Natural Stone tile refers to a number of products taken from the earth. Examples include Travertine, Granite, Marble, Limestone, Slate, Onyx, Quartzite and Sandstone among others. Natural stone is hand selected from the best and is a reliable source of durability and beautiful surface materials.
You should first ask yourself the following questions- in which climate will the natural stone be used, and for what application ? Is the climate of the place extreme, very cold, or very hot, is it moderate, or is it humid, or is it a combination of several climates ?Is the application for which you are looking for natural stone, an exterior or is it for interior ? Is it a wall cladding or is it a flooring ? Based on the answer to the above questions, you should now look for natural stone on the basis of physical and chemical properties and the local standards.
Natural stone is used for a number of buildings, including residential construction a growing trend in recent years for both decorative and structural use. Generally, used for floors, entryways, fireplaces, bathrooms, showers, countertops, and many other surfaces. Natural stone can be cut to size and used for any space inside or out.
Natural Stone products are proven to be more durable than other options and with proper care have the potential to last for quite some time. They also have unique colouring that radiate individuality.
Yes, variations are inherent in all natural stone products and are considered part of their natural characteristics. No two natural stone tiles are identical. Consistency of colours, pattern or veining is random and can not be avoided.
The primary difference is that natural stone is a manufactured by nature, and ceramics are manufactured by man-made methods. Natural stone often needs only minimal restoration if stained or scratched, whereas ceramic tiles are easily damaged and must be replaced.
Natural stone can be used on nearly every interior and exterior surface of the home and is often used for floors, kitchen countertops, backsplashes, vanity tops, bathrooms, showers, fireplaces, facades, wall cladding, patios, walkways and various applications of landscaping.
The key is to know the natural stone application- will it be used outside or inside? Will it be used for an interior wall cladding, or will the application be for a high traffic flooring? Or will its application be a kitchen countertop or in the bathroom, or for use on steps, or window sills? The analysis of the physical and chemical properties of the natural stone will guide you to the best choice.
The difference between different types of natural stone starts right from the origin of its creation. Granite is an igneous solid rock formed by magma with at least 20% quartz in volume. Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, mostly common calcite or dolomite. Marble, in other words, is a metamorphosed limestone. Limestone is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, commonly being calcite or dolomite. Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand sized minerals or rock grains. Slate is a fine grained foliated homogeneous metamorphic rock, derived from the original shale-type sedimentary rock, composed of clay or volcanic ash, by means of low grade regional metamorphism. Each of the different varieties have their own properties and appearance, and determine their suitability for the different applications one may require.
One should ask for the technical data sheet of the stone in consideration. The data will be of :
- Water absorption
- Compressive strength
- Frost resistance
- Resistance to Bending
- Abrasive resistance
- Resistance of surface polish against weathering.
For external applications testing is becoming increasingly important especially in humid climates. In hot countries certain stones alter themselves, the physical appearance may change.
Porosity is related to water absorption and density of the stone. The higher the porosity, higher is the absorption of water phenomenon. Depending on the application, one should refer to the porosity scale.
The main condition is the structure of the building must be solid enough to carry the weight of the stone, and thus must be properly designed. The stone can be fixed to any structure using suitable assembling technology which is determined by the characteristics of the construction.
The thickness is often subject to local standards which may vary from country to country. A key aspect to consider is the resistance of the stone to the force it is subjected to, in other words, it depends on the application. Generally speaking, in pavements, using granite ,for example, if trucks are going to pass over it, use stone of more than 6 cm thickness, depending on the elasticity of the stone. 1 cm can be sufficient for the wall claddings. For kitchen countertops 2 cm stone can be used, though 3 cm and, in some countries, even 4 cm of thickness stone is also used for aesthetical reasons. Therefore, depending on the application and the properties, thickness may vary from 1 cm to 20 cm.
Stone installation is best done and is easy when done by stone professionals. A beautiful natural stone poorly installed may end up looking bad. If possible, ask your stone installer to show you his previous jobs on installation. The key thing to take into account is to choose the right stone for the right application.
Granite is the right one to be used. Acidic substances such as lemon, vinegar, tomato sauce and alcohol are often prepared on kitchen and bar countertops. Knives, dishes, pots and pans, and other implements are placed and moved around or used on the surface, which can contribute to scratches. With granite being the hardest and densest of all natural stones it is resistant to acids and scratching. Additionally, granite is resistant to staining and has the ability to retain its fine luster and shine over longer periods of time compared to other surfaces.
Atlhough granite may be the most resistant to heat than any other countertop surface on the market, it is not recommend placing hot pans or pots directly onto surface of granite countertops. Always use trivets between cookware and countertop surface. This would include electric crock pots, electric frying pans, and electric hot plates, not just for granite countertops, but for all countertop surfaces.
Under normal kitchen conditions you should not have any issues with chipping or cracking. You should not drop heavy, hard objects onto your countertops and although it may seem obvious, you shouldn’t stand on granite countertops either, or any other surface for that matters. If some unfortunate incident does happen, repairs in most cases can be made, A2ZSTONE to schedule an appointment.
Bacteria require several things in order to grow: oxygen, sunlight, water, nutrients, and a substrate to form on. The minerals found in granite are toxic to most bacteria. As a result, granite is not a habitable environment for bacteria to live and grow.
Although marble can be sealed it is much more porous than granite making it more susceptible to staining in a heavily used area such as a kitchen. Marble also is much softer than granite increasing the likelihood of scratching and chipping under frequent use. Furthermore, the mineral composition of marble can react with certain acidic products like coffee, citrus juices, alcohol, vinegar, soft drinks, and certain acidic foods can etch the surface. It is recommended to suggest an alternative surface when it comes to marble in the kitchens. Quartz products that resemble marble and are better suited for a kitchen application.
Natural stone tiles are crafted with million years old stone. Different chemicals can deteriorate, scratch, or otherwise flaw the natural stone tiles. Using natural stone products is imperative for their condition and longevity.
It is advisable when installing natural stones that all sides must be coated with sealant natural stone, and in some circumstances pre-coated from the factory. Types of sealants and application methods can vary depending on the stone and its intended application.
Without the appropriate sealants, many natural stone tiles and the grout can be susceptible to dirt and filth, as well as stains, elemental harm, and other such negative consequences.
Restoration of natural stone is the restoring of worn stone–marble, travertine, granite, etc.—to the state in which it was first time installed , or better than before. It may also entail the altering of the stone’s surface to match a desired finish of the installation’s owner or management. In some cases an owner may desire a polished finish to be changed to a honed finish or vice versa. Restoration includes the use of such techniques as: polishing, honing, grinding (lippage removal), deep cleaning, sealing, and chip/crack repair.
Normally, a deep cleaning and fresh sealant should occur annually. With proper maintenance performed by the owner, sometimes you can extend the need, where neglected surfaces will require more professional help. If you notice the shine has dulled, or the grout is discoloured, contact A2ZSTONE for services.
If the above answers do not match your question, please contact A2ZSTONE with any questions regarding natural stone. We will contact you shortly.