Natural stone refers to a material that has formed in the earth for hundreds to thousands of years. The deeper you quarry for stone, the stronger and denser the stone becomes. i.e. slate is relatively close to the surface and breaks or flakes easier than granite that is much deeper in the earth. Some other terms referring to natural stone are limestone, marble, travertine, onyx, and quartzite. Tile generally refers to a man-made product like ceramic or porcelain tile.
There is a lot of science behind the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile but here is the easiest explanation. Both are man-made products using a clay material that is fired at an extremely high temperature. However, porcelain tiles are a denser and less impervious material that ceramic. Because of this, most companies produce the majority (if not all) of their floor tiles as porcelain and not ceramic.
Yes. Natural stone is a porous material and needs a good penetrating sealer that will protect your stone and make your life easier in keeping it clean. We carry FILA Solutions, an Italian produced stone sealer.
It is a lot easier than people imagine. Using a good quality sealer cuts down on the steps involved and the frequency in which it needs to be applied. I good penetrating sealer normally involves about 3 steps. Step 1 – clean the stone very well. The sealer will lock in whatever dirt or debris is on your stone. Step 2 – Apply the sealer (like putting pledge on wood furniture) in layers until the stone stops absorbing the sealer. Step 3 – let the sealer dry and cure before using the space again.
Some porcelain tile comes cut with perfectly square cut edges. This means a tile installer can lay the tile with a grout joint as small as a 1/16”.
Yes. Grout has come a long way in the past few years. There are now acrylic based (instead of the traditional sand and cement) grouts on the market with the sealer already built in. This combinations creates a mold, mildew, stain, and UV resistant grout. They are available in all the colors of the traditional sanded or unsanded grouts.