Natural stone is a great choice for tile flooring. It also can be perfect for certain walls, fireplace surrounds, and countertops. There is a difference in how each type of stone will perform, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with the common stones used in tile form.
Slate is made of micas, chlorite, quartz, and assorted other minerals that affect coloration. It is generally a black or grey sedimentary shale, fine grained and layered. The layers split naturally to create its distinctive appearance and the uneven surface of a naturally-split slate will be slip-resistant, even when wet. It is popular as a floor, walkway, and roofing tile but has been used on countertops. It can be honed to a smooth surface but will lose the distinctiveness of the natural split.
Marble is limestone that has been pressured in high temperatures to a unique solid rock with veins and colors that are the result of whatever was in the fossil sediment deposits. Marble is softer and more porous than some stone tiles but highly prized for its beauty and variety. You see marble used as flooring, tub deck, and courtyard. When honed and sealed it can be used in places like the kitchen. Marble has been used in palaces for royalty for centuries as a standard of luxury.
Travertine is sometimes called the poor man’s marble because it is also a limestone variety, but there is nothing “poor” about it. It forms in hot mineral springs and has open pores where the gasses were trapped. Many ancient buildings in Rome were made from travertine and can be seen today. It shares some of marble’s look with a distinct patina of tiny holes. These holes are often filled, then the travertine is polished to a high gloss. Other times it will simply have a honed natural surface. It is used in floors and walls but generally not suggested for countertops because it stains easily. Sealants and careful cleaning counteract this tendency, and travertine is loved by many.
Granite is very hard, almost as hard as diamond. It is an igneous rock formed by heat and pressure into a dense quartz full of colors and flecks. Some granite has a speckled look, other types are grained like marble. Again, mineral content plays a role in the coloration of the stone. It can be polished to a high gloss that is difficult to mar and is easy to clean. It is a popular choice for countertops, walls, floors, fireplaces, and anywhere a tough surface is needed.
Each type of natural stone tile for sale in our Montreal showrooms is offered because it is a high quality choice for your home or business. Like all tile, the type chosen depends on the unique location where it is installed. Come in and discuss your project with our experts and we can help you choose the natural stone tile that is best for your use.