Baasar Stone Pty Ltd

Types of Natural Stone: Basics, Uses and How To Choose

Natural stone comes in many different forms, leaving its prospective users spoiled for choice. If you’re in this position, it pays to have at least a basic understanding of the different kinds of natural stone that are available.

Whether you’re looking to enhance the interior of your home, create a stunning outdoor living space, or undertake a commercial construction project, understanding the different types of natural stone will empower you to make informed decisions and achieve stunning, long-lasting results.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what natural stone is, and the various types available, and help you determine the best options for your specific needs. 

Understanding Natural Stone

Natural stone refers to various types of rock that are extracted from the earth and used in their natural state, with minimal processing or alteration. These stones are formed through geological processes over millions of years and are classified into three main categories: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.

Igneous rocks 

Formed when molten rock (magma) cools and solidifies. Examples include granite, basalt, and obsidian.

Sedimentary rocks 

Formed by the deposition and compaction of sediments, such as sand, silt, or the remains of plants and animals. Examples include limestone, sandstone, and travertine.

Metamorphic rocks 

Formed by the transformation of existing rocks due to intense heat and pressure within the earth’s crust. Examples include marble, quartzite, and slate.

Unlike manufactured or engineered stones, natural stones are not artificially created. Their natural formation and unique characteristics make each piece of natural stone one-of-a-kind and contribute to its aesthetic appeal and value.

The Various Types of Natural Stone

Natural stone offers a diverse range of options, each with unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal. Among the vast array of natural stones available, the most commonly used and highly regarded types include:


Quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed from the compression and heating of quartz sandstone. It is an extremely hard and durable material, making it ideal for high-traffic areas and outdoor applications. 

It comes in a wide range of colours, from whiteblackgreen and even a Taj Mahal-esque variant, each with intricate veining patterns. Its non-porous nature and resistance to scratches and stains make quartzite a popular choice for kitchen countertops and flooring.


Marble is a metamorphic rock composed primarily of calcite or dolomite crystals. It is prized for its elegant veining patterns and unique colour variations and styles, including blackgreywhiteCalacattaNew YorkCarraraNuvolato and Statuario

Marble is a softer stone and susceptible to etching from acidic substances, making it better suited for lower-traffic areas or surfaces that are properly sealed and maintained. Its beauty and luxury make it a popular choice for bathroom vanities, fireplaces, and decorative accents.


Dolomite is a sedimentary rock composed of calcium magnesium carbonate. It is similar in appearance to marble but generally harder and more resistant to scratches and stains. 

It can exhibit a wide range of colours, including white, grey, pink, and even shades of green or yellow. Its durability makes it suitable for flooring, countertops, and exterior cladding, while its aesthetic appeal lends itself well to interior design applications.


Granite is an igneous rock formed from the cooling and solidification of molten rock. It is renowned for its strength, durability, and resistance to heat, scratches, and stains. It comes in a vast array of colours and patterns, including shades of grey, pink, white, black, and even blue or green, often with flecks or veins of other minerals. 

Its versatility and low-maintenance requirements make granite a popular choice for kitchen countertops, flooring, and outdoor applications such as paving stones or landscaping features.

Common Uses of Natural Stone

Natural stone has a wide range of applications due to its durability, beauty, and versatility. Here are some common applications for natural stone:

Building Construction

  • Flooring: Granite, slate, limestone, and travertine are popular choices for flooring in both residential and commercial buildings.
  • Countertops: Granite, quartzite, and marble are commonly used for kitchen and bathroom countertops.
  • Wall cladding: Stones like travertine, limestone, and slate are used for interior and exterior wall cladding.
  • Exterior facades: Granite, sandstone, and limestone are popular choices for exterior building facades and cladding.


  • Paving stones: Granite, slate, and limestone are used for patios, walkways, and driveways.
  • Retaining walls: Stones like granite, sandstone, and limestone are used for constructing retaining walls.
  • Water features: Stones such as slate, limestone, and travertine are used for creating water features like fountains and ponds.
  • Decorative features: Natural stone is used for decorative elements like benches, planters, and sculptures.

Interior design

  • Fireplaces: Marble, granite, and limestone are popular choices for fireplace surrounds and hearths.
  • Bathroom features: Natural stone is used for bathroom vanities, tubs, showers, and tile floors.
  • Furniture: Stone like marble and granite is used for tabletops, counters, and other furniture pieces.
  • Decorative accents: Natural stone is used for decorative items like vases, bowls, and sculptures.

The Advantages of Using Natural Stone

Natural stone offers several benefits that make it a popular choice for various applications. Here are some of the key benefits of using natural stone:


Natural stone is incredibly durable and long-lasting. Many types of stone, such as granite, quartzite, and slate, are highly resistant to scratches, chips, and cracks. They can withstand heavy foot traffic, making them ideal for high-use areas like floors and countertops.

Low maintenance

While some natural stones like marble require regular sealing, most other types, such as granite and quartzite, are relatively low maintenance. They are easy to clean and resistant to stains, making them practical choices for kitchens and bathrooms.

Unique beauty

Each piece of natural stone is unique, with its own distinct colours, patterns, and veining. This natural variation adds character and visual interest to any space, making it a beautiful and one-of-a-kind design element.

Timeless appeal

Natural stone has been used in construction and design for centuries, giving it a timeless and classic appeal. It can complement a wide range of architectural styles and design aesthetics, from traditional to modern.


Natural stone can be used in a variety of applications, both indoors and outdoors. It is suitable for flooring, countertops, wall cladding, fireplaces, landscaping, and more, making it a versatile material.

Environmental friendliness

Natural stone is a renewable and sustainable material that can be quarried and extracted responsibly, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Selecting the Perfect Natural Stone for Your Needs

Determining the perfect type of natural stone for your needs depends on several factors. Here are some key considerations to help you make the right choice:

  • Intended use: The primary purpose for which you’ll be using the natural stone is crucial. For high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, or outdoor spaces, you’ll want a harder, more durable stone like granite, quartzite, or dolomite. For lower-traffic areas or decorative accents, the softer and more porous marble can be a beautiful option.

  • Aesthetic preference: Natural stones come in a wide range of colours, patterns, and veining, so consider the overall design aesthetic you want to achieve. If you prefer a more uniform look, granite or quartzite might be a better fit. If you love the classic elegance of veining, marble could be the perfect choice.

  • Maintenance requirements: Some natural stones require more maintenance than others. Marble, for instance, is more porous and susceptible to staining, so it needs to be sealed and maintained regularly. Granite and quartzite are generally low-maintenance and resistant to stains and scratches.

  • Budget: Natural stones can vary significantly in cost, with marble and certain varieties of granite being more expensive than quartzite or dolomite. Consider your budget and prioritise the features that are most important to you.

  • Location: The location where the natural stone will be used can also influence your choice. For outdoor applications, you’ll want a stone that can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, such as granite or quartzite.

To help you make the best decision, it’s recommended to contact us and visit our showroom. There, you can see and feel the different types of natural stone and discuss your specific needs with our knowledgeable professionals.