Bringing the outdoors inside is popular in today’s modern kitchens. Natural stone, such as granite floor tiles bring simplicity and strength. The stone was made many millenniums ago by molten rock hundreds of feet below the Earth’s surface. The stone once cut, can be polished and cut into slabs or granite tiles. This natural stone requires little maintenance and is an excellent flooring material anywhere in the home.
Homeowners looking for diversity and colour variations can find it with travertine tiles. Over the years water seeping through limestone deposits would pool and collect in caverns. The dissolved stone would layer itself and under pressure would harden and form the stone. The stone is normally mined deep inside the earth. There are random veins that run through it in various colours. Turkish, Italian and Peruvian travertine tile are some of the most popular for homes. The stone has different grades; the lesser grades tend to be more porous. To determine the density be sure to inspect an unpolished crosscut section.
People may imagine the sound of a gurgling brook when looking at slate tiles. Slate is formed by rivers and streams depositing silt along their bottom. Over thousands of years, the sediment layers itself and hardens into slate. Volcanic ash layered and put under extreme pressure over time will produce slate, as well. Slate is predominately grey with reddish streaks running through it. The stone is not as hard as granite or travertine.
Individuals attempting to install tiles will need some speciality tools. The most important piece of equipment is a tile cutter. The granite tiles are extremely hard and require a special blade that is cooled by water. The slate tiles, as well as travertine tiles will require the same cutting procedure. Even tiling experts will crack or break the stone during the cutting. When ordering the material, add 10 percent to cover mistakes and damaged tile. It is important the sub-flooring is level and free of protrusions. Tile that rocks because of an uneven floor will crack or break when walked on.
Natural stone is heavier than say porcelain so the adhesive is important. For wet areas, thin-set is recommended. The adhesive is colour coded, grey for floors and white for walls. The material is cement based and is impervious to water. Unless the tiles are installed over concrete, a cement-based underlay must be used. The cement board is lightweight and easily cut.
Homeowners have brought the outdoors inside with natural stone. The colours and veining was designed by nature. Maintaining the tile is as uncomplicated as sweeping and damp mopping. For extremely wet areas, many experts recommend a stone sealant to guard against water absorption over time. The sealant will also protect against staining.