Are Natural Stone Tiles Suitable for My Home?
Natural stone tiles reflect the natural beauty of the earth, which is why they are becoming increasingly popular in the home. Most people associate natural stone tiles with the outdoors. However, they are now being found inside of many people’s homes.
What are the different types of natural stone tiles?
Natural stone tiles are commonly available in five different materials – travertine, marble, slate, limestone and sandstone.
Natural stone tiles – 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.
Are natural stone tiles expensive?
You will find that natural stone tiles are usually more expensive than your average ceramic tile or porcelain tile.
However, just like all tiles, you should see purchasing natural stone tiles as an investment, not a cost: they can certainly add value to your home.
Where can I use natural stone tiles?
They can be used just about anywhere, but are most common in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and the surrounding areas of fireplaces.
It is also becoming popular for people to purchase natural stone tiles/mosaics and use them as borders with ceramic wall tiles.
They can liven up even the dullest of rooms and can contribute to creating some of the most unique environments in the home.
In most cases, natural stone tiles are suitable for both wall and floor, however, some may be too heavy to fix to walls which you will need to be aware of. Ask a Yorkshire Tile Company sales assistant in store for more details or feel free to contact us.
Considerations before fixing natural stone tiles
If fixing onto a floor, natural stone tiles are best used where they can be tiled directly onto a concrete base. If this cannot be prepared, plywood is the next best thing (plywood will also need to be placed on top of conventional floorboards).
Some natural stone tiles, particularly the travertine, may need to be 'back-filled' to achieve a solid bed fixing: please be aware of this!
Commonly, natural stone 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 layer of plywood underneath. For more information on fixing, please contact us.
Sealing and maintenance of natural stone tiles
All natural stone tiles must be sealed to prevent water penetration and staining, which is applied after the tiles have been laid.
Wall tiles do not usually require re-sealing after the initial application, however, it is advised that you re-seal natural stone tile floors periodically - this will depend on whether the floor is subject to low or high traffic.
For more information on sealing and maintenance of natural stone tiles, please contact us. You can also view maintenance products on our website.
Can I use undertile heating with natural stone tiles?
Yes, undertile heating can give natural stone tiles that extra appeal, particularly in bathrooms.
Have you read our other free advice articles?
- Top 10 tips for choosing and buying tiles
- 10 Reasons why to choose tiles
- Choosing a bathroom tile
- Choosing a kitchen tile