Slate and Soapstone
Slate and Soapstone are softer varieties of dimension stone types, neither of these materials is known for particularly high abrasion or scratch resistance, yet they are both used a flooring and countertop products. Both materials have a high chemical resistance. Soapstone is highly heat resistant, and has been used in fireplace surrounds frequently to take advantage of this property. Slate, being of laminar construction, has the ability to be processed into thin sheets and still maintain serviceable strength and rigidity.
Sandstone, the term sandstone refers to the sand sized (0.06 to 2.0 mm) clasts that are cemented together by other agents. Therefore, sandstone could be of any mineralogy, but the overwhelming majority of sandstones on the market are quartz-based. The durability and performance of sandstone is not as greatly influenced by the sand sized particles, as it is influenced by the cementing agent that binds these particles together. Many types of sandstone are used in cubic sections as sills, coping, watertables and other exterior features. Exterior cladding is also a common application, although this stone variety is typically used in thicker sections than other stone types due to lower bending strengths.