Basalt is a common hard stone that is even found on the moon and on planets besides Earth. Since it is durable and abundant, it is used for a variety of purposes, from building roads to grindstones, countertops and sculptures.
Basalt's Basic Uses
Crushed basalt is used to make asphalt and as a component in concrete, roads and driveways -- it was even used to make roadways in ancient Rome. This igneous, or volcanic, stone has also been used to sculpt and craft decorations and artifacts large and small, from the huge statues on Easter Island to the Rosetta Stone. This fine-grained hard stone is also used to make countertops, floor tiles and fireplaces. It is one of the hardest stones available -- much harder than marble, a little harder than quartz, but not as hard as diamond, the toughest stone or mineral of all. On Moh's Scale of Hardness, a chart used to compare hardness of minerals, basalt ranks an 8, along with topaz.