Natural Stone Flooring
Stone tile flooring adds natural beauty and timeless elegance to any room. Natural stone tile is an easy way to bring the beauty of the outdoors into your home. It comes from straight from the earth, making each tile unique, with its own natural variations. Natural stone tile is an excellent choice for luxury and durability, making them perfect for high traffic areas.
About Natural Stone
Stone is an all-natural material that has been used in construction for thousands of years. It’s a product that adds both beauty and sophistication to any room it’s used in. There are three kinds of rock formations from which stone tile is eventually carved: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock.
The distinctions between each come from the way in which they were formed.
- Igneous rock is the result of lava or magma cooling and hardening. Granite is an example of igneous rock.
- Sedimentary rock is formed when layers of biological deposits are compacted and crystallized over many, many years. Sandstone and limestone are examples of sedimentary rocks.
- Metamorphic rock is formed when other types of rock (igneous or sedimentary) are exposed to high levels of heat and pressure within the earth. Marble and travertine are examples of metamorphic stones.
To create natural stone tiles, rock is quarried from the earth, cut into slabs and then eventually into tiles. Manufactured stone tiles, while they contain natural stone elements, are actually synthetic products. They consist of stone fragments or chips that are suspended in a bonding material. In general, manufactured stone tiles are more durable than natural stone. Stone tiles come from numerous different kinds of stone and are available in a host of colors, sizes and finishes.
What To Expect During Your Natural Stone Flooring Installation
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to installing natural stone. It’s good to have a sense of what the process entails before you buy. At The Floor Store, we have years of experience and are happy to answer any of your specific installation questions. In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of what to expect.
Natural Stone Installation
Stone installation is a labor-intensive process. We highly recommend leaving the work to seasoned professionals with the skill, know-how and tools to ensure that your stone tile is installed correctly. If you do decide on natural stone flooring, it’s important to understand a bit about the installation process.
Before Your Installation
Your installation experts will want to take a look at the floor substrate, which is the surface they will be installing the tile on. If your substrate is cement, they may be able to tile right over it. However, if you have a wood subfloor, they will likely need to lay down an additional layer for support and to prevent moisture from coming through. Once this is complete, they will be able to put down mortar and lay the tile.
During Your Installation
To ensure that the tile is well-laid and the room is symmetrical, the installation team will measure the area and use a chalk line to set the pattern for the room. Some tiles may need to be cut at this point. Thin set mortar will be applied and then the tiles will be laid and pressed into place. Once the tiles have set, the installers will apply grout between the tiles. With stone, un-sanded grout is commonly used so there is less possibility of scratching the stone surface.
After Your Installation
After installation, if you are sensitive to dust and odors, good ventilation should be established for 48 to 72 hours after installation to make sure that dust from the installation settles. From there, routine care and maintenance are up to you!
What is natural stone?
To make natural stone tiles, large blocks of stone are first removed from rock quarries and then cut into slabs. These slabs are cut even further to create individual tiles. Natural stone tiles are not manufactured; they are made from materials quarried from the earth. Because there is natural variation between different types of stone, there is also variation in the characteristics and appearance of individual tiles, depending on the type of stone used and the pattern of rock from which it was cut. Each tile is absolutely unique.
What is manufactured stone?
Manufactured stone, also known as “agglomerate stone,” is a synthetic material. It’s created by mixing natural stone chips with a binding agent, such as cement, epoxy resins, or polyester. This mixture creates an extremely hard, durable material.
Are there different kinds of finishes for stone?
Yes – when it comes to the finish on stone tiles, there are many options. Different finishes can give entirely different looks to the same piece of stone. Your local Floor Store can show you examples of various stone finishes, including polished, honed, split-faced, tumbled, and more.
Are there specific sizes with stone tile?
Stone tile generally comes in standard sizes: 12”x12”, 13”x13”, 16”x16”, and 18”x18.”
What’s the difference between a bull-nosed edge and a straight edge?
Stone tiles come with two basic edge types. A bull-nosed edge is one that has a curved or rounded edge that has been polished. A straight edge, also polished, is a 90 degree tile edge.
Where can stone tile be installed?
Natural stone is a versatile product and can be installed in most rooms inside and outside the home. Because different stones have different properties, some types are preferred in specific settings. For instance, slate may be preferred for a patio or atrium, whereas travertine may be preferred for a family room or living room. If you aren’t sure what stone option would work best for you, feel free to contact your local Floor Store and an associate or design professional can walk you through the pros and cons of different products.
How can I keep my stone floor clean?
The beauty and life of your natural stone floors depends on how you care for it. Follow a proper cleaning routine to keep it looking great over time. A few easy steps can extend the life of your flooring solution.
Care & maintenance
The natural stone you have in your home, office or commercial building is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service.
Simple care and maintenance will help preserve your stone’s beauty for generations to come.
Stone floors are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Dirt, grit and sand are abrasive materials and can do significant damage to stone tile. Cut down on dirt by placing mats or rugs near exterior entrances. Dust mop your floor regularly and clean them with warm water and a mild soap. Be sure to avoid acidic cleansers, like products containing vinegar or lemon juice, as well as abrasive cleaners like scouring powders or creams – both can cause damage to your stone.