Masonry stone is carved block cut from solid natural rock and used for construction. Skilled stone masons carve stone to precise uniform dimensions to create sturdy buildings, art sculptures, and monuments. Strong structures made from stacked masonry stone have been known to last several hundred years. Ancient masonry techniques require a steady hand and an ability to read the surface of the stone. Modern stone cutters often employ programmable liquid media cutters and diamond tipped saw blades to reduce error and waste.
Government buildings, churches, and courthouses are common places to find the work of stone masons. Monuments and elaborate tombstones are usually built from carved masonry stone. The classic look and well-known durability of stone make it an ideal material for structures intended to last beyond human lifetimes. Many buildings have a corner stone with engraved information about the construction date or dedication. The skill and equipment required for professional stone work combined with high material costs generally make stone masonry cost prohibitive for the average consumer.
Professional masons select rugged rock types from which to cut long stone building blocks. Metamorphic rock has been transformed by heat and pressure to create distinct looking and strong masonry stone options like marble and slate. Igneous stones, which were once flowing magma, cool to dense and durable masonry stone materials like granite. Hardened ocean floor sediment or sedimentary stones like limestone and sandstone have also been used by stone masons to build many world-famous structures still standing today. Each rock variety splits and breaks differently, which can create a new set of challenges for the stone cutter.
Construction done with masonry stone requires no fixative or mortar. The uniform edges and weight of quality masonry stones hold two stack blocks together solidly without the need for anything in between. Stone setters commonly make minor adjustments to masonry stones on site just moments before they are placed. Highly skilled stone carvers are sometimes brought in to add details after the stones are stacked. Many modern construction projects spare the expense of stone masonry by using bricks or synthetic stone building materials.
A masonry stone fireplace is a functional way to inexpensively add stone accents to a home. Durable stone surfaces are easy to clean and will not crack when exposed to heat from the fire. The dense masonry stone absorbs and radiates warmth from the fire to keep the heat going long after the flame has gone out.