Are you considering a natural stone floor or natural stone wall tiles for your home?
Anyone who has ever considered stone flooring or stone wall tiles will be aware of the vast choice available. Here are a few key points to consider while deciding to use natural stone flooring or natural stone wall tiles.
Stone flooring, on average, is a more expensive choice than say carpet or wood but chosen and installed correctly is far more durable. If stone flooring is maintained and cared for correctly you should never need worry about replacing it.
Stone tiles vary drastically in price. Beware of companies selling stone flooring and stone wall tiles at too good to be true prices. This stone will often be a very low grade which can be problematic to install and maintain. A poor quality stone floor can end up costing huge amounts of money to repair and major disruption to your home.
Here at Stone & Wood Shop we aim to provide top quality stone flooring and stone wall tiles at sensible prices. We may not always necessarily be the cheapest but aim to be unrivalled in value for money.
Advantages and benefits of Stone flooring
- Easy to clean – Natural stone flooring is very easy to care for with the correct products. A well installed stone floor in a normal domestic environment should need no more than a regular clean with a good quality Stone soap, our Lithofin Easy Care is the perfect product for this. The floor should be swept or vacuumed prior to mopping to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then simply mop over with a diluted care product. These soaps are designed to be left on the floor as they clean and also recondition the floor. Think of it like applying moisturiser to your hands. Once all of the soap on your mop has been used simply rinse the mop in clean water, pop back into the diluted care product and continue like this until your entire floor is cleaned.This simple cleaning routine should keep your stone floor pristine and in excellent condition. If you do notice your stone floor beginning to look ‘flat’ or more difficult to clean then the stone may require a re seal. Again this is a simple procedure and our Lithofin Power Clean and Lithofin Stain Stop are specially designed for this purpose. Please see our How to section for detailed instructions on this.
- Very durable – Stone by nature is an incredibly durable material. People often have the false opinion that it can be difficult to care for and this could not be further from the truth. We simply need to look at how long stone flooring has been widely in use to see that it is unrivalled in durability. You should ask yourself “how easy would it be to mop the carpet when it gets dirty”. The beauty of stone flooring is that it is hard wearing, water resistant and easy to care for. A good quality stone floor, installed correctly should last a lifetime, the perfect choice for any domestic or commercial situation.
- Aesthetically pleasing – There is no substitute for the beauty and complexity of natural stone flooring and natural stone wall tiles which ceramic and porcelain imitations cannot capture. The feel and appearance of natural stone is luxurious and elegant. No two stone floors will ever look exactly the same, each piece of stone is truly unique and will add class to any decor.
Stone is found in every colour, shape, size and finish you could ever possibly want. There will always be a stone out there which is perfect for the job.
Types of Stone
Once you have decided to have a stone floor you need to look at the many different types available. Some types of stone are more durable than other, some have a greater spectrum of colours and character but rest assured that there will be something to suit every project.
Marble floor tiles & marble wall tiles
Marble tiles are stunning and once finished, are very elegant and beautiful. There are many varieties of Marble in a huge array of colours. Marble can range from rich, dark and opulent blacks to delicious, luxurious caramels and coffees to striking iridescent silvers and any other colours imaginable in between. A truly classic, tasteful and expressive stone which will complement any style of decor.
Marble is an incredibly hard and durable stone, easily able to withstand the rigours of any situation. It is one of the oldest building materials and due to its outstanding durability, historic examples of marble work is still in existence. Despite its durability, Marble is a porous stone with fairly low stain resistance it is therefore imperative to ensure that it has been well sealed, installed correctly and is maintained with a good quality stone soap and care products. Our Lithofin Easy Care is the perfect regular cleaning product for your marble floor.
Many people have the pre conception that Marble tiles are very expensive and therefore often over look it. This is not true, Marble tiles, although slightly pricier than Travertine tiles and Slate tiles, do not have to be awfully expensive. There are some very good quality Marble tiles available at reasonable prices. Please see our selection of Marble floor tiles and Marble wall tiles.
Now the scientific part
It is a metamorphic rock composed of fairly pure calcite due to regional or contact metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, either limestone or dolostone. This metamorphic process causes a complete recrystallisation of the original rock into an interlocking mosaic of calcite and/or dolomite crystals. The temperatures and pressures necessary to form marble usually destroy any fossils and sedimentary textures present in the original rock. The presence of swirls, linear patterns or banding is a key characteristic.
Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of very pure limestones. The characteristic swirls and veins of many coloured marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green colouration is often due to serpentine resulting from originally high magnesium limestone or dolostone with silica impurities. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallised by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism.
Limestone floor tiles & limestone wall tiles
Limestone tiles are a wonderful material for flooring available in a wide array of colours and finishes. Limestone tiles can range from very pure white to blues and blacks. As a general rule the paler and cleaner the limestone the more porous it tends to be. Many people have the preconception that Limestone tiles can be difficult to maintain due to its porosity but this is simply not true. All natural stone tiles are porus but with the correct sealing and maintenance they will become durable and hard wearing.
