Treat Yourself To Stone Flooring

Is your carpet looking run down or your wood floors faded and scratched? Is that vinyl a little too 1990?

Flooring is a vital part of any home’s interior design, as it can instantly change the look of any room. Flooring is one of the first things people see when they enter your home and is most often the first physical contact they have with your home.

In addition to the impression your flooring leaves on a person, there are other aspects it affects as well. Flooring can affect the health, functionality, comfort, and overall value of your home.

It can be hard to know which type of flooring is best. Some flooring is very versatile and can work in virtually any room. But other flooring options, such as carpet, have their place, and, despite what the 1970s may have thought, that place is not in the bathroom (shudder).

For bathrooms, hallways, and kitchens, a good, high-quality flooring option is natural stone. Natural stone flooring is elegant yet extremely durable, making it highly sought after for thousands of years.

Stone flooring can improve nearly any interior design. But, as with most things, weighing the pros and cons is important before making a final decision. Keep reading as we examine the different aspects of stone flooring.

Types Of Stone

1. Marble

Originating from limestone, marble is a beautiful, metamorphic rock with captivating patterns derived from different types of organic matter. Marble is best suited for low-traffic areas.

Pros:

  • Timeless elegance.
  • Unique.
  • Excellent insulator.
  • Gorgeous colors.
  • Shatter resistant.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Moisture resistant.
  • Reflects light, making any room appear brighter.

Cons:

  • Prone to staining or etching.
  • Doesn’t do well in high-traffic areas, as it is a soft stone.
  • Slippery when wet.
  • Must be refinished once or twice a year.

2. Slate

Another type of metamorphic rock that makes a good flooring option is slate. Slate is one of the most durable flooring options on the market.

There are two different types of slate. The first type is underground slate, which is denser but more expensive. The other type of slate is surface slate, which is more brittle but less expensive.

Pros:

  • High quality.
  • Extremely durable.
  • Stain-resistant.
  • Unique and attractive.
  • Ideal for areas that get wet.
  • Highly resistant to scrapes, scratches, and dents.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Very forgiving material.
  • Ideal for radiant heating.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to repair.
  • Not DIY friendly.
  • Can be a rough surface.
  • Painful to stand on for long periods.
  • Cold.
  • Requires sealing once a year to prevent stains.

3. Granite

Granite is an igneous rock composed of various stones and minerals that give it its glittery appearance. Granite does very well as flooring.

Pros:

  • Incredibly durable.
  • Scratch resistant.
  • Heat resistant.
  • Low-maintenance.
  • Seemingly endless color options.
  • Moisture resistant.
  • Mostly stain resistant.

Cons:

  • While mostly stain-resistant, it can be stained by oils.
  • Heavy.
  • Difficult to install.
  • Slippery.
  • Requires re-sealing.
  • Expensive.

4. Sandstone

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that is softer than many other types of stone. However, despite its soft nature, sandstone is pretty durable and makes for a good flooring option.

Pros:

  • Durable.
  • Can tolerate heavy foot traffic.
  • Easy to install.
  • Beautiful, unique earthy coloring.
  • Easy to clean.

Cons:

  • Scratches and dents easily.
  • Absorbent.
  • Stains easily.
  • If installed in a kitchen or bathroom, it must be sealed every three to six months.

5. Travertine

Like marble, travertine is a form of limestone. Travertine is one of the oldest building materials known to man. It makes for a good flooring option but may not be suitable in areas that are susceptible to spills (due to its tendency to stain).

Pros:

  • Easy to install.
  • Timeless, natural, earthy colors.
  • Durable.
  • Non-slip surface.
  • Easy to repair.

Cons:

  • Susceptible to staining.
  • Very porous.
  • High-maintenance.
  • Not ideal for homes with kids and pets.
  • Expensive.

Unfortunately, just going off the list above isn’t all that is required when making your final stone flooring decision. You also need to consider what type of finish you’d like. Not all finishes are suitable for every area of your home. And, not all stones come in every finish.

Here are the pros and cons to consider when deciding which finish suits your needs.

Polish

Pros:

  • Water-resistant.
  • Brings out the stone’s natural beauty and unique qualities.
  • Lush finish.

Cons:

  • Requires additional maintenance.
  • Slippery

Flamed

Pros:

  • Less slippery.
  • Good for areas that get wet.

Cons:

  • Rough texture.

Acid-Washed

Pros:

  • Not as slippery as other finishes.

Cons:

  • Less elegant.

Honed

Pros:

  • Trendy, rustic appearance.
  • Matte finish with pock marks that make wear less visible.

Cons:

  • Hard to clean.
  • Pockmarks can accumulate dirt.
  • More absorbent than other finishes.

Filled

Pros:

  • Contain tiny pockmarks that are filled with a sealant.
  • Easier to clean than a honed finish.

Cons:

  • Finding a filler that matches the stone can be difficult.

Once you’ve determined the best type of stone and finish for your specific project, you are well on your way to a beautiful new floor. The next step is finding a home remodeling contractor that can make your flooring dreams a reality.