Piedra Exterior-Interior-Crema Marfil-Areniscas

How to choose the best Marble or Natural Stone for your House

To choose the kind of Marble or another Natural Stone for your house or decoration project is one of the most important decisions to get the desired place.


The first step is to choose a Natural, Beauty and Durable Material, all of them characteristic of  Marble and any other kind of Natural Stone.

Thereafter the first step to be able to choose the best Natural Stone for our house or project starts by distinguishing the Main and different kind of Ornamental Rocks/ Dimension Marble, Granite and Travertine.

Nevertheless, there is a huge variety of stones and references, and the best way to find the most suitable for you is starting by the beginning.




Be aware that hereafter we are going to give a Commercial Description and not  a technic or geologic one.

First of all, we have to distinguish in between 4 kind of Dimension Stone/Natural Stone: Marble, Granite, Sandstone and Slate.




Marble is the term used for those rocks with a dominantly carbonate composition with a hardness of 3-4 (Mohs Scale).

This designation includes of course the Marble itself,  a Metamorphic Rock composed by Calcite and Dolomite primarily. However, we also call Marble refering to other kind of Carbonate Rocks but with a  Sedimentary origin (and consequently a little bit softer than  the authentic Marble. This kind of Stones contains  veins of calcite and impurities that will confer the different and variety of color.

In fact, although in geologic terms a Marble will never contain fosils (due to the Metamorphic processes), since a commercial point of view there are a huge number of variety of Marble with fossils inclusions, normally Limestones and Dolomites.

Some examples of Marble: Blanco Macael Marble, Blanco Carrara, Statuario, etc.


Statuario Marble, Italia.

Some examples of Sedimentary Rocks (Limestones) also called as Marble:

Marmol Rojo Al Andalus

Rojo Al Andalus, Spain– with Ammonites inclusions.

Jura Beige Marmol

 Crema Marble. Limestone with Ammonites, bivalves & microfossils.

There is also another kind of Stone very well known in Architecture and Decoration: The Travertine.

Geologically Travertine is a sedimentary rock of chemical precipitation with a calcareous nature that has a typical vacuolar structure.

Some varieties of Travertine: Yellow Travertine, Red, Silver, Classic Travertine, etc.

Travertino Amarillo

Yellow Travertine, Spain.

Until now, all kind of Commercial Marble described has a Calcareous nature. Nevertheless we can also find in the market other kind of Marble with a chemical composition very different, such us:

Serpentinites: They are Metamorphic Rocks but the have a different composition due to they come from the metamorphism of basic and ultrabasic rocks.

They are normally named as ” Green Marble”.

Serpentinita-Marmol- Marble- Verde Guatemala

        Green Marble, Guatemala.


” From a Commercial and Construction point of view, we call Marble to all kind of Natural Stone wich surface shines after a polishing process”.




Within the Granite term, there is also a wide range of stones that geologically have very different compositions, textures and origins. Despite this:

We call Ornamental Granite to “ A wide variety of Igneous Rocks with a diverse mineralogy and petrology that confers aesthetic and quality properties to use them for Decoration or Construction”

Granito Blanco Negro Silver

Silver Granite

In the construction Slang we can call as Granite to all this kind of Igneous and also Metamorphic Rocks: Pegmatites, Monzonites, Diorites and Gneisses.




Sandstones are Sedimentary Rocks with a detritic nature, in other words, Rocks that have been formed by sand granules that can have a diverse composition. All of this grains are agglomerates by a cement, normally with a silica, carbonated or ferrous composition.

This cement will confer usually the final color of the Rock than can vary from the very light tones to Yellow, Reddish, Dark and Iridescent Colors.


       Cream Sandstone.

This kind of Stone are formed by a sedimentary deposit that very usually gives them a very typical appearance called “Cross-band lamination” such as the image. Sometimes it can be very strong and other very difficult to observe.

Laminacion Arenisca

Sandstone, cross band lamination



Slate is a fine grained metamorphic rock with a characteristic exfoliation (sheets), due to the planar orientation of its major minerals. Slate comes from very thin grain sedimentary rocks (claystones) after a light metamorphism process (some times you can also find remains of fossils in Slates).

They are dark or black usually but also we can find reddish, greenish and blue varieties.

The excellent quality of Spanish Slates have supported the development of an Industry focused on the production of Slate for Roofs principally. Nevertheless we can also use them as decorative cladding in exterior or interiors, paving, etc.

Pizarra gris negra

Black Slate, Spain.


Once we have a basic delineation between different kinds and options of Ornamental/Dimension Stones, we have to go a step further.:To take into account the “Physical and Mechanical Characterization” of the Stones that we are selectingdepending on the use we are going to give them.

This characteristics will help us to close the range of Stones we are considering. The same Stone will perform differently depending on the use or location where it will be placed – ornamental use, paving, cladding, exterior, interior, weather, light, etc…-.

All of this factors will be described in our next post.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or to leave your comments. They will be very appreciated.



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