Comparison of Flooring Materials #5 – Natural stone flooring

If you want to keep your home in a modern style and, at the same time, you can afford to use expensive flooring material, then natural stone flooring is just the option for you.

The popular choices include:

  • granite
  • travertine,
  • slate,
  • sandstone
  • marble

Most of them are available in different colours and textures all are perfect for underfloor heating. However only some are highly resistant to abrasion and moisture and can withstand contact with strong chemicals.

Granite

Granite is formed from volcanic activity making each tile unique. Granite is the most popular stone that you will find in houses. It is resistant to chemicals, mechanical damage and moisture. It is easy to maintain and ideal for installing in such rooms as kitchens and bathrooms.

Travertine

Travertine is a type of limestone. It comes in brown and sand colours, which give the floor an antique look. It is resistant to abrasion, however, it is not an ideal material. It requires impregnation due to its moisture-absorbing rough surface, which makes it unsuitable for the bathroom.

Slate

Slate is a homogeneous rock sliced from earth in the form of massive slabs. Slate is acid-proof and waterproof, and it is available in a variety of colours and shades, from black to rusty, grey or green. It can be laid both on the floor and on the wall, not only in the kitchen. Some types of slate have a natural wavy texture, which increases their anti-slip properties.

Sandstone

Sandstone is a natural stone flooring that comes in a range  of yellow, brown and orange hues.

If you want to choose sandstone you need to be aware of the fact that it is not very resilient and weathers and tears with age.

Sandstone absorbs water so it’s not recommended for bathrooms or kitchens. This also means that stong colored liquids can leave their mark on sandstone tiles. It is also relatively soft which means that, it can be quite easily scratched.

Marble

Marble is a transformed under high pressure sedimentary rock (e.g. limestone). Marble is a a beautiful stone, but if you want to use it on the floor, you need to be aware of its drawbacks.

The most serious ones are:

  • Marble will tarnish during use, which can only be repaired by polishing.
  • Marble easiliy cracks and scratches. If that happens a whole slab needs to be replaced.
  • Finding a matching replacement for a cracked marble tile can be a challenge since each slab is different.
  • Marble absorbs moisture, so it should be impregnated regularly (like travertine). Only this will make it resistant to water, food acids and fat.