Limestone and others
Quartzite is very hard, metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts, the original quartz sand grains and quartz silica cement were fused into one. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey. Quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide. Other colors are due to impurities of minor amounts of other minerals.
Because of its hardness (about 7 on Mohs' scale of mineral hardness), quartzite is harder than most granites which make them very conducive for countertops or decorative stones. Many designers and architectural firms are specifying quartzite in bars, high end restaurants and commercial buildings due to their hardness, resilience and translucent properties.
Is a very porous material which offers a more rustic or aged appearance. Caution should be used when recommending limestone for countertops of the chance for staining and scratching a more porous material. An acrylic-based sealer is recommended to protect the stone which adds a sheen to the appearance. It is popular for flooring, and fireplace surrounds. It comes in several different color options.
A semi-precious variety of chalcedony quartz that is used often in jewelry and is considered a gemstone. Onyx is a very beautiful stone with variegated spots and layers, but is also fragile in nature. Special care needs to be taken in the fabrication process. Onyx can be used for furniture, fireplace surrounds, bar tops, etc.
A rustic material that offers a unique weathered look. It is available in a variety of sizes: 3/4", 1", and 1-1/4" thickness' to suit various application needs. Slate comes in both honed and cleft finishes. It is very popular for flooring and offers a beautiful look. Slate comes in several color options including: black, gray, rust, green, and others.
A porous material which often begins as a limestone and in most applications is filled. It is made up of large quantities of calcium carbonate formed from hot springs containing calcium rich water that bubble up and then cool down. It is often considered an ornamental stone. Travertine is quite popular for flooring and is sometimes used for vanities, or in bathroom applications. It comes in a variety of colors.