Basalt is one of the most abundant bedrock on the Earth, yet many don’t know what it is or how it is used. We take a look at the material and it’s properties and some of its most common uses.
What is basalt?
Basalt is a dense textured igneous rock that’s dark grey to black in colour. It’s relatively high in the mineral iron and magnesium and has a low silica content.
It is one of the most abundant rocks found in the Earth’s crust and very commonly found on land. The fine-grained rock is typically formed as a result of lava flow and has a textured, glassy appearance.
The igneous rock falls in the strong-very strong category and has a high density which is why basalt is a versatile material. Basalt also has good thermal properties making it useful in insulation applications.
How is basalt used?
Basalt is most commonly used in an aggregate for construction projects. It is often crushed and used to create road bases, in asphalt paving, as a filler stone or in a concrete aggregate mix. It’s also used as a filter stone for drainage or railway projects.
Basalt is also used for tiles and building veneer due to its strength, durability and appealing colour tones. The rock features in our Architectural Concrete paver range and is available in a large selection of sizes. Its deep blue-grey colour is proving popular in architectural projects and the two textured finishes of etched or shot vary the appearance. Etched creates a smooth look and feel, whereas shot enhances the natural texture of the rock.
Basalt tiles are often used for flooring, walling cladding, worktops and to clad fireplaces. The dust of the rock is also used amongst farmers as a fertiliser. Due to its mineral content, it is found to promote the growth of plants while inhibiting the spread of unwanted weeds.