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Options in Stone Flooring

Last Updated May 24, 2011 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

Stone flooring is the ultimate in classic, elegant, beautiful floors but how do you know which stone is the best for your floors?  Here are the options that are available to you.

Types of Stone Flooring

  • Flagstone – Flagstone is a type of stone flooring that is best used outdoors and it is most commonly used for patios, walkways and steps.
  • Granite – Granite is one of the hardest stones available and it is extremely scratch resistant, making it ideal for flooring in heavily used areas.  It is also a very popular stone for flooring as it is available in literally hundreds of different varieties.
  • Limestone – Limestone is a soft stone but it is ideal if you are after a unique look due to the fact that it is largely made up of materials such as corals and shells.  Limestone is incredibly classic and is available in light, earthy colours.
  • Marble – Marble is a classic, elegant stone that is famed for the veins that run through it.  Marble is a soft stone so it is easy to polish to a brilliant sheen but the softness means that it can scratch more easily than other types of stone flooring.
  • Sandstone – Sandstone is a rough, textured stone that is made up largely of grains of sand.  As flooring, it provides an attractive surface and it is available in many different colourings and patterns.
  • Slate – slate is a stone that has a textured finish and looks somewhat like “sheets” of stone that have been laid. Its natural water resistance makes it a popular choice, and it is available in a range of colours.  Slate is composed of shale, quartz and slate.
  • Travertine – Travertine is a soft stone like marble but it has a textured surface rather than a highly polished one, due to the natural cavities found in the stone.  You can choose to fill those cavities to give the travertine a polished appearance or leave it natural.
  • Manufactured Stone – Manufactured stone is made using chips of real stone combined with cement or epoxy resins.  You can achieve the look of real stone but it is usually much cheaper than the real thing.

Stone Flooring Finishes

Once you have picked the type of stone flooring that you want to use, you then need to choose a finish.  The most common finishes include:
  • Polished – a beautiful, reflective finish.
  • Honed – a softer, more matte finish.
  • Acid Washed – acid is used to create small pits and etchings in the surface of the stone, giving it a softer, more rustic appearance.
  • Flamed – the stone is heated and cooled rapidly, so that the stone creates a rough, slip resistant finish.
  • Split Faced – the finish that occurs when the stone is hand cut or split using chisels.
  • Tumbled – the stone flooring is tumbled in a special machine giving a finish that includes broken or rounded edges.
  • Brushed – brushing the stone gives the flooring a natural, worn appearance.
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