What is Cantera Natural Stone?

What is Cantera Natural Stone?

Cantera Natural Stone is a sedimentary, strong, and versatile material that comes from the riverbeds of Mexico. Cantera Stone is an ideal medium from which stone carvers can create custom designs. It is used extensively to produce architectural elements such as tile, veneer, pavers fountains, fireplaces, table bases, sculptures, pots and planters, outdoor kitchen countertops and more.


What does “Cantera” mean?

Derived from the Spanish word for “quarry,” Cantera is a natural silica-based stone that has been created by volcanic dust and ash being washed into silt beds by rainwater which over time through the process of compression became combined with lava and local rocks. It is found throughout the “trans-Mexico volcanic belt” that runs through western central and central Mexico.

Coming in the rough in different grades, it is porous, lightweight (weighing significantly less than marble and granite), strong, versatile in its applications, and extremely malleable. Cantera comes in over 130 color variations which include shades of white, pink, grey, green, beige, tan, brown, orange, red, and black.

Cantera can technically take on any color depending on the minerals it contains, but naturally, it most often forms with a soft brown, tan, or reddish hue. You can also get black or dark brown or gray Cantera Stone, as well as a variety of beautiful multicolored materials that mix multiple hues in unique patterns across every piece to produce a natural masterpiece.

Due to the stones/materials that it was compressed with, it is typically speckled with inclusions of various colors and shapes. Capable of being easily worked/carved, due to its porosity, the material is cool to the touch and does not naturally crack.

Cantera natural stone is durable, has a very high crushing and tensile strength, and a wide range of colors and textures.


Desirable properties of the Cantera natural stone product

Also, due to the physical properties Cantera Natural Stone, chips, markings, marring, color variations, and broken corners are all common. There are no imperfections, but desirable properties of the natural product. They are part of the rustic look and feel which distinguishes it from other building materials. If, however, you feel a chip or mark is not to your standards, they are very easy to repair by an experienced mason/installer.

When selecting a construction material or accent piece for your home or business, please keep in mind that natural stone is created by the earth. That means that it is eco-friendly and biodegradable, and will not cause pollution at the end of its functional life.


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Cantera stone general characteristics


Density (lbs. per cu. ft.):  125-135 pcf

Compressive Strength:  4000-6000 psi

Absorption:  4-5%

Linear Shrinkage:  .0.052%


Please note: These are general characteristics and they will vary from stone to stone.


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Let the earthy and rich tones of Cantera Stone make its mark in your space and take center stage in your home decor, natural stone radiates sophistication and natural earthiness.

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Fountains | Fireplaces | ColumnsPlanters | Custom orders are invited.