1. Q. IS NATURAL STONE A GOOD CHOICE FOR HOME USE?
A. YES. Pure stone is a terrific (to not point out lovely) materials to make use of in all areas of your property. Figuring out the various kinds of stone, their finishes and purposes will show you how to to make an knowledgeable determination on which stone is one of the best on your venture.
2. Q. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENT FINISHES FOR STONE?
A. There are numerous finishes and choices accessible. Listed below are essentially the most broadly used:
- Polished — A excessive gloss floor.
- Honed — Clean with squared edges and with no polished floor.
- Tumbled — Evenly tumbled to attain rounded edges and a floor that’s not as easy as honed.
- Vintage Tumbled — Medium tumble edges and floor to attain a slight rustic look.
- Cobbled or Distressed — Closely tumbled edges and floor to attain an aged or historic look.
- Brushed — Acid washed and wire brushed for a easy textured floor.
- Flamed — Blow torched for a tough textured floor.
3. Q. DOESN’T STONE STAIN? I DON’T WANT STAINS!
A. YES. All pure stone can stain and etch (a uninteresting spot in a sophisticated or honed floor), together with GRANITES. Sealers DO NOT stop staining as they’re a moisture barrier solely, but they’ll assist to provide you a small period of time to wipe up spills. It’s practically not possible to forestall staining or etching, however severe stains will be nearly fully eliminated and any etching will be resurfaced if both is actually bothersome to you. To assist preserve a perspective on selecting to make use of pure stone, keep in mind the next:
1. For hundreds of years, many European international locations have used pure stone from ground to ceiling, in and out. The stone turns into stained, cracked, pitted…and that’s the reason we like it! These traits solely make it that rather more lovely. (Solely we People get uptight about such issues!)
2. As a result of stone is quarried from the earth and never “man” made, it’s unbelievable to ever discover two actual matching tiles or matching slabs for that matter. One slab might even look completely different from every finish of itself. That can be the sweetness as a result of every bit is completely different, however when items are put collectively as an entire it’s a masterpiece! (Be sure you buy sufficient to finish your venture as you could not have the ability to get extra from the identical lot.)
3. Stone is timeless. It doesn’t get dated just like the 70’s Avocado Inexperienced and Harvest Gold décor did.
4. Stone will last more than any of us will. There are centuries outdated castles, made from 100% stone and nonetheless standing as we speak!
5. It’s a pure useful resource that may by no means run out.
6. The extra it’s used, the sooner a “Patina” (gentle sheen on the floor) will develop. The “Patina” may even help to forestall staining to a lesser diploma.
4. Q. WHAT IS THE BEST STONE TO USE IN MY HOME?A. It’s actually a matter of selection and the look you need to obtain. Ask your self the next questions when making your determination: Is it lovely to me? Do I like it? May I reside with it for years? The very best recommendation that I can ever give to anybody selecting stone is: Go together with what you’re drawn to from the start. First, as a result of you’ll solely spend loads of time and develop into confused when laboring over the “right” determination by taking a look at many various stones and colours; secondly, you’ll in all probability not be pleased along with your choice if it’s a must to choose one thing else; and at last, you’ll greater than probably return to what you favored the primary time. Reviewing the next most used stone sorts will assist if you find yourself able to make your selection.
- GRANITES — Granites normally have a “spattered” or “swirled” grain and might include many colours (minerals). Typically, granites have a sophisticated completed and have a “busy” look, however to maintain up with present traits, extra producers are producing honed (easy & unpolished) and flamed (tough textured) surfaces. Granites could also be bought in slab and dimensional tile type and can be utilized in nearly any software. It has develop into ever fashionable as it’s getting used regularly in newly constructed tract housing, condo/condominium complexes and business buildings. Granites are imported from many international locations and have simply as many colours and sizes to select from. A word in utilizing polished granite is to know that it may be slippery to stroll on till a patina builds on it. As with all different commodity, stone can be graded for high quality requirements. Be cautious if this can be very cheap…(lower than $7.00 per sq. foot except you’re shopping for a big amount.) The worth ranges in granites will be wherever in between $8.00 to $90.00 per sq. foot, relying on the colour, rarity and the place the stone comes from. The “blue” stones, containing minerals/gems akin to sodalite are normally within the greater priced ranges.
