that occurred during its formation: a slight drift in the tectonic plates, a trapped and fossilized organism here and there, or the leaking of an uncommon material into the ossifying sediment. You name it.

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis - Wikipedia

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis – Wikipedia

In granite, for example, there’s a mineral called biotite, which is softer than granite’s other components. The main components of granite, feldspar and quartz (the mineral), have the hardness of about 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. But biotite’s is only 2.5. This means that biotite flakes and crumbles more easily compared to the other minerals, sometimes leaving tiny pits behind. Yet, this by no means compromises the integrity and durability of granite.

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Take fissures for instance: fissures are natural cracks that found in the surface of stones. Most are almost undetectable, but some are wide enough that quartz bits and epoxy resin are required to fill them in. Mining companies extract stone out of the ground in large cubes (see video), then slice the cubes up like bread. Cracks can occur during these processes, but if the accidental crack doesn’t entirely damage the integrity of the stone, it’s immediately restored with resin, and can go on the market.

We’ve also received requests for service calls regarding cloudy patches on countertops. In certain natural stones there will be areas that have a slightly different composition than the rest. Which, accordingly, take polish differently. The results are occasional cloudy patches and they, too, are perfectly natural.

For some inspiration and encouragement, let us suggest an article by Faith Durand, blogger and author of several cookbooks, in which she elaborates on her penchant for so-called etchings.

While etchings are man-made marks on countertops, the accepting and easygoing approach of a professional cook in these matters can be quite reassuring, especially for those with misgivings about purchasing natural stone products. Read Faith Durand’s “Here’s What an Etch on a Marble Countertop Actually Looks Like” article.


Related Posts

Outdoor Stone

VSG is Rained Out Today! But What About Our Outdoor Stone?

Victoria Stone Gallery is closed today, as we stay indoors and prepare ourselves for three months’ worth of rain to fall over Melbourne and the State over the next three days. This has been predicted to be the worst downfall since 1993! But this has got us wondering about outdoor stone…

Which of our stones can be used outside? What will withstand weather such as this, the best and the worst? How do we care for our natural stone applications in such cold, wet and on other days – warmer – climates?


Marble

  • Rain and wind will wear away the thin polished layer on the surface of marble, it’ll take away its shine and expose the rough interior/natural state of the stone.
  • Keeping a marble table outdoors but under cover will reduce the chances of the seal wearing away faster.
  • In some colder places, others will have to consider the freeze and thaw cycles, but fortunately, this isn’t a major risk for marble tables and benchtops as moisture inside the stone will evaporate from all sides.
  • In hot climates, the porous nature will leave it susceptible to heat retention.
  • Certain types of marble also have a potential for damage if they contain a large number of veins.Tip: Applying a sealer to the top surface of a table will allow for the surface underneath to keep rainwater on the top surface from absorbing. This goes on to prevent any major cause of cracking.Travertine
  • Naturally occurring air pockets within a Travertine slab may create structural issues if water were to collect in these recesses.
  • Travertine really works and looks well outdoors, bringing a further sense of nature to the setting.Tip: Consider a honed or leathered finish on Travertine to complement its texture and reduce the need to polish.Granite
  • This is your toughest stone to take on to the conditions, the most non-porous of all the stones!
  • Popular for outdoor applications not only for being the least absorbent to liquids and staining but also resistant to fading
  • Requires little maintenance.Tip: Darker stones will absorb the heat, so be careful with your hands on it in the summertime!Quartzite
  • One of the densest natural stones with high density, low porosity, and very low water absorption rates
  • Resilient to challenges from the elements such as staining from leaves and other foliage
  • Its textured surface contributes to its high resistance to slipping when wet, a good option for tiles around the pool!

What we can suggest for all outdoor stones…

Prioritise durability over looks, reseal regularly after cleaning the stone thoroughly from dirt and debris, and consider finishes other than polished, like leathered or honed.
Try to steer away from polished for outdoor use, it is a lot more susceptible to outdoor conditions and will quite easily lose its shine. Whereas you will find that a textured finish works and holds up really well!

From the team at VSG, we hope you and your outdoor stone stay safe and dry from this weekend’s extreme wet weather conditions!  

 


Sources:
 CountertopSpecialty.commarble-granites.comtodayspation.com

 

Logo for The Home Show 2017

Melbourne Home Show 2017 – Come Say Hi!

Victoria Stone Gallery will be exhibitors at the Melbourne Home Show, August 17 – August 21.

Come and speak with us at the Melbourne Home Show. Here we will showcase our extensive range of natural stone, marbles, granites, and travertine.

We will also be showing Trendstone’s new marble quartz range, carefully designed and engineered stone to mimic the gorgeous colours and patterns of Carrara’s most famous marbles. We are also Victoria’s exclusive wholesaler of Trendstone XL – Australia’s largest quartz slabs.

If you’re going to August’s Home Show, come and say hello!

Melbourne Home Show Sample Photo

 

About… The Melbourne Home Show

You’ll love Melbourne’s favourite Home Show! It’s gigantic, packed with the best products and new releases from around the world. You’ll meet more than 280 of Australia’s premier suppliers all under one roof. You can see, try and buy all the latest products at this one-stop shop. Get lots of ideas and free expert advice for your home project. 

Proudly supported by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) the Home Show is the best place to get FREE expert advice from more than 280 leading Melbourne suppliers, so bring your plans and photos.