Natural stone tile reflects the natural beauty of the earth, that is why they are becoming increasingly popular.
Most people associate natural tile with the outdoors. However, they are now being found inside of many people’s homes.
What are the Different Types of Natural Tiles ?
Natural tile is commonly available in five different materials. travertine, marble, slate, limestone and sandstone.
Natural tile ” depending on the material ” are also available in three different finishes. Firstly, honed, which is where the surface has been ground to a smooth surface. Secondly, riven, where the faces of the tiles are irregular due to the material being split by hand. Finally, polished, where a layer of gloss has been added.
Where Can Natural Tile be used ?
They can be used just about anywhere, but they are most common in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, living room and fireplace.
It is also becoming popular for people to purchase natural tile mosaics and use them as borders with ceramic wall tiles.
They can contribute to creating some of the most unique and eye catching looks in the home.
Natural tile is available for wall and floor, however, some may be too heavy to apply to walls.
Are Natural Tiles Expensive ?
You will find that Natural Stone Tile is usually more expensive than your average ceramic tile or porcelain tile.
However, just like all tile, you should look at purchasing natural tile as an investment, and not just a cost: they can add significant value to your home.
Considerations Before Fixing Stone Tiles
Natural Tile (flooring) is best used where they can be tiled directly onto a concrete base. If this cannot be done, concrete backerboard is the next best thing.
Some natural tiles, particularly the travertine, may need to be ‘back-buttered’ to achieve a solid bed: please be aware of this!
Commonly, natural tiles will be anywhere up to 20mm thick. This may mean that you have to shorten any doors to account for the increased thickness (compared to ceramic tiles), especially if you are applying a backerboard underneath.
Sealing & Maintenance of Natural Tile
All natural tile must be sealed to prevent water penetration and staining. Allow the grout to cure a minimum of 14 days. This allows the grout to achieve the correct color, full hardness and strength without the interference of sealers or coatings. Sealing the grout earlier (before 14 days) may cause the grout to become soft or discolor due to conditions at the jobsite or the composition of the sealer. All grout sealers, regardless of composition, can be safely used after the 14 days of curing.
Wall tiles do not usually require re-sealing after the initial application, however, it is advised that you re-seal natural tile floors periodically – this will depend on whether the floor is subject to low or high traffic.