It’s important to understand some components of using natural stone for home design. Because natural stone is produced by nature it makes each and every section of natural stone unique and no two stones are exactly alike. The uniqueness of natural stone has an appeal and character to it that no manufactured materials can attain.
Due to the natural variation of natural stone there may be variations in color, veins, and fossils within the slabs. It is critical to inspect the material you have chosen for variations in color, veining, fossil markings, the finish, the sizing, the thickness, and any possible damage to the stone before it is installed to ensure that it is what you ordered. The standard of the industry is that prior to installation that the material is uncrated and inspected before it is installed so that any modifications, such as blending, can be made to meet the buyer's approval prior to the material being set. After the material has been set claims are generally not accepted, this is why it is critical to ensure everything is correct prior to installation.
When it comes to natural stone tiles specifically, all tiles must be viewed and shuffled as a dry layout before being set. With the natural range of color, veins, and fossils that are ingrained in the material, it is important to lay the tiles out to properly mix the tiles which allows you to shuffle them around for the perfect layout. If this step is skipped then you could end up with ranges of shades of tiles that don’t flow together in a pleasing manner.
Before any tiles are set it is critical to test the stone using the setting materials and subfloor system being used for the particular project. Because stone is a natural material is can react differently to setting materials, sealers, grouts, and sub-floors. So, be sure to do a test patch prior to setting to ensure that you will be happy with the look of the finished product.
Also, keep in mind that tiles may still wet when they are received. When tiles retain moisture they appear darker than dry tiles within the lot. It is important to allow the stone to dry completely to see the true color. (Click here to try out our visualizer for your new stone tile floor.)
Hopefully now that you are aware of some important factors of choosing and installing natural stone, you can make your decision a little more easily. If you want to check out natural stone materials for yourself, stop by G.M.S. Werks and check out our showroom for your natural stone needs! Our hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can also reach us by phone during our normal business hours at 402-451-3400 or email us by going to the contact page of our new site!