Your Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Stone Tile


Using the right stone tile is just as important as choosing the right construction materials for your building. I realized this after spending a week of winter adventure at a local ski resort. Armed with the usual ski stuff and gears like those you’ll see at WinterBadAss, I and a group of ski fanatics trooped the resort. It would have been a stunning architectural piece had they picked the right sandstone or granite for the resort’s flooring.

Natural stone bring texture and color of nature inside our buildings. It adds warmth and quality to a space. It’s not surprising that stone tiles are sought after. But since natural stones are derived from nature, they come in the wildest variations. It’s important to do your homework when choosing the best stone tile for your building.

Here let’s take a look at the six most popular stone tile materials:

  1. Slate

The most commonly used stone tile, slate comes from a metamorphic rocks and can be easily split into thin sheets. The cost of slate depends on the density of the tile – the denser it is the better the quality and less likely to be flake and chip away.

Slate tiles are highly resilient and tend to be dark. However, these tiles require someone skilled for installation so you have to ask for an accurate costing to avoid unnecessary fees. This stone tile costs between $5 and $20 per square foot. Slate is popularly used in living areas, entryways, kitchens, and hallways.

  1. Travertine

Another common stone picked by interior decorators is travertine. They can be easily mistaken as limestone or marble.

Made of calcite sedimentary rock, travertine is closely related to limestone. It is nearly impossible to keep a shine with this stone but once the natural, matte finish has settled, it’s one of a kind. Only few materials can rival the warmth that travertine offers. This would have been the best stone material for the ski resort I’ve visited. It should look good taking pictures with while I wear full ski gears, including the best ski gloves 2017 that I recently bought.

The Trevi Fountain in Rome is a classic example of structure made of pure travertine. It’s been standing strong there for over 300 years now – that says a LOT. The only con with this material us that it has a tendency to stain and scratch.

  1. Marble

Marble has been the top pick even during the time of royalties because of its distinct colors and patterns. It is also popular for its resilience and hard finish. However, marble is prone to scratching and staining, and thus requires extra care. It tends to absorb moisture so be careful when using it outdoors. Price ranges from $5 to $50 per square foot.

  1. Granite

Perhaps the hardest natural stone that you can install in your home, granite can hold a shine better than any of the other stones. It also repels water like no other. However, granite stone has a very hard, unforgiving surface and seems cold. It is best installed in baths, hallways, kitchens and living areas.

  1. Limestone

Another calciferous stone, the limestone is a product of tectonic action and long idle years. The formation of this natural stone makes it a more resilient and better material for use as flooring. It has unique beautiful colors and patterns but has a tendency to look like wood.

  1. Sandstone

Another great flooring material, the sandstone has some wild color variations. It blends easily with other materials so it’s also very prevalent. One problem with sandstone is that it has a limited color options. The cost of sandstone ranges from $10 to $40 per square foot.

Benefits of Natural Stone

Benefits of Natural Stone

There are many benefits of natural stone over other materials like wood or synthetics when you’re doing construction work, or just upgrading parts of your house, like with the addition of granite tiles to a floor. One of the best benefits of stone over wood and other porous materials is that stone of every type does not hold onto infectious bacteria as well as those materials do. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to clean stone surfaces regularly, but they tend to be more sterile than other surfaces, at least if they aren’t allowed to remain wet. That’s not good for any material.

One of the best parts about stone is that it doesn’t burn. Now, ok, some kinds of rocks do burn, but we’re not talking about putting sulfur countertops inside your house. Most stones are very resistant to fire damage, including practically every stone that people use for construction today. This isn’t going to save the flammable elements of your home, but if there ever is a fire, the stone fixtures in your house will be as good as new with a bit of cleaning. Seriously, we don’t want your house to burn down – this is kind of a worst case scenario thing – but it’s still a situation where stone performs well.

There are numerous other benefits to using natural stone in your home as well. Perhaps the most obvious of all benefits is the fact stone is so pleasing to the eyes. Natural stone fixtures are fascinating, whether we’re talking about stone tiles on your kitchen or bathroom floor, or stone steps outside your home, or even countertops. Different types of stone will give you unique looks, just like different types of wood will do this same thing. If you know you want to use stone somewhere in your home but you’re not sure where, then just check dozens and samples for something that looks just right.

Natural stone is also, well, natural. You don’t create toxic waste by using stone fixtures in your home, and stone elements can be lifted out of one setting and placed into another without creating new fixtures, which is far different from if we were talking about wood. Most softer woods wear down after a decade or two, and the fact is that the majority of construction today doesn’t use harder woods like ebony because they simply cost too much per square foot. Some types of stone can actually cost less than some types of wood. If you don’t believe it, then just shop around and see for yourself.

Speaking of different looks, stone gives you a much wider variety of visuals than wood does. That’s because natural stone is more varied than wood in terms of the ingredients which make up the stone and the different processes which are available to finish that cut of stone. If you can imagine a look in your mind, the odds are good that you can find a type of stone which provides that look. Stone comes in many different colors and textures, so even if you’re looking for something rougher like some slabs for your driveway or other outdoor areas, you can find what you want.

Thanks to its increased density, stone also holds up better than most types of wood against moisture, humidity and heat. You will almost always get less warping from a slab of rock than you will from a slab of wood, and this is another great benefit of all types of stone. Even if we’re talking about stone that has been walked on and pitted for decades, you can still just file off a tiny layer and polish that to get something that looks new – this is impossible with wood.

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