Sandstone contains distinct physical and chemical properties that include a hard, compact and dense composition along with texture consisting of fine granules, while chemical properties include a composition primarily of silica, along with trace amounts of other minerals. The properties of sandstone varies among the different varieties. Some sandstone, such as teakwood and rainbow, feature a slightly softer composition and absorb more water, making them more porous than other types of sandstone.
Sandstone is classified as a sedimentary rock, forming gradually over time in deposits from sheets of minerals and sand. These elements compress and bind over time, forming sandstone pits. Sandstone exists in several natural colors, including brown, pink, purple and red. Sandstone's durable composition makes it valuable in the fields of construction and masonry, as it proves quite weather-resistant. Sandstone resists weathering and fading in many climates, but faces rapid deterioration upon freezing, which causes water damage. In the United States, sandstone initially formed rowhouses in the early 1800s. The 1900s saw increasing use in lighter-colored sandstone. Newly extracted sandstone with the finest grains serves primarily aesthetic purposes, appearing in luxury buildings and homes. Sandstone also forms foundations and walls, and crushes into concrete and asphalt mixtures. Sandstone also resists alkaline and acids, making it ideal for chemical uses.