Natural Stone Learning Center

What is Natural Stone?

Natural stone is a geographical list of stones under the categories of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks that exist without the influence of man. They are otherwise known as marble, limestone, granite, travertine, quartzite, and slate. These natural stones are either currently or historically quarried from many continents and nations across the world.

Most common U.S. homeowners are unaware that they are purchasing natural stone quarried overseas and often expect the same tile they got a sample of. However, the reality is the natural stone has natural color variations that make it appealing and unique just as nature intended.

The natural stones are most commonly used in building construction and sculpture monuments, as well as for decorative and aesthetic purposes such as stone engraving. With many options of stone and finish, you can create any custom cut or appearance you please.

Where most natural stones come from?

Almost all natural stone tiles are imported into the United States. The only granite tile that is quarried in the U.S. is the Dakota Mahogany, which comes out of North Dakota.

  • Granite and Slate tiles (most) come from Brazil and India,
  • Marble tiles come from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece and China
  • Limestone tiles come mainly from Israel, Egypt and Portugal
  • Travertine tiles come from Turkey, Mexico and Peru.

The country of origin has an impact on the quality of tiles and some tiles are even named by the country of origin. For example, the travertine tiles that come out of Turkey are called “Tuscany”, while the travertine tiles that come out of Mexico are referred to as “Durango”.

What types of stones are available?

The most common natural stones are:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Travertine
  • Limestone
  • Slate
  • Sandstone
  • Quartzite