Stone is one of the oldest materials used in construction since ancient times. Thousand of years ago, there was no cement and no concrete available. Stone was the only available material with which a strong and stable structure was constructed.
Gradually with time, diﬀerent methods of joining stones were developed, and constructing more elements with stones was possible. But by the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of stones as a building material was gradually decreased as the alternative materials such as cast irons and concrete.
But in the modern era, the use of stones is again increasing day by day. The use of stones like marble and granite has been increased for their utilization in the interior areas of residential and commercial buildings. Besides its use in interior areas, stones are also used in exterior portions of building to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the structure.
Except for granite and marble, there are many other stones used in building construction such as sandstone, limestone, laterite, gneiss, caliche, etc. Each one of them has a diﬀerent physical & chemical property and each one of them is used for diﬀerent purposes.
Types of Stones Used In Construction
Listed below are diﬀerent types of stones used in building construction. Let us study each one of them in detail below.
- Sand stone
- Lime stone
Granite is a leucocratic (light-colored) stone. It posses a massive crystalline structure. Granite is an ingenious rock composed of minerals like quartz, orthoclase, hornblende, and muscovite & biotite, respectively. It is a strong, hard, durable, and weather resistant rock. Granite is a holocrystalline medium to coarse grained phaneric and equigranular in texture.
Granite is extensively used for the purposes like making table tops, kitchen tops, decorative purposes, etc.
Like granite, syenite is also an ingenious rock of light color having a massive crystalline structure. Its texture is also similar to granite. Syenite is composed of minerals like orthoclase, plagioclase, hornblende and muscovite & biotite.
Unlike granite, quartz is not present in the composition of syenite, making it a sub-acidic type of rock. The syenite has a crushing strength varying between 90 MPa to 150 MPa. Syenite is used for the construction of pavements, external facings of building walls, decorative purposes, kitchen tops, etc.
Pumice is a sponge-like lightweight aggregate formed during the rapid cooling and solidification of molten lava. The surface of this stone is rough. Pumice is a fine-grained rock. Although a specific composition of pumice is not known, it is said to be composed of acid lavas. The specific gravity of pumice is very low. Due to its low specific gravity, pumice can float on water.
Pumice is used in light concrete slabs for insulation and it is also used as a polishing stone.
Basalt is a melanocratic (dark-colored) rock with a massive crystalline structure. It is a fine grained rock with a mono crystalline and aphanitic texture. The composition of basalt is not identified with naked eyes due to its fine grained structure. But due to its dark color, it is assumed that basalt may be composed of dark colored minerals like plagioclase, augite, magnetite, etc. Basalt is resistant to corrosion and high temperatures.
Basalt is used as concrete aggregates, road base, railroad ballast, pavement aggregates, etc.
5. Sand Stone
It is a type of rock, entirely composed of quartz grains of medium size which are cemented together by means of siliceous materials. Sand stone is a compact, hard, homogeneous, medium grained, and non-crystalline rock.
Sand stone is a good building stone and can be used in various areas of building and is also used as road material.
Shale is a fine grained rock containing clay sized particles between 50% to 100% of the total volume of rock. It is composed of quartz grains of medium size, cemented together by means of siliceous materials.
Shale is used as a component in the production of cement, as aggregates for road construction, and as a component for bricks and tiles manufacturing, respectively.
Limestone is a hard, homogeneous, and noncrystalline rock, consisting of a major part of calcareous materials like calcium carbonate in its composition. It is a fine grained rock. Other than calcium carbonate, minerals like clay and quartz are present in it. It is a sedimentary rock.
Limestone is widely used as a raw material in the cement industry, lime manufacturing, flooring tiles, etc.
Marble is a metamorphic rock. It is mainly composed of calcite or dolomite crystals. It is a coarse and crystalline rock. Marble exhibits a variety of colors. It is a strong and durable rock. Marble’s color varies from purest white to black.
Marble is used as a decorative and a monument stone. Also used for making a tabletop.
Quartzite is one of the most popular stones used in construction, these days. It is formed from a parent rock of quartz-rich sandstone. It is a hard and sugary textured metamorphic rock.
Quartzite, because of its hardness and angular shape, is often used to cover walls as a decorative material, for flooring, stair steps, etc.
A rock formed by metamorphism, in which a sedimentary or igneous rock has been deeply buried and subjected to temperatures and pressures. It is a rock in which the particle size is medium to coarse.
The appearance of the rock is like bands on it. This is because less than 50 percent of the minerals are aligned in thin and foliated layers. It is used as an ornamental stone for decorative purposes, flooring, etc.