Common Building Stones

Common Building Stones


  •  GRANITE : Granite is an igneous rock . It is unstratified according  to physical classification and chemically siliceous siliceous in nature. It is composed of quartz, felspars and mica.


Characteristics :  

  1. It has high specific gravity. Specific gravity lies between 2.63 to 2.75.
  2. It is fine grained and can take good polish.
  3. It is hard, strong and durable. Crushing strength of granite lies between 1000 to 2500 kg/cm*2.
  4. It develops cracks badly under fire.
  5. It is difficult to work with it and it is costly to dress.
  6. The colour of granite depends upon the colour of felspar . It may me gray , green , pink and black in colour.
  7. It has crystalline dense texture that makes it suitable for ornamental works.


  • It is used for various decorative purposes during the construction work . It is used for facing works, steps, columns etc.
  • Inferior quality of granites are used as aggregate in concrete , as ballast in railway tracks and as road metal.
  • It is also used for heavy engineering work like piers and abutments of bridges , light houses, weir and barrages across river, harbours etc.

OCCURRENCE : Granite is available at the following localities in india.

Ajmer (Rajasthan), Kangra and Dalhousie (H.P) , Janshi (U.P), Secunderabad (A.P) , Jabalpur (M.P), Pallaram (Madras), Banglore etc .

  • SAND STONE : It is a sedimentary rock. It is physically stratified and chemically siliceous in nature. It contains grains of sand cemented together by calcium carbonate. Felspar , mica , magnetite etc are also present in it . Sandstone contains oxide of iron upon which its colour depends.

Sand Stone

Characteristics :

  1. It is available in red , grey , yellow , light brown and blue colours.
  2. It is a soft and porous stone.
  3. It is easy to work with it , hence economical in dressing.
  4. It is fine grained to coarse grained in texture.
  5. It weathers well
  6. It is resistant to fire.
  7. Specific gravity varies from 2.65 to 2.95 and compressive strength is nearly 65 N/mm*2.


  • Fine grained sandstones are good for curved work.
  • Rough and coarse grained sandstone is used for rubble masonry.
  • Sometimes it is used as road metal .
  • Good weathering sandstones are used for all type of building work.

OCCURRENCE : Sandstone is available in Mirzapur , Fatehpur Sikri (U.P), Gwalior , Jabalpur, Raipur (M.P), Cuttack (Orissa), Kangra , Dharamsala (H.P), Bikaner , Dholpur , Jodhpur (Rajasthan) etc.

  • BASALT AND TRAP:  It is an igneous stone. Some basalts develop step like appearance and are known as traps. It chiefly consists of felspar, alumina, silica and other minerals.

Basalt and Trap

Characteristics :

  1. It is hard , compact and durable stone .
  2. Its specific gravity varies from 2.6 to 3.0.
  3. It has greenish grey to dark grey, blue, black colours .
  4. These stones are less porous.
  5. They weather well.
  6. It is difficult to work with these stones.


  • These stones are used as road metals, aggregate in concrete and railways ballast.
  • These stones are used for constructing steps and pavement in streets.
  • Soft variety is used for ornamental work.
  • Where cheaply and easily available, these stones are used in rubble masonry.

Occurrence : It is mostly found in western ghats of india, known as Deccan trap. They are also found at Bombay , Bihar , Gujarat. Rock cut temples of Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta are in trap.

  • LIME STONE:  Limestone is a sedimentary rock. It is physically, stratified and chemically , calcareous. They are mainly composed of calcium carbonate with varying impurities such as magnesium carbonate in equal quantities are known as dolomites.



  1. It has granular and fine grained texture.
  2. Lime stone is sensitive to weathering action so it is not suitable for external work in industrial areas but dolomite can be used.
  3. Its specific gravity lies between 2.0 to 2.75.
  4. Granular lime stone is fairly hard and not subjected to acidic actions.
  5. Its usual colours are white , grey , blue, brown, pink, yellow, black etc.
  6. It effervesces in contact with acids.


  • Lime stone is mainly used in manufacturing of cement , hydraulic lime and fat lime.
  • It is used in blast furnaces, bleaching, tanning and other industries.
  • It is used as road metal, interior masonry walls and in construction of not very important buildings.
  • It is suitable for flooring and roofing works

Occurrence : It is found in Jabalpur (M.P) , Hoshiarpur (PANJAB) , Alwar (RAJASTHAN), Shimla (H.P), Satna and Katni (M.P), Bombay, Madras etc.


