Finding the Best Type of Stone for You

Stone floors are naturally beautiful, long lasting, sturdy and ideal for both indoor and outdoor flooring. The cool and hard surface of stone makes it perfect for warm climates and prevents them from trapping dust or allergens within. It is important to know about the different types of stone available to find the best fit for your floor. Some things to keep in mind include the traffic expectations of the space which you will be flooring. If you plan to install stone in busy areas you want to choose a dense stone that is not porous. The porosity of the stone affects the strength and stain resistance therefore, granite and slate would better fit in high traffic floors. The stones that are more porous require applications of sealants periodically and frequent cleaning to prevent staining. If you are considering making an investment in stone floors for your home, these descriptions of the different types of stone will guide your decision-making process.

You can find natural stone in a wide and interesting range of colors and patterns. As with gemstones, rare colors and patterns cost the most. Here are some characteristics of the popular types of natural stone:

 

Granite


Granite is an igneous rock formed from volcanic activity. Tiles made from granite are very dense and strong and can be made slip-resistant making it ideal for busy kitchens and bathrooms. As mentioned, granite is a very dense stone formed by cooling after previously being extremely pressurized which makes it a very durable and reliable material to use for any room. It is perfect for areas that often get stained or scratched through daily use like offices, kitchens, and lobbies. Installing a granite floor will make your kitchen or any other room very appealing considering the numerous unique color, design and pattern options. Granite flooring is very dependable, strong, and can last for a very long time. That means you can have it installed everywhere you think works best for you including areas with high exposure of sun rays. Granite will not fade under the sun and is always cool.

Marble


Marble tile is a natural stone that is extracted from mountains around the world. It is known for its beauty, style, and elegance, this material has been used for palaces of kings and queens for centuries, making it a classy, luxurious option for interiors. Marble is a porous stone that can be easily scratched or cracked. However, some varieties of marble are harder and more stain-resistant than others. It is good to ask your dealer more information on the specific marble stone you are interested in. Marble must be sealed and cleaned regularly; for cleaning, use only a mild detergent solution or a product specially designed for marble. Setting your drink on a marble surface will leave a ring fade and spills must be immediately cleaned.

Soapstone


Soapstone gets its name from its smoothness. It is often compared to the smoothness when rubbing dry soap. Soapstone is a favorite among many users for its durability and long lasting feature compared to other flooring materials. It is also known to be weather friendly since they remain warm in cold climate making them comfortable for your feet. Soapstone does not get slippery and it does not absorb any water making it ideal for wet surfaces like pool area and bathrooms.

Slate


Slate is a natural stone known to be heavy-duty and ideal for high traffic spaces . If properly maintained, this material can be very long-lasting. Slate is completely waterproof making it ideal for areas that will constantly get wet or stained like a driveway, pool area, bathroom or kitchen. A disadvantage of slate is that in a cold climate it can be colder underfoot. You will need to properly insulate the bed of the slate prior to its installation.

Travertine


This natural stone is often mistaken for marble however, it is a type of limestone that forms around mineral spring deposits. Travertine typically comes in a variety of earth tone colors, including tans, browns, rust, and beige hues. It is a sturdy stone known for its ability to take beating without showing significant damage from scratches or cracks. There is a weathering effect that can occur to travertine however, many users consider the weathering effect attractive but you could periodically apply a stone sealing agent to prevent this to happen to your floor. Travertine could be treated with various sealers to prevent its porous surface to allow liquids and stains to seep into the material.