Types of Sandstone

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that’s composed of several different minerals and rock grains. It got its name from the base that’s formed from sand, and it slowly compacts and cements into large rock structures. Grains of sand can be composed of a variety of rocks and minerals, which is why sandstones are available in wide ranges. Sandstones often consist of feldspar or quartz, mainly because they are the most common minerals on the earth’s surface.

Despite sandstone being composed of incredibly common minerals, it doesn’t mean that its value or visual appeal decreases in any way. Their original environment has a significant impact on the colour and appearance of the stone. Sandstones are uniquely distinctive to their region. They are often found in areas that have seen a considerable amount of erosion, like dry desert areas or even inland seas.  

The age of the sandstone and its original environment has an impact on several factors like sedimentary structure, grain size, and composition. That’s why they are always categorized based on the region they were quarried from. They can be further classified based on their mineralogy as well as the texture of the stone.

The Main Types of Sandstone

Sandstone is categorized into three main types based on their variation in composition and cementing material; they include:

  • Quartz Sandstone
  • Arkose
  • Litharenite or lithic sandstone

Every single one of these types of sandstone has some indication of its depositional history. Quartz sandstone suggests a long period in the depositional basin. Feldspar generally weathers quickly, which is why Arkose suggests a short time in the depositional basin. It also indicates an arid climate, steep slopes, rapid erosion, and tectonic activity. Litharenite indicates an arid climate and accelerated erosion.

Although several methods follow a general pattern, geologists have still not agreed on a singular way to categorize sandstone. The classification method allows geologists to determine a few types, like quartz arenites, that contain over 90% siliceous grains. Lithic arenites have a high proportion of lithic fragments.

For more information on the different types of sandstones, feel free to contact Trstone Mason at 0414 447 554 to discuss details about your project. You can also get in touch with us via this  Contact Us form and get a free quote today.