A stone tile floor is probably the most stunning, and the most dramatic looking in just about home. Aside from hardwood flooring, it’s the most popular choice for homeowners. But, it’s actually more versatile than hardwood because stone comes in so many varieties, colors, and patterns, as well as different sizes.
For those who want to add classic elegance to their home, Marble is the best choice. It’s also the oldest form of stone flooring, going back into ancient times. There are dozens of hues and colors, from red, green, blue, to white, gray, and cream, to match your interior decor. However, when polished, Marble can be slippery to walk on, which means careful planning should be made on where it’s used. Places that get wet, like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, are not good choices. Marble will also amplify sound in your home, so look to adding plenty of furniture and wall decor to help dampen noise. Marble is also a soft stone, and will scratch and stain. Definitely spend on a professional sealing to add longevity to your Marble. Cost: $5 to $50 per square foot.
Another soft stone, Travertine is a popular choice for its unique ability to add softness to any room. It’s actually a form of Limestone (see below), but found near natural springs. You can get it in a wide variety of hues and tones to match just about any paint and color scheme. There are two types of Travertine, polished, which looks almost like Marble, and tumbled, which is characterized by pits and holes that give it an antique look. Travertine stains and scratches easily. You will definitely need a professional sealing to help keep it clean. Because Travertine looks great when mixed with tiles of various shades, it’s easy to replace a broken tile with a new one. Cost: $3 to $20 per square foot.
One of the hardest stones used in homes, Granite is formed deep underground under extreme forces, making it highly durable. It’s scratch resistant, stain resistant, even without sealants. Granite has become so popular because it’s available from everywhere in the country, making it inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to ship, and allows homeowners to add a locally-sourced material to their home. There are also wide varieties of hues and colors, but also a wide variety of patterns too. Like Marble, Granite can be slippery when wet or polished, yet is still a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms because of its stain resistance. Cost: $2 to $15 per square foot.
Slate is unusual in that its formed in layers, allowing it to split apart into sheets, which are then cut into tiles. Slate is usually left with its natural rough surface, though it can also be found honed smooth. However, leaving it with its natural rough surface makes it popular for bathrooms because it offers traction in wet areas, including kitchens and outdoor patios. Slate is a darker colored stone, and generally comes with dark streaks of green, orange, and brown. It will still compliment most color schemes because of these color streaks. Pricing for slate generally depends on how thick the tile is. The more thin, the more likely Slate will chip or flake. Cost:ost: $2 to $20 per square foot
Limestone is sedimentary rock, meaning it was formed over the thousands of years of sand, shell, and other sediment settling to the bottom of ponds and streams. Today, large chunks of Limestone are cut into tiles and reveal unique spiral patterns unlike any other type of stone. It’s a porous stone, though still harder than Travertine. But like Slate, most Limestone tiles are left with a rough finish, making it great for rooms that get wet as well as patios and gardens. Most tiles are light in color, ranging from bright white to creams to light browns, but there are darker hues available, as much as dark greys. If used, Limestone tiles need to be sealed to prevent stains. Cost: $5 to $20 per square foot