They’re natural and stunning and expensive. I have received more questions about natural stone flooring than just about any other product. So here are some quick tips before you invest into a natural stone floor.
Natural stone as the name implies is the work of God. We can’t tell it to look a certain way. There will be patterns, colors, veins all over the place. They are cut out of the earth so don’t expect them to have much uniformity. If you are prepared to accept them for their natural beauty, then here are some more things to consider.
Try this experiment. Grab a marker. Put a dot at the corner of a travertine tile. Now do the same for a cheap ceramic tile. Immediately try to remove the dot from the travertine. Sorry, shouldn’t of wasted your time. You can’t. It’s penetrated the stone and it’s stained for good. Now wait after a few minutes, get some water or acetone, and watch the mark wipe right off the cheap ceramic tile.
So why pay $ 8 a foot for precious travertine when it stains so easily over a cheap $ 0.50 ceramic tile? Look, travertine, marble, slate or granite – all natural stones stain like crazy because they are porous. If you put them under a microscope, you will see gaping holes all over the place. That’s how stains get in.
Unless you seal them.
A sealer effectively fills their natural holes and makes it harder for stains to get through. And you have to re-seal them periodically depending on your home traffic. If you’re not prepared to do this then DON’T, BUY A NATURAL STONE FLOOR for your kitchen or high traffic areas.
You will be greatly disappointed. Don’t put them on your backsplash either unless youre prepared to seal them. Seal, seal seal! I’ve seen too many horror stories of people rushing out because travertine was the next big thing without them really knowing how it will work for them. If your dog pees on it, yes it will stain. You will have a pee soaked travertine tile. That’s how it is. So if a small dot causes you pain in trying to remove it, imagine what would happen when your child spills mustard or ketchup on your new natural stone floor?
Only put them in these areas if you’re willing to seal them. That way, you will enjoy them for years since they give a very lovely, timeless look.
Otherwise, you’ve been warned!