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Natural stone is not for everyone. Back in the day, only the rich and privileged could afford it anywhere in the house. Regular people could certainly not afford it for their floors, let alone their bathroom floors. However, modern technology has made quarrying, processing, and shipping natural stones such as granite or marble much easier, hence more affordable. While most people can now afford natural stones for the home, they are still associated with classy living. Here are some things you should know about natural stone tiles and their benefits.
The process of converting a huge block of stone into bathroom floor tiles is slightly different for various types of stones, but similar enough to make little difference to the end user. Below is a quick description of how to turn marble into tiles.
You will usually find marble in mountainous and remote areas, sometimes in caves. A commercial operation will already have holes drilled into areas rich with the stone, and operators cut blocks from the mother stone with diamond wires.
These blocks weigh hundreds of tons, so they are hard to lift. To make it easier, a large block is cut into smaller ones. Cranes then lift these out with cranes and brought to a cutting yard. Special machines reduce each block to slabs for countertops and cladding, or to narrow strips for tiles. Each slab and strip goes through a polishing or finishing machine before going to wholesalers and distributors all over the world. Slabs go to countertop suppliers, and strips go to tile manufacturers, which cut them to standard sizes for retailers and showrooms.
Because marble tiles go through so many processes and so many hands, the costs can pile up. They are not as expensive as back in the day, but they are still more expensive than other tile materials. However, there are considerable benefits for using natural stone for bathroom floors.
The best benefit of marble or granite tiles for your bathroom is the sheer stylishness and beauty of these natural stones. The visible crystal structure of granite and the delicate veining and patina of marble are the epitome of exclusivity and elegance. You only have to step into a bathroom paved with natural tiles and you can immediately feel it. Real estate professionals will always consider it a plus, as just having them in your bathroom will raise the value of the home significantly.
Natural stones also have inherent variations, which guarantee no two bathrooms will ever look identical. Using it for your floors, walls, and countertops may seem over the top, but a good interior designer can work magic with them. If you want your bathroom to look distinctive, natural stones are the best way to go.
Looks are not only the only benefit of natural stones, however. Homeowners and designers like natural stones because they are durable. Granite, in particular, is very strong because it formed under extreme pressure and heat. It is also heat resistant and virtually scratch-proof, which makes it the ideal material for bathroom floors.
Natural stone is also a good material to retain heat if you have underfloor heating. Granite heats slowly, but keeps it for several hours, so you can actually save money over time. Marble also retains heat, although not to the extent of granite. You may want to consider granite for the floors and marble for the walls and countertops in this case.
The only problem with natural stones is porosity, although granite is relatively non-porous. In fact, some dark colored granite tiles are not porous at all. However, for all other natural stones, you need to seal it against any type of liquid to keep it from staining. Liquid seepage will not actually destroy the stone, but it might make it look unsightly. Sealing the stone is the easy and best solution to that issue, and a variety of affordable sealers is available for all types of natural stone.
• Choose larger tiles for bathroom floors to keep seams to a minimum
• Select a leathered finish or other rough texture for your tiles to keep it from being too slippery
• Pick the floor tiles first and match the walls and counters to match them
• Make sure the subfloor is strong enough to bear the weight of natural stone tiles, as they are heavier than ceramic tiles
Natural stone tiles for your bathroom is an excellent idea if you have the budget for it. If you are in doubt, it is best to consult with professionals. Get in touch with Granite ASAP for a free design consultation and quote for your bathroom remodeling. We help clients visualize their walls, floors, and bathroom countertops before doing any work. Our service is the state of Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, Tysons, and Washington DC.
We carry a wide range of products for your bathroom renovation needs, including natural stone slabs as well as the best engineered stone brands in the country for your vanity top and tiles. Over 100 colors of granite and marble slabs are available for inspection at our Chantilly, Virginia showroom. If you prefer engineered stone, we can offer you products from the Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI brands, each one carrying the manufacturer’s warranty. You can choose what you want and we will deliver it ASAP!
We strive to help clients create their dream bathroom or kitchen, keeping their budget and time in mind at all times. Feel free to ask any questions over the phone, or get in touch using our contact form. We offer free estimates and quotes for any of your bathroom remodeling needs.