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How to Purchase Stone? (1)

Updated:2007-11-14 15:10:20

Before You Buy


If you’ve come to this section there’s a good chance that you may be a natural for natural stone flooring.

Well shopper, you’re certainly in good company.

Natural stone is a popular flooring choice in every style home around the world.

It has the magical ability to transform a special home into a memorable one.
And who wouldn’t want that, right?

But, there is a vast array of natural stone choices out there, and this flooring product has it’s own set of traits, characteristics and understandings.

There are also performance considerations and revelations about how the natural stone will look once it’s installed in your home.

Thus this section.

It’s all about things you should be aware of, keep in mind, and just plain know, before your shopping phase leads to purchase time.

So read on about this natural wonder called stone.

Learn all you can, let yourself dream a little too, and keep asking yourself: “is this the flooring solution for the way we live?”


Truly a one-of-a-kind product.

stone slab

The beauty of natural stone is that no two pieces are ever the same.

Each piece of stone has its own natural characteristics such as color, veining and markings, as well as hardness and porosity.

Your floor is truly unique and completely individual. Exclusive.

A natural stone tile floor begins with giant pieces of stone that are mined from the earth and transported to factories where they are cut into thin slabs.

Each slab is different, displaying the affects of the physical course of its ancient history.

The slabs are then cut into individual tiles. Depending solely on Mother Nature, and Father Time, each tile cut from the same slab might look completely different from the next.

Veining and crystallization may be abundant in one, yet non-existent in another.

Appearance may vary from tile to tile, but that only adds to the elegance, charm and magic of natural stone.


Consistency is not in this flooring’s vocabulary.

natural stone

Variations in natural stone are to be expected and, frankly, enjoyed.

So the samples you view at your retailer can have completely different veining patterns or color variations compared to the stone installed in your home.

Also, please remember that it is not possible for you to hand select your natural stone.

You should be aware that irregular markings, lines, veins and crystallization are not cracks or imperfections, but rather a natural part of the stone’s beauty.

Think of them all as forming the “personality” of your floor.

Additionally, if you select a combination of natural stone products, of the same color and type of stone, for different areas of your home, they will not match.

And no natural stone tile will have a perfectly smooth surface. Even after the tiles are polished there may be small chips or pits that may be apparent in different lighting.

Being a natural product, natural stone tiles will vary more in thickness, squareness and length compared to man-made stone tile.

As a result, once your natural stone tile is installed, it will not be a perfectly smooth surface from tile to tile.

Finally, natural stone also varies in hardness, which is the scratch resistance of a mineral. Talc is the softest mineral and diamond is the hardest.

This is important when picking a stone. Make sure to consider what types of activities will be taking place where the stone is installed in your home.

For example, you would not want to install a soft, porous type of stone floor in a high traffic area. Our best advice is to consult with your retailer.

Six stones and the hard facts on each. To help you shop smart for natural stone flooring, here’s a rundown on six popular stones: granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate and tumbled stone.

(To be continued....)


source: World Floor Covering Association (WFCA)

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