One of the most beautiful aspects of natural stone is the fact that because it has been created by nature, each type of stone has its own distinct qualities. These qualities are what add to the uniqueness of natural stone flooring, but it can be a bit daunting when it comes to deciding which type of stone tiles will suit your needs best. With that in mind, our guide to natural stone flooring terminology has been designed to help you make your decision:
The grade of natural stone can refer to the size, shape and thickness of stone tiles, as well as the quality and condition of its surface. As you would expect, grade 1 stone tiles are of a high quality and are uniform in appearance. Grade 2 materials may have minor defects, such as scratches or irregular surfaces, and grade 3 stone tiles will have major flaws in terms of size, surface, shape or chipping, which make them really only suitable for accent tiles or if you require a certain rustic look.
As natural stone is porous, an absorption rating is given to each material. The more absorbent a stone is, the more prone it will be to staining and cracking. Non-vitreous stone tiles are the most absorbent and therefore should not be used in any damp environment; one step down from this is semi-vitreous are less absorbent but if they are exposed to a large amount of liquid over time, they will need to be looked after carefully.
Vitreous stones are generally the standard level of absorption for stone flooring and are therefore suitable for most low to mid traffic areas, both inside and out, and impervious stone tiles are the most resistant to liquids; they are easy to maintain and can be used in high traffic areas and on commercial premises.
The resistance rating measures how slippery stone tiles are when wet. This is especially important to know for stone flooring in areas such as bathrooms or kitchens where spills and puddles can occur.
It may sound obvious, but it's important to know whether the stone tiles you're thinking of choosing are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. For example, stone tiles which have a low resistance rating could potentially become slippery when used outdoors during snow and rain.
At The Stone Gallery, we understand that all of these various factors which you need to consider when choosing stone flooring can be a bit mind-boggling. That's why our experts are on hand to help you sift through the various qualities of our stone tiles and pick a natural stone which is right for your needs.
Remember, our expertise doesn't just stop here: if you want the same level of service and over a million tiles in stock, visit The Ceramic Tile Warehouse, and for beautifully designed kitchens and bathrooms, Park Street Interiors are on hand. All of our experts can be found within the Art of Living Triangle, helping, therefore, to make your renovation needs simple.