Natural stone is a huge part of the tile world. Available in an array of colors and textures, natural stone can be shaped, cut, tumbled, polished, honed, flamed, brushed, chiseled and subjected to any number of installation techniques, making it ideally suited to be a beautiful choice for any tile project.
All stones are naturally occurring materials, created millions of years ago beneath the earth’s surface. Each type of stone is a product of heat and pressure affecting the composite materials found in the surrounding earth. Therefore, stone varieties come from very specific geographical locations throughout the world, and are frequently named for that location i.e. Carrara, Italy; Calacatta, India; Thassos, Greece, etc. Most natural stones have been used as building materials for nearly all of human history, and will certainly stand the test of time, but they do require a little extra care and maintenance. Although, susceptibility to moisture, scratching and staining varies depending on the particular type, all stones should be sealed regularly for protection.
While marble, limestone, travertine and slate represent most building stones, there are countless other options available, such as granite, agglomerate, cantera, flagstone, onyx, porphyry, quartzite, semi-precious stones, shellstone, soapstone and sodalite.
The practice of ceramics and pottery is an ancient art, and people have been making it into tile for nearly as long. In fact, the human race has been working tirelessly to create new and innovative tile products from all sorts of materials. Man made tiles are not subject to the same limitations of natural stone and there is a vast selection available. From the familiar ceramic, porcelains and terra cottas, to more unique glass, wood, metal and concrete the possibilities are endless