The history of mankind is supposed to have begun with the Stone Age marked by the use of implements and weapons made of stone. Prior to that, the difference between animals and homosapiens was largely physical. But once human started to use stones, the world of both changed completely. Stone is the natural, hard substance formed from minerals and earth material which are present in rocks.
Natural stone is most ancient and oldest construction material. It is one of the excellent building materials. It is attractive and does not require other materials or resources to create it. It comes in varieties of colours and textures. Each variety of stone has its own strength and weakness, bringing with it qualities that make it best for use in special situations. Stones are used in masonry, including decorative elements such as pillars, swags and porticos, as a flooring materials and wall tiles and wall cladding, paving, roof coverings and many more. But today in this article we are going to discuss natural stone flooring option for your dream home.
Flooring is the first surface to bear the wear and tear in your home. So, it is necessary to invest wisely in floors that can keep up with the daily activities and at the same time gives a warm inviting surrounding.
According to ‘R. Barry’ (Author of Construction of Buildings), the functional requirements of good floor are stability and strength, resistance to weather and ground moisture, durability and freedom from maintenance, fire safety, and resistance to passage of heat, resistance to the passage of sound etc.
There are some aspects that should always be kept in mind while selecting a flooring material for your house. As mentioned earlier, the material must be capable of tolerating wear and tear, water and chemical resistant, easy to repair as well as easy to recover. Beauty and uniqueness are of course all that should be an important part of the flooring over and above all other physical properties.
Natural stone is a perfect flooring material. But, due to variety of stones and their different qualities, choosing the best one for your home can be a tricky task. So, with these tips we will try to give you some knowledge of choosing natural stone flooring material.
Why to Choose Natural Stone?
Choosing natural stone as a flooring material means opting for a unique material which comes from nature. Natural stone is very important building material because it reflects unique character, stability, and grandeur.
There are the number of reasons why the natural stone is incredibly advantageous. Hence here we have described the benefits of stone.
Benefits of Natural Stone Flooring
- Natural stone has a broad range of colour, pattern and texture. Every single piece of natural stone differs from the other in colour, texture and pattern and each tile gives its unique look and appearance.
- Natural stone flooring will become a lifetime and unique home decoration material. The authentic, long lasting, classic beauty and durability of natural stone has added the value of any building. It offers a significant upgrade to the value of your property, a considerable bonus if eventually selling the property.
- Choosing natural stone is a great choice for durable and strong material. It can survive fire to extremely high degrees. It cannot easily be broken and destroyed.
- Natural stone is durable and can also be used for driveways and other outdoor, heavy-traffic zones. It is also frost resistant.
Natural stones are also used in outdoor place. You would love to read how to install stone patio in your outdoor place.
- Natural stone can last long and is the only material which is known to improve with age sometimes. After a few years, other material will start to wear away and get damaged however natural stone does not damage and last for more than life of a building.
- Natural stone flooring is undeniably beautiful. They offer a warm and pleasant environment to a house, and look good with any decor theme of home. What’s more, tiles made of natural stones are environmentally friendly, making them suitable for homeowners who are worried about the environment.
- Natural stone is durable and sturdy. It is not slippery like other flooring materials i.e. ceramic tiles or vitrified tiles making it a safe choice for homeowners having pets, kids and senior citizens. These tiles also have good insulation to help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Drawbacks of Natural Stone Flooring
All natural stones have their own drawback. Travertine is soft. Granite is fragile and can stain; slate is not easy to resurface. Marble can become brittle. While every type of stone has downside, almost all offer good flooring options. One must know the cons of all natural stone flooring material before buying. Some stone also requires to be treated with a sealing agent frequently to protect its surfaces. Some polished stone like marble can scratch easily. Some stones are very brittle and will chip easily. One other drawback is high cost of stone.
What are the Different Types of Natural Stone?
Different types of stone are obtained from the three main rocks such as sedimentary rock, metamorphic rock and igneous rock. Marbles and slates are obtained from the metamorphic rock. Granite is an igneous rock. Limestone and travertine are sedimentary rocks.
Apart from flooring, granite and marble are also used in various part of the home. You can have a look for more idea of these stones in detail from here.
What Types of Natural Stone Flooring are Available?
A wide range of natural stone slabs are used as a floor finish, starting from very hard slabs of granite to the less dense soft marbles. Various types of natural stone flooring materials are Kota stone, marble, granite, travertine, slate, limestone, sandstone, Jaisalmer stone, Red Agra Stone etc.
What Textures are Available in Natural Stone?
Various textures available in natural stone are honed, polished, flamed, groove, sandblasted, and water jet.
Is Natural Stone Flooring More Expensive than Other Types of Flooring?
Not always, it basically depends on distance from mining place. But it is worth investing in a natural floor. It will last longer than carpet or laminate. Kota stone and limestone are very cost effective than the wooden flooring.
As our so many valued readers requested to write the article on Wood Flooring vs Natural Stone Flooring: Make the Right Choice. We have tried to cover the all aspect in comparison.
Is Natural Stone Eco – Friendly?
Yes, natural stone is entirely a natural material hence it is eco-friendly and biodegradable, and will not cause pollution at the end of its functional life. They are not harmful to humans.
Is Natural Stone Healthy for Families of Homeowner?
Natural stone is a good choice for any home. It comes in many different colours such as beige, cream, white, light brown and dark brown. It is worth it to spend money on these types of stone because they bring beauty to your home and are long lasting.
It is easy to clean them but to prolong the life of your natural stone floor you must avoid the use of acidic, bleach or abrasive cleaning solution. It does not contain harmful chemicals or toxins hence you can make the healthy interior environment for your family.
Can We Use Natural Stone Floors Anywhere in the Home?
You can use natural stone in any areas either exterior or interior but each stone has different properties with its advantages and disadvantages i.e. kota stone, marble and granite stone are used in kitchen countertop, shelves, door & window frame etc. These stones are also used in flooring. Sandstones, slates and limestone are used in the outer area of a home.
Care and Maintenance of Natural Stone Flooring
Natural stone will last for years and reward with its beauty. Proper care will help to keep your stone looking new, year after year. Never place hot items directly on the surface of the natural stone. Use mats or trivets under the hot dishes.
Periodic wiping with clean water, methylated spirits or appropriate cleaning solution is generally enough to keep your natural stone floor look like new. Do not use detergents, acids or caustic cleaners. Use of cleaning agents will depend on the type of stone and application as explained in cleaning procedures and suggestions.
Sealants can be applied frequently and an application of sealant is dependent on the wear and tear of the material and porosity of stone. Sealants are used to close small gap that is difficult to seal with other materials such as mortar.
To sum up, stone is selected principally for its decorative colour, variations in colour, grain and polished finish that are possible and durability and freedom of dusting. When buying natural stone flooring materials it is essential to do thorough research and to know properties of the flooring material you are buying. Figure out whether it is ideal for all your particular needs.
Also, ask your family and friends about their opinions and recommendations. Some advice from people who have recently used natural stone in their houses will be helpful. Ask questions to your retailer and check the stone carefully before you buy.