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natural stone flooring options in houston

Natural Stone Flooring: What You Need to Know

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There’s nothing quite like natural stone flooring to add beauty and elegance to your home, both inside and out. Since stone is an organic material, no two tiles look exactly alike. This is a major draw to homeowners who want to achieve a unique look.

However, before you select stone tiles based on their appearance alone, here’s what you need to know about choosing a natural stone flooring material that will work best for the application you have in mind.

Natural Stone Flooring is Porous – What’s that Mean?

Stone is a porous material, which means it absorbs water and liquid spills. Stone tile manufacturers rate specific materials based on how porous they are. From most to least porous, these include:

  • Non-vitreous: Don’t use tiles with thisrating in damp environments or they could become damaged.
  • Semi-vitreous: Tiles with this rating require regular maintenance when exposed to moisture.
  • Vitreous: This is the standard absorption level for stone tiles. This rating is ideal for low- to medium-traffic areas and can stand up to moisture exposure.
  • Impervious: Tiles with this rating are ideal for outdoor, commercial and high-traffic areas where you want liquid resistance and very low maintenance.

READ MORE: Buyers Guide to Marble Stone in Houston

Quality

Thickness, shape, size and condition are all important when selecting natural stone tiles. The tiles you select may be given one of three ratings:

  • Grade 1 is for the highest quality stone tiles.
  • Grade 2 products have minor chips and irregularities that prevent perfect uniformity.
  • Grade 3 is usually reserved for rustic decorations or antique replicas since they have major irregularities and flaws.

Surface Traction

If you plan to install natural stone flooring outside or next to a pool where it’s bound to get wet, you should look for a higher coefficient of friction. This means when the stone gets wet, the surface doesn’t become too slippery.

Stone Finish

The finish plays a large role in determining what the stone will look like and how slippery it is when wet. Finishing options include the following:

  • A polished finish creates a glossy, reflective surface.
  • A honed finish has a smooth, velvety surface and little to no gloss.
  • A tumbled finish creates a weathered, aged appearance. Chipped edges and imperfections make the stone look like it was just hewn from the mountain.
  • An antique brushed finish is another way to achieve a rustic, slightly pitted look by replicating the natural aging process.

READ MORE: 7 Kitchen Flooring Materials to Boost Cooking Comfort

Natural Stone Flooring Maintenance

Before you decide stone is definitely the right flooring material for you, consider the material’s maintenance requirements:

  • You should dust mop the floor frequently to remove dust, dirt and sand. These abrasive substances can scratch your stone flooring over time.
  • Place welcome mats or rugs at all entrances and ask guests to wipe their feet before entering to minimize the accumulation of dust, dirt and sand in your home.
  • Occasionally clean the floor with a small amount of mild dishwashing detergent or neutral pH stone cleaner. Avoid abrasive bathroom and grout cleaners, scouring powders, vinegar, lemon, and other acidic cleaners. Thoroughly rinse the surface after washing to remove soap residue and prevent streaking.
  • Blot spills immediately to help prevent staining. Don’t wipe spills as this could increase the stained area.
  • To remove stains, flush the area immediately with water and soap. Rinse and dry. If the stain remains, a stone stain remover should do the trick. Several applications may be required to remove tough stains.

For more information about selecting, installing and caring for natural stone flooring, please contact us today!

Marble Flooring Houston

Buyers Guide to Marble Stone in Houston

By | Marble Houston, Resources | No Comments

Looking for Houston marble options to help you remodel a kitchen or bathroom? We don’t blame you; marble is a beautiful addition to many rooms and motifs.

The best way to ensure that you get exceptional stone quality and your renovation goes smoothly is to get the details right. Accordingly, here is a stone buying guide. We’ll talk about the different uses to which you can put marble, take a quick look at various colors you might choose, and talk tips and tricks for choosing slabs and matching pieces.

When you’re done, you’ll be all set to select the best marble for you.

Marble for Countertops

Marble is a common stone for many places in the home. Among the most common uses for marble are

  • bathroom countertops
  • showers and bathtubs
  • fireplaces and hearths
  • bars in dining rooms or basements
  • office surfaces
  • other relatively low-use areas
  • kitchen islands, countertops and sink surrounds

In kitchens, where many people want to use them, they may be a little trickier to take care of, but the myth that they shouldn’t be used in kitchens simply isn’t true.

A common myth holds that you can’t use marble in kitchen because it will stain. Because it is very porous (like many types of stone) marble will easily absorb liquid that can discolor it. Often when this happens you can’t get the stains back out. However, if you seal it regularly, that won’t happen. Because it looks beautiful and resists heat well, it is often a good choice for kitchens, providing you care for it.

Marble for Flooring

Houston Marble is also excellent for flooring. It looks gorgeous, is easy to sweep, vacuum and mop, and takes on a beautiful shine.

You have to be careful with marble flooring, however. It requires sealant to prevent staining, which makes the surface very slick. Unlike slate or brick or other types of flooring, it can get extremely slippery, especially when it’s wet. Marble might not be the best choice for a high-traffic area that is frequently wet or muddy, especially if you’re running a business. However, as long as you keep it to areas that won’t experience a lot of moisture, or cover walkways in carpet, marble makes for a very elegant statement.

Marble Slab Color Guide

White-Marble-SlabThe truth about “Houston marble” is that it actually comes from all over the world! These different species of marble have many different characteristics, ranging from different hues to various veining patterns. What colors you choose to use depends largely on the theme you have in mind.

