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Difference Between Stone and Rock: Telling Them Apart

Written by Christopher Miller on November 06, 2019
Edited By Tomasz Rydwelski, Last Updated On January 01, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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Stone countertops are a wonderful presence in many homes. But while this stone may be used for countertops, you might wonder where it originates from? You may also be wondering: What is the difference between rock and stone? This guide will give you the answers to these questions. 

What is the Difference Between Rock and Stone? 

While many use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Stone is smaller than rock. To easily sum it up, rock is made out of stone and mineral matter. The stone used to make your countertops was cut from rock. 

Rocks are typically found in the earth’s crust. They can also be found on the surface. On the other hand, stones are non-metallic minerals. 

What Types of Rock Are There? 

There are three major types of rock: Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary. These types are explained in further detail below. 

Igneous rocks are formed by the cooling and solidification of lava or magma. This process occurs deep in the earth and the rock rises toward the surface. Metamorphic rocks are created by the transformation of a rock that has been subject to extreme heat and pressure. Sedimentary rocks result from other rocks or fossils and form from deposits on the earth’s surface. 


What Types of Rock Make Up Natural Stone Countertops? 

Granite is the only natural stone countertop that is made of igneous rock. Examples of natural stone countertops made from metamorphic rock are marble, quartzite, slate and soapstone. Lastly, onyx, limestone and travertine are made up of sedimentary rock. 

What Type of Rock Makes Your Stone Countertop?
Igneous Metamorphic Sedimentary
Granite Marble Onyx
  Quartzite Limestone
  Slate Travertine

Natural stone plays a major role in home construction. The material can be used for countertops, backsplashes, bar tops, fireplace surrounds, floors and various other surfaces. Natural stones such as marble and soapstone are often used for carving as well. 

While the terms ‘rock’ and ‘stone’ are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two. To remember the difference, think of your stone countertops coming from a rock. Without rocks, there would be no stones. Whether igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary, rock contains stone that can build some of the most beautiful surfaces you will find. Through reviewing this guide, you can keep in mind the difference between stone and rock.

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When it comes time to get the job done, our fabrication and installation teams have the equipment and expertise it takes to get your project cut and delivered the right way, every time. We at are known for our incredibly quick turnaround, as we understand having countertops and other mainstays installed quickly and properly is important to our customers. We value your time, and our goal is to create the best work possible and have you enjoying it as possible.
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