Types of marble and stone floor
Because granite is a hard stone formed at high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to scratching by metals, such as knives and pots and pans, which makes it an ideal counter top in kitchens. It is unaffected by typical kitchen heat or spilled liquids. High impact blows can harm granite, and it can chip if subjected to hard, sharp objects. Unsealed granite absorbs stains like oil eventually, causing dark spots or discolouration.
Terrazzo was originally invented by Venetian construction workers as a low-cost flooring material, using marble chips from upscale jobs. Nowadays, it consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable chips, sprinkled or unsprinkled, and poured with a binder that is cementitious, chemical, or a combination of both. Terrazzo is cured and then ground and polished to a smooth surface, or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface. Terrazzo requires the same care as a natural stone floor.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock that consists of mostly organic material, such as the skeletons and shells of marine creatures. Over millions of years, it solidifies into solid rock.
Travertine is formed by geysers when the extremely hot underground water dissolves the underlying limestone and carries it upwards with the geyser water. When the water falls to the ground, it re-hardens into stone. The new stone is full of gas bubbles, giving Travertine its characteristic appearance. As travertine is made from water, it is great in a wet environment. However, any holes need to be filled. You should care for it in the same as any other natural stone.
Slate floor tiles
Rustic, grey-black slate wall and floor tiles are an affordable metamorphic stone composed of silt ore, shale, and volcanic ash, compressed over millions of years. These tiles have durable properties and characteristic colours which give a tactile surface whilst still being extremely hard-wearing. Glossy finishes must be polished regularly, and tumbled or honed slate must be sealed regularly.
Terracotta and quarry tiles
Terracotta floor tiles – and their smaller, thinner cousins, quarry tiles – became popular in Victorian times for use in kitchens and servants’ quarters. These tiles can be either glazed or unglazed; unglazed tiles would often have been impregnated with boiled linseed oil so that dirt and spills were not absorbed into the tile. Terracotta tiles are made from a mix of clays, fired at low temperature whereas quarry is fired at a very high temperature.
Terracotta and quarry tiles come in earthy red and brown shades, adding a natural look to your home. Tiles can be shaped into a wide variety of shapes and designs, allowing you to create a truly one-of-a-kind look for your floors.
These are generally made from red or white clay and fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze, which carries the colour and pattern. Ceramic tiles are usually suitable for light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating, making them less frost resistant.
Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile, made from mostly the same ingredients as ceramic tiles. A higher firing temperature and more refined materials make porcelain a tough, durable tile choice.
They is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles, making them frost resistant. Full body porcelain tiles carry the colour and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile, making them virtually impervious to wear and therefore suitable for any application, from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications.
Unglazed porcelain tiles should be protected with a penetrating sealer, including the grout lines. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.
These are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze protects the tile from staining. A glazed tile is already stain-proof, so there is no need to seal. However, the grout joints are usually very porous and need to be sealed and maintained properly to prevent stains and discoloration. Impregnating sealers go into the grout joint and protect against water and oil-based stains. If the grout joint is epoxy, a sealer is not necessary.