Stone tile category defines many types of natural stones that come from around the World. Marble is the most well known of this category, followed by travertine, granite, slate, limestone, and, onyx. All these stone tiles have many unique characteristics. Let’s define them to explore their pros and cons.
Marble is the most well-known type of natural stone. It comes mainly from Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Greece. Other countries like Portugal, China, India has several quarries as well. However, the bulk of the production is in those 4 Mediterranean countries. Italian marble is the best well known followed by other quarries in the region. Many people ask which one if the best Marble. There is no such thing as good or bad marble. Each marble quarry is unique and they all have different characteristics. Background color, its consistency, and the number of voids may determine the quality of one Marble. These are all subjective matters. However, Calacatta Marble from Italy or Bianco Dolomiti from Turkey is considered the most popular marbles these days. The most common finish on marble is polished. Honed marble is the second most popular type of stone tile.
Travertine is the second most popular type of natural stone. It comes mainly from Turkey and Italy as well as Peru. Travertine is a sedimentary stone that is found in ancient riverbeds and lakes. Travertine stone tile has natural holes and crevices. These holes may or may not be filled depending on the application such as flooring or wall tile application. Travertine stone tile has many finished like honed and filled travertine, honed unfilled travertine, brushed unfilled travertine, and tumbled travertine. Travertine stone tile is used in interiors and exterior flooring applications. Travertine is fairly abundant and for that reason, it is affordable and used in many exterior areas like pool decks, paving applications, and patios. Ivory Travertine, Roman Travertine, Osso, Alabastrino, or Silver travertine are some of the most popular ones.
Granite is the hardest of all-natural stone tile types. Granite tiles and slabs come from India, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and the United States. These countries supply the bulk of the World supply. Other areas such as the Baltic sea region produced Blue Pearl Granite and Baltic Brown. Black Galaxy from India is the hardest granite in the World, as well as Imperial Red granite. With the older technology, it used to take a week to saw a block of Granite.
Slate is another abundant and inexpensive type of natural stone type. Slate comes mainly from India, China, Brasil and South Africa. IT has a natural rift and splits from the mountain with little effort. These random pieces are squared off into tiles of various sizes as well as mosaics. Slatestone tile has a natural color variation and that is what it makes it beautiful. The same pieces of the slate may have completely different colors in the back or the front. Slate represents beautiful earth colors. The best finish for slate is a natural cleft. That is the way it comes from the quarry and it is perfect for high traffic areas. You can also have honed slate as well but honed slate shows scratch easily on floor tile applications.
Limestone is the softest and the most beautiful of all stone tile types. It mainly comes from Portugal, Turkey, and France. French limestones such as Beaumaniere is the most famous. Limestone is best in honed finish or tumbled finish. It has been used to decorate homes for centuries in Europe.
Care and Maintenance for stone tile:
We recommend Fila sealers for all care. Please visit www.fila.com for more information.
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