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Terry Collins
Sustainability consultant
Asked a question 2 years ago

What are the properties of good building stones?

What are the properties of good building stones?

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The following properties you should check or take care of good building stone are:

1. Hardness

2. Appearance

3. Strength

4. Toughness

5. Durability

6. Dressing

7. Specific Gravity

8. Absorption Capacity

Properties to look for in good building stones :

  • Specific gravity (2.4 to 2 .8)
  • Crystalline, close-grained, homogeneous and densely packed structure.
  • Little or no porosity.
  • Uniformity of a freshly broken or cut surface.
  • Ease of quarrying and dressing.
  • Good workability.
  • Ability to be polished or painted.
  • Toughness and hardness.
  • Absence of clay.
  • Absence of efflorescence.
  • Fire resistance.
Flenn Hale
Construction Manager

Hard, durable, tough, sound, and free from weathering, decay, or defects like cavities, cracks, sand holes, injurious veins, patches of loose or soft materials, etc.

The properties to look for in a good building stone are

Strength Hardness Durability Porosity and Absorption Specific Gravity Appearance Economic Fire Resistance

Peter Smith
Heating and ventilation engineer

Following property you should check to identify good building stone

  • Strengthen
  • Hardness
  • Toughness
  • Water absorption
  • Durability
  • Aesthetic appearance
  • Specific gravity
  • Weight
  • Porosity

For more detail you can visit

Hunter May
Commercial energy assessor

Crushing Strength


Appearance should be decent and color should last long


For making them durable, natural bed shall be precisely noted. The stones ought to be organized in such a structure, that the natural bed ought to be perpendicular or near the bearing of weight.

Facility of Dressing

It should be easily- carved, moulded, cut and dressed. The stones to be used should be choosed wisely.


should be sharp, even, bright and clear with grains well cemented together.


Coeff of hardness: >17 to use in roadwork, 14-17 medium hardness, <14 should not be used.

Percentage Wear

>3% no use, = 3% tolerable, ≤ 3% good

Resistance to Fire


Time-lapse of 6 – 12 months is good for seasoning

 Specific Gravity

2.4 to 2 .8, heavy stones – dams, weirs, retaining walls, docks, harbours, etc and  lighter stones – domes, roof coverings, etc.


compact fine crystalline structure free from cavities, cracks or patches of soft or loose material.

Toughness Index

< 13 no use, 13 – 19 medium tough, > 19 very tough

Water Absorption

% absorption by weight after 24 hours should not be greater than 0.60.


Properties of good building stone ;

  • Texture : A good building stones must compose fine crystalline structure which should be free from cavities, cracks or patches of soft or loose material. Stones with such texture are so strong and durable.
  • Toughness Index : If the value of toughness index comes below 13 in impact test, then the stone is not tough. If the value comes in between 13 & 19 then stone is said to be moderately tough and if it exceeds 19 then stone is said to be highly tough.
  • Hardness : As worked out in a hardness test, the coefficient of hardness should be greater than 17 for a stone to be used in a road work. If it is between 14 & 17 then it is said to be medium hardness and if it is less than 14 ,it is said to be of poor quality.
  • Crushing strength : For a good building stone, the crushing strength should be greater than 100 N/mm3.
  • Durability : A good building stone should be durable and for making stones durable, their natural bed should be carefully noted.
  • Appearance : Those stones which are used for face work should be decent in appearance. They should be able to protect their color for a long time.
  • Percentage wear : If the wear is more than 3 in attrition test, the stone is not acceptable. For a goog building stone the wear should be equal to or less than 3%.
  • Specific gravity : Good building stones must have specific gravity greater than 2.7
  • Water Absorption : We know that all the stones are more or less porous in nature but for a good building stones, percentage of water absorption by weight after 24 hours should not exceeds 0.60 .
What are the properties of good building stones?

I would like to add more points,

Quality and quantity of building stones mainly depend upon the locally available material and site engineer.

The stones which are cost-effective and locally available are in the topmost preference for construction.but following are some criteria to select a good building stone.

