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 natural stone tiles 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 stone can you choose? Granite is a popular choice, 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 and 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 another option, it 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.
Some things you should consider when choosing your stone tiles are the finish, variation, sealing, strength, underlayment, maintenance, underlayment, and benefits. When considering a finish keep in mind that the texture and finishes vary depending on the type of stone used. Typically, polished tile is shiny which is esthetically pleasing, but this also create 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, this is typical with any natural materials. If the budget permits, it may be a good idea to purchase extra tile 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 stone is pretty manageable. Do not use scouring pads or steel wool on natural stone or it will scratch. It will need to be resealed when necessary to continue to resist water and stains. The underlayment is an important component. Stone tile has to be installed on a flat, rigid, and smooth. 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 this.
Stone tile has many benefits, it resists water, stains, bacteria, and odor when properly sealed. Basically stone tile is 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, stone tile is viewed as gaining character, which also increases home value typically. Remember, stone tile 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.
Hopefully now that you are aware of some important factors of 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!