Rocks in Construction: 10 Ingenious Uses of Rocks
Oct 19, 2023Homes and People

Rocks in Construction: 10 Ingenious Uses of Rocks

by Godrej Properties Limited

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Numerous varieties of rocks can be used as construction materials. The rocks used in construction ought to possess hardness, durability, toughness, and the absence of weathered weak spots, fractures, and other flaws that can compromise their strength and longevity. Depending on their specific properties, different rock types exist for various construction purposes. Let us look closely at the 10 uses of rocks or stones employed in construction. 
 

Pros and Cons of 10 Rocks Used in Construction

A widely distributed igneous rock comprising 65%–75% silica.
 

Pros

  • Hard and durable
  • Using granite for a kitchen platform is an excellent choice since it is inert to lime juice, vinegar, and curd.
  • Good resistance to weathering and frost

Cons

  • Requires resealing every 5 to 7 years.
  • Has poor resistance to fire

Basalt

A dense or foam-like magmatic rock, also known as white stones, green stones, or blue basalt. 

Pros

  • Ideal for road construction, rubble masonry works for dams, river walls, and bridge piers, and as aggregate in concrete production.
  • Lightweight and tough.
  • Acid and alkali resistance

Cons

  • Very hard and difficult to mould in fine shapes

Quartzite

A metamorphic rock composed of quartz (> 85%).
 

Pros

  • Dense, hard, and heavy
  • High resistance to chemicals
  • Suitable for slabs, dams, road metal, and rubble masonry

Cons

  • Not easily workable

Onyx

One of the rocks used in the construction of flooring, countertops, and wall panels
 

Pros

  • A rare rock with natural beauty
  • Transparent and ideal for interior design.

Cons

  • Requires fibreglass reinforcement
  • High maintenance.

Limestone

A type of soft rock feasible for various construction

Pros

  • Cost-effective.
  • Compressive strength of around 55 MPa

Cons

  • Susceptible to staining and crumbling.

Slate

A damp-proof rock formed via dehydration and slight metamorphism of shale
 

Pros

  • Best for roofing tiles, slabs, and pavements.
  • Easy to cut into thin slabs.

Cons

  • Cold to touch
  • Hard and brittle, prone to moisture damage

Sandstone

Pros

  • Durable
  • Holds water well
  • Allows percolation

Cons

  • Weak in abrasion

Alabaster

Pros

  • Suitable for small artistic items
  • Easy to sculpt

Cons

  • Highly translucent
  • Use in construction is limited

Travertine

Pros

  • Easier to maintain
  • Durable and lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slippery
  • Highly porous

Marble

Pros

  • Easily cut and shaped
  • It comes in various colours and has beautiful stripes

Cons

  • Need special care
  • Prone to staining

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Rock

Each variety of stone has different construction applications based on its properties. Some possess strong compressive strength and durability, making them ideal for large-scale construction projects. However, some stones have low compressive strengths, making them more suitable for smaller construction projects.

 

Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the uses of rocks?

A: Numerous categories of rocks serve as the primary raw components for construction and sand formation. It can also be used for ornamental purposes. 
 

Q: Which rock is better as a decorative material?

A: Easy-cut and sculpted marble is highly favored as a decorative material. Additionally, marble takes polish exceptionally well. It is another reason why most people might consider it better.
 

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