Do this simple exercise to find out the relative hardness of your stone surface.

Natural stone has varying levels of hardness. The harder stones will stand up better to frequent usage and heavy, hard or sharp objects. Therefore, harder surfaces would have less scratches over time or none at all. However, some homeowners desire, the worn, lived-in look and therefore welcome the signs of everyday usage. Think about your personal preference for stone appearance and select the stone with the appropriate level of hardness.


  1. Find an inconspicuous testing area on the stone surface, or use a sample piece.
  2. Use the following testing tools to scratch the stone: fingernail, penny and steel nail or knife blade.
  3. If the stone is softer than your testing tool, you should feel a definite “bite” and see an indented scratch. If the stone is harder than your testing tool, there should not be an indented scratch.
  4. If your testing tool is scratching the stone, then you can presume that items in your home with similar hardness to the tool will scratch the surface.

Note: Above instructions are for reference purposes only.

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