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There are many types of flooring materials, but none of those can match natural stone tiles in terms of luxury and elegance. Natural stones have mineral substances that make these tiles to stand out as compared to synthetic ones. 

Natural stone flooring consists of marble, slate, limestone, granite, travertine, and sandstone. These materials have different properties, thus used in various locations in the house. 

The following are general factors that you should consider when selecting natural stone tiles for a specific location.  

Stone tiles we used on our tiling job in Wagga Wagga with tumbled finish stone tiles

Absorption Rate 

Natural stone is a porous material; however, the degree of absorption varies from one type of stone to the other. More absorbent materials are susceptible to stains and prone to cracking when exposed to freezing conditions. Natural stones have different rates of absorption, as shown below. 

  • Non-vitreous materials have the highest rate of absorption and shouldn’t be used in damp places like bathrooms and shower. 
  • Semi-vitreous materials are less absorbent but require more maintenance if you’re going to install them in environments with a lot of moisture. 
  • Vitreous materials have the standard absorption rate acceptable on the flooring tiles. Thus, these tiles are appropriate for indoor and outdoor areas with low to mid-traffic. 
  • Impervious materials are resistant to moisture, easy to maintain, and mostly used in commercial areas with high traffic. 

Based on these classifications, sandstone is a highly porous material, limestone, travertine, and slate have a moderate rate of absorption, while granite is highly impervious. You can polish these materials to reduce their rate of absorption. 

Grading  

Flooring materials are rated based on their quality, which is determined by factors such as the shape, size, and thickness of the material used to make the tiles. There are three quality levels. 

  • The first grade is a material that is uniform and of high-quality. 
  • The second grade is a material with minor defects like scratches, chips, and irregular surfaces.   
  • The third grade is a material with significant flaws in terms of surface, shape, size, or chipping hence only applicable as accent pieces or rustic decorative applications. 

Indoor or Outdoor Applications 

As stated above, some natural stone tiles are only suitable for an indoor application, while others are ideal for an outdoor environment. For instance, non-vitreous materials are prone to staining, cracking due to changing weather conditions, as well as effects of acid rain. 

Another factor that you should consider is that stones are slippery, especially during snowstorms and rain. They also get oxidized when iron interacts with the outdoor environment, thus causing the tiles to degenerate over time.   

Stone Finish 

The final look of the stone tile determines where it will be installed and how slippery it will get when wet. A tile can have any of the following finish. 

  • Polished Finish: It has a glossy, reflective surface. 
  • Honed Finish: It’s a velvety, smooth surface with little to no gloss. 
  • Antique Brushed Finish: It’s a slightly pitted, rustic look. 
  • Tumbled Finish: It’s an aged or weathered appearance that is created using chipped edges. 

Natural Stone Tile Maintenance  

Natural stone tiles for exterior wall tiling job done in Wagga Wagga

The surface requires frequent dusting to remove dirt, dust, and sand because the surface can be scratched by an abrasive substance when people step on it. 

  1. You can place rugs or mats at the entrance, exits, and the area around the kitchen sink to minimize the accumulation of sand, dirt, and dust as you or guests enter the house. 
  1. Use neutral pH stone cleaner or mild dishwashing detergent when cleaning the floor to avoid damaging the tile surface. More so, you should rinse the floor thoroughly to remove soap residue that can cause streaking. 
  1. Blot spills immediately to prevent staining. You can flush the surface with water and soap, rinse it and dry. Use a stone stain remover in case the stain remains and apply it severally in cases where the stain is persistent. 
  1. Seal the grout to minimize wear and tear because it’s a porous material. Sealing makes it resistant to stains and moisture. 
  1. Use floor protectors around the furniture’s legs to prevent scratching the tiles. 

Reasons why Natural Stone Flooring is a Superior Choice 

Natural stone flooring is the perfect choice for the floor of your house because of the following reasons. 

Attractive

The stone creates a surface that is that pleasing to the eye, thus adding a certain level of charm to your property. Pick stone tiles with a light colour to make the space warm and inviting. You can alternatively use stones with denser veins to bring out a dramatic look. 

Durable

Besides its aesthetic appeal, stone tiles are long-lasting because they can withstand wear and tear and high traffic, unlike synthetic tiles. This explains why most ancient structures were built with stone. Thus, choosing a stone flooring will make your house last long with very little maintenance. 

Easy To Maintain

This type of flooring requires minimal upkeep because most of the debris and dirt settles on the surface. Thus, it’s easy to keep it clean with a piece of cloth or mop. Further, you can simply apply polish to cover scratches. 

Eco-friendly

Stone are natural materials that are non-pollutant. They are also readily available, thus minimizing the impact of transport. Therefore, the material has mountain-born qualities that give your home a direct connection with the natural world. 

Enhances Your Home Value

Stone flooring is costly to purchase and install; thus, most home buyers know that properties with natural stone flooring are expensive. Further, the value varies based on the type of stone that you have used and its variation.  

Offers Excellent Grip

Stones provide an excellent grip because a stone has a natural texture. Therefore, it doesn’t get slippery when wet. 

Keep Allergens Away

Stone flooring materials are hard, and sealing makes them nonporous; thus, these surfaces don’t allow allergens to thrive. 

Retains Moderate Temperatures

Homes with natural stone tiles remain warm in winter because they are energy-efficient and retains heat. Further, the stone remains cool during warm days or when the outdoor temperatures are high. Therefore, you can walk barefoot on a surface made of natural stone in any season, unlike the synthetic tiles. 

Contact Wagga Wagga Tiling and Waterproofing for natural stone tiles installation, and sealing.  

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