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How to Choose the Best Natural Stone Flooring Material

natural-stone-flooring-bathroom-remodel-kitchen-renovation Dec 22

How to Choose the Best Natural Stone Flooring Material

Natural stone is the most elegant and luxurious flooring material out there. It comes in a wide array of designs, colors, patterns, and textures, which make it easy for you to choose the best material for your home flooring. Technically, the term “natural stone” is used to define all the naturally-sourced mineral substances that are not synthesized or manufactured artificially. The most common examples of that will be marble, granite, slate, travertine, limestone, and sandstone. However, as each one of these natural stones has slightly different properties, it is important to understand their characteristics well to choose the right one for your cheap bathroom remodel or kitchen renovation.

How to Choose the Best Natural Stone Flooring Material

There are a lot of practical reasons that make natural stone flooring a great choice for residential remodeling services. Natural stones are very appealing and naturally unique, which makes every flooring application remarkable and aesthetically alluring. They are non-polluting, eco-friendly, and feature many earth-born qualities too, which can help to elevate the green living quotient of your home. Yet not all natural stones will suit all parts of your home appropriately. For instance, a material that works the best for your foyer may not be a good option at all for the bathroom. That is why you should consider the below important aspects when looking for the right natural stone flooring option for your home.

The Absorption Rating

This refers to the porosity of the natural stone. Some of the natural stones, such as sandstone, can be more porous when compared to others like granite and marble. This makes sandstone flooring more prone to staining, which is why they may not be ideal for high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Besides, highly-absorbent natural stone flooring can also be susceptible to cracking and other damages, especially when subjected to cold conditions.

In general, there are four absorption ratings for natural stones: non-vitreous, semi-vitreous, vitreous, and impervious. Non-vitreous natural stones have the highest absorption level and are recommended not to be used in a damp environment, such as the bathroom. Semi-vitreous natural stones are less absorbent than the former type, but they will still require more care and maintenance if used in damp areas. Vitreous natural stones have standard absorption level and hence they are usually considered for low to mid traffic areas and outdoor applications. Impervious natural stones are more resistant to moisture absorption and are easy to maintain. They suit high-traffic areas in the best way.

The Stone Grade

This refers to the quality of the natural stone. However, the grading system may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, it will be wiser to consult with your residential remodeling services provider to get detailed information about the quality grade of your natural stone flooring. Generally, natural stones are graded based on their size, shape, thickness, as well as the surface condition. Most manufacturers categorize natural stones into three grades based on these factors.

  • Grade I refers to the best-quality, uniformly shaped natural stone materials. They can be used in all parts of the home.
  • Grade II refers to those natural stones that have minor surface defects, such as scratches or chips. These are usually reserved for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Grade III refers to natural stones that have major flaws. The defects can be in their size, shape, or surface, which makes them inappropriate for decorative applications.
Coefficient of Friction

This refers to how slippery the natural stone material is. Typically, the higher the coefficient of friction is, the more traction the natural stone flooring will have. That is why this number plays a great role in choosing kitchen and bathroom natural stone tiles. As per the Americans with Disabilities Act, or the ADA civil rights law, all flooring materials should maintain a minimum of 0.6 dryness coefficient. This is to ensure a safe living environment in the home for all people because natural stones with a low coefficient of friction can pose a slipping risk, especially during rain or snowstorm.

Aside from the above aspects, you should also keep an eye on the oxidation level of the natural stone material. As natural stones are formed under the earth over the course of millions of years, they will include a mixture of different elements. For instance, the inclusion of iron content in natural stones gives them a bright red color and amber hues on the surface. However, this can cause a problem for the flooring material if installed in an outdoor environment because iron can oxidize and rust over time. This could damage the natural stone flooring after some time.

One of the main drawbacks of natural stone flooring is that a few types require high care and maintenance. In some cases, you may need to polish the floors as well in order to ensure that they remain resistant to staining and moisture. That is why you should consider your specific application before choosing natural stone flooring for your home.

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