One of the best things about natural stone is their individual characteristics, beauty and colours. The difficult part if choosing which natural stone – travertine, limestone, marble or slate?
I’m looking forward to choosing some new floor tiles for my kitchen and determined this time not to sacrifice quality for cost. I currently have a slate effect tile that looked good initially but very quickly started to chip from the smallest impact and showed the white underneath the dark grey surface of the tile – so their beauty really was only skin deep. Now that my once slate grey floor is peppered with white chips the time has come to replace it with something natural, beautiful and most of all hard-wearing.
One of the things I love about natural stone floors is their individual characteristics and distinctive colours now all that remains is to make my choice – will it be travertine, limestone, marble or slate (real this time). I’m looking for a relatively small floor tile – although I’m tempted by the extra large tiles now available, they will have to be fitted around my existing kitchen which is a quirky shape so I think the effect large tiles create would be lost by all the corners they would have to be cut around. Maybe when I move into that palatial new home (well we can all dream).
Probably my favourite type of natural stone tiles is marble – it is hard-wearing as well as beautiful so I’ve been checking out some of the most common types available:
Everyone knows about this fine marble from the Italian region of Carrara. It usually has a pure white background with some veining and the amount and colour of the veining determines the quality and, hence, the price. The purer and whiter the tile, the more expensive and tiles with black or grey veining are the least expensive, although still beautiful and much more affordable.
A world renowned marble from Spain, which, like Carrara marble can have a range of variations and veining with tiles with the least variation being the most expensive. Some of the less expensive versions have very attractive veining that extends right through the tile and some have a contemporary gloss finish.
This is another Italian marble with a sophisticated black background and white veins, which is very rare and so also very expensive. Not suitable for those of us with budget constraints.
But there are many other lesser known types of marble in a whole host of colours and in a range of prices so I have a huge choice. I have considered ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles but am sold on the distinctive look of natural stone floor tiles. Next thing I need to do is get some advice on laying and sealing them.