4 Natural Stone Materials for Your Flooring Project
Posted by: Genesis Floors
When it comes to flooring, natural stone is up there with hardwood among the most elegant, versatile and durable floor coverings. At our Ellicott City flooring showroom we see many customers who choose stone tile flooring due to its timeless appearance, cool surface and ease of maintenance. But even if you’ve already settled on natural stone, you still have to decide between the many options you have in terms of stone type, color and texture. No worries—here is a brief guide on the most common natural stone flooring materials.
Granite Tile Flooring
You are probably familiar with granite countertops, maybe you even have them installed in your kitchen or bathroom. They are beautiful, shiny, hard and rather heavy. These are all the qualities you’ll get with granite flooring tile. Granite is formed when magma cools underneath the Earth’s surface. This process takes a long time and produces one of the hardest stones on the planet. Harvesting granite and manufacturing it into tile is a cumbersome process, which also makes granite tile more expensive than most other natural stone flooring.
Marble Tile Flooring
Marble is what numerous famous sculptures were made of in Ancient Greece and later during The Renaissance, including the iconic Michelangelo’s David. There is a reason why marble is suitable for sculpting—it’s more porous and softer than many other natural stone materials. However, this doesn’t disqualify it from being used as a floor covering. Just be mindful that marble is prone to scratches and staining, especially from acidic substances. But if you clean up any spills fast and are diligent with sealing, marble will certainly add a wow-factor to your living space.
Limestone Tile Flooring
Limestone can enhance any interior (and exterior) with beautiful earthy tones. Interestingly, tiles cut from the same slab usually show minimal color variation, so tiles from different slabs are often combined to create unique color combinations. Limestone tile can be polished smooth and level or left with natural texture and imperfections for a more rustic look. Limestone is one of the least expensive natural stone options. However, French limestone quarried in France and used for high-value projects can be very pricey. Travertine is a variety of limestone that is formed from minerals dissolved in ground water.
Slate typically comes in grayish, greenish and dark red hues. This natural stone is not as shiny as the others, and therefore is more slip resistant. The layers of the rock formation can be observed quite well in slate, and the stone’s structure makes it difficult to cut tiles that are 100% smooth. However, the natural texture of slate, combined with its high density and stain resistance, make it a beautiful and durable floor covering suitable for most residential applications.
No Matter What You Choose
- All natural stone flooring is porous to a different extent. It will require regular reapplication of a protective sealant to maintain the beauty and durability of your floors.
- All natural stone flooring is cool to the touch. If you are not using area rugs, consider installing radiant heating, especially in bathrooms, to ensure comfortable temperature in winter.
- All natural stone flooring is heavy and dense, and will require a solid and level sub-floor that can support the weight. Even slight unevenness in the sub-floor may cause tile to crack.
- Most natural stone tiles will chip when hit with a heavy object.
Have any other questions about natural stone flooring? Give us a call, contact online or stop by our showroom to see and feel a variety of flooring samples.