Stone Tile Flooring
Stone tile flooring in the kitchen is a durable, practical, and elegant choice. Depending on the chosen material, tiles add texture, depth, sheen, and complementary color. No two natural tiles are exactly alike, which adds a unique touch.
Origins and Properties of Stone
Stones are rated by hardness and on a scale of 1-10-marble is low while granites are medium-high. Most stone tiles will last literally a lifetime, which will far outweigh the initial cost. Many of these tiles are cut from boulders into a variety of sizes. The natural look and availability of stone are two of its best features. The range of colors and textures will fit into any decorating scheme from rustic to contemporary to elegant and upscale. The veining, mottling, and marbling give stone tiles their depth and character.
Maintenance of Stone Tiles
Tile floors are generally easy to maintain, although some stones require regular sealing. Also, grout stains require immediate attention and regular resealing. Tiles are excellent dirt concealers. Most often, a mopping is all that is needed for cleanup. Small chips and nicks are usually repairable with a little touchup work. When shopping for tile, there are some considerations.
Requirements of Kitchen Stone Tile Flooring
Kitchen flooring has some specific requirements. Tiles should be resistant to moisture and staining. They need to be skid-proof and durable for high foot traffic. Surface finish is important, too, and there is a range. Textured and matte stones offer nonskid properties and are becoming more popular than the gloss of some stone types. Marble is not the best choice for a kitchen area. It is prone to staining, especially with acids, and is highly porous.
Granite Tile Flooring
Granite is among the most durable tiles due to its dense properties. It may attract stains, however, even when sealed. Slate is another recommended product for kitchen floors. Split-face, or flamed, slate offers the best slip resistance, with its uneven surface layer that is a result of its being split naturally. However, dramatic variations in the surface could create a tripping factor. Often, a honed surface is recommended for heavy traffic spots. This dulled or matte surface is also less risky for slipping. Tile sizes for flooring can be as small as 4"x4" for enclosed kitchen areas. Common sizes range upward to 24" x 24" for more spacious rooms.
For more information on stone flooring see the following article from HomeDoctor.net: Kitchen & Bath - Stone Flooring.