Nowadays, many people opt to use stone as primary flooring in their homes.
They are natural, beautiful and always stylish. Its durability and style makes a great choice for every room in the house. With varying colors and types, you can find easily the perfect stone for any space. While stone flooring is very popular now, it is important to realize that there are a few limitations with certain stones. Some are stronger than other types of stones and more colors are available for any type.
Before choosing a specific type of stone, arm yourself with knowledge to find the best fit. There are many types of natural and engineered stone, it’s important to know their durability and style. Below are some of the floor surfaces we work with.
Marble is known and prized for its classic elegant look and has been around since ancient times. While considered by many as the most luxurious flooring on the market, compared to other stone floorings it doesn’t hold up that much and is easily affected by scratching and chipping which is why it requires professional sealing and installation.
Sandstone is a beautiful natural floor covering that is popular for its distinctive style. It’s durability is hard as rock since it is quarried from the cores of mountains that can last for decades if properly cared for. It can also be slippery when polished especially in areas where water may be present. For this reason it is generally not used in bathrooms or kitchens.
Granite is one of the most popular flooring options and obviously one of the hardest, most scratch-resistant flooring materials as it is formed under extreme pressure. Granite can be found in endless shades and colors and is ideal for bathrooms, hallways and foyers or could even be used as an accent to other flooring options.
Travertine is a type of limestone with beautiful variations and one of the softest floorings on the market. Travertine can be strengthened by filling small holes with a cement and polishing. Regular application of a stone sealer also helps protect travertine flooring. Limestone brings a touch of nature to your home.
Slate is a rustic classic type of metamorphic rock which works well outdoors as well as indoors. It is water resistant and comes in a varying spectrum of rich and earthy tones. It is naturally textured and provides homeowners with the classic ‘stone’ look. The rougher surfaces offer good traction for entryways, sunrooms, patios and kitchens.
Cement tiles are available in many earthy colours, shapes and sizes. The cement tiles are full bodied and generally quite thick and heavy. Although the surfaces are rather smooth, the body of the tile contains stone chips. When protecting these tiles, it is of utmost importance to protect the surface, thereby protecting the colour.
True terracotta tiles are full bodies and made from clay and then baked in a kiln. They are generally anti-slip and often used outdoors and in wet areas. The porosity of terracotta tiles varies according to the make and model, so accurate coverage of sealers is sometimes difficult to predict. We have a selection of sealers that we use. The porosity and finish required, are aspects we take into account.
Porcelain tiles are manufactured from raw materials that do not differ much from that of vitreous china. Tile tiles are pressed dust, mixed with colouring oxides in order to give them their colour. They are full bodied and have excellent mechanical and chemical properties. Porcelain tiles can come in various finishes, mostly natural, honed or polished. These processes give them their level of gloss. Call us for the appropriate sealer that is able to penetrate and seal the tile from within.
There are plenty of elements that can penetrate or hold to the surface such as grout, dyes, resins, oil, water and etc. Many products on the market have been designed to beautify and protect the surfaces of stone, tile and grout, and sealer is one of them.
Sealers can be water-based or solvent-based. Take note: most water-based sealers cannot be used outside so you might want to consider that. As the name implies, it seals the surface tight against chemicals, water and other contaminants.
By applying sealer, you completely occupy the porous grout structure with a stable, hard grout sealer before the water moves in. This results in strengthening the tile and looking great. Sealing is done to create a protective barrier against spills and permanent stains. It also ensures that future tile and grout cleanings yield the best possible results.
It is important to realize that a sealer is not an impenetrable barrier – it only provides reaction time to deal with spills. Bad news is there is no really guarantees applicable to tile/sealing. Good news is sealers come with a life expectancy of up to 15 years depending on the quality of the tile, maintenance procedures and so forth.
For example, an unsealed floor can stain immediately, whereas if a floor is sealed it can resist the stains and can have a reaction time up to 4-5 hours. When it comes to finishing off your tile, a tile sealer may or may not be a good idea.
It is always a good idea to seal the tile grout, but depending what material your tile is made of, will determine whether or not you should seal it.
Some tiles will be damaged by certain tile sealer leaving them brittle, dark, or faded. It's important which type of tile you have and what kind of sealer it matches.