Stone Flooring

Stone Flooring

Stone flooring materials is more elegant and luxurious than natural stone. The term “natural stone” refers to a variety of mountain-born mineral substances that stand in contrast to any synthetic or manufactured stone products. Common natural stone flooring includes slate, marble, limestone, travertine, granite, and sandstone—each of which has slightly different properties. It’s important to understand the characteristics of the type of stone flooring tile you are purchasing in order to determine whether it is proper for a specific location.

There are a number of general factors that you should consider.

Absorption Rating

The absorption rating refers to how porous a given material is. The more absorbent it is, the more susceptible the stone will be to stain. Absorbent stone can also be prone to cracking damage if it is subjected to freezing conditions. Natural stones vary greatly in their absorption rates, with sandstone being the most porous and granite the most impervious to water absorption. Absorption rates are classified according to the following terms:

  • Non-vitreous: This is the highest absorption level. In most cases, non-vitreous tiles should not be used in any damp environment.
  • Semi-vitreous: While these tiles are less absorbent, the more liquid they are exposed to, the more maintenance they will require.
  • Vitreous: This is the standard absorption level for flooring tiles and these materials are generally considered appropriate for most low- to mid-traffic indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Impervious: These materials are resistant to the absorption of liquids and thus will be easier to maintain. They are often used in high-traffic commercial applications.

In general, sandstone is the most porous natural stone material. Travertine, limestone, and slate have medium absorbency, while granite is relatively waterproof. Polished materials also absorb less water than honed or cleft surfaces.​

Grade

Some retailers use a grading system to rate the quality of materials. This can refer to the size, shape, and thickness of the tile, as well as the condition of its surface. Most grading systems have three levels of quality:

  • Grade 1 refers to high-quality, uniform materials.
  • Grade 2 consists of materials with minor defects, such as chips, scratches, or irregular surfaces.
  • Grade 3 materials have major flaws in size, shape, surface, or chipping, making them appropriate only as accent pieces, or in certain rustic decorative applications.

Coefficient of Friction

This measures how slippery various materials are. The higher the coefficient, the more traction a tile will have. This number is especially important in moist environments such as bathrooms and kitchens, as well as high-traffic commercial areas. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that flooring material has a minimum of a .6 dryness coefficient.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Rating

Some natural stone flooring materials are more suited to outdoor applications than others. Many of the factors above will determine whether a material should be used in an open air environment. Non-vitreous materials will be subject to staining through dirt and acid rain, as well as cracking when absorbed materials freeze and expand. Stones which have a low coefficient of friction will also pose a slipping hazard during rain and snow storms.

Oxidation

Natural stone materials are formed beneath the earth over millions of years, and often contain a variety of disparate elements. Sometimes iron is present in these materials, which can manifest as bright red and amber hues in the surface of the stone. The problem in an outdoor environment is that those traces of iron can oxidize, a process more commonly known as rusting. This can cause the entire tile to degenerate over time.​

 

The Brands You Know. The Styles You Want. The Quality You Can Trust.

Berber Carpet

TRAVERTINE FLOORING

Berber Carpet’s look is unmistakable: a low profile, thick loops of yarn, flecks of color, and a hearty feel. People love Berber for its casual style and comfort. Plus, it is designed to work well in higher traffic rooms.

Commercial Carpet

GRANITE FLOORING

Commercial carpet falls into one of two groups: it’s either broadloom, wall-to-wall carpet, or it’s a mosaic of patterned carpet tiles. Ideal in settings with daily foot traffic, commercial-grade carpet is designed .

Frieze Carpet

MARBLE FLOORING

Frieze Carpet is distinguished by its twisted fibers and “shaggy” look. Its texture offers the added benefit of helping conceal dirt. Frieze Carpet can be uniformly colored, contain flecks of color.

Berber Carpet

SLATE FLOORING

Berber Carpet’s look is unmistakable: a low profile, thick loops of yarn, flecks of color, and a hearty feel. People love Berber for its casual style and comfort. Plus, it is designed to work well in higher traffic rooms.

Commercial Carpet

LIMESTONE FLOORING

Commercial carpet falls into one of two groups: it’s either broadloom, wall-to-wall carpet, or it’s a mosaic of patterned carpet tiles. Ideal in settings with daily foot traffic, commercial-grade carpet is designed .

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