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Looking for the best flooring material to give your home the look of elegance and quality that you see on all of the home improvement shows? Natural stone, on the other hand, should be at the top of your list. Natural stone flooring is well-known for its timeless beauty, durability, and long-term value. Stone tile flooring is ideal for use in kitchens, baths, foyers, hallways, living rooms, and paved outside areas.

So, What is Natural Stone Flooring?

Natural stone flooring is tile that is carved straight from stone blocks generated by Mother Earth over millions of years, as opposed to man-made tile that is manufactured by combining various minerals and chemicals, such as porcelain or ceramic tile.

For thousands of years, stone tile has been employed. Marble, travertine, limestone, granite, quartzite, slate, and sandstone are the most prevalent varieties of natural stone flooring.

Its ageless elegance is one of its numerous features. Natural stone homes and buildings do not grow outdated, and tile boosts house value.

Natural stone flooring is frequently utilized to create the illusion of spaciousness. This is accomplished by utilizing the same material for both the interior and outside parts. Its inherent characteristics allow it to catch and reflect light, giving it an airy and light appearance.

6 Types of Natural Stone Flooring

Are you looking for ideas for natural stone flooring? The best place to begin is by learning about the various varieties available. The following sections provide extensive overviews of the top varieties of natural stone floor tiles. Later, we’ll go into the features, pros and disadvantages, cost, and cleaning.

1. Marble

Marble flooring is well-known for its classic, luxurious appearance, dramatic veining, smooth texture, and high-gloss finish. It is available in a range of colors, with white marble being the most common.

Furthermore, marble tile sizes span from huge format to microscopic mosaic tile. Almost every shape is also available – square, rectangle, round, triangular, hexagonal, you name it.

Marble is the most popular natural stone flooring choice for bathrooms to provide a spa-like look and feel.

Given the variety of floor tile options, marble is an excellent choice for flooring and countertops in many homes. However, you should think twice about using marble in your kitchen.

Marble is a softer calcium-based stone that is prone to scratching and etching from acidic meals and drinks, which diminish the gloss.

When common acidic household goods such as vinegar and orange juice come into regular touch with the stone surface, such as when marble is used for kitchen counters, it can frequently etch.

Bathroom goods, such as toothpaste and cosmetics, may include acid, which can also destroy marble. Damage to marble bathroom vanities, floors, and showers, on the other hand, is far less common than in the kitchen.

Marble tile flooring can also etch, although the risk is much lower, and it is usually not a concern in bathrooms or other living areas. A marble kitchen floor, on the other hand, may cause some maintenance issues.

DIY items such as the Etch Remover / Marble Polishing Powder can be used to repair and polish out etching and surface scratches. Even yet, such repairs will be common in the kitchen.

Even with the additional maintenance necessary, marble flooring remains extremely popular. It is usually found in all rooms of the house.

2. Granite 

When it comes to durability, granite tile outperforms all others and is the best natural stone flooring for kitchens. It has a Mohs hardness rating of 7, making it harder than marble.

It will not scrape, etch, or burn. When sealed, stains are no longer an issue, and darker hues may not even require sealing.

It’s also simple to maintain and conceals dust and filth, so you won’t have to sweep and mop on a daily basis.

Granite tile is ideal for floors for these reasons.

Granite countertops have been put by homeowners for decades because they provide great all-around performance and are low-maintenance.

Another advantage is that granite comes in significantly more colors and designs than any other surface. Some patterns, however, may be too busy for floors.

Granite is a great paving stone for patios and driveways. The natural beauty of the stone, combined with excellent craftsmanship, can result in a one-of-a-kind and exquisite design.

Granite flooring gives any place a luxurious and exquisite vibe. Granite bathrooms and kitchens are very popular in modern homes.

3. Travertine 

Hot spring water bubbles through limestone to make travertine. Its distinct personality and appearance make it an appealing flooring option.

Travertine tile is an excellent choice for flooring in bathrooms, shower stalls, corridors, living rooms, and laundry rooms.

However, keep in mind that travertine is related to both marble and limestone. All three have essentially the same performance and maintenance requirements.

The major commonality between the three stones is that they can all be scraped and etched (damage to the finish from acids and harsh cleaners). It is vital to have a specific understanding of proper care and cleaning.

As a result, travertine may require slightly more upkeep as a kitchen floor (where etching is far more common) than, example, granite or man-made surfaces such as porcelain tile.

Tumbled travertine is a common pool deck material. Its sandy coloring complements the garden and pool surroundings. It is also slip-resistant and keeps you cooler than other surfaces on hot days.

Because of its durability and non-skid characteristics, it is also popular as a driveway paving material.

4. Quartzite

Quartzite is well-known as a material for decorative tiles and wall veneers, but it has recently risen in popularity as a countertop material. It has the appearance of marble but the durability, performance, and low maintenance of granite.

Quartzite is used by people who find the busy patterns of granite and the care of marble a little too much.

Quartzite begins as sandstone before being transformed by heat and pressure into the much harder quartzite.

Quartzite has a Mohs hardness rating of 7 on the scale. It is as hard as, if not tougher than, stone. It has a crystalline brilliance and is resistant to heat, chemicals, and scratches.

A quartzite floor can greatly benefit areas of the house or structure that experience a lot of foot traffic. The stone also performs well when exposed to the elements and is frequently used for patios.

Pro tip: Before purchasing “quartzite,” test it with lemon juice to confirm it is not marble. Because they can appear so similar, these two types of stones are sometimes confused. Quartzite, on the other hand, is much more durable and easy to maintain.

Quartzite is an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor flooring. It may be used for interior floors in any room of the house, including the kitchen, with no problems. Other frequent applications include countertops, vanities, and fireplace surrounds.

5. Slate

Slate is another popular floor tile. It is distinguished by its fine grain and distinct cleft texture. One significant advantage of selecting slate tile is its appealing appearance and durability.

Slate tile is available in a variety of colors, including green, red, purple, black, and brown, as well as numerous combinations of these. The type and amount of iron and other organic elements present determine the hue.

One thing to keep in mind is that the quality, hardness, and durability of slate can all vary. Some slate is extremely hard and resistant to chemical deterioration, scratches, and chipping.

Some slate, on the other hand, can be quite the contrary. It is nearly impossible to duplicate the regular texture of slate when repairs are required.

As a result, it’s a good idea to test the specific slate tile you intend to buy to ensure long-term durability.

6. Limestone

Limestone tile is less common than marble or travertine, yet it is equally beautiful and has its own distinct features.

This sedimentary rock is composed of calcium carbonate in the form of the mineral calcite, which is similar to marble. Because it originates in shallow marine water, it contains petrified animals, corals, shells, and algae. 

Because of its endurance, limestone is utilized as a road base, railroad ballast, and concrete aggregate. It is resistant to freezing temperatures and abrasion.

Limestone, like marble, will want the same level of attention and upkeep. It should be put in areas where acidic foods and beverages will not be consumed in large quantities. Avoid it for kitchen flooring, but it works nicely in the bathroom, living room, entryway, or outdoors.