Deciding to install natural stone tile flooring in your home is a big decision, and one that is made easier by examining some of the pros and cons on natural stone flooring. It’s a decision you will be living with most likely for years, so being informed and making the right decision now will cause you to have much less stress over your flooring choice in the years to come. Several of your possible options would include granite, slate, marble, travertine, limestone and sandstone.
Slate is a metamorphic rock that splits in to thin slivers easily. Metamorphic rock is subject to high pressure and temperatures, resulting in changes over time. Once split in to sheet-like portions, it is easily made in to tile. The density of any given slate as it relates to price relates to its ability to not flake and crumble apart; that is, the greater a slate’s density the less likely it is to flake and as a result the more costly an option it may be. This natural stone flooring material tends to be dark and very robust, but be sure to have it installed by a professional and to figure that cost in to the cost of the installation.
It’s safe to say that granite is the hardest natural stone out there available for floor tiling. It has the best ability to hold a shine and has excellent water repellency. Granite’s resiliency is something of a quandary, however; its toughness and enduring shine make it an unforgivingly hard surface, and it may appear cold under certain circumstances despite its beautiful array of colors.
Marble has a rich history with much character. Prone to scratching and staining, it does require a bit of extra attention but that additional work pays dividends in its beautiful patterns, colors and resiliency. Note that marble absorbs water so do be careful if you choose to use it outdoors.
Travertine is often sold as marble or limestone, when in fact it is neither. It is another commonly seen stone for home tiling. Travertine is a sedimentary rock made of calcite, which makes it a fair amount softer than limestone. Though nearly impossible to maintain a shine with travertine, it is difficult to rival its natural warmth. It is available in an huge variety of patterns and colors and feels soft to the touch, but may also be prone to scratching and staining.
Limestone is a calciferous stone that is similar to travertine. Think of limestone as hardened travertine that is a more resilient material to use as flooring. Like wood, limestone will often maintain its striations giving it a wood-like appearance.
Sandstone is a metamorphic rock with extreme resiliency with fewer color variations than other materials. People looking for a cohesive look with minimal variation in their natural stone tile flooring will be attracted to sandstone of its toughness and consistency.
With such a fun but important decision at hand, you will be best suited by exploring all your options and the above is meant to be a small but informative introduction to many of the natural stone tile flooring options you will likely encounter. As you can see, the different natural stones each offer pros and cons due to their natural composition, and a pro for one person may be a con for another based upon individual needs. Try out as many as possible and explore the homes of friends who have natural stone tile flooring and inquire about what they like and do not like about their choice to use the experiences of others to help you decide what’s right for you!