There are many natural stone flooring choices available today and each piece of stone is unique – no two pieces are ever identical. Each piece offers its own colouring, veining and natural characteristics like hardness and porosity. Some may vary in thickness and will not have a smooth surface or straight edge/corners. This all adds to the natural stone’s beauty and uniqueness.
Natural stone tiles are produced from slicing large boulders or slabs of rock into square or rectangle shaped tiles. The more common types of natural stone include slate, travertine, marble, granite, sandstone, and limestone.
SLATE: Often available in deep greens, blues, greys and purples, this natural stone has a matte surface and a branched pattern. Slate is best used for floors as it is very slip resistant.
TRAVERTINE: This stone favours a matte finish and offers warmth that other natural stone products don’t. This stone is a sedimentary rock composed of calcite and is softer than limestone. Travertine does have a tendency to scratch and stain due to its porous surface. Travertine is best used for floors, walls and showers.
MARBLE: The classic choice with a honed finish. Requires sealing/polishing. Best uses for marble is foyers, kitchens, bathrooms, or fireplaces.
GRANITE: One of the hardest natural stones available often flecked with bits of minerals that produce a salt and pepper look, and in some cases, form veins. Holds its shine beautifully, repels water and is difficult to scratch/stain. Best uses for granite are kitchens, bathrooms and hallways as well as fireplace surrounds and kitchen/bathroom countertops.
SANDSTONE: A metamorphic rock with mild colour variation and consistent tones. Sandstone is best used for kitchen floors, showers and bathtub surrounds.
LIMESTONE: Similar to travertine but harder as it has been hardened through time and tectonic action. Limestone often keeps is striations as it forms, making it look like wood. Limestone is best used for kitchen floors, entrance-ways and bathroom surfaces and does require sealing to prevent staining.
Consider installing in floor heating systems with your Natural Stone floor. It is energy efficient and can be controlled using a variety of thermostat options. You’ll love this feature on those cold snowy days.
It may be overwhelming when reviewing all the different types of natural stone choices and their characteristics. Our Nufloors flooring experts are here to help you select the right choice for your space.