The Mohs scale is a tool used to define a mineral or natural stone’s strength and resistance to scratching. The scale utilizes a 1-10 ranking, 1 meaning the stone easily scratches. This scale is widely referenced in the countertop fabrication industry.
The scale was created in 1812 by geologist, Friedrich Mohs. The test to determine a stone’s Mohs rating is fairly simple, it can be done by taking one stone or mineral and scrapping it against another. If a scratch is produced by the material being tested on the other stone, it is known to be harder.
As stated before, the scale utilizes a 1-10 ranking, the higher the number the stone is ranked, the harder it is to scratch.
The scale itself correlates directly to countertops, it can be used to determine the strength of a countertop and how resistant it is to scratching. The Mohs rating of popular countertop material goes as follows:
Soapstone - 1
Marble - 3-5
Limestone - 3-5
Sandstone - 6-7
Granite - 6-8
Quartz - 7-8
As a reference point, the Mohs scale also contains the ratings of common objects to help consumers get a better idea of just how scratch-resistant their stone will be. For example, the Mohs rating of a fingernail is a 2.5, the rating of a penny is a 3.5, and the rating of a glass windowpane is 6.5.
This scale has proven to be a helpful tool when it comes to choosing countertops/stone applications in various areas of your home. If you are looking for a tough, durable, material for countertops in your home, quartz, quartzite, and granite tend to be consumer favorites for their high Mohs rating.
If you have any questions regarding which type of stone would be best suited for your home, give Hard Rock Stone Works a call at (586) 532-7763 to speak with one of our stone specialists.