Over the last several years there has been an abundance of new stones that have come to the market, especially in the category of “exotic” stones. Here’s a brief history of where that term came from and really what it means within today’s dimensional stone industry.
Within the granite category, the traditional look of granite was always the speckled, consistent patterned materials that, often times, were stones that had a history of being used in more traditional applications, such as pavers, curbing, headstones, and sometimes cladding. The residential countertop market created a demand for more colorful and patterned stones. In our industry, if it looks like granite and performs like granite, then granite is what we call it. One of the stones that falls into this category is “Gneiss”, which is actually a metamorphic stone that is created from either a schist or granite deposit that was subject to intense heat and pressure. These stones tend to have some kind of veining or pattern to them, sometimes with very dramatic crystal and foliation structures. These types of granite are typically what make up the “Exotic” selections. There are also a few unusual colors of granite, especially the intense blue colors, that because of their limited supply, also are included in the exotic category.
One other material that has become much more readily available is Quartzite. Quartzite is also a metamorphic rock that is composed almost entirely of quartz. Typically it is formed from quartz rich sandstone that is subject to intense heat and pressure which recrystallize the sand grains and bind them together. The look of quartzite is most similar to marble, which a very subtle veining and a fine grain background. There are currently about 25 different colors of quartzite on the market. These stones are incredibly hard and are about the most durable, bullet proof material you can put on a countertop. Being made up of almost pure quartz, they are both scratch and heat resistant, and are available in just about every color of the rainbow. And just like most granites, Quartzite is available in a variety of finishes to satisfy any design requirement.
Rocky Mountain Stone Co., Inc. stocks 16 different colors of quartzite along with over 30 varieties of exotic granites for your selection. We look forward to working with you on your next project.