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Natural elegance, strength, durability and function—these are the hallmarks of natural stone. With an impressive array of natural materials and colors, stone floors offer the very best of nature. As an added resource for you to explore, please visit Shaw Floors, one of our major flooring suppliers, for in-depth information about all facets of ceramic/stone.

Let’s take a look at the various types of natural stone:

GRANITE:  This is one of the hardest and densest of all natural stone, second only to diamonds. Important characteristics

  • Resists staining and scratching better than any other natural stone
  • Adds elegance to foyers, bathrooms, libraries or kitchens
  • Creates exquisite contrasts when used as an accent with other natural stone
  • Nature’s own creation from quartz, feldspar and mica
  • Each quarried slab is unique in composition, color, and pattern

MARBLE:   As far back as ancient times, marble has been a treasured natural stone. From palaces to cathedrals, marble pays homage to great design. It is actually crystallized limestone that boasts intricate veining patterns that tell the story of its history. Because marble is more porous than granite, it is not recommended for use in kitchens. But its classic beauty lends itself well to elegant foyers, bathrooms, fireplaces, studies and libraries. 

LIMESTONE:  This natural stone has a subtle, understated look. Limestone is noted for its “honed” or matte finish. It is a softer stone, and because it is very porous, proper maintenance is key to keeping limestone looking new. Keep in mind that it will stain more easily than other, harder varieties of stone, so it may not be suitable for all areas of the home.  Sealing limestone will protect the stone’s natural beauty to a great degree. 

TRAVERTINE:  This stone is also in the limestone family, so it shares a number of the same characteristics. It’s made up of many layers of mineral composites that, over time, cool and crystallize into travertine. In its original form, this stone has thousands of natural holes running through it. The travertine is usually “filled”, meaning that these inherent small holes are filled and then the entire stone polished to a high sheen. The filled areas retain their matte finish, giving the travertine an interesting, textural look. Like limestone, travertine will require preventative maintenance over time to retain its natural beauty. 

SLATE:  If you are looking for a stone that says “colorful and earthy”, slate is probably the choice you are looking for, for interior or exterior use. From rustic to contemporary settings, slate is a transitional material that suits many design modes. The natural clefting along the surface gives slate a unique, textured look. Noted for its dramatic color range, you will find a natural mix of hues–from rich reds and rusty oranges to murky blues, greens and lavenders. High contrast stones make each slate floor totally unique and beautifully original. 

TUMBLED STONE:   Tumbled stone offers a look that is both rustic and elegant at the same time. Reminiscent of Old World looks, marble, travertine and limestone can all be tumbled to evoke a distressed, timeworn look. Often used as accent borders or as decorative strips, tumbled stone pairs beautifully with other stone materials to produce a textural design look. The myriad sizes available make it a favorite for flooring, wall treatments, accent strips, mosaics, chair rails or deco pieces.


It is important to remember that natural stone is a product of Mother Nature. No two pieces of natural stone tile will look the same. Veining and crystallization are natural characteristics of the stone and not imperfections. It’s important to consider the porosity of each type of stone, and the function of the room in which it will be used, before finalizing your choices. Our design consultants are on hand to guide you through the selection process and specify the right material for each application.


Natural stone grout lines are typically done with unsanded grout, and usually much thinner grout lines than with ceramic tile installations. A grout color that closely matches the stone will blend in and be less noticeable. A contrasting grout color, either darker or lighter, will enhance the appearance of the grout lines, creating a checkerboard effect. Note: grout will darken as it ages, and, as always, sealing is recommended.



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