Resin coatings are used to protect stone, especially the polished finishes. These are used often in residential kitchen and bath design where the stone will have water used on it daily.
Composite stone is a general term for a combination of crushed stones, called aggregate, that are added to a mixture of resin or cement to provide some of the characteristics of stone in an easier-to-use form. They can be poured for a floor covering or made into slabs. Three common types of composite stones are discussed next.
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Decorating Gallery 4.10 Limestone Wall and Floor. Dal-Tile limestone in Jerusalem Antiqued Gold is laid in a hopscotch pattern on the floor. Image used with permission of Dal-Tile Distribution, Inc.
Terrazzo Terrazzo was invented by Venetian construction workers as a low-cost flooring material using marble chips from larger marble flooring jobs. The original terrazzo was made from marble chips, clay, and goats’ milk, but today’s terrazzo is a composite of marble, quartz, and granite, for a minimum of 70 percent stone added to a cement binder, such as Portland cement, polyacrylic modified cement, or epoxy. Terrazzo is used mainly for floors. When it is poured to create a floor, usually the cove base is also poured, integrated into the flooring. Terrazzo is very practical for heavy-duty seamless surfaces for commercial and industrial applications. It is often used for commercial applications that will get a lot of traffic, such as schools, convention centers, medical facilities, airport terminals, and government buildings. Terrazzo floors with cement can be up to three layers thick. The first layer is a poured concrete base 3 to 4 inches thick. When forms are removed, a layer of 1 inch of sandy concrete is added. Divider strips of brass or zinc are laid in the second layer. The third layer is a mixture of chips and cement poured between the strips with some additional chips laid on top. When the terrazzo is thoroughly dried, it is ground with a terrazzo grinder and polished. Terrazzo with a cement base is porous and requires a penetrating sealer for protection. This weighs about 5 to 7 pounds per square foot. Terrazzo made with epoxy or resin is more durable and nonporous. It is thinner (%- to %-inch thickness) and does not require metal strips, although they are often used Decorating Gallery 4.11 Terrazzo Flooring. Terrazzo creates a spectacular floor design in the Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida. Harvey Namm, Artistic Surfaces Stone 73 74 Decoration 4 for decorative purposes. This weighs about 3 to 4 pounds per square foot and makes for a faster installation. When the terrazzo is cured, it is ground with a terrazzo grinder and then polished. Engineered quartz Known as quartz stone by the brand names of Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone, Swanstone, and Zodiaq, engineered quartz has been available in the United States since 1997 for countertops. Engineered quartz stone is made of a resin binder and 93 percent pulverized quartz. The resulting product is one of the most durable manufactured countertop materials on the market. Engineering stone makes it uniform, resulting in more strength than natural stone and less porousness. The fact that it is nonporous means that it does not absorb oils or stains and is unlikely to harbor bacteria. It is fabricated with the same tools as natural stone. Engineered quartz does not emit any pollutants or toxic chemicals. It is harder than granite, making it scratch resistant. It is also stronger than granite, requiring fewer support corbels than the same size countertop in granite would require. The downside of engineered quartz is the polyester resin. Over time, the resin loses its flexibility, and the resin is not UV stable, thus it should not be used outdoors. Also, the inclusion of resins renders engineered quartz less heat resistant than natural stone. Although engineered quartz is less porous than natural granite, sealed granite is equal in porosity. Quartz stone is available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Engineered quartz is used for kitchen countertops, desktops, stairs, flooring, and fireplace mantles. Manufactured stone veneer This product is made from a lightweight concrete mix consisting of Portland cement, lightweight aggregate, admixtures, and mineral oxide colors. Manufactured stone veneers come in various sizes and colors. They are pre-cast in molds made from actual stone to achieve the look of real stone. Veneers are used where the look of natural stone is desired but is prohibitive due to weight limitations. A natural stone wall would be much heavier than veneers and require a substantial footing to hold the weight. Another reason stone veneers may be used is for keeping the cost of installing the product down. Manufactured stone veneers generally are one-third or one-half the price of natural stone. These veneers are efficient to use, producing only 2 percent waste. They can incorporate fly ash, reclaimed water, and post-consumer recycled materials, making them energy efficient. Decorating Gallery 4.12 Engineered Quartz Countertop. This residential kitchen island top was made from Cambria, an engineered quartz product. Application: Using Information Regarding Interior Finish Materials CODE ISSUES Stone is inherently flameproof and fire resistant, which makes it an ideal surface for commercial spaces where codes will require surfaces to be fire resistant. A code issue could arise for stone in a vertical installation. If not properly adhered to its substrate, stone could fall off a vertical surface, causing harm to people as it falls. Local building codes should be checked to see if they are more stringent than the manufacturer’s recommendations. SPECIFYING
Stone specifications are in the Construction Specification Institute Division 04 Masonry. However, when stone is used as an interior finish, it will be listed in CSI Division 09 Finishes.