Consistency is not in this flooring’s vocabulary. Variations in natural stone are to be expected and, frankly, enjoyed.
So the samples you view at your local Dolphin Carpet & Tile location can have completely different veining patterns or color variations compared to the stone installed in your home.
Also, please remember that it is not possible for you to hand select your natural stone. You should be aware that irregular markings, lines, veins and crystallization are not cracks or imperfections, but rather a natural part of the stone’s beauty.
Think of them all as forming the “personality” of your floor. Additionally, if you select a combination of natural stone products, of the same color and type of stone, for different areas of your home, they will not match. And no natural stone tile will have a perfectly smooth surface. Even after the tiles are polished there may be small chips or pits that may be apparent in different lighting.
Being a natural product, natural stone tiles will vary more in thickness, squareness and length compared to man-made stone tile. As a result, once your natural stone tile is installed, it will not be a perfectly smooth surface from tile to tile.
Finally, natural stone also varies in hardness, which is the scratch resistance of a mineral. Talc is the softest mineral and diamond is the hardest. This is important when picking a stone. Make sure to consider what types of activities will be taking place where the stone is installed in your home. For example, you would not want to install a soft, porous type of stone floor in a high traffic area. Our best advice is to consult with your Dolphin Carpet & Tile sales professional.
To help you shop smart for natural stone flooring, here’s a rundown on three popular stones: marble, limestone, and travertine.
Marble is crystallized limestone that comes in many different color variations and usually displays a veining pattern that adds to its uniqueness. Marble is a timeless addition to any home, bearing the signs and marks of history from thousands of years. Marble is more porous than granite, making it more susceptible to staining and therefore is more suitable for your foyers, bathrooms, fireplaces, studies or libraries.
Limestone has a subtler look and is often offered in a “honed” or matte finish. Limestone is created by the accumulation of organic materials such as shells and coral. This stone will require preventative maintenance over time, as it is very porous. You should know that this stone should be sealed to protect the stone’s natural beauty and performance.
Travertine is a unique looking stone due to the “fill process”. In its original form, travertine has thousands of holes running through it. These holes are filled and then the stone is polished. The stone polishes to a high sheen and the fill areas remain dull offering you a unique and beautiful floor. You should know that this stone should be sealed to protect the stone’s natural beauty and performance