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What are the Different Types of Natural Stone Flooring?

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  • Written By: N. Swensson
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2018
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There are many types of natural stone flooring that can be used in decorating. Some of the most popular materials are granite, marble, travertine and slate. The right choice for natural stone flooring depends on the area where it will be used as well as the homeowner's or designer's personal taste.

Granite is a very hard and durable stone that comes in a wide variety of colors, including black, brown, red and tan, making it a very versatile flooring choice. It usually has contrasting flecks of different colors in it. Granite is one of the hardest natural stones, making it extremely durable and resistant to scratching and chipping. Floor tiles made from granite generally have a smooth polished surface, but different finishes can be used to give it a rougher texture. The wide range of colors available and its durability make granite flooring able to be used in many areas of a home, including kitchens, bathrooms and foyers.

Another option for natural stone flooring is marble, which has a highly polished surface, giving a classic, refined feeling to a home. Like granite, marble can be available in a number of colors, although the most well-recognized marble probably is white with a grain of gray or black. Although marble is considered to be a sturdy material, it is softer and more easily stained than granite, so it might not be a good choice for high-traffic areas such as a kitchen or foyer.

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Travertine is a type of limestone that is frequently used for floor tile. This natural stone flooring can come in a variety of light and dark earth tones. There are naturally occurring pits in the stone, giving it a rougher texture and more rustic appearance than granite or marble. Natural stone flooring made from travertine might need to be sealed for protection against water marks and scratching. With proper care, these tiles can be used in a number of areas throughout the home.

Tiles for natural stone flooring also can be made from slate, which has a unique appearance. The stone naturally flakes off in very fine layers, so slate tiles usually are slightly uneven, which can give a very natural and earthy appearance to a room. Slate comes in a rich variety of colors and can be used in kitchens, bathrooms and almost any other part of a home. It is water resistant, so slate can also be used outside for patios and other landscaping applications.

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