Natural Stone Porous Materials Protection Cleaning D.I.Y.

Your guide to identifying stone

Sometimes it seems like there are as many types of stones as there are stars in the sky. Unfortunately, anyone wanting to do a little bit of stain removal or sealing needs to be able to identify different types of stone by sight if they want to do the job well. Like a bloodhound sniffing a handkerchief, a home owner should be able to immediately pick out what type of stone they're dealing with, and act accordingly. 

After all, some cleaners and sealers work better on certain kinds of stone. With DRY-TREAT 40SK™ Surface Consolidator you'd aim for a material like brick, while Dry-Treat's INTENSIFIA™ might work its magic more on limestone. Protecting your surface from harmful types of damage first requires you to work out what stone you're dealing with. 

Here are the telltale signs of some types of stone, and whether or not they're legitimate. 


Marble comes in all shades and even colors, so it can be a slippery one. The natural minerals within it can create anything from a pink to a blue hue. 

The telltale sign of marble, however,  is its trademark veins, which appear when minerals mix with the original limestone. If you want to discern it from a fake, have a close look at the surface: Marble is relatively malleable, so scratches or evidence of wear will give it a way. 


Speaking of limestone, it too has a distinctive appearance. According to the US General Services Administration, limestone is usually grey, but can also be brown, white and yellow, and it tends to vary in porosity and texture. 

Like calcium carbonate, it's made from tiny fossils and pieces of shell, which can still be visible on the surface. Like marble, limestone can also suffer scratches, so use this to help pick it out.


Like the name suggests, sandstone has a similarly coarse feel to sandpaper. If you run your hand over it, and it feels like you're touching several day-old stubble, it might just be sandstone.

In terms of colours, it tends to lean more toward the tones of orange, yellow, brown, and even grey or red. It's the harsh feel that should give it away most in this case. 


Slate takes a colour scheme that is virtually the opposite of sandstone. Rather than warm colours, slate tends to come in colours such as dark green, black, grey and sometimes dark red. Also unlike sandstone, it tends to have very fine grains, and so is smooth to the touch. 

The other notable aspect of slate is its cleft structure and the visibility of its different layers. Use these to blow its cover.

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