  1. Strength: the strength of the stone must be able to resist the applying load or overcoming load.
  2. Durability: stone must stay in all in all climatic conditions and resist all the the the natural destructive effects. It lasts for a long time.
  3. Cost-effective: if stones are locally available, it reduces the transportation cost. Also, the dressing and polishing cost of stone should not be high.
  4. Appearance: Thee appearance of stone must be aesthetic and could so that a requirement of polish and interesting not needed. Which decreases the cost of operation.
  5. Hardness and toughness: it should be enough strong and hard to withstand all the stresses applied due to seismic forces, wind loads, and a load of the superstructure.
  6. Self-weight and specific gravity: the self-weight of stone should be less enough two not increase any load in superstructure or dead load.
  7. Property of absorption and porosity: stones should not be porous and not allow rainwater or any type of acidic water to pass through it. It is impermeable to any type of liquid. Also, the stone must not show any absorption characteristics for liquid.
Morris Baker
Construction Site Safety Manager

Properties of good building stone

A good building stone should have more durable.

Its appearance is good. A building stone can be dressed easily.

It is free from tractor hardness and wear. The structure of building stone is matters a lot.

Hardness is one of the important properties of any building stone.

Toughness is also one of the crucial properties of building stone.

Any type of building stone should have porosity and absorption percentage within its permissible limit.

Seasoning weathering is again the property of building stone.

Workability is one of the most important properties of building stone.

I hope your doubt is clear. Thank you.

Seth Morgan
Construction Superintendent

A good building should have the compact fine crystalline structure.

Good building atonesshould be free from cracks, cavities,patches of soft or loose material and cracks.

Manuel Mason
Purchasing Coordinator


The following are the quality requirements of good building stones:


Generally most of the building stones have high strength to resist the load coming on it. Therefore it is not of prime concern when it comes to check the quality of stones. But when the stones are to be used in large structures, it becomes necessary to check the compressive strength of stones.

Compressive strength of building stones generally fall within the range of 60 to 200N/mm2.


Building stones should be capable to resist the adverse effects of natural forces like wind, rain and heat. It must be durable and should not deteriorate due to the adverse effects of the above natural forces.


When stones are used in floors, pavements or aprons of bridges, they become subjected to wearing and abrasive forces caused by movement of men or machine over them. So it is required to test hardness of stone.

Hardness of stone is determined by Mohs scale.


Toughness of stones means it ability to resist impact forces. Building stones should be tough enough to sustain stresses developed due to vibrations. The vibrations may be due to the machinery mounted over them or due to the loads moving over them. The stone aggregates used in the road constructions should be tough.


The more the specific gravity of stone, the more heavier and stronger the stone is.

Therefore stones having higher specific gravity values should be used for the construction of dams, retaining walls, docks and harbors. The specific gravity of good building stone is between 2.4 and 2.8.


Porosity of building stones depend upon the mineral constituent and structural formation of the parent rock. If stones used in building construction are porous then rain water can easily enter into the pore spaces and cause damage to the stones. Therefore building stone should not be porous.

Water absorption of stone is directly proportional to the porosity of rock. If a stone is more porous then it will absorb more water and cause more damage to stone.

In higher altitudes, the freezing of water in pores takes place and it results into the disintegration of the stone.

Permissible limits of water absorption for some the commonly used building stones are as follow.

Type of StoneMaximum limit of Water Absorption (%)


Giving required shape to the stone is called dressing. It should be easy to dress so that the cost of dressing is reduced. However, the care should be taken so that, this is not be at the cost of the required strength and the durability.


In case of the stones to be used for face works, where appearance is a primary requirement, its colour and ability to receive polish is an important factor.

Light colored stones are more preferred than dark colored stones as the colour are likely to fade out with time.


Good stones should be free from the quarry sap. Lateritic stones should not be used for 6 to 12 months after quarrying. They are allowed to get rid of quarry sap by the action of nature. This process of removing quarry sap is called seasoning.


Stone should be workable. Stone is said to be workable when the work involved in stone working (such as cutting, dressing & shaping) is economical and easy to conduct.

11. COST

Cost is an important consideration in selecting a building material. Proximity of the quarry to building site brings down the cost of transportation and hence the cost of stones comes down.


Stones should be free from calcium carbonate, oxides of iron, and minerals having different coefficients of thermal expansion. Igneous rock show marked disintegration principally because of quartz which disintegrates into small particles at a temperature of about 575°C. Limestone, however, can withstand a little higher temperature; i.e. up to 800°C after which they disintegrate.

