Selecting stone tile
Natural stone tile has been a choice of many homeowners. It adds warmth and quality like nothing else. Since the stone is a natural product, when purchasing a natural stone tile, we have to remember that the tiles will contain variations in color, texture, quality and of course – price.
Below you will find a list of the most popular stone tile on the market. Let’s take a look.
Travertine is a natural stone widely used by designers and contractors. This material consists of layered calcium carbonate formed in hot springs and/or limestone caves. Travertine comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns and adds richness and warmth to any space. Unlike limestone, travertine is a bit softer and has a tendency to scratch and stain. However, with proper installation and a bit of maintenance, travertine will last virtually forever. Travertine tile is great for high traffic areas such as entryways, hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. In addition to its beauty and richness, travertine brings a unique look that complements any architectural design.
For centuries marble was thought to be a symbol of tradition and refined taste. Marble as its other natural stone cousins; vary in types, color and patters, making it one of the world’s favorite decorative materials. Marble is another type of metamorphic rock and it is prone to staining and abrasion; therefore, it is not recommended for wet or high traffics areas, unless professionally sealed.
Fine grain metamorphic rock. This type of stone is popular choice among homeowners. It can be quite high maintenance as it is extremely porous and splits into thin sheets easily. It is usually dark but the color variations are wild. It is highly recommended to hire a professional tile installer, to install this type of stone properly. The prices for slate vary widely too, the denser the tile is the more likely it will not fall apart, therefore, it will cost more. As beautiful as slate is, it is not recommended for areas that attract water or grease. When properly installed and sealed the slate is highly durable (resistant to fading, abrasions and chemicals) and beautiful in appearance.
This beautiful, colorful stone has a long history of use for jewelry making and building. Onyx is a form of quartz and usually comes in a wild variety of colors. To many, Onyx appears to be fragile but it is quite durable. With proper sealant this stone is moisture and stain resistant. The natural beauty of this stone with its soft, sensuous colors is hard or even impossible to replicate. Onyx can be expensive and difficult to install.
Sandstone has been known and used by people for centuries, mostly for constructions and housewares. It offers a unique look but unlike granite or marble, the color variations are limited. Sandstone has grainy, soft, sand like texture, yet it is extremely durable and versatile. This natural stone can be used virtually anywhere, indoor and outdoor.
Granite is most recognized and popular stone used in homes today. Granite’s name derives from Latin word “Granum” which means a grain. This type of rock consists mainly of quartz and feldspar and other minor crystals and minerals that are large enough to be seen with bare eye. Granite has a wide variety of uses and it is one of the hardest natural stones. Even though the granite’s appearance can be quite enchanting and used virtually everywhere to some it seems cold and pretentious. Most commonly, granite is used in kitchens, bathrooms and as an accent pieces on the fireplace.
Limestone, like its cousin travertine, consists primarily of calcium carbonate. Limestone varies in appearance and composition and has a wide diversity of uses. It is good to know that this type of stone is soft, porous and has a tendency to scratch and stain. In addition, limestone is highly reactive to acids and hard water so it is wise to have it professionally sealed.
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