What is it characteristic for stone flooring? Stone flooring offer something no other flooring can: history. Every culture, every civilization since the beginning have used stone for their important works, like pyramids, temples, monuments, cathedrals and homes. Every piece of natural stone is unique and formed by the earth’s elements through pressure and heat over hundreds of millions of years.
Maybe is not an inexpensive construction material, but we don’t have to forget, this exquisite material provides an unmatched durability, a clean, straight pattern and a large variety of rich colors. The natural stone flooring is beautiful, is evocative, its visual impact and performance can make it a worthy investment.
Stone flooring has long been considered the flooring material of choice for the privileged an elite class but not anymore.
Until recently, stone wasn’t used in North American and European average homes except in the bathroom and kitchen. But times have changed the style and taste in house construction and the advances in technology have helped make the natural stone more affordable for modern customers.
Depending upon the nature of the stone tile flooring can produce a refined classic and in the same time modern appearance. No other manufactured product can duplicate the stone flooring and this product is ideally for creating distinctive spaces. It is the most durable kind of flooring and compared with linoleum, vinyl, wood flooring requires a lot less maintenance.
Stone’s path to our home begins in quarry. From large blocks of stone the process go through cutting to slabs. The slabs will be cut again, shaped and polished. The great stone producers in the world are: Italy, Spain, France (Europe), USA, Mexico and Canada (North America) and China (Asia).
There are three basic types of rock from which will be carved stone floors: Sedimentary; Igneous; Metamorphic.
1.Sedimentary: (Travertine and Limestone). The name travertine come from a Latin name of a small roman town now Tivoli in Italy. Travertine is a sedimentary limestone rock that has be used as a building material for thousands of years.
Travertine is soft and delicate to look. The travertine flooring is relaxed and soothing. The principal world travertine exporter is Italy. We can find travertine widely installed in premium residential houses and
commercial buildings. The classic look of the travertine stone will warm our home. The pitted surface of the travertine can be filed with epoxy or dust resin and gives the travertine a great finished look. Of course the travertine surface can be left in its natural state, with the small holes and pits unfilled. This is a great look over the years, very warm look but will affect the durability and harder to keep clean. There are not two tile the same, the color vary from soft ivories to cream with veins running throughout stone with shades of gold, silver, brown mocha. It is an ideal choice of flooring for living rooms, common home areas, bathrooms and kitchens. Because travertine is a limestone varies in hardness, density and porosity.
NOTE: Travertine like any other form of limestone is a calcareous stone, and will react negatively to any acids found in common household items such as lemons, vinegar, alcohol and cleaning products.
Advantages and disadvantages of limestone and travertine flooring: Advantages: hard and durable; low maintenance; available in a huge range of colors and styles; low maintenance; used outdoors or indoors; hypoallergenic, allergenic and bacteria resistant; stain and moisture resistant. Disadvantages: an expensive material; need professional installation; needs sealing and slippery when wet.
2.Igneous: (Granite) Granite is an igneous rock, formed deep in the earth that is described as “intrusive”. Granite is very strong and durable stone. It takes a good and hard polish. Generally, granite is composed chiefly of quartz, feldspar and mica particles. The amount of feldspar in combination gives the color of the granite. This kind of stone is most utilised for like architectural stone for interior and exterior walls, floors and monuments. Granite tiles are used in residential and commercial flooring applications. →
Granite slabs are used to make countertops in kitchen and bathrooms, floors, retaining walls, artesian fountains. This material has seen explosive growth during the past 10 years (an incredible 2,000% growth in sale). Granite is the most durable architectural building construction material. Advantages of granite tiles: Unique, decorative look with random patterns and earthy colors; they are used in residential and commercial buildings; practically indestructible- impact, heat resistance and abrasion resistance.
3.Metamorphic: (Slate and Marble) Slate is an exotic natural stone and has recognized for its qualities. It is smooth, fine grained and has a distinctive beauty as a flooring surface. Because of its classical look slate floors integrate easily with a wide range of interior design and decor. It is naturally durable and it is non slippery. In the same time slate is none staining, resistant to moisture and it is used specially in foyers, hallways, bathrooms and kitchens. The color various from charcoal black, rusty reds to grey, green and deep brown. Slate flooring, due to its rustic look is an eye catching. It is indeed a beautiful, natural stone. Advantages and Disadvantages: Less maintenance, stain and extremely water resistant. But it needs a proper, professional installation and because is a porous stone it is susceptible to marking from liquid spills or from scratching. And similar with travertine has a variation in hardness and density.
Recommendation: Sealing the stone is an efficient barrier against spill and scratches.
Marble is maybe the most luxurious natural stone. Marble is more porous than granite. Marble flooring is great looking, highly durable and very hygienic and easy to maintain. Marble flooring will raise the value of our property making it a great investment. There are a large variety of colors and grains to choose from. We can integrate our marble flooring with countertops made from marble. Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of the limestone. Green coloration is the result of high magnesium content. Marble needs to be cared for properly. If it is neglected the beauty of the marble will not be preserved.
Recommendation: New marble flooring should be always sealed with a penetrating sealer to help prevent cracks. Also we need a professional polish to be performed every 5-7 years.
Always marble has to be vacuum and dust before mopping and dry after mopping. Never wear outdoor shoes on our marble flooring, because the dirt acts like a sand paper. We need to use slippers and socks on the marble floor.
AMONG THE MANNY ADVANTAGES OF USING NATURAL STONES FLOORS IS A VERY PRACTICAL ONE. NATURAL STONE WILL RAISE THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME.