When we talk about natural stone tiles we are talking about tiles that have been cut from blocks of natural stone. Because they are natural stone, they bring with them all the qualities that come natural to stone – that is, hardness, color, texture and water resistance. Color, texture and water resistance can often be enhanced by treating the tiles either after they are made or after they have been installed. Granite tiles are often polished to glassy finish whilst marble tiles are often sealed after installation.
Natural stone can be divided into three basic stone types:
- Metamorphic Rock – Limestone that has metamorphosed into Marble and Travertine
- Igneous Rock – derived from a mix of quartz and feldspar producing very hard Granite
- Sedimentary Rock – has several forms with Slate being the form used for tiles
Each rock type has its own characteristics with marble, travertine and slate being softer than granite. Slate has natural anti-slip properties whilst marble and travertine have a beauty that can’t be matched by most other tiles. The color in each rock group is brought about by the reaction or inclusion of other substances – for example, metals. You may even be lucky enough to come across an ancient fossil in a slate tile.
Whilst each natural stone tile has a wide range of uses, it is often advisable to talk to a tile expert before buying and installing your next floor or wall tile project. Some tiles are better suited to some areas of your home, and some tiles may require sealing after installation and on a regular basis in years to come. Come and talk to us at Éco Dépôt before buying your tiles – we will help you design your project using the most appropriate tiles to ensure a finish that will last for years with the right care.