Natural stone tile floor comes in a variety of types. Each of them has distinct characteristics that make them suitable for a specific area. Decision-makers need to consider some factors in choosing the perfect flooring.
1. Absorption Level
Porous materials are more susceptible to stains and cracking. Consider taking the ANSI Water Absorption Test before installing a stone tile floor. Get a non-vitreous tile only if it is to be installed indoors, probably for hobbies and crafts use. Semi-vitreous tiles can be used for backsplashes as they can tolerate the occasional water. Vitreous and impervious tiles are the best option if the area will be situated outdoors or if the tiles would be used for bathing/cleaning purposes. The vitreous tile, however, cannot be subjected to areas where it would freeze.
When purchasing a stone tile floor, analyze the P.E.I. Wear Ratings as it shows which tile is more wear resistant. Group I Tiles are perfect for areas with light foot traffic. They can also be used on walls as decor. For areas like the kitchen, laundry rooms and foyers, Group II Tiles would be the best option as these areas have high traffic. The Group III tiles are recommended for residential use. All residential installations, as well as light to medium commercial use, can opt to use Group IV tiles. Group V tiles can be used in heavy traffic areas. They are perfect for wet areas where safety is a concern. It is recommended for exterior areas, food service areas, swimming pools and shopping malls.
To know how slip-resistant a tile is, homeowners need to take the Coefficient of Friction (C.O.F) ranking into consideration. The higher the score is, the more resistant the tile is to slipping. For dry general areas, one can opt for a “dry” 0.5 and above rating. However, if the tile is to be installed in the kitchen or bathroom, the “wet” rating of 0.6 or higher would probably be best.
4. Location Suitability
If an area is to be installed with stone tile floor, installers must make the obvious choice of choosing the kind which suits the location more. For indoor installations, tiles can be slightly water absorbent, unless it’ll be used for cleaning or bathing. Choose a tile that can accommodate light to medium load. The best option for outdoor use, however, are those tiles which can be subjected to extreme pressure and it should be water resistant. Unless treated with a special sealing agent, natural stone tile floor are porous, except slates and granite. Marble scratches easily while limestone is a dirt magnet. Travertine, when polished, is too slippery; however, when it is unpolished, it is hard to clean.