Natural Stone floors are beautiful and give a home very elegant feel. Each tile is different and unique because its made by Mother Nature. They are more costly than ceramic tile, but natural stone floors will increase the resale value of your home, so it is definitely an investment. Natural stone can be used on floors, shower walls, back splashes, counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Natural stone consists of Marble, Slate, Travertine, Granite, Limestone, and tumbled stone.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN CHOOSING YOUR TILE
The tiles start out as giant pieces of stone mined from the earth. Then they are cut into thin slabs, and then cut into different size tiles. Each one has its own unique color variations, veins, and crystallization. Keep this in mind when you are in the store picking out tile. The ones you get can be different from the samples you saw at the store. Each stone tile may have irregular markings, veins, and lines which are not cracks or imperfections, but a part of the stones natural beauty. Natural stone also varies in hardness, which is the scratch resistance of a mineral. Talc is the softest mineral and diamond is the hardest. You wouldn’t want to pick a soft porous stone for a high traffic area of your home.
TYPES OF STONE
Granite is an igneous stone that is extremely hard, dense and resistant to scratches and acid etching. It is an ideal stone for use in flooring and in kitchens for food preparation areas. Hundreds of varieties of granite exist.
Sandstone is a sedimentary stone that is primarily composed of loose grains of quartz sand that are rough in texture. A number of varieties are available.
Limestone is sedimentary stone, that’s formed from calcite and sediment. It comes in many earthen colors.
Marble is a derivative of limestone. It is a metamorphic stone that can be polished. Marble is characteristically soft and easily scratched or etched by acids. There are countless types of marble from around the world.
Slate is a metamorphic stone that has a sheet-like structure. It is composed of clay, quartz and shale, and comes in a multitude of colors including reds and greens.
Travertine is a crystallized, partially metamorphosed limestone, which because of its structure, can be filled and honed and is dense enough to be a type of marble.