Lillian Holmes
Director of Public Works

Properties of stone for good building:-

  1. Appearance: It is most important property for all stones. The coloration and ability to receive polish are fundamental factor.
  2. Bio-deterioration: Certain timber and creepers thrust their roots into the joins of stones and have every chemical and mechanical effects.
  3. Color: Stones with static and attractive color is long-lasting if grains are closely packed. Stone with much iron is responsible for formation of iron oxide and decomposition of stone.
  4. Cost: Cost is an essential term in choosing a building. It would not be wrong to say that a single stone is not fulfill all fundamentals of a good constructing stones, if consider one requirement it affect another one.
  5. Dressing: Stone converting into required shape is known as dressing. It must be done in less effort so the cost of dressing is reduced.
  6. Durability: Choose those stones which is successfully resist destructive outcomes of natural forces like wind, rain and heat.
  7. Ease in Dressing: Cost of dressing contributes to value of stone masonry to a notable extent. Dressing is effortless in stones with lesser strength.
  8. Hardness: When stone is used for ground and pavement the hardness property  plays important role. Coefficient of hardness is to be located through conducting check on general specimen in Dory’s testing machine.
  9. Porosity and Absorption: All stones have pores and resulting in absorption of water. In response of water it causes decomposition.
  10. Resistance to Warmness and Fire: Resistance to warmness, The stone need to have a very low volume of expansion due to large prolong in temperature.
  11. Sensitivity to Moisture: Moisture from rain, snow or different environmental conditions penetrates the wall main to cracks, rust staining, wood rotting, paint peeling, darkening of masonry.
  12. Specific Gravity: Heavy variety of stones is used for the construction of dams, conserving walls, docks and harbors’. The precise gravity of right constructing stone is between 2.4 and 2.8.
  13. Strength: Before selecting stone as building block, Strength is essential property of stone. In stone masonry constructions it is necessary to take a look at the stresses when the beams are placed on Lite-rite.
  14. Texture: Fine grained stones with homogeneous distribution to look attractive, They are used for carving. Such stones are generally strong and durable.
  15. Toughness: Building stones have to be difficult enough to sustain stresses developed due to vibrations. Vibrations may cause due to the machinery installed on it or due to the mass transfer over them.
  16. Weathering: It is a complex interaction of physical, chemical and biological techniques  that can alter the stone in some conventional or particular.
  17. Weight and Density: Building stones are heavy. Denser stones  are stronger. weak stones are light weight.

Hello sir, Stones are naturally going on rocks of igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic origin. Most of the rocks are sufficiently consolidated to allow them to be reduce or made into a number shapes and blocks or slabs to be used walling, paving or roofing materials. Rocks are frequently used in the development of constructions and heaps of structures. Stones are labeled into constructing stones, decorative stones and dimension stones. A constructing stone is chosen for its residences of durability, attractiveness, and economic system. Being cheap, hard, long lasting and naturally desirable searching stones are regularly used in construction. There are countless different of stones that are controlling their kinds and qualities. The standards of decision is primarily based typically on the following normal parameters:

  1. Chemical composition of stone
  2. Strength and hardness
  3. Durability
  4. Resistance to fireplace
  5. Bio-Deterioration
  6. Appearance
  7. Susceptibility to being quarried in giant sizes

Thank You.


  • The stone to be used for facework must have uniform and pleasing color.
  • It must be free from cavities, crack, flaws and patches of loose and soft materials.


  • A good bldg stone should have sufficient crushing strength to withstand the load of superstructure.
  • It should ≮ 1000 kg/cm².


  • The stone to be used in stone pavements, as railway ballast or road metal must be sufficiently hard, tough, resistance to abrasion.
  • It must be able to resist wear and tear.


  • A good bldg stone must be durable enough to resist the effect of weathering against eg., rain, wing, temp, etc.
  • It should have fine grained, compact, and crystalline structure.


A good bldg stone should have a closed grained and compact texture.


The stone to be used for ornamental craving and architectural appearance should be easily and economically dressed.


The stone to be used for an imp interior work should be well seasoned. Presence of moisture makes the stone soft and it is liable to an early decay when used in structural work.


  • A good bldg stone should be less porous.
  • It should not absorb more than 5% of water.
  • Any stone absorbing 10% of water should be rejected.


  • A good bldg stone should be able to resist high temp.
  • Its minerals constitutes should have equal coeff for expansion.


  • The stone to be used on heavy engg works, docks, harbours, gravity dams, etc must have high specific gravity.
  • Its varies from 2.4 – 2.8.


  • A good bldg stone should be non-absorbent like marble and slate etc.
  • It can offer good resistance to electricity.