Most commonly, light colored marbles are used in commercial and residential renovation projects; but there are also a long list of colors that can help you make your project stand out. These colors come from impurities while the marble is being formed.

Among the huge variety of soft marble hues are

Then there are the medium shades, which often have vibrant hues. Consider

  • Rusty reds
  • Bright jade greens
  • Brilliant blues
  • Stunning oranges.

On the dark end of the spectrum, you’ll find deep browns and blacks, often with flecks of color in them, as well as dark greens and blues.

Matching Marble Colors to Your Theme

When choosing a color, it helps to keep the rest of your scheme in mind. If you want to make sure that your marble will complement your home décor, your paint, your possessions and your lifestyle, think through the following questions before ordering your slabs:

  • What color will the walls be?
  • How about the floor?
  • Will you be using the same towels, dishrags, dishes, window treatments, framed artwork, furniture and so on?
  • What kind of a “vibe” do you want the room to have? Light colors are often bright and cheerful; dark is understated and serious.
  • Will you have an accent wall, in which case your marble won’t be the main focus?

If your scheme has several colors and statement pieces all vying for attention, the result can be overwhelming. Stick to one color family and one central point of interest for best results.

Selecting Houston Marble Slab Options

Marble isn’t a fabricated item; it is quarried from deposits in the earth. That makes each slab a unique specimen. If you want to make sure you love your marble, you should choose each piece yourself. Look for long slabs; wherever possible, you want to avoid creating seams in countertops. For floors, the size of your marble pieces will depend on the tiling pattern you’ve selected.

It’s also a good idea to try to match pieces on bathroom and kitchen counters. The effect of two different pieces side by side can be jarring. The secret solution? To choose two pieces cut from next to one another and flip them so they reflect the same pattern. It deceives the eye into thinking a continuous pattern is at work.

If you have any other questions about selecting or owning marble, please let us know!

Buyers Guide to Granite Countertops in Houston

By | Granite Houston, Resources | No Comments

Are you looking for quality Houston granite supplier to outfit your washroom, kitchen, laundry room, office or bathroom with countertops? Do you want the highest possible quality and the best fit for your home, lifestyle and color scheme? Do you feel like you have way more questions than answers when it comes to granite?

Never fear: we’re here to answer some of those questions for you. Choosing stone for your countertops is a big choice, and one you’re going to live with for years – more likely decades. It’s important that you make an informed choice that works for you. Let’s get started.

Houston Granite Countertops

There are several important questions when it comes to buying granite for your countertops, the first of which is, are you sure you want granite? There are several other popular stones for countertops, including marble, though granite is among the most often chosen because it is so gorgeous and durable at the same time.

Another important question is whether you will have a backsplash in your kitchen. This makes it easier to clean up after messes or spills, and ties into the color of the countertops, usually extending up the wall to meet the cabinets. While its common to use the same color, some people elect a different color, or use tiles to make a pattern. It’s up to you.

Choosing the Edge Style for Your Countertop

The next thing to consider is what you want the edge to look like. Are you happy with a simple square edge, or would you like it to be angled or beveled? Some edges have a scroll pattern, while others curve under slightly. Usually your granite slabs will arrive with your chosen edge already cut into the stone. Talk to your contractor or your granite supplier to find out more about edge types, including styles such as:

  • Flat Eased
  • Quarter Round Top Bottom
  • Quarter Bevel Top Bottom
  • Ogee
  • Demi Bullnose

… and more.

When to Use Granite

Another important factor is when to use granite. Unlike some other types of stone that have more specific uses – think slate – granite is pretty versatile. You probably don’t want to install it outdoors, where the finish might get ruined, but indoors the sky’s the limit. Use it for the bathroom, the kitchen, the mudroom, the laundry room or to add an accent to bars, dining room sideboards or offices.

Pretty much any time you want a durable stone that will last for decades, granite cuts the mustard.

Granite Color Guide

Granite comes in a wide range of colors, mined from granite quarries across the world. Before making your selection, it’s wise to look through the wide range of available colors to choose the one that’s best for you.

GraniteColorsMany granite choices are simple shades like white or black with mottling or veining of different colors. That said, you can also get granite in a huge variety of bright colors, including

  • red
  • yellow
  • gold
  • green
  • blue
  • violet

Other granites are composed of a huge variety of different colors.

There are also manufactured granites, but these aren’t as nice. They have a different texture, and up close it can be obvious they aren’t real. If you want the full effect of beautiful stone countertops, you’re best off avoiding imitations.

How to Select a Countertop Stone

Choosing pieces of granite is highly individual, so while you can have your contractor do it for you, it’s probably best to do it yourself. The best approach is to look at specimens in a showroom to pick the exact type of granite you want.

Keep in mind that not all whites or blacks are the same, and depending on the colors in your kitchen, bathroom or other room, they may or may not mesh. So bring in paint swatches and wood colors with you when you go to look at samples. If possible, look at the slabs themselves and select the ones whose patterns and shapes you like. If not, let your supplier know exactly what you’re looking for and they can order it for you.

Wondering what questions to ask your contractor or granite supplier before signing on the dotted line?

Countertop Buying Checklist

  • Will you cut the countertop edge for me?
  • How long is this stone guaranteed for?
  • How often should I refinish it?
  • Is this stone recommended for certain areas of the house and not others?
  • Are there any uses that void the warranty?
  • Does this stone have a tendency toward staining?

If you’re looking for a Houston granite supplier, we can help. Let us know if you have any additional questions after reading this guide, or if you’re ready to get started selecting your new stone and beautifying your home. We’re here to help whenever you’re ready.