The Stone Used In Stonemasonry: A Quick Guide

The Stone Used In Stonemasonry: A Quick Guide

November 26, 2020 4:54 am

All sorts of different materials are used in stonemasonry and it depends on the particular project as to which stone is the most suitable. Stone is one of the oldest building materials available, easy to source, very durable and incredibly attractive once in place, but it’s important to choose the right kind of stone for what you have in mind.

Granite, for example, is a particularly hard and durable stone, which means it’s perfect for use in the likes of walls, steps, sills and facing work. You also find it used in piers, bridges, docks and so on, but it isn’t a good option for carving work and artistic sculptures because of its hardness, making it difficult to work with.

For building work, you will often see the likes of sandstone and limestone, with the former used in dams, masonry work, river walls, bridge piers and so on. Limestone, meanwhile, can be used for roofing, flooring and pavements, but not all limestone is created equal and any forms that are rich in clay or are soft aren’t useful for construction.

For creative stoneworks and sculpture, marble is often used because it’s easily worked and comes in a wide variety of colours, although white is perhaps the most typical example. 

Slate is also a very popular choice for memorials and inscriptions, because it ensures a certain level of detail that can be hard to achieve with other stones. It’s also widely used in roofing because it’s easy to split it into thin plates.

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