eco story > how porphyry is quarried

Porphyry is an igneous stone which consists of large grained crystals such as quartz, dispersed in a dense fine grained matrix. It’s a very dense volcanic stone which has a significant amount of colour variation.

In stone speak the word “igneous” comes from a Greek word for fire. Deep inside the earth, the temperature is very high and the minerals there are in liquid form called magma. As the magma pushes towards the earth’s surface, it starts to cool and turns into solid igneous rock. There’s a little bit of geology for you.

For those of you who love a bit of porphyry, we thought you might enjoy seeing where our Italian porphyry comes from and how it’s quarried. Typically it’s not quarried in large blocks like granite, but instead sheers off and has a natural split finish.  It’s extracted in a similar way to slate or other sedimentary split stones like our  Cobb & co.

Porphyry is really hard wearing and forgiving in colour which gives it a really  durable external surface making it ideal for driveways or a demanding floor environment. It requires little maintenance due to its density and the natural colour variation in the stone which makes it a perfect fit for high traffic areas.  The porphyry cobbles have a really flat surface finish and although there are some variations in thickness, they can be laid relatively quickly.

So there you have it.