Stone Profile: Rainforest Brown Granite & Rainforest Green Granite

Rainforest Brown

 

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 Green

 

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 Granite

 

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.

 

Rainforest 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.

 

Rainforest Green slab from NSI Distributors ( italianstones.com )

 

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.

 

Rainforest Brown Outdoor Bar

 

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.

 

Rainforest Green Granite

 

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).

 

Rainforest Green Granite

 

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.

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Rainforest Green Granite (Full Slab)

 

 

Want to read about more beautiful, unique natural stones? Check out these posts:

 

 

25 Responses to “Stone Profile: Rainforest Brown Granite & Rainforest Green Granite”

  1. Ty Cobb says:

    Building in SC on the ocean south of Charleston, and my builder is looking for 4 to 5 large very high quality slabs of Rainforest Green which I guess we would have to truck down. Size and quality are the main issues. We do have a hold on some on the water but in an effort to accelerate things I was hoping to find some here quickly. Do you all have a sufficient amount of top quality slabs on hand? I have been to Rajastan btw and loved it! Thanks so much!

    Ty Cobb

  2. Jim H says:

    Our stone fabricator here in suburban Chicago tells us that this stone will not stand up to the winter weather if used as an outdoor countertop in northern Illinois. Would you agree with his concerns?

    • Hannah says:

      Hmm. I know we use it all the time outdoor here in MD, but the weather in Chicago is a whole different ball game. Let me ask our team and our sister company in Wisconsin, and get back to you with an answer.

  3. Jim H says:

    Hannah,
    Any more info re: Rainforest stone as an outdoor countertop in Illinois winters?

  4. Hannah says:

    I talked to the team and our contact in Wisconsin. Your fabricator’s advice seems sound. The moisture and cold can get into the veins of the Rainforest and cause cracking.

  5. B B says:

    Does anyone have any experience with a leathered or honed finish on Rainforest stone? We would like to use in the kitchen and master vanities but would prefer the matte finish of the leathered finish as opposed to polished. Thanks.

    • Hannah says:

      Hi,
      We have done plenty of kitchen/ bathroom in the leathered Rainforest. I don’t know exactly what you are asking about it, but I’m assuming you want to know if it’s a good material to use in the kitchen? Leathered granites are the same durability and maintenance as standard polished stones. The difference is mostly aesthetic. They are typically the same price as their standard polished counterparts. Hope that helps!

  6. Tom L says:

    We were just informed by our contractor that the fabricated quartz countertop we had chosen is not locally available and because of it’s not being commonly used would be more expensive to order. We’ve now seen some exquisite samples of Rain Forest Green and Brown, and my questions are: how does Rain Forest compare in durability against, say, Cambria for a countertop; and what is the expected price differential between the manufactured quartz and this serpentinite? We unfortunately have to choose pretty quickly, so a rapid response would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hannah says:

      Hi,
      Thanks for your comment. Technically, Rainforest Brown Granite is not as durable as Cambria. However, as with most natural materials, Rainforest Granite can be repaired if anything every chips, whereas Cambria cannot. The Rainforest Brown and Green Granite is typically less expensive than the man made products, although pricing varies somewhat depending on what part of the country you are in. The bottom line is that Rainforest Granite and Cambria will be functionally the same in your kitchen even though they are different materials. I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to email, comment, or call if you have any other questions.
      Thanks,
      Hannah

  7. dana says:

    Hi, does rainforest material have to be set with epoxy like “other” green serpentines or is thinset OK?

  8. Kelly says:

    We have purchased the Rainforest Green for our kitchen counter tops. I had to laugh in reading your article as I’ve had it refered to me a Marble and Granite both at several places depending upon the thickness. We choose the 3cm thickness instead of the thinner ones. We were wanting to do the Ogee edging and our fabricator is trying to deter us form the edge because it has a large tendacy to chiping during fabrication and after time and use in the kitchen. They want us to choose the half beveled edging instead. Have you had this chiping issue during fabrications?
    Thank you,
    Kelly

    • Hannah says:

      Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for the comment. We rarely, if ever do an ogee edge on Rainforest. Trust your fabricator to know what they are doing (and this is why it’s important to find a company you trust). Even if it is possible on some Rainforest slabs, your particular slab may have qualities that require a simpler edge type. You could also do a half bullnose if you didn’t want the angles of a beveled edge.
      Thanks,
      Hannah

  9. Kelly says:

    I will keep that in mind and thank you Hannah!