  • MARBLE:  Marble is one of the most common building stones used for construction and for designing interiors. Marble is a metamorphic rock . It is calcareous in nature. It chiefly composed of calcium carbonate.


Characteristics :

  1. It is fine to coarse grained , massive , crystalline and granular in texture.
  2. Due to compact structure it can take a good polish.
  3. It is available in different shades. Usual colours are white, grey , black, pink, red, brown ,yellow , green ,blue etc.
  4. Its specific gravity is nearly 2.72.
  5. Marble can easily be dressed using simple instruments.
  6. Good marble is extremely durable.

Uses :

  • It is mainly used for ornamental and decorative purposes.
  • It is used in manufacturing of stair cases, window sills, monuments and statues.
  • It is also used for wall lining.

Occurrence : It is found in Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ajmer (Rajasthan), Gwalior, Jabalpur (M.P), Baroda (Gujarat) etc.

  • SLATE: It is a metamorphic rock.It is argillaceous chemically and stratified physically. It is usually composed of Alumina mixed with sand or carbonate of lime and sometimes with carbonaceous matter.


Characteristic :

  1. It can be split into thin slabs and smooth surface layers.
  2. Its specific gravity lies between 2.7 to 2.9 .
  3. Its compressive strength lies between 700 to 2100 kg/cm*2.
  4. Good slate is uniform in colour and free from patches. Those with smooth and greasy touch or with purple colour are inferior in quality.
  5. It is tough, hard and is least absorptive. It gives metallic ringing sound when struck with a light hammer.
  6. It is available in number of colours. Purple, blue, black, green and grey are usual colours of slate.

Uses :

  • As slate is non-absorbent in nature, so it is used in baths, cisterns and urinal partitions etc.
  • As it is insulator in nature, so, it is used in making electric switch boards.
  • Slate is most suitable for roof coverings and black boards.
  • It is also used for flooring, damp proofing, sunshades, steps, sills of door and window etc.

Occurrence : Slate is available at Shimla and Kangra (H.P), Bijapur (Mysore),Gurgaon(Haryana), Alwar (Rajasthan), Chamba (MP), Baroda (Gujarat) etc.

  • LATERITE :  Laterite is a metamorphic rock. Chemically, it is argillaceous in nature.

It consist of sand , clay, oxides of iron and manganese as mineral constituents.


Characteristic :

  1. It is soft in nature and easy to dress.
  2. Specific gravity varies from 2 to 2.2.
  3. It is available in brown, yellow and black colours.
  4. It has porous and cellular structure.

Uses :

  • Blocks of laterite are suitable as building stone.
  • It can be used for rough stone masonry work and as road metals.

Occurrence : It is available in M.P. , Bihar, Orissa, Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra.

  • SERPENTINE :  Serpentine is an igneous rock and also a very common building stone.


Characteristics :

  1. It is compact in nature but easy to dress and work.
  2. Serpentine is highly affected by smoke and fumes.
  3. It is found in shades of green and red with spot of various colours.

Uses :

  1. It is suitable for high quality decorative and ornamental purposers.
  2. It is generally used for interior decorative purposes.
  • KOTA STONE : Kota stone is a fine-grained variety of limestone, quarried at Kota district, Rajasthan, INDIA. It is available in black , pink, beige, grey etc colours but greenish-blue and brown colours of this stone are most popular. It is an excellent building stone.

Characteristics :

  1. Kota stone is tough in nature.
  2. Kota stone is non-slip, non porous and non-water absorbent.
  3. It has good resistance against acid and alkali.

Uses :

It is mainly used for exteriors, pathways, corridors. Driveways, balconies, commercial building etc. It is also suitable for chemical industries for flooring ,wall fixing and lining, due to its acid and alkali resistant properties.

Availability : Kota stone is commercially available in tile and slab forms. Length can be upto 240cms and width can be up to 75 cms. The thickness of Kota stone ranges between 16mm to 100mm.


  • The stone tends to flake over a period of time.
  • The stone lacks the luster as compared to Marble or Granite. But Kota Stone competes in the market for its lower cost and longer durability.
  • The available size is not so large, when flooring is done specially of large spaces, the number of joints are more which is not pleasing.