- Natural stone, though more expensive, is longer-lasting and much prettier than manufactured materials.
- Clay and concrete bricks, tiles, and countertops are lightweight and cheaper for quicker projects.
- Contact your local stonemason, contractor, or retailer to find out which material is best for you!
Stone and bricks are popular building materials used for centuries to construct homes and buildings.
Choosing the right type of stone or brick for your home construction project is important.
In this article, we’ll break down the different types of stone and bricks available in Calgary, Canada, and the pros and cons of each type you can use!
Stone and Brick Dimensions
In this article, we will touch on the weight and color of each material listed. However, when buying pieces for yourself, the size, weight, and style is subject to change.
For example, bricks generally range in size from 4 x 2 inches, 8 x 12 inches, and 6 x 4 inches.
They can weigh roughly 150 – 170 lbs per cubic foot, depending on the material you use (concrete vs. marble, etc.), and are almost always rectangular.
However, if you are using stone to create tiles, countertops, flooring, walls, or fireplace surrounds, the size, weight, and dimensions will vary wildly.
A bathroom tile might be roughly 1 cm thick and only 3-5 inches long or wide. However, a countertop would range between two to five feet and over an inch thick, depending on how you want to build your kitchen.
Make sure to ask your chosen retailer or stone yard if it is possible to get your desired stone in the size and shape that you need!
Natural stone is gorgeous. It adds personality to your home and gives off a sense of style.
You are more likely to get compliments with natural stone on your countertops or tiles. However, natural stone can be expensive, so ensure you have the budget.
In Calgary, a wide assortment of options are available for natural stone, but the more common include granite, limestone, and marble:
Granite is a strong and durable stone that is well-suited for kitchen countertops, floor tiles, and outdoor patio.
It can add grandeur to any space or walkway and can even be found in a luxurious garden design!
Its natural properties make it resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, which means it can withstand wear and damage over time.
Additionally, granite requires minimal maintenance, saving you time and effort in the long run.
While it may not be as visually appealing as marble, granite has many colors and patterns available to suit any style.
This allows you to find the perfect combination for your home.
The size and weight of granite cuts can vary based on where you purchase them and what you will use them for.
For example, some suppliers may only offer as thin as 1 cm for bathroom tiles or backsplashes, while others may offer thicker cuts.
The size and weight of the cuts can also differ depending on their intended use, such as for a countertop or sink.
On average, granite weighs approximately 175 lbs. per cubic foot.
Granite also comes in a wide range of colors, mainly:
Limestone complements most interior décors, and its softer composition makes it more appealing than granite and other hard surfaces.
You can really brighten up a room with limestone countertops or tile floors! You can also use it to show that your home has a more modern fashion.
Additionally, limestone’s ability to take on almost any shape allows homeowners greater freedom when working with designers or contractors on larger projects like fireplaces or flooring designs.
Despite being easier to scratch and stain than granite, you can easily maintain limestone with regular cleaning and polishing.
Speak with the business you are contracting with and ask them how to make limestone a centerpiece in your home!
You can find limestone in most sizes, which they can cut to meet your requirements.
Limestone can be cut between 3/4 – 1 1/4 inches in thickness, but any store can accommodate certain requirements.
Most limestone varies in shades of white, gray, beige, and yellow and is not as dynamic as other stones, which can come in blacks and reds.
Generally, limestone weighs about 169 pounds per cubic foot, just one more pound than granite.
Marble is a beautiful metamorphic stone that has been prized for centuries due to its elegant veining and glossy finish.
It is softer than granite and more prone to scratches and stains.
Marble has long been used for creating fireplace surrounds, bathroom vanities, and eye-catching floor tiles.
Its timeless look makes it an excellent choice for modern and traditional spaces.
Marble is created when limestone is subjected to intense heat and pressure from the earth’s tectonic plates pushing against each other.
This gives marble its signature swirls in shades of white, gray, pink, green, or black!
Marble weighs roughly 168 lbs. per cubic foot compared to limestone and granite. However, the weight of marble can vary significantly depending on the specific type.
