Which Natural Tile?
Choosing the Right Natural Stone Tile
More homeowners today prefer natural stone tile over ceramic and porcelain because of its incredible beauty. However, stone is more expensive and harder to maintain than your other options. Therefore, we recommend our customers thoroughly understand the implications of using natural stone before installing it.
There are some important things to consider when deciding on stone or another material, as well as additional considerations after settling on stone. Here's what you need to know about choosing the right natural stone tile for your home:
Material Choices and Finishes
Natural stone tiles come in a variety of materials including limestone, marble, sandstone, slate, and travertine. Each material has its unique characteristics and appearance. Your material of choice may be determined by a combination of where the tile will be laid and the overall look you are trying to achieve. As for finishes, there are three to choose from:
- Riven – A riven finish is an irregular finish created by hand splitting. It offers a rugged and natural look.
- Honed – Manufacturers achieve a honed finish by grinding exposed surfaces until they are smooth and even.
- Polished – A polished finish is one in which a layer of gloss has been added after grinding the surface of the title.
Those who prefer natural stone tile appreciate the fact that stone allows one to bring the outdoors in. Keep that in mind when choosing your material and finish. Your choices will determine just how natural the finished product looks in your interior spaces.
There is no doubt that natural stone tile is more expensive than ceramic, porcelain or glass. This is due to the high cost of quarrying and finishing. Be prepared for a larger budget if you are planning to use natural stone exclusively on your project. As an alternative, we offer porcelain and concrete products that do a superb job of simulating natural stone at a fraction of the cost.
Installation Space and Maintenance
The last thing to consider when purchasing natural stone tile is the space in which you plan to use it. Natural stone can be used virtually anywhere, but that does not necessarily make it the best choice. We advise using natural stone as a unique feature for living room walls or around the fireplace. In terms of flooring, natural stone is a good choice for low traffic areas such as entryways and halls. It may not be the best choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
Because natural stone is not waterproof or stain resistant, it must be sealed after installation. Furthermore, floors need to be re-sealed on a regular basis as determined by the tile manufacturer. Lastly, high-traffic areas featuring natural stone tile will require more frequent cleaning and re-sealing. Please ask about maintenance requirements when choosing natural stone for your tile floors.
Natural stone tile can make a real difference in your home by providing a natural look that does not compromise the overall style. It is also an investment that will increase the resale value of your home in most cases. We encourage you to view our Classical Flagstones section or talk to one of our tile specialists if you are interested in what natural stone can offer.