A beautiful way to enhance your floors, indoors or out is by incorporating natural stone into your decor. There are several types of natural stone, so understanding their differences can help you decide what is best for the look you want and for your lifestyle.
Proper cleaning and maintenance is necessary to uphold the integrity of the stone. The shinier the material, the more maintenance is necessary.
Granite: This is the hardest of the polished stones commercially available and is used in high-stress situations. Although it is resistant to most chemicals, liquids such as oils and red wine can permeate the stone, creating unsightly stains.
Marble: Marble is one of the most well known of all natural-stone floors, although it isn't as durable as many homeowners think. This recrystallized limestone is porous, making it easily stainable. Annual sealing is recommended.
Limestone: Limestone looks similar to marble because it is adolescent marble. It does have more of a uniform appearance, with slight color variations, and is generally not veined.
Travertine: This type of limestone can be left in its natural state, with no polishing. It is porous, with many visible holes, which often are filled with epoxy. Polishing unfilled travertine can be tricky because polishing powders can accrue in the holes and make cleanup difficult.
Slate: It's a very dense, but soft and an easily scratched material with low permeability. It can be used effectively outdoors and indoors. Most slate is gray to black, but the rock may be red or purple, depending on its mineral content. The surface of slate is generally uneven.
Sandstone/flagstone: Flagstone is many homeowners' material of choice when building patios. It is a sedimentary stone that also often is used as pavers. It should be sealed and regularly maintained because it easily absorbs stains.