- LIMESTONES – There are numerous forms of limestone accessible and fluctuate to many levels, relying upon the place it comes from. Unpopular to perception, limestone can be a superbly appropriate stone to make use of in all areas of your property. Most limestones have softer earth tone colours; might include a “swirl” veining motion all through; can include fossils; or might have a light-weight speckled grain. Limestones, similar to granite or some other pure stone can stain, etch or get scratched, however once more, you shouldn’t use pure stone if it will trouble you. Limestone is also broadly accessible in dimensional tile and slab type. This stone is used most regularly in higher-end properties, architectural designs and business purposes as it’s straightforward to work with, the colours are muted in comparison with granites, it’s accessible in as many finishes and textures as granite and it’s nonetheless comparatively new to the market. It’s nonetheless thought of to be a “custom” selection, because it has not reached the overuse degree of granite. Some limestones from international locations akin to France and Portugal will be considerably porous however are excellent for flooring, backsplashes, hearth surrounds and outside makes use of. Limestone from international locations such because the US and Israel (Jerusalem Stone) are typically heavier and normally as dense as granite, which makes it appropriate for nearly each software.
- SLATES – Slate was used primarily for chalkboard, billiard tables, science lab areas and roof tiles. Nevertheless, lately it has develop into extra fashionable for residential use in most purposes, except for fabricated counter tops. Slate tiles are typically tough in floor texture, except for the tumbled model. Most slates can be found in all kinds of sizes in dimensional tiles; a couple of in slab type and most will be gotten in crates of random items like flagstone. It’s a excellent stone for water areas akin to showers & spas, patio/driveway areas, pool surrounds and roofing purposes. Most slates include an enormous variation of coloration, even inside the identical lot and a few will even look to have been stained from spills of crimson wine, which isn’t the case. That is prompted from earth minerals akin to iron and solely provides to the fantastic thing about the stone. Slate holds onto warmth effectively, which is one more reason apart from being fireplace proof; it’s broadly used as roofing materials. (Use gentle colours in outside areas the place you could be strolling barefoot!) Since slates have a softer property, remember that it might probably shale off the floor extra simply. This is not going to hurt it per se, however might trigger you concern in case you are not conscious that it occurs. One of many difficulties of slate is that it’s different in thickness. Due to the shale properties, it is extremely tough to chop evenly. Typically, producers will minimize them with a “gauged” thickness or “sawn back” remedy, leaving one facet smoother. Due to the various thickness between every bit of tile, particular sized installations could also be extra of a problem, so anticipate your installer prices to be a bit greater. Slate itself is mostly a much less costlier stone. Anticipate wherever from $4.00 – $8.00 per sq. foot, dependent upon the grade and nation of origin. Once more, watch out for any extraordinarily cheap costs and remember to verify the standard of the slate to make certain that it has not been stuffed with dyes. Take a look at by holding a bit underneath operating water for a couple of minutes and in addition by placing a couple of tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice on it and wiping off. If any coloration comes off, return it instantly! Only a word: I solely advocate utilizing any acidic answer on stone on this occasion for testing functions solely.
- MARBLE – Most individuals are accustomed to marble in lots of makes use of. From Greek statues to Roman baths, marble has been used for hundreds of years in nearly each doable software, each inside and exterior. Marble has the identical normal properties of limestone and might stain, etch or scratch, but it surely solely turns into extra lovely over time and use. It’s available in nearly each coloration, measurement, end and texture identified to man. Most marbles have a veining of a mineral all through them and are typically considered from Italy, but it surely in fact it’s quarried from all around the world. Tumbled marble has develop into extraordinarily fashionable in the US in the previous couple of years for backsplash, flooring and bathe areas. Costs vary from $6.00 – $30.00 per sq. foot, once more dependent upon the rarity, coloration and nation of origin. A few drawbacks to marble to concentrate on is: 1. Inexperienced marbles containing serpentine must be put in in water areas with particular setting pointers that your installer ought to know of as water can warp and break aside inexperienced marbles; 2. Polished marble will be slippery to stroll upon till a patina has constructed up on the floor.
- TRAVERTINE – Travertine is marble, besides it’s stuffed with “holes.” To know what causes the holes, consider it this manner…wherever a river or stream was previous to the marble being quarried is the place you will see that travertine. Due to the holes, folks will be scared off as a result of travertine is mostly considered extra porous and never appropriate for residential use. This isn’t the case, as all of these holes develop into stuffed in with grout throughout set up, giving it a really distinctive look. The identical travertine can be utilized in two separate areas however seem one other approach simply through the use of two completely different grout colours! Travertine will be bought with the holes pre-filled, however in my expertise with it, I do not advocate it. Basically, the epoxy fill that’s used has a coloration to it that doesn’t look pure to the stone and it tends to come back out after a brief period of time in excessive site visitors areas. Anticipate to pay wherever from $5.00 – $15.00 per sq. foot.
