We’ve been hearing a lot of questions about two stones called Rainforest Brown Granite and Rainforest Green Granite (or did you see them called Rainforest Brown Marble and Rainforest Green Marble?). Type their names into a search engine and you’ll see them referred to as granite on one site and marble on another. The difference is important because marble countertops kitchen are slightly less durable and indestructible than granite. Marble also requires more care and maintenance.
Rainforest is sold in the U.S. as marble, but it’s actually a lesser known stone type called Serpentinite. Serpentinite is a rock composed of one or more serpentine group minerals. Minerals in this group are formed by serpentinization, a process that involves high pressure steam leaving the earth’s mantle. Serpentinite has very similar properties to marble and granite. It’s a metamorphic rock like marble (Metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rocks are the three main categories; granite is igneous), but since it is harder than marble, we refer to it as granite when selling it as a countertop.
Rainforest Brown and Green Serpentinite (which we will refer to as granite from here on out) are quarried in Rajasthan, India. (Fun Fact: Serpentinite is the state rock of California.) Rainforest Brown Granite is also sometimes called Cafe Forest Granite or Forest Brown Granite.
What all this basically means is that you can use Rainforest Brown and Rainforest Green on your kitchen countertops. Serpentinite behaves differently than a marble. It’s harder, and fabricators prefer to cut it with a granite blade instead of a marble blade. It won’t etch or stain like a marble can. One of the reasons marble takes more maintenance is because if you stain or etch a light stone with very little pattern, it will be noticeable. However, Rainforest is very busy and colorful so even if something did ever happen to the stone (which it probably won’t), it’s highly unlikely that you will ever notice it. Etching, “scars” caused by acidic products, although very rare, would be the only concern because 90% of the time, we can remove stains from both granite and marble.
The great thing about Rainforest Brown and Rainforest Green Granite is that it’s relatively inexpensive. We love stones like this because they allow us to create exciting, exotic countertops for anyone who can afford granite. Most fabricators choose not to carry Rainforest (or make it more expensive) because it is harder to fabricate and install than many other stones. During fabrication (cutting and polishing), special care has to be taken so that the veins are not compromised; however, once properly installed, there is no risk of cracks occurring along the many veins of the granite. If you were to try and run a piece of Rainforest Granite through an automated line polisher, you would have to plan on buying much more stone than is needed because some of it is bound to resist the machine. Since we do all our edging by hand, we can take the time to adjust pressure and speed according to the pattern and veins of the individual piece. Visit our about us page to learn more about our team of highly skilled fabricators and installers.
The other reason many fabricators avoid Rainforest Brown and Rainforest Green Granite is because these stones are very difficult to layout in the space and it’s hard to line up the seams well with such a big pattern. The distinct veining pattern can look very abrupt and chaotic if the designer doesn’t pay careful attention to how the slab is cut up for the individual space. Again, since we deal primarily with stones that have movement and exotic patterns, we already have a team that knows how to work with patterns.
Our shop foreman, Chuck, can look at two whole slabs and eyeball where to cut from each so that the veins line up at a seam. The image below is a good example of good design and seam work. (If you can’t see it, the seam is on the bottom right of the photo).
It’s very rare that we don’t have at least one version of Rainforest Brown and Rainforest Green in the shop (it’s our “house speciality”). If you want to find out more about it, how we fabricate it, and examine its intricate pattern up close then stop by the shop.
Want to read about more beautiful, unique natural stones? Check out these posts:
- Soapstone: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About This Amazing Stone
- Black Mosaic Gold Granite (A conglomerate granite)
- The Natural Elegance of Super White Quartzite
- Leathered and Honed Granite (matte finish & texture)