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Natural Stone Flooring

Natural Stone Flooring Finishes

Types of Natural Stone Flooring

Slate

Slate is another form of metamorphic rock that consists of silica alumina and iron oxide. It is easily split into layers that provide a rugged rustic look. It has good abrasion resistance and high durability if it has been correctly cut. It is impervious to water, cold hard and noisy under foot and can be slippery. A non-slip variety is available. It is difficult to lay as the product is quite brittle and heavy. It is usually laid into a bed of cement over concrete.

Limestone and Sandstone

These are derived from sedimentary rocks; deposits of sediment being laid down under water or air formed these. Sandstone comes from deposited sand grains i.e. quartz, pressed and held together by silica, calcium carbonate or other cements. Limestone comes from deposited organic origin materials i.e. bones shells and consists mainly of calcium carbonate. Limestone is rarely used for floors today as it becomes slippery when it is worn and not all products are hardwearing. It is grey or beige in color.

Sandstone – is used more in outdoor paving than indoor, but looks great in an area that flows to the outdoors such as a conservatory.
Its irregular natural pattern is its best feature and can range from a grainy timber look to stripes and speckles. It is beige, brown, reddish brown, in color and some stones are hardwearing.

Natural stone flooring - Granite used for steps to a commercial building entry.

Granite used for steps to a commercial building entry.

Granite

Granite is a form of Igneous Rock, created by the cooling of molten magma. It is made up of feldspar quartz and mica. This is a luxury floor covering and one that needs careful consideration before specification, as it is an expensive product. The floor structure needs consideration, as it is very heavy. Once laid, it will last for a very long time, as it is hardwearing and resistant to chemicals. It has a timeless look. If highly polished it is slippery, but a honed finish provides a more manageable finish. It comes in limited colors – black, red, green, grey, blue, pink. It is supplied in a slab form and is cold and noisy underfoot. But it looks great!

Marble

This is a form of metamorphic rock, a combination of igneous and sedimentary rocks undergoing a major change due to extreme influences of heat or pressure.
It is made up of calcium carbonate; it comes in numerous colors, white, grey, green, ochre, beige and is usually veined. It is a hardwearing beautiful product, expensive to purchase and lay as it is heavy and comes in slab form.
It is cold and noisy underfoot. From a designers point of view like granite it has a timeless quality.

Natural stone flooring - Marble used of floor and walls of a hotel bathroom, very stylish.

Marble used of floor and walls of a hotel bathroom, very stylish.

Quartzite

Quartzite is a form of metamorphic rock, it is a compact granular quartz rock derived from sandstone. It has good abrasion resistance and is less expensive than marble or slate.

Mosaic

This is a decorative work made up of small pieces of tile (stone or glass in the traditional form), which are laid to form pictures or patterns. It is a very ancient art form and was made popular in the Byzantine period. It is very durable, hard, cold underfoot, noisy and of course expensive. There is a large cost involved in laying the product. There are commercial products now available where the designs and patterns are pre laid out and attached to a backing so that they are easier and quicker to lay. They make wonderful borders on the floor and are often used as a wall finish, splash backs in bathrooms, mirror surrounds and can even be framed as artwork. There was a trend of breaking up glazed ceramic tiles and laying them so that they were in a haphazard “crazed” pattern.

More Types of Flooring Options

Timber Flooring

Clay Based Flooring

Semi Hard Flooring

Carpet

Hard Flooring

About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse
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