Stone Flooring - Marble, Slate, Granite & Limestone
Deciding on stone flooring
Stone flooring that is correctly installed is probably one of the most durable and hard-wearing of floor choices available. Natural stone, although sturdy, has a natural beauty that is difficult to recreate and it also adds an elegant presence and an air of character to any home. The popular choices are: slate, marble, and travertine to mention but a few.
Deciding on Stone Flooring
Which flooring option should you go for? The decision in the end comes down to your own personal inclination and preference, oh and let us not forget the budget. The more up market stones are marble and granite - formal and elegant. Marble was a favorite ornamental construction material amongst the Ancient Greeks and today it is still recognized for its beauty and high sheen.
Granite has a more definitive salt and pepper look to it. Limestone is a less costly option but then at the same time it is not as strong as its contemporaries. Slate is also a less costly flooring choice but then some people argue that it does not have the same grandeur about it as some of the other stones.
Natural Stone Floor Finishes
Adding a finish to a natural stone floor has both an argument for and against. Some believe that certain finishes stop the stone from being able to breath. This can cause the floor to become brittle. Removing a finish requires careful application of a floor stripper; one has to be careful because such a high-pH could damage the stone.
The other side of the argument is that a finish protects the stone floor from wear that comes with excessive traffic, it also safeguards it from stains that can stem from spills. Cleaning is therefore made. It is interesting to note that a more textured stone can soak up greater amounts of moisture than the other types, which means a spill will need to be mopped up very quickly. More texture also usually means that it will be more hard-wearing and more resilient to alkali cleaners.
Polished floors on the other hand require regular dusting to get rid of any sand particles that could scratch and detract from the gloss of the stone. To maintain the gloss, constant buffing and re-polishing is necessary. The problem with this though is that plain water can discolor polished stone - which would mean taking out the polish again.This web site contains further information that is specific to certain types of stone.