Gowdy Flooring realizes that while the aesthetic beauty of natural stone flooring is well known, it’s still important to know that one important factor in your choice should always be ‘where’ and ‘how’ the natural stone flooring you choose will be used. This is important, because some natural stone characteristics may be less suitable for some applications than others. Our flooring experts will gladly help you understand each type of natural stone flooring and to choose the proper one for your application.
Before you purchase natural stone flooring, here are a few key things that you should ask us questions about, because they will help you be a well informed buyer:
Absorption - Absorption rating is the factor that tells you just how porous each natural stone material will be. The more absorbent it is, the more apt it is to become stained, and to experience some damage from cracking when temperatures are at freezing or below. This is fact will influence ‘where’ the natural stone material should be used in your home or business. There are four possible degrees of absorption that any natural stone flooring material can have. These are:
√ Non-vitreous: This is the greatest amount of absorption that any natural stone material can have. As a rule, non-vitreous materials should never be used in any damp, high-moisture area.
√ Semi-vitreous: While semi-vitreous natural stone flooring is not quite as absorbent as non-vitreous flooring, they will need more maintenance, because they are exposed to more liquid.
√ Vitreous: Vitreous is the usual absorption level for natural stone flooring. These products are most often considered to be the best choice for average to mid-range foot-traffic locations.
√ Impervious: These materials are nearly totally resistant to absorbing liquid; they therefore will prove easier to regularly take care of. They are most frequently used in commercial applications that have high levels of daily foot traffic.
As a general rule, sandstone is considered to be the natural stone material with the highest degree of porosity, while others, such as limestone, travertine and slate only have mid-level absorbency. Granite, however, is almost completely water resistant. Beside granite and some slates, natural stone is generally porous. Therefore, it is usually treated with a sealing agent that protects its surface. Some polished materials, such as marble, may be easily scratched; others can be quite brittle, and are therefore easily chipped.
For more information, or to view actual samples of the natural stone flooring materials that interests you, please phone us, email us, or visit us at our Amarillo, TX showroom at your convenience.