Choosing Stone

Choosing Stone: Granite Unlimited Inc.

Granite Counters, Marble Vanities & More – Twin Cities MN

Natural stone can be classified into two general categories according to its composition: siliceous stone or calcareous stone. Knowing the difference is critical when selecting cleaning products (Click here for more information on Cleaning & Caring for your natural stone).

choosing stone

Siliceous Stone

Siliceous stone is comprised mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. It tends to be very durable and relatively easy to clean with mild acidic cleaning solutions.

Types of siliceous stone include:

  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Sandstone
  • Quartzite

Calcareous Stone

Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate, and is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. What may work on siliceous stone may not be suitable on calcareous surfaces.

Types of calcareous stone include:

  • Marble
  • Travertine
  • Limestone
  • Onyx

How To Tell The Difference Between Siliceous & Calcareous Stone

Because this test may permanently etch the stone, select an out of the way area, and be sure to test several inches away from the mortar joint. Apply a few drops of the solution to the stone surface on an area about the size of a quarter.

  • If the stone is calcareous, the acid drops will begin to bubble or fizz vigorously.
  • If little or no reaction occurs, the stone can be considered siliceous.

Thoroughly rinse the area with clean water and wipe dry. The test may not be effective if surface sealers or liquid polishes have been applied. If an old sealer is present, chip a small piece of stone away and apply the acid solution to the fractured surface.

Types of Natural Stone Finishes

Polished Finish

Honed Finish

Flamed Finish

Marble & Granite Colors and Appearance




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If you’re interested in learning more about our selection of quartz, one of the other stone options we sell, or would like to see our showroom
One of our professional design consultants would be happy to speak with you.