Not all stones and tiles are created equal. Some perform better in certain conditions than others – and it takes expertise to know which are best for your project. At Stone Care, we’ll walk you through all the aspects of your stone selection so you get both the look and the durability you expect.
Known for its distinctive appearance of veins and striations, marble is a timeless choice for floors, kitchens, bathrooms, and more. Although it has been used in buildings and artwork for centuries, Marble is actually rather delicate when compared to other stones. If not properly sealed and cared for, light colored marble can be prone to staining or etching and darker colors may show scratches.
All of our marble selections have been hand-selected for their uniformity of pattern, unique colors, and natural strength.
As one of the oldest, hardest, and strongest natural stones available, Granite is an investment that can last a lifetime with proper care. It is almost completely scratch proof and will not scorch or crack from heat – even a direct flame. Because it is built up from composite materials in the earth in the site where it originates, each slab of granite is unique – colors can vary from black to blue to green and even shades of red or purple, and some granite has natural luster from metallic elements that give the stone a sparkle or sheen once polished.
Formed by underground rivers and streams filled with trace minerals, travertine stone is formed layer by layer of thousands of years as minerals deposit themselves on top of each other. The result is a smooth, hard stone but with a porous finish due to bubbles of gas that occur when the stone is being formed. Because of this, travertine can be prone to staining and must be well sealed to avoid discoloration. Travertine is very versatile due to its composition and can be highly polished, honed (satin), brushed (matte), or tumbled (raw or textured).
Natural limestone forms on the ocean floor and is as varied as the sands and waters from around the world. Almost all limestone, however, has a soft neutral color palette with subtle variations in texture. It is a porous stone that responds well to polishing, but is also equally beautiful when matte or ‘unfinished’ (though all limestone should be sealed to prevent staining or discoloration).
Though many colors of natural quartz exist in nature, most quartz in design applications today is man-made, eliminating the need for mining or quarrying of stone. Man-made quartz also allows for thousands of custom color variations, shapes for seamless installation, and even embossed patterns in the stone’s surface.
Strong, smooth, and generally flat, slate has been popular for roofing and paved pathways for centuries. It is resistant to heat and cold, but can be slippery when wet. Typically available in a highly polished or a matte/natural finish, large slabs of slate can be shaped into furniture or fountains in addition to being used as tile or countertops.
Made up from a crystalline structure, Onyx is treasured for the way it reflects and reacts with light. Often, onyx has translucent properties that allow light to partially pass through lighter veins of the material, making for a compelling design feature. Solid, opaque onyx is equally enticing because of the richness of color that permeates the stone.
Usually less expensive than other types of tile and stone, ceramic tile is available in an almost endless array of colors, patterns, and designs – which are achieved by glazing the clay tile before it is fired in a kiln. It is easy to cut, which is useful in interior design, but this also means it is more prone to chipping or breaking.
Heavier and more dense than ceramic tiles, porcelain offers the appeal and durability of stone with more variety in terms of color, design, and price. It is completely waterproof and does not burn easily under normal conditions. It is also highly stain resistant and due to its strength is not known to scratch or weather from everyday use.
Cuban tile and other painted or designed tiles are recognizable by color that has been applied directly to the unfinished tile’s surface – which can be done by hand or by machine. Tiles are then either covered with a clear glaze to protect the design from scratching or wear and tear or they are left unglazed for a more matte finish and weathered or antique appearance. Painted tile may be made from ceramic, terra cotta, porcelain, and even concrete.