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What Is Sandstone?

Sandstone is a very common and best known sedimentary rock.1 It can be formed in any type of environment. There is a great chance for sandstone to form in places with water, frozen or not, in river or ocean.1 It takes a long period of time for it to form and its appearance and texture can differ depending on the its composition and the place where it is formed.2

It is formed by cementing together of the grains of sand and calcium carbonate, iron oxides, or silica is the cementing factors of a sandstone.3 It is usually composed of quarts and can also consist of some other minerals.3

Uses of Sandstone

There are numerous products that can be created out from sandstone but the most popular one is that it is used as building material, which is usually used for things such as tiles and flagstones.

As a tile, it is made up of natural sandstone.5 These sandstone tiles have four sides and can be shaped as square or rectangle. Due to its high strength, sandstone tiles make a great decoration and add style to floors and walls.

Here are some of the various uses of sandstone:
  • As decorative stones
  • As bookends, clocks, paperweights, drink coasters
  • As countertops, tiles, concrete, play sand
  • As flooring and paving material
  • In manufacturing plate glass and other common glassware
  • As flooring, wall fixing and alkali resistant properties
  • for chemical industries
  • Ideal for carving and other architectural purposes such as pillars, arches, garden furniture, fountains and stone arts and crafts

Sandstone may obtain a wide range of colors in which rich oranges and yellows are the most common in desert regions. It can also have gray, bluish, tan, creamy white or deeply mottled colors.2 It is usually used to form unique geologic monuments due to its resistance to weathering.2

Types of Sandstone:

Sandstones are categorized into three groups based on its composition and cementing material:
  • Arkose sandstones are composed mostly of granite.4
  • Quartz sandstones or commonly known as the beach sand are made up of mostly quartz or it has a high content of quartz.4
  • Litharenite sandstones are made up of a lot of clay or silt.4

References:

1. http://www.galleries.com/rocks/sandstone.htm
2. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-sandstone.htm
3. http://www.answers.com/topic/sandstone
4. http://www.ehow.com/info_8501824_characteristics-sandstone.html
5. http://www.sandstone-handicrafts.com/sandstone-tile.html