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Sep 27th 2021 / General Stone Care

Countertops: What's the Difference Between Stone and Rock?

You are probably sporting a stone countertop at home that looks fantastic. Stones, after all, are one of the most prized possessions most people covet the most. But what about rocks? How are stones so valuable, but rocks are kicked to the curb when walking down the road?

You're probably thinking: a stone and a rock are completely the same. While, to some extent, this is true, there are very minute differences that make them completely distinct from one another. So what exactly is the difference between stone and rock?

The semantics

For the sake of the English language, there is absolutely no significant difference between a stone and a rock. They are both made in the same material, and they can both be the source and the product of one another.

For literary purposes, a stone can act like a rock and vice-versa, and most writers never really pay attention to its scientific differences. But there are scientific implications to the differences that concern you because of your stone countertop.

The difference between stone and rock

Rocks are substances formed by the earth's crust. The earth has three layers: the core, mantle, and crust. The latter two are solid, while the core is the only liquid phase-out of the three.

The core is liquid because its heat melts rocks to form many types of stones that you see every day. When the rocks melt, it gets carried over to the mantle and eventually to the crust that cools off because of the closer atmosphere and forms rocks.

Rocks are huge chunks of objects produced by the earth, and these break apart due to natural conditions like storms, rain, and human intervention. A single rock can be as big as an island and as small as a coin.

Stones, on the other hand, are formed by the breaking of rocks. They are smaller in size and more refined because of the process they have to go through to become stones. Stones also form one of the most beautiful gems like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc.

What are the different types of rocks?

The planet earth forms three types of rocks:

Sedimentary rocks

Sedimentary rocks are formed by many natural and organic compounds found on the earth's crust that accumulate into one substance called sediment. They are also formed from rock deposits that come from different sediments that form bigger stones.

Sediments look grimy and muddy compared to their counterparts, and most sedimentary stones encase fossils because these are deposits that form the stone itself.

Igneous rocks

Igneous rocks are formed when hot magma underneath the earth cools down and crystallizes. The rocks then break off into tiny stones that make up the igneous rock solid and smooth.

Igneous rocks have fine-grain textures and are smoother than most of the stones on the planet. It's great for products that are used commercially all around the world.

Metamorphic rocks

Metamorphic rocks are exactly what the name implies; they form through existing stones and create a new substance from pressure underneath the ground described as metamorphic, the process of change.

Metamorphic rocks came from igneous and sedimentary rocks and look amazing because it takes these two rocks' properties and conglomerates them into one. They are a mix of smooth and small rough patches that make them unique.

What type of rocks are used for countertops?

The most common rocks that make up countertops are sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

There is only one type of countertop that is igneous, and that is granite. Here is a list below that shows the different rock types and which countertops use them:

Igneous

  • Granite

Metamorphic

  • Marble
  • Quartz
  • Slate
  • Soapstone

Sedimentary

  • Onyx
  • Limestone
  • Travertine

These are the most common stone countertops you can find, and they are all stone-made to last longer than the other types you can buy.

Don't worry about which type of rock to choose.

There is no difference in which type of rock you'll be using other than the distinct look it provides. There's very little difference in build quality and sustainability on the three types, and you're better off choosing which one looks better to your preference.

Choosing a countertop should come with the consideration of your home's style and design, so whether you choose a metamorphic, sedimentary, or igneous stone countertop, you'll be fine with whatever one you end up picking.

Pick the right stone for the price.

When choosing your very first countertop, the price will be the deciding factor when purchasing. An igneous stoned countertop that's granite will cost you a few bucks more than the others because of its unique properties.

Having granite as the only igneous stoned countertop will spike the value a little more than the others. However, the marble and onyx countertops made up of the other two stones are also very beautiful and valuable.

So, as long as you can afford it, the countertop's material should entirely depend on your budget and how much you're willing to pay for these amazing rocks.

Conclusion

There might not be a huge difference between rocks and stones, but the process of how rocks are formed has a link towards the existence of stones, which makes the differences distinct enough to know the differences.

It's amazing how big the world is, yet it still manages to tell its story by making rocks drift by in people's lives and become more than what they are intended. As you can probably already tell, rocks and stones are used in most infrastructures, products, and artifacts that many people use every day.

The differences only matter so much if you haven't decided on picking the right countertop yet. But suppose you have, and you're sporting a lovely piece in your kitchen or laundry room right now. In that case, it's great to know this information to appreciate the wonderful mysteries of nature and how it formed one of the most beautiful gems and home appliances everyone desires today.