Natural stone floors are beautiful, long-lasting, and extremely durable. Humans have utilized natural stone since the beginning of time and we can still see the longevity of artifacts made from stone to this day. Are stone floors right for your home? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of natural stone floors:
The most common types of natural stone used for flooring are slate, marble, limestone, travertine and granite. Each stone differs somewhat in durability, color and tactility.
Slate: Slate is a metamorphic stone, a sedimentary rock that is compressed over time resulting in a smooth stone. This rustic stone usually comes in irregular shapes and geometric patterns and colors such as greens, blue-grays, soft reds and browns.
Marble, Limestone and Travertine: All three of these are a sedimentary stone, comprised of natural fossil remains compressed over time, which gives the stone a rougher, more textured appearance and consistency. Marble comes in many colors and patterns, usually depending on where it was quarried. Marble is quite porous and may stain easily, properties to take into consideration when planning to use it in your home.
Granite: Granite is an igneous stone, created by the heating and cooling of volcanic rock. Granite is durable and more resistant to cracks than the other stones.
So now that we know a little about the properties of natural stones, let’s look at the pros and cons of stone floors.
Stone lasts forever. Stone floors are extremely hardy and durable. Wood floors need refinished and can warp from water exposure over time. Stone floors require very little maintenance and will most likely outlive multiple generations of home dwellers.
Stone adds instant history to a new construction. One of the many attractive features about stone flooring is the timeless feel it brings to a room. A stone floor can add instant history to a newly built house. It has an elegance and beauty that compares to no other flooring. Because they are an investment, stone floors increase the resale value of a home.
You can continue the stone floor outdoors. Create a seamless look and feel by continuing the stone floor to the outdoor patio. Mirror your design aesthetic outside your home with large windows and glass doors. Because this material works in both settings, you really can bring the outdoors in and the indoors out with stone floors.
Stone stays naturally cool indoors. If you live in a warm climate, you will love to feel the cool stone on your bare feet as you walk across the floor. The cool stone can also help reduce your energy costs. And, your pets will also love to escape the heat of the day by napping on the cool stone floor.
Natural stone is pricey. It is more expensive than hardwoods and most other flooring options. Because shipping the stone is costly, you can try to have it quarried locally if possible. But there really isn’t a way around the price point of natural stone.
Natural stone is porous. With the exception of granite and some slate, natural stone is quite porous. It needs to be treated with a sealing agent periodically to protect the surface from stains and marks. Marble is a polished material that can scratch easily. You need to take these factors into consideration when you plan where to install the natural stone floors. The kitchen, for example, may not be the best place to install a stone that absorbs stains easily.
Stone floors can be cold. If you live in a colder climate, your stone floors can feel really cold on winter days. You may want to consider radiant heating for under the stone floor. If not, you can use rugs and carpets but the stone floor will be cold to the touch.
Natural stone is heavy. This will factor in to the labor costs of installing natural stone floors. Not only is it a heavy job to install, the installer must make sure your substrate is sturdy and strong enough to handle the heft of the stone.
Natural stone is like the “old soul” of the flooring options. Its earthy beauty and rustic appeal cannot be disputed. If you are ready to look at some samples and talk to the experts about natural stone floors, please contact us. We can show you samples, discuss price points, and help you with your decision.