Types of Tile

Natural stone tiles can be grouped into three classes.

Igneous rock is formed when molten rock (called lava or magma) cools and hardens. Granite is an example of an igneous rock.
Sedimentary rock is formed from biological deposits that have undergone consolidation and crystallization. Limestone and sandstone fall into this category.
Metamorphic rock is created when other kinds of rocks are changed by great heat and pressure inside the earth. Marble, slate and quartzite are examples of metamorphic rocks.

Here are the names and definitions of some of the more popular natural stones:

Sandstone is a sedimentary stone that is primarily composed of loose grains of quartz sand that are rough in texture. A number of varieties are available.

Travertine is a crystallized, partially metamorphosed limestone, which because of its structure, can be filled and honed and is dense enough to be a type of marble.

Limestone is another sedimentary stone, it’s formed from calcite and sediment and comes in many earthen colors.

Bluestone also known as Basalt is one of the hardest materials available for flooring today. Basalt was found in the greater part of the Earth’s body in a molten form under the plates which the Earth’s land is situated on. When a volcano erupts, the lava pools cooled by a body of water become Bluestone

Granite is an igneous stone that is extremely hard, dense and resistant to scratches and acid etching. It is an ideal stone for use in flooring and in food preparation areas. Hundreds of varieties of granite exist.

Marble is a derivative of limestone. It is a metamorphic stone that can be polished. Marble is characteristically soft and easily scratched or etched by acids. There are countless types of marble from around the world.

Slate is a metamorphic stone that has a sheet-like structure. It is composed of clay, quartz and shale, and comes in a multitude of colors including reds and greens.

For durability, granite can take the hard knocks

Of all natural stone, granite is one of the hardest and densest, second only to diamond.
Made up mostly of quartz and feldspar, it resists staining and scratching better than any other natural stone, making it an ideal choice for your kitchen.
In fact, granite is durable enough for almost any application you can think of.
It’s beautiful in foyers, bathrooms, libraries, or as an accent with other natural stones.
Mother Nature produces granite in a variety of colors such as rich browns, vibrant golds, warm creams and cooler blues, greens, grays and decadent black.

For pure elegance, marble is the choice

Marble has a legendary elegance. It was used throughout the ancient world because it was soft enough to be worked with tools but hard enough to last through the ages.
Once considered the domain of the rich and famous, marble can be used in many applications throughout your home.
Just what is marble you may ask? It’s a crystallized limestone that is not as hard as granite.
Marble comes in many different color variations and usually displays a prominent veining pattern with luxurious swirls and patches of contrasting color that make marble famous. Sophisticated grays and whites to a wide range of earth tones in both light and dark colors are the most popular.

Coral, character and color come home with limestone

Limestone has a more subtle, casual look and is actually a “young” marble.
It is created by the accumulation of organic materials such as shells and coral that gives it a unique, natural look.
This more porous stone comes in a diverse range of neutral colors from ivory to soft grays to golden browns.
This range of colors makes limestone a versatile design option for flooring and walls.

There’s a “hole” lot to know about Travertine

A member of the limestone family, Travertine shares some similar characteristics such as being soft and porous.
Travertine is formed with many small cavities and holes that can be filled in with cement or resin, or left unfilled for a textured surface.
The surface is then polished creating a different looks from honed to highly polished. The filled-in areas remain dull which creates an interesting contrast Travertine can also be tumbled for a rustic, old world look.
Travertine can be used in flooring in numerous rooms in your home and can also make for a wonderful backsplash. Again, the colors are generally earthy and warm and are at home in both warm and cool environments.

Slate: intriguing indoors, outstanding outdoors

Slate is a highly versatile stone that gives a natural, rustic and colorful appearance to any room.
Slate can be used for interiors as well as exteriors, making it the perfect product to bring the outdoors inside your home.
All slate has a natural “clefting” along the surface that gives this stone its unique textural, layered look but is also available with a smooth surface.
This stone is made up of clay and shale, which is very dense.
Slate is water resistant, which also makes it ideal for exterior applications, such as patios and pool surrounds.
Slate colors range from rich reds, oranges and golds to mauve, lavender, green, blue, black, rust and brown.
If your style is about texture, no other natural stone has the dramatic texture and color of slate.