We certainly know that while the aesthetic beauty and uniqueness of natural stone flooring is well established, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that one of the important selection factors is ‘where’ and ‘how’ they will be used. This is true simply because some natural stone characteristics may be less suited to some applications than others. Our flooring specialists can help you understand each material and choose the proper one for your intended application.
When you seriously consider installing natural stone flooring, these are the factors that you should ask us questions about because they will help you make an informed buying decision:
Absorption Rating - Absorption rating tells you just how porous any natural stone material will be. The more absorbent it is, the more susceptible it will be to stains, as well as cracking damage in freezing and below freezing conditions. This is obviously an important factor that plays a role in ‘where’ the natural stone material should be used. There are 4 levels of possible levels of absorption that a natural stone flooring piece can have. These are:
- Non-vitreous: This is the maximum amount of absorption that any natural stone material will have. As a general rule, non-vitreous materials shouldn’t ever be used in any damp, high-moisture areas.
- Semi-vitreous: While these materials are somewhat less absorbent than non-vitreous tiles, they will need more maintenance as they are exposed to more liquid.
- Vitreous: This is the standard absorption level for natural stone flooring. These products are usually considered to be the best choice for most average to mid-range foot-traffic locations.
- Impervious: These materials are extremely resistant to absorbing liquids and will therefore be easier to take care of regularly. They are often used in commercial applications that have high foot traffic.
In general, sandstone said to be the natural stone material with the highest porosity, while others such as slate, limestone and travertine only have mid-range absorbency. Granite, however, is almost totally water resistant. Beside granite and some slates, natural stone is generally porous. Therefore, it should be periodically treated with a sealing agent that will protect its surface. Some polished materials, such as marble, are also easily scratched; some others are also quite brittle, and easily become chipped.
For additional information, or to personally view samples of the natural stone flooring materials that we provide, please phone us, email us, or stop by at our showroom in Amarillo, TX at your convenience.