Please take a look at some of the beautiful Limestone floor tiles and Limestone wall tiles available from our website.
Now the scientific part
Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed of mineral calcite, formed by layers of skeletons and shells of dead marine organisms or creatures that lived in huge, warm seas and lakes millions of years ago. Inorganic precipitation of secondary calcite can add to the composition of limestone, similar to the formation of stalagmites and stalactites.
Colours range from grey to buff, light beige to dark brown, reds, greens, greys, blue/blacks, ochre/yellow to pink/orange pastel shades. Iron oxide impurities in limestone cause brown and yellow shading and organic matter gives dark-grey to black colours. A pure limestone is almost white.
Depending on its formation, limestone can be crystalline, granular, clastic, or very dense. Textures range from coarse to very fine grained. Limestone containing dolomite is generally harder and can be highly polished. Crystals of dolomite, quartz, calcite or barite as well as clay, silt, chert and flints are found in limestone.
Travertine floor tiles and Travertine wall tiles
Travertine has naturally formed pitted holes and troughs like Swiss cheese, which are factory-filled, site grouted or left open according to preference. A poor quality Travertine tile will be riddled with holes and very brittle. A good quality Travertine floor tile should have fewer and smaller holes. A good test is to tap the stone, a good quality Travertine floor tile should have a healthy clear ring to it. A poorer quality stone will generally sound dull. Travertine tiles can be polished, honed, tumbled, brushed, antiqued and patinated to create different looks. It is available in tile sizes for interior floors and walls plus slabs and sets for exterior use.
The main advantage of travertine tiles are their beauty. The stone comes in many beautiful colours including ivory, beige, walnut, gold and even greys that can add to the beauty of any room. Travertine tiles are usually cut across the vein which creates the gentle swirls of colour. Here at Stone and Wood Shop we also offer vein cut Travertine tiles which are cut along the grain and creates an unusual gently striped effect. When using vein cut tiles you could create a chess board effect by alternating the direction of the vein when fitting. Take a look at some of our Travertine floor tiles and Travertine wall tiles to see the variation and quality we offer.
Now the scientific part
Travertine is a hard, semicrystalline form of calcium carbonate. Lime solution forms in flowing water of streams, rivers, particularly around waterfalls and hot or cold springs. This carbon dioxide-rich solution filters through earth and rocks, leaving them saturated in dissolved limestone. When the water eventually resurfaces, the sudden temperature change and pressure drop produces carbon dioxide gas, causing the limestone solution to recrystallise, often over micro-foliage. Gradually, the layers of mineral deposits harden into stone and so the process continues, giving travertine its banded appearance. Travertine is generally beige/ivory but many variations are available from silver/grey to coral red, caused by organic and/or mineral contamination.
The name “travertine” is a corruption of “tibur stone” (“lapis tiburnus”). Tibur, the Ancient Roman name for Tivoli (Italy) has extensive deposits of travertine. Romans used travertine as pseudo-marble, a good example being Rome’s Colosseum, which is largely constructed from travertine, as is the Getty Centre in Los Angeles.
Slate floor tiles and Slate wall tiles
There are many different origins for Slate. The most superior slate is Brazilian which is dense, compact, extremely durable and hardwearing. Perfect for any flooring situation, even outside! Many companies also supply slate tiles from China, India and Africa. From experience we have found these to be far less durable, they also tend to be more uneven and rugged which can be uncomfortable underfoot. Slate is built up in layers and a lower quality slate can result in the flaking of these layers.
Slate tiles are generally found in darker colours such as grey, black, green and the dramatic multi coloured. It tends to be inexpensive although do beware of prices which appear too good to be true, these are often the less durable Chinese, Indian and African slates. Care should be taken when grouting, due to the texture of slate grout can collect on the stone and should be thoroughly cleaned after grouting.
Please take a look at the fantastic, high quality Brazilian slate floor tiles and Brazilian slate wall tiles we offer.
Now the scientific part
A fine grained, homogeneous sedimentary stone formed by a consolidation of clay, volcanic ash or shale which has built up in layers over millions of years. Slate is also subject to metamorphism, where organic matter and iron oxides are recrystallised and the rock takes on colours of minerals. The presence of swirls, linear patterns or banding is a key characteristic.
Slate can be uniform in colour, available in shades such as dark to light green, mottled purple, black, grey or dark red. Some slates can also be full of colour variation; chlorite gives green to yellow colours, organic matter shows as grey to black, iron oxides show as reds, oranges, purples & browns.
Unless its surface has been honed smooth, slate generally has a distinct cleft or riven face which will vary according to the density of the stone. Cheaper, less dense slate will vary enormously in tile thickness. A tight, dense slate cleaves in flat, almost smooth pieces.
Slate is incredibly durable, available in many tile and slab formats, plus mosaics and tumbled tiles for walls and floors. Slate is used extensively both indoors and outdoors.