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For the love of stone surfaces: Stone flooring

Stone flooring offers a timeless elegance in any room in any home. Long chosen for it’s beauty, not to mention it’s durability, stone floors, like stone countertops, have been used for that durability factor since floors were first constructed.

Today, stone flooring, including marble, slate and travertine, comes in the form of stone tiles that are easy to lay and while not as durable as an actual stone, are more attractive.

Beauty is definitely the reason most people install marble tiles. While marble tiling is not a do-it-yourself job and better left to the professionals, once installed the effect on your floors is certainly unparalleled in beauty. That beauty, however, is reflected in the stone’s price tag, which is quite high. And, because marble isn’t the strongest stone, the tiles can crack. Add to that the fact that the porous stone stains and etches easily and you may want to consider using marble in smaller spaces to reduce the cost and places where things are unlikely to be dropped or where shoes are worn, making a bathroom the best place to use marble flooring. Marble tiles must be sealed regularly and should only be cleaned with a mild detergent and hot water to prevent corroding the sealant and staining the stone. A steam mop is a great option.

Slate tiles, like marble, also come with a higher price tag than other flooring options. But the durability of slate and the fact that it can potentially last as long as the home does, makes it a popular choice. Slate flooring tiles have a rugged and porous appearance that is actually quite stain resistant, provided the tiles are sealed properly upon installation. Much like marble, slate tiles should only be cleaned with a mild detergent and water – a steam mop is also a good option for slate. Keep in mind that while slate is very durable, it can be cracked or more likely chipped, due to the nature of the stone. However, it’s a great option for just about any room in your home, including front entrances, hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. But since slate isn’t available in a wide assortment of colours, and has that rugged look, the design aesthetic may not appeal to all homeowners.

The most economically effective stone flooring option is travertine tile. This type of limestone is available in a wide assortment of colours so it appeals to both homeowners’ aesthetic and budget. Heavier than other stone flooring tiles, travertine is extremely durable, which is another reason why they are so popular for a variety of rooms, including kitchens, baths, hallways and entrances. Easy to install, travertine tiles are a DIY-ers’ dream and should a tile chip or crack, can easily be replaced. The downfalls to travertine, however, are that they are extremely porous and highly reactive to acidic substances. So like the other stone flooring options they’ll need to be sealed regularly and should only be cleaned with mild detergents and hot water, or again a steam mop. However, should a tile be stained, it can, as mentioned, be easily replaced.

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