Trying to figure out what type of tile to install in a bathroom can be challenging, but if you love to surround yourself in natural elements then a natural stone bathroom tile is the way to go.
While natural stone tiles can be an expensive option, it pays off when the bathroom is transformed into a luxury like spa. Stone tile lasts for decades and gains character with time. One thing to consider is that the stone tile floors can be cold and slick, but radiant heating and a slip reducing finishes are options that can prevent cold and slippery floors.
So, what types of natural stone can you choose?
Granite is one of the most popular choices for those looking at having a natural stone bathroom installed. It is an igneous rock that comes in an array of color options and is extremely hard.
Limestone is another option that is available in neutral and white tones. It is a smooth sedimentary stone.
Marble is a metamorphic stone with a luxurious feel, it contains crystallized limestone with veins and crystals running through the surface.
Slate is made of quartz, calcite, chlorite, and mica. Slate comes in a variety of shades and is extremely strong.
You can also choose travertine, which forms in rivers and streams underground. Travertine is available in Earth like hues and is both smooth and porous.
When installing a natural stone bathroom things you should consider when choosing your stone tiles are the finish, variation, sealing, strength, underlayment, maintenance and benefits. When considering a finish keep in mind that the texture and finishes vary depending on the type of stone used.
Typically in a natural stone bathroom polished tile is shiny, which is esthetically pleasing, but this also creates a slick surface. A matte or honed finish gives the tiles more traction. You can also choose a tumbled finish, which creates an antique look and also has more traction.
When considering variation, keep in mind that color lots vary, as is typical with any natural stone material. If the budget permits, it may be a good idea to purchase extra tiles in case it’s needed in repairs during installation or later on. Buying the same type of tile later may not match what you have installed. As far as strength goes, it shouldn’t be a concern, stone is literally rock solid.
Maintaining a natural stone bathroom is pretty manageable. Do not use scouring pads or steel wool in a natural stone bathroom or it will scratch the surfaces. It will need to be resealed when necessary to continue to resist water and stains.
The underlayment is an important component too. Stone tile has to be installed on a flat, rigid and smooth surface. Ideally, concrete is used as a subfloor, but cement-based backer board, existing tile and underlayment grade plywood can work as well. Remember that some types of stone absorb water, so you will want to make sure that proper steps are taken to prevent that.
Having a natural stone bathroom has many benefits. It resists water, stains, bacteria and odor when properly sealed.
Basically stone tiles are pieces of rock cut into a desired shape and size. Overall, stone tile is difficult to scratch, fire resistant and is available in a variety of colors, shapes, and styles. Over time, natural stone bathroom tile is viewed as something that will increase your homes value.
Remember, natural stone bathroom tiles can be very cold on your toes, so it is a good idea to install radiant heat to make for cozy mornings and evenings. Stone tile should also be installed by experienced professionals to ensure that it is installed properly.