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Natural Stone – What are the different kinds and their uses?

Natural Stone – What are the different kinds and their uses?


There are various types of natural stones that are more commonly used for flooring, wall tile, outdoor living rooms, fireplaces and decorative purposes. Some of the most well-known ones are,  cantera, limestone, marbletravertine, and onyx. There are a wide variety of stone colors, shades, finishes, sizes and edges available.


How to choose the best natural stone for your project?


Choose the best natural stone for your project is strictly a matter of taste and your a professional contractor should be able to give you options according to your lifestyle,   decoration, architecture style and budget.

Each type of natural stone has unique characteristics that make them harder, softer, translucent, honed or shiny.

Depending on the stone application, there are some design preferences of some type of natural stone over another. Some will not be suitable for high traffic areas (e.g. Travertine) but will be perfect for wall application and others are decorative natural stone  (e.g. Onyx), which are suitable for interior walls and custom applications.


Here are the names and definitions of some of the more popular natural stones:

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Prized for its timeless style, texture and high-gloss polish along with a rich palette of beautiful colors from ivory to red and grey even black, marble has a place almost anywhere in the home. Available in solids or  veined varieties, marble may be carved or sculpted in many ways, making it one of the most versatile decorative stones: tile, fireplaces, wall and flooring tile (slabs and tile, fountains, vanities (sinks and mirrors, counter tops), table bases, pots, etc…

Often seen as a symbol of luxury, modern technology brings beautiful marble products even to budget-conscious homeowners.


Valued for its banded, pitted “distressed” appearance, travertine adds rich, distinctive character to a variety of indoor and outdoor building projects. Its patterns and veining were formed by hot spring water percolating through underground limestone. When used for interior applications, travertine is often filled with cement, grout or resin and sealed to create a smooth, stain-resistant surface. It is available in various finishes and edges. It’s common uses are flooring, wall tile, table bases, vanities,  etc…

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A translucent stone with a glossy, polished surface, onyx is composed of crystalline silica, it’s  a semi-precious stone. Often found in caves, onyx is formed by the slow flow of cold, carbonated spring water. Onyx is available in pastel shades of yellow, brown, orange, and white. It’s most common uses are slabs, tiles, table bases, lamps, scones, fireplaces, wall tile (tiles or slabs), decorative items and a wide variety of applications



Cantera is a sedimentary stone that comes from the riverbeds of Mexico.


It is used extensively for architectural columns, moldings,fountains, fireplaces, sculptures,pots and planters tiles, flagstone, stone veneers, balustrade systems,  and more. More about cantera…

  • Slate


Formed over thousands of years of sedimentary deposit and compression, slate splits naturally into beautifully textured layers.

The various shades of slate products – brown, yellow, dark gray, pink, lavender and more – may even occur within the same piece of stone. Durable and stain-resistant, slate products are often used for flooring, stone veneer and flagstone for landscaping or wall tile.



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Natural Stone Fireplace: Design and Build Your Own

Natural Stone Fireplace: Design and Build Your Own


Designing and building your own custom natural stone fireplace will take the collaboration of at a team of experts depending on the complexity of your project; fireplaces are the heart of a house, the point of convergence for your friends and family.

Continue reading Natural Stone Fireplace: Design and Build Your Own

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What is Cantera Natural Stone?

What is Cantera  Natural Stone?

Cantera Natural Stone is a sedimentary, strong and versatile material that comes from the riverbeds of Mexico. Cantera Stone is an ideal medium from which  stone carvers can create custom designs. It is used extensively to produce architectural elements such as: fountains, columns, fireplaces, table bases, sculptures,pots and planters, tiles, stone veneer, flagstone , outdoor kitchen countertops and more….


What does “Cantera” mean?

Derived from the Spanish word for “quarry,” Cantera is a natural silica based stone that has been created by volcanic dust and ash being washed into silt beds by rainwater which over time through the process of compression became combined with lava and local rocks. It is found throughout the “trans-Mexico volcanic belt” that runs through western central and central Mexico.

Coming in the rough in different grades, it is porous, lightweight (weighing significantly less than marble and granite), strong, versatile in its applications, and extremely malleable. Cantera comes in over 130 color variations which includes shades of white,pink, grey, green, beige, tan, brown, orange, red, and black.

Cantera can technically take on any color depending on the minerals it contains, but naturally it most often forms with a soft brown, tan, or reddish hue. You can also get black or dark brown or gray cantera  stone, as well as a variety of beautiful multicolored materials that mix multiple hues in unique patterns across every piece to produce a natural masterpiece.

Due to the stones/materials that it was compressed with, it is typically speckled with inclusions of various colors and shapes. Capable of being easily worked/carved, due to its porosity, the material is cool to the touch and does not naturally crack.

Cantera natural stone is durable, has a very high crushing and tensile strength, and a wide range of colors and textures.


Desirable properties of the cantera natural  stone product

Also, due to the physical properties of Cantera Natural Stone, chips, markings, marring, color variations, and broken corners are all common. There are not imperfections, but desirable properties of the natural product. They are part of the rustic look and feel which distinguishes it from other building materials. If however you feel a chip or mark is not to your standards, they are very easy to repair by an experience mason/installer.

When selecting a construction material or accent peace for your home or business, please keep in mind that natural stone is created by the earth. That means that it is eco friendly and bio degradable, and will not cause pollution at the end of its functional life.


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Cantera stone general characteristics 


Density (lbs. per cu. ft.):  125-135 pcf

Compressive Strength:  4000-6000 psi

Absorption:  4-5%

Linear Shrinkage:  .0.052%


Please Note: These are general characteristics and they will will vary from stone to stone.


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Let the earthy and rich tones of Cantera Stone make its mark in your space and taking centrestage in your home décor, natural stone radiates sophistication and natural earthiness.

Check out ANS architectural stone work in inventory and contact us for availability.



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What are the Benefits of Building Using Natural Stone

Building using Natural Stone

What are the Benefits of Building Using Natural Stone


When it comes to the selection of high-end finishes for a custom space, new build custom home – renovation or commercial construction project – many choose natural stone.  Natural Stone offers permanence and character that exceeds any other building material beauty, elegance and performance expectations.

Natural stone is widely popular among design and construction professionals, and savvy homeowners due to its benefits.

For many generations, natural stone has been used to build  and enhanced palaces, mansions and custom homes in which many Continue reading What are the Benefits of Building Using Natural Stone

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Use Natural Stone to Enhance the Curve Appeal of Your Space

Use Handcrafted Natural Stone to Enhance the Curve Appeal of Your Space


First impressions matter. Natural Stone is a material that is widely used as a finish material to enhance the curb appeal of interior or exterior spaces.

Natural Stone is the choice of professionals in interior design, home decor and home improvement because natural stone is a distinctive, long lasting, and a high-performance building material.

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