In our attempt to give order and meaning to what surrounds us, people are obsessed with making comparisons and obtaining a winner. From this obsession, we create an overwhelming number of lists like the best cities to visit, the best movies, the best restaurants in the area, etc.
In the world of stone craftsmanship, of course, there is often debate about which materials are more precious. So much so that we want to get rid of doubts.
Criteria for choosing the best material
Within the subjectivity of these comparisons there are some parameters that guide us: the properties of each stone.
Before deciding on one material or another, the first criterion we must take into account is what it will be used for. Often the importance of this aspect is relegated to others, but it should not be. Once the function is clear, the optimal materials are reduced to a much more limited circle.
Among others, it is essential to solve questions such as: will the work be outdoors or in a covered space? What will be the most common climatic conditions? Will the structure receive impacts or will it have to support a lot of weight?
Once the use is clear, we will the take aesthetic criteria (color, grain, brightness …) and economic criteria into consideration. The effort that must be destined to the production and the exclusivity of the material are the main factors that will end up determining the cost of the project.
Properties of each stone
There are an infinite number of stone variations in use today We cannot discuss all of them now Nevertheless, we will list some of the most relevant and iconic ones.
First of all, we have granite, which is usually used in construction, urban planning and sculptures. It is a material of great hardness, accessible in its production and therefore, economic.
The different types of marble and travertine are also very popular. They are optimal materials for construction, decoration and sculpture due to their incomparable beauty and they are very enjoyable to sculpt.
For construction, basalt, limestone, sandy stone and slate are outstanding elements. Each of these has physical properties that give them a special character. For example, limestone has a great resistance to weathering caused by atmospheric agents, sandy stone is easy to work with, allows details to stand out and has good fire resistance, and slate is highly appreciated for being waterproof.
Other stones such as alabaster, onyx or quartz are basically used for decoration. They are delicate to work with due to their fragility and therefore they are only present in decorative elements.
In conclusion, what is the best material for a stonemason?
As you might have imagined, the concept of the best stone is like asking for the best song, the best landscape or the best beach. Everyone has their own point of view since we value stones according to what we have experienced and the feelings they evoke. However, what must be clear is that a particular stone is not suitable for all uses.
However, we cannot avoid to share some of the materials which are especially important for us. Personally, granite is the stone that has accompanied us since our beginnings, so we know almost all its secrets. If we had to name one, it would undoubtedly be the one began that our legacy: the snake-eyed granite from the Maresme mountain range. Nor can we fail to mention the granite of Tarn, extracted from the French municipality of Saint Salvy de la Balme, which we are totally in love with.
Within the category of sandy stone, the most special one for us is the Montjuïc stone because of its proximity, hardness and composition. However, we see spectacular works from all over Europe, produced with the local sandy stone.
On the other hand, the marble from Tuscany shows us the maximum exponent of our profession. Sculptures like Moses or David by Michelangelo bring us closer to perfection. Moreover, we are currently very lucky to work frequently with it in our workshop.
Finally, let’s not forget the travertine, which is ceremonious and capable of transferring us to the times of the Roman Empire with its extraordinary quality of aging. Especially recognized are the Tuscan or Iranian travertine, which we love to have as part of our daily life.
We are aware that we can expand the list and that we are leaving out many other exceptional stones. However, if you would like to know more or you have a project in mind but you are still unsure which material would be the most suitable, you can contact us here. We will be happy to talk to you.