For maintenance-free elegance and durability, granite is unmatched. Its incredible strength and density makes granite the perfect choice for massive structural work – walls, monuments and supports. Though it is the hardest of structural stones, the amazing variety of mineral-rich colors and natural patterns gives it ornamental value as well. Granite products are ideal for flooring, countertops, vanities and decorative exterior applications.
Natural stone products differ in composition, color, and texture even among pieces from the same source. This is usually considered a benefit, lending itself to one of a kind designs and distinctive, dramatic applications.
What are the different kinds of natural stone?
Prized for its timeless style, texture and high-gloss polish along with a rich palette of beautiful colors, marble has a place anywhere in the home. Available in solids or dramatic veined varieties, marble may be carved or sculpted in many ways, making it one of the most versatile decorative stones. Often seen as a symbol of luxury, modern technology brings beautiful marble products even to budget-conscious homeowners.
Formed over thousands of years of sedimentary deposit and compression, slate splits naturally into beautifully textured layers. The various shades of slate products – brown, yellow, dark gray, pink, lavender and more – may even occur within the same piece of stone. Durable and stain-resistant, slate products are often used for flooring, cladding and landscaping.
Shimmering and sparkling with tiny quartz crystals, Quartz is a rock similar to slate with a medium grained texture and incredible durability. Differing mineral content creates many color variations, from the sedate white, gray or beige to more adventurous shades of purple and pink. Quartzite is widely used for wall veneers and decorative tiles. A naturally non-skid texture makes it a perfect candidate for flooring indoors and out, including areas with heavy traffic and exposure to the elements.
With a uniform texture, an appealing variety of colors and finishes, and weather resistant durability, it's easy to see why sandstone products have been used for thousands of years for walls, floors, and pavers. As with other types of rock, its variations result from differing mineral composition – there's a sandstone product to match any décor.
The muted, soft tones of limestone are perfect for today's casual and comfortable lifestyles. Available in hues of soft beige and tan, either polished or honed, limestone products are ideal for bathrooms, fireplaces, countertops and flooring in low-traffic, informal areas.
Valued for its banded, pitted "distressed" appearance, travertine adds rich, distinctive character to a variety of indoor and outdoor building projects. Its patterns and veining effects were formed by hot spring water percolating through underground limestone. When used for interior applications, travertine is often filled with cement, grout or resin and sealed to create a smooth, stain-resistant surface.
A translucent stone with a glossy, polished surface, onyx is composed of crystalline silica and closely related to agate, a semi-precious stone. Often found in caves, onyx is formed by the slow flow of cold, carbonated spring water. Onyx is available in pastel shades of yellow, brown, green, orange, and white.
How do natural stone tiles differ from ceramic tiles?
The most important difference is this – Natural Stone is a product of nature, and Ceramics are man-made. Most man-made materials cannot compare in durability to natural ones. While damaged ceramic tiles usually need replacing, natural stone usually needs minimal restoration if stained or scratched. Other differences are explained below:
Low absorbency, thin and lightweight, corrugated backing
Have only one plain finish and practically no edge finishes.
The sizes in ceramics are restricted and patterns are very uniform and geometric.
Differs from category to category
Acid sensitivity varies from stone to stone.
Have a whole spectrum of finishes like Polished, Honed, Antiquated, Tumbled, Leather, Rugged (Split face, River Rough, River Wash, Flamed) and more. Different types of edges like beveled, bull-nosed etc. are possible.
No size restriction. Available in huge slabs as large as 125' X 75' or in small tumbled mosaic pieces of 1"x 1". Natural, random patterns are found in Natural Stones.
Natural Stone can be used on nearly every surface both inside and outside the home, including floors, kitchen countertops, vanity tops, bathrooms, patios, walkways, fireplaces, facades, wall cladding, and garden landscaping.
Countertops in kitchens and bar areas are often exposed to acidic substances such as lemon, vinegar, alcohol, and tomato sauce. Knives, dishes, pots and pans, and other implements may cause scratching of lesser materials. Granite is the hardest and densest of all natural stones – the feldspar content keeps it water resistant, and the silicates it contains won't react with acid. These properties help Granite resist staining and retain its fine luster over a longer period of time than ceramic tiles or other stones.
Although Marble is commonly requested for countertops in bars and kitchens, marble's high carbonate content makes it vulnerable to acidic substances.
The earth tones and rustic look of slate create a comfortable, natural look that is right at home with exterior landscaping and interior garden designs. Slate is naturally slip resistant, even when wet, and is much less likely to show dust and dirt than polished granite or marble. It's also relatively low priced, which makes it a great choice for large, informal areas.
Natural stones are quarried directly from the earth's crust, and every piece is unique. The only processing they need is shaping into various forms, sizes and finishes.
