When it’s time to replace your flooring, looking for a tile that is unique and connects you with nature may not be top on your list. Deciding which type of tile meets your needs may be more difficult than you expected.
If you are looking for a tile that is non- polluting, Eco- friendly, and varies in color and design then look no further. Then stone tile flooring may be your answer for your floor as well as walls. These tiles are fast becoming floor material to choose, having been used for thousands of years. Natural stone tile is dynamic and versatile material that can be used in both traditional and modern houses. If you are looking for a material that last for ages, and something that is easy to maintain, than stone tile flooring is the best to opt for.
Stone tile flooring gives natural feel to your environment as it refers to a variety of mountain born materials including:
|Stone Tile Flooring|
· Granite and
Each of these has slightly different properties. It’s important to understand the characteristics of each type of stone flooring in order to verify whether it is appropriate for a specific location.
Consider the following factors before you go with stone tile flooring-
Absorption Rating- Absorption rating alludes to how porous a given material is. The higher the absorption rating, the more likely that a stone tile will stain and crack during freezing conditions. High absorption stain tiles do not work for outdoors.
There are 4 levels of absorption that a tile can have-
- Non- vitreous
- Semi- vitreous
Non- vitreous- This is the highest absorption level and these tiles should never be used in damp environments.
Semi- vitreous- While these tiles are less absorbent, the more liquid they are exposed to and can cause some damage to the tiles.
This is the standard absorption level for flooring tiles and these tiles are deemed functional for low to mid level indoor traffic and some outdoor applications.
Generally, Sandstone is the most porous natural stone material and rarely used in home flooring.
Grade- Some retailers use a grading system to rate the quality of the materials which refers to size, shape and thickness of the tile, also the condition of its surface. Most grading systems have three levels of quality-
- Grade 1- Includes high quality, uniform constructed stone tiles.
- Grade 2- consists of stone tile that has minor defects such as chips, scratches, scraps and uneven surfaces.
- Grade 3- Materials have major flaws in size, shape, surface, or chipping that detract from the functional and aesthetic nature of the stone tile.
Friction Coefficient- This measures how slippery stone tiles can get under damp conditions. The higher the coefficient, the more traction a tile will have. This friction coefficient is especially important in moist environments such as bathrooms and kitchens, as well as high traffic commercial areas.
Indoor Vs. outdoor rating- Some natural stone flooring materials are more suited to outdoor applications. Consider the above factors to conclude whether you can use a material in an open air environment.
Ultimately, while you purchase natural stone tile flooring material it is important to do appropriate research and understanding the characteristics of the materials before you purchase.