Choosing the right stone for your space is vital to achieving the finish you want, and understanding the qualities of each stone will help you make the best tiling decision.
Used by the ancient Greeks to build their magnificent temples, marble is always in high demand because of its beautiful colours and veins. Marble is great used as a feature stone in foyers, bathrooms and fireplaces, but be careful of using in high-traffic areas as it is a soft stone that can be susceptible to scratches and stains.
Granite is a favourite stone among kiwis, because of its durability and beauty. Granite can be used as structural stone because of its strength, but it’s also commonly seen in bench tops and other high-use areas because it doesn’t scratch or stain. The beautiful colours and patterns in granite are a highly desired design feature.
The Romans built the Coliseum with travertine, so you know it’s a strong stone that stands up against the ages. Suitable for interior and exterior flooring, travertine’s unique “holey” texture gives it a stylish visual impact. Travertine is frost proof and makes a great flooring option for exterior surfaces.
A soft, malleable stone, Limestone is popular for its beautiful natural beige colour and decorative quality. Limestone is porous, so absorbs a lot of water and also reacts with acids. Because of its softness and porous nature, limestone is best used for decorative touches and in low-traffic areas.
Basalt forms through volcanic activity, and offers a striking charcoal-grey colour that becomes the focal point of any room. Basalt tiles come in a range of finishes, from polished to honed (a subtle matt finish that can look like almost metallic) to flamed (a textured non-slip surface). Basalt is much harder than stones like marble and limestone, and makes a great surface for countertops and heavier use areas.
Not surprisingly, sandstone is a rock formed mostly of sand. Its colour varies from reds, browns and grey to white, tan and yellow. Sandstone is popular in New Zealand as a paving or building material because it is easy to work with, yet resistant to weathering.
Because of the way slate forms, it can be easily split into thin layers, hence its popularity for roof tiles and tiles. Slate is great for flooring, cladding and landscaping, and the rainbow of colours seen in the stone – grey, purple, brown, beige, yellow and copper – make it a great feature stone for your home or office.
Still confused about natural stone. Talk to the Europica team on (03) 348 3766 and we’ll source the best natural stone products for you.