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Stoned Beauty

Posted by
on November 14, 2014 at 08:26 PM

India is geographically rich – and as a result, a lot of natural stones are quarried from various regions; with Rajasthan, being the prime supplier of marble and Andhra Pradesh, of granite. India produces/processes about 27% of the stone produced in the world, and over 11% of world stone exports. Besides marble and granite, other popular stones available in India are sandstone, limestone, quartz, travertine and slate.  The Taj Mahal built primarily with white marble is amongst the most iconic stone structures in the world.

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The choice of building materials can make a huge impact on the overall look of a building exterior or an interior space. Long ago, the only building material was stone. Locally available stone was quarried and cut into blocks of suitable sizes. Public buildings and palatial residences got the best stone in terms of cuts and quality; and often could be seen having a lot of imported material in their detailing – while low-profile structures got the poorer materials for their construction. Eventually the building industry was swamped by cement and concrete and since then there is no looking back.

However there is still a consistent demand for natural stones; most common ones being granite and marble. Relatively more expensive than other natural stones, granite and marble have beautiful natural patterns and colours. They are also ideal for cutting, polishing and flame-texturing for tiles and panels. 

Granite’ s durability and aesthetic value, as also its prestige value, and low maintenance make it a favourite option for large floors, grand staircases and facings. Granite’s stability and hardness render it resilient to scratches, stains, chipping off, humidity and adverse weather conditions – thereby making it an ideal exterior treatment material. The same characteristics also make it the first option for kitchen countertops with its resistance to staining and heat.

Marble is also a naturally procured material; and available in an array of brilliant colours and patterns.  Additional polishing of the material further enhances its appeal. Usually used for decorative settings, whole-state marble is amongst the most high-end materials used in the construction sector. Agglomerated marble is a machine-made product, consisting of small sections fused together by a process of compression. The cost of agglomerated (also known as conglomerate) marble is much lower than the natural marble slabs.

India is geographically rich – and as a result, a lot of natural stones are quarried from various regions; with Rajasthan, being the prime supplier of marble and Andhra Pradesh, of granite. India produces/processes about 27% of the stone produced in the world, and over 11% of world stone exports. Besides marble and granite, other popular stones available in India are sandstone, limestone, quartz, travertine and slate. Stone deposits are found all over India, with great variations (of colour and pattern) seen from state to state. 

Most of India’s marble comes from Rajasthan and Gujarat – with White, Green, Makrana, Pink, Albetta, Rajasmand, Udaipur, Banswara – being the most popular ones. Andhra Pradesh supplies the largest quantities of Jet Black, Galaxy Black, Blue and White granite. Tamil Nadu also has a good deposit of granite and is also significant in the trade because of an international seaport with good export infrastructure. Karnataka has unusual colours of Pink and Grey granite. Apart from these states, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhatisgarh and Kerala too have substantial deposits of natural stones. 

A variety of stones used in a lot of architecture and construction in India over the centuries – such as Kota, Cuddapah, Dholpur Pink and Jaisalmer Yellow – are types of sandstone and limestone. Slate and quartz are also popular options. 

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