  10. Mak Fisher says:

    I am looking for 5 slabs of Cafe Forrest Green Marble for job in Tampa, Florida.
    Please advise of availability and price.

    Thank

  11. Debra says:

    I was told by a company in Dallas that Rainforest Brown & Green are limestone — not marble or granite. Another company in the Dallas area told me that Rainforest is definitely a marble. I am totally confused now. Love the Rainforest pattern, but have read about limestone not making a good bathroom countertop. Is there some Rainforest that is limestone, and others that are marble???

    • Hannah says:

      Hi,

      Rainforest is actually a serpentinite. Many people classify it as marble because they are both metamorphic rocks (metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary are the three categories all rocks in the world fall into). Granite is an igneous rock, but at the end of the day, rainforest is closer to granite than marble in terms of hardness, which is what matters for counter tops. It’s definitely not a limestone, which is a sedimentary rock.

      The bottom line is that you absolutely can do rainforest in your kitchen or bathroom. You just need to make sure you use a fabricator who has worked with it previously and knows what they are doing. The only downside to rainforest are for the fabricator. It’s tricky to cut and polish, but once it’s properly installed on your counter tops, you shouldn’t have any issues. We have installed it in upwards of one hundred kitchens and as many bathrooms. The owner even has it in her own home.

      Good luck with your renovation and feel free to contact us with any other questions!

  12. Jay says:

    Hi,

    We just had rainforest green fabricated and installed for our bathroom counters. The fabricator said they applied a commercial-grade sealer, however the tops are water staining even after waters sits on them for only two minutes. I applied new sealer, Dupont Granite and Marble Sealer – water based, and it’s still doing the same after 3 applications. Do you have any advice on what to do, or a good sealer? Beautiful stone, we love it! Thanks.

  13. Meg Ames says:

    I live in Maryland and am planning our kitchen remodel. I love the rainforest green granite (RFG), but I have read that it will crack at the seepages, particularly if someone sits or stands on the counter. To be honest, I do not recall anyone ever sitting or standing on our countertop, but anything is possible, I guess. Is RFG delicate? I love the look, but I don’t want to have to baby my kitchen.

    Do you have a showroom we can visit?

    Thank you.

    • Katie says:

      Hi Meg,

      Thanks for the inquiry! We install dozens and dozens of Rainforest Kitchens every year and have never received a call saying that a countertop has cracked. Rainforest is a tricky material to work with and while fabricating, it can crack , however, after it is installed, it is as durable as any other granite. We have a showroom in Upper Marlboro, MD right off of Rt 301. We have several slabs of Rainforest Green and Brown. Do you have an email address I can contact you at? I’d love to send you some photos!

      Thanks,
      Katie

  14. Meg Ames says:

    Thanks, Katie! My email is drmames@yahoo.com. Are you open next week?

    Best,

    Meg

  15. Debbie says:

    Hi,

    My husband & I are hoping to use Rainforest Green in a 3 feet by 3 feet square placed under a wood-burning stove (in Chicago). Do you think it will stand up to the heat? I did see that beautiful fireplace you did pictured above, so I am hopeful, but I had heard (I guess, erroneously) that Rainforest Green was a limestone & that I’d have to worry about its resilience to heat with it being in such close contact with the heat source…

    Thank you!

    Best,
    Debbie

    • Katie says:

      Hi Debbie,

      We have installed several Rainforest Fireplaces and haven’t gotten a call yet saying that the stone couldn’t stand the heat! We have also installed it in bathroom showers and outdoor bars. It is a very durable stone and acts like any other granite. Good luck! Rainforest is a beautiful choice.

  16. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much!

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