Your Floor, Finding The Right Stone Tiles


Natural stone has been favorite for use on floors for centuries an excellent reason. Stone tile brings the colors and texture of nature to our homes and also adds quality and warmth to a room.

Because natural stone comes out of the earth, there can be wild variations in its color and quality, so be sure to do your homework when shopping for stone tile for your floor. Order enough material to complete the job to minimize mismatched lots. As is the case with any flooring material, the stone you want may not be available if you're going to repair a floor, so always get extra to avoid that.

Let's look at the most famous stone tile materials: slate, travertine, sandstone, granite, and marble.

Slate floor tile

Slate is mostly the type of stone tile you’ll encounter most often. It’s a metamorphic rock that splits into thin sheets easily. Once it cleaves into layers, it’s easy to turn it into a tile.
The density of a given slate relates directly to its cost. The denser it is, the more likely it is not to flake and fall apart.
Slate pros: Tends to be dark, also highly resilient.
Cons: Needs to be installed by someone who knows what he or she’s doing, be sure to figure installation into the final cost.
Suggested uses Living areas, hallways, entryways, and kitchens.


It is another commonly-encountered stone. It's often sold as marble or limestone, even though it's neither.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock composed of calcite, and as such it's a good bit softer than its limestone kiln. It's nearly impossible to keep a shine, except if it settles into its natural, matte finish. Few materials offer the warmth that travertine does.

Travertine gets a lot of bad press for being a fragile material, but the Trevi Fountain in Rome is made from travertine, and it’s been there for 300 years. That says a thing or two about travertine’s longevity.
Travertine pros: It has wildly variable patterns and colors, another thing is it feels soft underfoot.
Cons: It tends to scratch and stain

Suggested uses: Living areas, hallways, kitchens, and baths.


In ancient times, kings demanded marble floors, and in these more democratic times, you can too. Even though it’s another stone that’s prone to staining and scratching,
marble has character.

It’s harder and more resilient than travertine, but it does need some extra attention.
Marble benefits from professional sealing, and it’s better left with a honed finish.
Marble pros: Beautiful patterns and colors, again highly resilient
Cons: Absorbs water, so be careful using it outdoors. Prone to stains and scratches.

Suggested uses: Living areas, hallways, kitchens, and baths.


Probably the hardest natural stone out there is granite. Nothing else will hold a shine or repel water the way granite will. However, granite’s resilience is a double-edged sword. Its shine and hardness make it an unforgiving surface despite its beauty.
Granite pros: Beautiful colors, highly resilient, it can be used indoors or outdoors.
Cons: It can seem rather cold.
Suggested uses: Living areas, hallways, kitchens and baths

Limestone Floor Tiles

Limestone is another cancerous stone, and it’s similar to travertine. Unlike travertine, however, limestone has been hardened through time and tectonic action. That hardening makes it a better and more resilient material to use as flooring.

Limestone often keeps its striations as it forms, and it tends to look like wood.
Limestone pros: Beautiful patterns and colors, highly resilient
Cons: Absorbs water, so be careful using it outdoors.
Suggested uses: Living areas, hallways, kitchens, and baths.

Sandstone Flooring

Sandstone is another metamorphic rock that lends itself to flooring. The wild color variations of other stones aren't as prevalent with sandstone, and it's easier to find consistent tones with this material.
Sandstone pros: Extremely resilient
Cons: Minimal color options
Suggested uses Living areas, hallways, kitchens, and bath.

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