We certainly realize that while the aesthetic beauty and uniqueness of natural stone flooring is well understood, it’s still good to keep in mind that one important factor in your choice should be ‘where’ and ‘how’ they will be used. This is important because some natural stone characteristics may be less suitable for some applications more than others. Our flooring experts can help you understand each product and select the proper one for your application.
Before you seriously consider purchasing natural stone flooring, here are the key things that you should ask us questions about, because they will help you be an informed buyer:
Absorption Rating - Absorption rating is the factor that tells you just how porous each natural stone will be. The more absorbency it has, the more likely it is to being stained, and to experience damage from cracking when temperatures are at freezing and below. This is clearly an important fact that will influence ‘where’ the natural stone material should be used.
There are four possible amounts of absorption that any natural stone flooring material can have. These are:
1. Non-vitreous: This is the highest amount of absorption that any natural stone material can have. As a general rule, non-vitreous materials should never be used in any damp, high-moisture areas.
2. Semi-vitreous: While these natural stone flooring tiles are not quite as absorbent as non-vitreous tiles, they will need more maintenance, because they are exposed to more liquid.
3. Vitreous: This is the usual absorption level for natural stone flooring. These products are ordinarily considered to be the best choice for most average to mid-range foot-traffic areas.
4. Impervious: These materials are extremely resistant to absorbing any liquids, and will therefore be easier to regularly take care of. They are quite frequently used in commercial applications that have high foot traffic.
In general, sandstone is considered to be the natural stone material with the highest porosity, while others such as limestone, slate, and travertine only have mid-level absorbency. Granite, on the other hand, is almost 100% water resistant. Beside granite and some slates, natural stone is generally porous. Therefore, it should be treated with a sealing agent that will protect its surface every so often. Some polished materials, such as marble, are also easily scratched; others can be quite brittle, and are easily chipped.
For additional information, or to personally view samples of the natural stone flooring materials that we provide, please phone us, email us, or visit us at our Amarillo, TX showroom at your convenience.