A preview of our Stonexpo Presentation,

CSI (Critical Stone Investigation)

How Geology and Installation Affect Stone Restoration

Course # TU20, Tuesday, January 28, 2014


What is natural stone? What a question! There are entire courses taught on this topic, so I’m not even going to try to compete with geologists and professors of geology. This blog post is about learning that there are numerous natural stones and each stone has its own mineral composition and characteristics.

It is so important to know what type of stone you have. By knowing the innate qualities of each stone, a professional can determine the appropriate technique to properly restore the stone. Even a homeowner can benefit from this knowledge in order to know how to properly clean and take care of his or her stone tops and floors.

Courtesy of Chuck Muehlbauer, MIA Technical Director


Basically, stones are identified by the minerals they contain. There are three types of stones: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.  These stones either contain calcium carbonate or silica.


Calcareous stones are stones that are composed of calcium carbonate. Calcareous stones that you have heard of are: limestone, travertine, onyx, and marble. Calcium carbonate reacts to acid, ammonia and alcohol.  For example, if lemon juice or vinegar comes into contact with marble, limestone, travertine, or onyx, it will etch (burn) the surface of the calcareous stone.


Siliceous stones are stones that contain silica. Siliceous stones that you have heard of are: granite, slate, quartzite, serpentine and sandstone.


Each stone has its own characteristics, porosity, and abrasion resistance.

Knowing a stone’s mineral hardness, acid sensitivity and pore structure helps determine what type of restoration method professionals can use when restoring a stone floor or top. This information also helps homeowners and janitorial companies pick the right maintenance products in order to care for the natural stone.


Not all stones have the same abrasion resistance. Knowing how much abrasion resistance a stone can handle  helps determine a stone’s performance in an abrasive environment (foot traffic in a busy building) and determines how often a stone surface needs to be maintained. Abrasion resistance also establishes which tools need to be used in order to grind, hone, or polish a stone surface.


This post is just a snippet of information that we will be discussing at our Stonexpo course # TU20,  “CSI (Critical Stone Investigation): How Geology and Installation Affect Stone Restoration.” Rawi Tabbah, David Bonasera and Chuck Muehlbauer will be presenting January 28, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.