Ask your local stone yard or retailer how heavy your choice of marble will be before you buy it!
Pros and Cons of Using Natural Stone:
- Durable and long-lasting
- Resistant to scratches and stains
- Versatile and suitable for a range of applications
- Adds value to a home
- Expensive compared to other building materials
- Heavy and requires specialized equipment for installation
- Requires regular sealing and maintenance to prevent staining
Manufactured stones and bricks are generally made from clay and concrete.
While they are cheaper and lighter than natural stones, they are not as pretty. They are also not as durable.
Here is a breakdown of manufactured building materials and why you should (or shouldn’t) use them in your home:
Manufactured stone is made by casting concrete into molds shaped and textured to resemble various types of natural stone.
Several types of manufactured stone are available in Calgary, but concrete is the most common.
Concrete-manufactured stone is made from cement, bits of broken stone, and water. It is molded and colored to look like natural stone, such as brick, slate, or granite.
Concrete weighs about 150 lbs. per cubic foot, making it lighter than natural stones like marble, limestone, and granite. This makes it easier to transport.
Clay & Concrete Bricks
Clay bricks come in various colors, including pale yellow, light red, and deep red.
Manufacturers can also mix them with sand and iron oxides or carbonates to create an even wider range of colors.
Clay bricks can be used for walls, fireplace surrounds, floors, patios, driveways, and walkways. They weigh about 150 lbs. per cubic foot, like concrete.
However, because they are porous, clay bricks can absorb water and may be damaged by freezing temperatures. Therefore, it is important to seal clay bricks with a waterproof coating if used outdoors.
Pros & Cons of Using Manufactured Stone or Bricks:
- Affordable compared to natural stone
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Low maintenance
- Won’t have the same durability as natural stone
- Not as resistant to extreme temperatures
- Not as pretty as natural stone
When choosing the right type of stone or brick for your home construction project, there are several factors to consider.
These include cost, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics:
Natural stone tends to be the most expensive option, while manufactured stone and brick are generally more affordable.
However, it is important to consider the durability and longevity of the materials.
Because natural stone is the most durable, it can give you a better return on your investment than cheaper materials upfront.
Natural stones, such as granite and limestone, are known for their durability and resistance to scratches, stains, and extreme temperatures.
Manufactured stone is also stable, although it may not hold up well in harsh temperatures. Brick is typically durable but may be more sensitive to water damage.
While you can use them both inside and outside the home, it is more likely that your natural stone will stand the test of time. After all, it was formed in the earth and can handle what nature has to throw at it.
However, manufactured stone and brick can last a long time, too. If necessary, it isn’t a bad alternative to exterior foundations or garden designs.
One of the benefits of using manufactured stone is that it is low maintenance, meaning it does not require a lot of care and upkeep. To keep it clean, you can simply wipe it down with a mild detergent and water to remove any dirt or grime.
On the other hand, natural stone is more porous than manufactured stone. Porous means it is more prone to staining and other types of damage.
To protect natural stone from stains and damage, it is important to seal it regularly.
Sealing natural stone involves applying a protective layer to the surface of the stone. Sealing also helps to fill in any pores and make the stone more resistant to stains and damage.
Furthermore, like natural stone, brick is porous and can be prone to staining and damage. Therefore, it is important to seal brick, too, to protect it and keep it looking good.
Looks & Aesthetics:
Natural stone is much more beautiful. The waves and patterns are made entirely by nature, and can’t be duplicated exactly.
Also, natural stones come in various colors and patterns, making these a versatile choice depending on your personal style or preferences.
Manufactured stone and bricks, however, do not have that natural charm. They are artificial and whipped together from water and gravel or loose rocks.
Likewise, clay is cheaper and lightweight but can be considered more boring.
When selecting the right stone or brick for a construction project, there are many things to consider.
These may include your budget, your home’s style, and the space’s intended use. It can be helpful to consult with a professional, such as a stonemason or contractor, to get expert advice.
With some research, you can make an informed decision and confidently choose the right stone or brick to achieve the desired look and function!