Sources of natural stone with desirable qualities in many different locations in India. Indian stones better than others due to the stones' appearance, hardness, and other qualities.Mostly stone quarried in India,
Cost of processing is also a factor. Since natural stone has been used as a building material for thousands of years in many locations , those areas have a long-established system for quarrying and processing these stones which is efficient and economical.
Natural stone from different areas contains a varying mix of mineral deposits and rock formations. For example, the mineral Mica may be found more frequently in some areas, which means that the rock from that location will contain bigger shiny crystals than we would find in places where less Mica is found. Some countries quarry more limestone than granite. Therefore, stone from certain places may be better suited for one application than another. Natural stone qualities and characteristics differ due to geological formations, not geographical boundaries.
Some types of stone are better suited for interior applications than exterior because they cannot withstand harsh weather extremes and may crack, crumble, or fade. Also, stones with naturally slip-resistant surfaces are better for outdoor walkways or patios than those with smooth, polished surfaces. Some multicolored slates bleed color upon contact with water.
Natural stones tiles and slabs for commercial and residential applications do not emit harmful radiation. becoz of natural stone made naturally
What are different kinds/types of stone finishes?
- Natural Cleft
- River Wash
- Split Face
- Fleuri Cut
- Vein Cut
- Veneer Stone
It has a slightly uneven surface that is still usable for flooring. This finish cannot be created, but occurs naturally as the layers of natural stone are quarried. One side (back side) can be gauged to facilitate ease of "thin set" installation. Some marbles, sandstones and limestones are available with heavy clefting, suitable for wall installations only.
Grinding, sanding, and buffing produces a high gloss, mirror-like surface.
Grinding and sanding produces a smooth, yet not glossy finish. This is best for low maintenance, high traffic applications.
A flamed surface is achieved by subjecting the stone to the high temperature flame of a torch and burning most of the carbon content, leaving textured quartzites with gentle coloration.
This is a rough, but tidy look created by applying a high pressure blast of sand to the stone's surface.
This finish is often given to granites, and provides a non-slippery surface while retaining the coloration and grain structure of the stone.
Available only in Melange marble, this finish gives the stone a suede look and feel. This texture is smooth and slip-resistant.
Tumbling stones in a solution of sand, water and mild acid creates an old world, weathered look.
Mainly used for cladding, this is achieved by splitting stone either by hand or by machine so that the surface exhibits a natural quarry texture. It has a flat back and uneven front surface, and creates the uneven look of protruding bricks.
This is achieved by cutting quarried marble or stone parallel to the natural bedding plane.
The cross-cut method involves end-cutting blocks of travertine to display a less linear, more rounded "wavy" pattern.
Opposite of cross-cutting, the veining of the stone is shown as a linear pattern.
Any stone used as a decorative facing material as wall cladding which is not meant to be load-bearing. Veneer may be made from different finishes, such as split face, cleft, honed, polished, flamed or tumbled.
Natural stones is cleft out of blocks to form tiles. When it is cleft by machine or saw, it is Machine cut because a uniform thickness is formed. Natural Cleft stone is hand-cleft and its thickness may vary up to 5/8 of an inch.
Edge Finishes Various edge finishes include chipped, pillowed, bull-nosed, beveled, chamfered, and others.
The application should be consistent with the type of finish selected. A rough finish such as flamed would be a poor choice for countertops, due to the difficulty in cleaning it. Clefted material should not be used for tabletops, because it would present an uneven surface.
Tumbled stone pieces are intended to produce a rustic, old-world look. Therefore, they are not created with precision and may vary slightly in size. Some pieces may have large chips on the edges or may have a corner missing. Care must be taken to ensure an even surface when installing tumbled stone flooring.
Stone Installation Can I specify that there be no grout joints? Creating an installation without visible grout joints is difficult, but if the surface of the floor is straight and the tiles are perfectly cut, very little grout should be seen. A professional, experienced installer should be chosen to create this look.
A good installer knows that some other stones require water-free epoxy thin-set.
When stone is installed on a concrete slab at ground level, ensure that a proper moisture barrier is in place prior to installation.
Contrast Grout: emphasizes a pattern created by the tile.
Matching Grout: blends seamlessly with the tile.
Accent Grout: a shade slightly different from the tile, gives them an appearance of depth.
Lighter colors tend to make a smaller room seem larger.
Dark colors tend to make a room more intimate and cozy.
Solid colors, smooth and polished tiles show more dirt and require more maintenance.
Patterned material, usually in a honed finish, is one of the easiest to maintain.
Dramatic patterns can help highlight and accent portions of the room, including architectural features.
Standard thickness for 12" square tiles is 3/8".
Standard thickness for 16"-24" square tiles varies from 0.5" - 0.75".
Slab sizes vary from 104"x70" to 125"x80". Smaller sizes are available as well.
Thickness of slabs is generally ---------------
Slates and Quartzites are produced in nominal sizes, not exact sizes - a 12" square tile may actually measure 11.87" square.