5. Q. IS STONE MORE DIFFICULT OR COSTLY TO INSTALL THAN CERAMIC TILE?
A. On the entire, it isn’t harder to put in. There are exceptions after all such because the difficulties with thickness gauges, which takes extra time in planing the structure and whether or not a posh sample is getting used. As for value it’s typically no more costly apart from time spent on laying out patterns and the thickness gauging once more, no less than for the tile contractors I’ve labored on tasks with. The setting provides and procedures are the identical, however stone is heavier to work with. I recommend speaking it over along with your installer and in addition taking the time to take a look at earlier jobs she or he has put in if doable. I can be giving recommendations on choosing a tile contractor/installer in my subsequent article.
6. Q. CAN A STONE DESIGN BE USED OR MIXED WITH OTHER KINDS OF MATERIALS?
A. Completely! The probabilities are infinite. You may incorporate stone with ceramic, porcelain, glass, and terracotta…something you may consider, even mixing various kinds of stones collectively.
7. Q. HOW DO I FIGURE THE QUANTITY THAT I WILL NEED?
A. Typically, tile and stone for a “field” space (area the place plain tile can be) is figured by the sq. foot. To determine sq. footage, measure the realm that you may be placing the tile with a tape measure. Examples:
1. You measure your room and it comes out to be 10-1/2 toes large by 15-3/4 toes lengthy…you’d calculate it by multiplying 10.5×15.75 = 165.38. Spherical this quantity off to the closest complete quantity (165). I recommend including on a 10-15% overage to plan for cuts, breakage and just a little further to retailer in case a bit must be changed later in time.
2. You measure your wall space to be lined and also you get 18″ tall and 33″ lengthy. Multiply 18×33 = 594″. Now divide that quantity by 144, leading to 4.13sf. (There are 144 sq. inches per sq. foot). Once more, spherical it off and add on for overage.
When figuring for ornamental tile or trim, it’s normally by the piece and calculated by the lineal foot.
For slabs, it’s best to let your fabricator determine the amount for you.
8. Q. WHAT SIZE GROUT JOINTS SHOULD I USE?
A. Once more, this can be a matter of selection and the look you favor. Honed stone can normally be butt-jointed (tight to one another) with little or no grout exhibiting if you wish to see a lot grout or grid sample; tumbled stone normally has a 1/8″ to 1/4″ grout joint which is able to exhibit the perimeters extra.
9. Q. WHAT SIZE OF STONE TILE SHOULD I USE FOR MY PROJECT?
A. It relies upon upon the venture itself and the realm measurement. One thing to bear in mind is that if the realm to be tiled is small, it’s higher to make use of an even bigger measurement tile, if you’d like the realm to look bigger. It’s not unusual to imagine that you probably have a small perimeter of ground that you need to use a 4″, 6″, or 12″ tile, which isn’t vital. When doing so, it’ll make the realm really feel small and you’ll have extra grout joints.
10. Q. I DON’T LIKE THE GRID PATTERN I SEE FREQUENTLY. WHAT CAN YOU SUGGEST FOR AN ALTERNATIVE?
A. There are numerous pre-set repeating stone patterns accessible, or you can also make your personal “random” sample from completely different measurement items of stone. A pre-set sample is simpler to make use of and the quantity of stone that can be wanted for the venture can be simpler to determine. To additionally assist from conserving a grid sample from being so apparent is to make use of a grout coloration that’s as shut as doable to the colour of the stone. Utilizing darkish grout with gentle tile, or gentle grout with darkish tile was a well-liked look within the 80’s. Nevertheless, I believe it’s higher to see as little grout as doable. Your stone is the costly a part of your venture so you need to need to present it off, not your grout!
11. Q. CAN YOU HELP ME WITH DESIGNING MY STONE LAYOUT?
A. Sure, I can. I cost an hourly charge of $75 and I’ll want a number of issues from you:
1. A replica of your blueprints, together with the elevations you probably have them and the realm to be tiled clearly marked; or a drawing of the realm, together with the scale and the realm to be tiled proven. Be certain that to specify what room/location it’s, if it isn’t marked on the blueprint.
2. The model of residence you may have; or the look you favor, i.e….rustic, up to date, elegant, conventional…
3. Whether or not or not you may have already chosen your stone. If that’s the case, what did you decide and what measurement? If not, would you like me to make strategies for you? If sure, do you may have a set finances?
4. Will you need to use ornamental trim items? If that’s the case, did you select one but? What are the scale of a bit(s)?
Look ahead to my subsequent article: FAQ’s On Selecting A Tile Contractor/Installer