Skip to main content

The geology of various stones

img 7059

The geology of various stones

If you’re interested in new countertops, you’ve probably come across a wide range of stones. Granite, quartz, quartzite, onyx… the list goes on. As well as being aesthetically different, these stones undergo a different formation process, are formed from different minerals and, above all, require different maintenance. In this blog, we’ll cover the geology of some of the most popular stones, discussing their formation, typical qualities and necessary maintenance.


Marble is a metamorphic rock, meaning it was formed over thousands of years by heating and pressurizing stones such as calcite, limestone, dolomite and serpentine. The main constituent of marble is calcium carbonate, which contains an acidic oxide. Marble is found all over the world, but is most common in four countries: Italy, Spain, India and China. Carrara, Italy, produces the most prestigious and famous white marble.

Marble is one of the most popular countertop options, and for good reason. It looks good, blends well with almost any style of décor and is easily accessible to most consumers. This elegant stone adds a touch of class and sophistication to any space, but can be difficult to maintain due to its color and porosity. However, when properly (and regularly) sealed, marble can last a lifetime!


Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust, accounting for 12% of the earth’s surface and 20% of its crust. Quartz is composed of silicon and oxygen, making it the most basic form of silicate found on Earth, and a key component in the formation of many different stones.

It’s a very popular countertop option because of its abundance and natural beauty. A quartz countertop can come in a variety of colors and finishes, which means it’s flexible and versatile, and suitable for many interior styles. One of the only drawbacks is that the sealants and fillers make it less heat-resistant, so if you decide to buy quartz countertops, it would be wise to invest in trivets too.


Onyx is a sedimentary rock most often found in caves. Onyx is formed from spring water or groundwater containing a high concentration of calcite. When this water leaves the mouth of a spring, the minerals precipitate and form a crust of calcite crystals. Over time, other water flows and other minerals are deposited.

Onyx is a dazzling stone with beautiful veins that come in a variety of patterns and colors. Many of onyx’s most popular colors, such as jade, mint, pale pink and warm ochre, complement today’s popular colors.


Granite, or granitic rock, is found on all continents near the boundaries of active or past plates. These are igneous rocks, formed when magma cools beneath the Earth’s surface. As the volcanic mountains above them eroded, granitic rocks were lifted to the surface, then extracted from the top of the earth’s crust. Granite is one of the most common stones on the planet, found mainly in Brazil, India, China and Italy, but it can be found just about anywhere!

Granite is an excellent choice for countertops because it is stain-resistant, naturally heat-resistant and, if properly cared for, can last for around 15 years.

At RocArtz, we’re proud to offer a wide range of different stones to meet all your functional and aesthetic needs. Visit our Pointe-Claire showroom to see our complete collection, and let’s start improving your home!