Stone Flooring: An Investment in Timeless Elegance for Your Home
Transform your living space with new flooring
By Christie Craig
Are you thinking maybe it’s time to launch that big home remodeling project you’ve been dreaming of? If the budget won’t allow for a complete room renovation, and you truly want to transform your living space, you might wonder where you should invest your resources. One option is to begin with the flooring, the foundation of any room, and to make it the focal point of your design plan. Nothing adds resale value to your home or timeless elegance to flooring the way natural stone can do.
Cool against your bare feet even during the hottest Texas summer, natural stone and stone tiles can easily accommodate any design plan and lifestyle. And if you like the look of natural stone but worry about maintaining its beauty after installation, you’re in luck. Porcelain flooring tiles that mimic the look and feel of natural stone are one of the hottest new flooring trends.
A Quick Primer on Stone Flooring
Stone flooring is designed to last for generations, which is why it is a true investment in your home. Think of it as a piece of art you can walk upon. Although costly, natural stone can add instant sophistication, style and grace to any living space. Imagine a bathroom with a highly polished marble floor, or a kitchen with sophisticated granite flooring and matching countertops, or perhaps the entryway to your home re-envisioned with travertine, limestone or slate flooring. Each natural stone has its own unique coloring palette and texture, and will be custom-designed to your home’s specifications.
Stone flooring tiles, such as those offered by Crossville’s Bella Via Collection, provide the look and feel of natural stone but at a fraction of its cost. Natural stone tiles can range in size from 12-inch by12-inch to 18-inch by 18-inch and come with two types of edges—a polished bull nose edge, which has a rounded or curved appearance, and a polished straight 90 degree edge, which gives a more modern and clean look to your space. Different grouting techniques can offer a customized look. These tiles can also be used to create unique designs with color and texture choices. Manufactured stone flooring, on the other hand, such as flooring from Cosentino’s Silestone, are tiles made mostly of quartz, which gives the flooring the depth, radiance and durability of natural stone without the high price tag.
Porcelain tiles are a faux-stone flooring option. Porcelain tiles are fired at a much higher temperature than regular ceramic tiles, which makes them especially durable and long-lasting. What’s more, porcelain tiles, such as the ones offered by Marazzi USA and Ragno USA, offer the look and texture of natural stone, which makes them a popular option.
So, how do you choose the right flooring material for your home? For advice, we turned to the experts at the World Floor Covering Association, who have been providing consumers with an unbiased opinion on floor covering options for more than 50 years.
“Consider your lifestyle, what appeals to you and what your budget is,” says D. Christopher Davis, president and chief executive officer of the WFCA.
Because your flooring choice will be with you for a long time, also make sure you do your research.
“Take the time to understand the material you are selecting,” suggests Davis. “Many stone products are porous and require periodic sealing. They could discolor or worse if acidic liquids, such as wine, are spilled on them.”
Also remember that stone flooring can often appear “cold,” so make sure you add warmth to the room with furnishings and accessories. ➝
Achieving the Wow! Factor
Regardless of the type of stone flooring you choose, you will want to maximize its “Wow!” factor. Luckily, stone flooring makes that easy.
“One trend that is definitely in is using the same material and color on the floor from a room inside the house and continuing through to an outside room,” says Davis. “Another way to add the ‘oohs and ahhs’ to your stone flooring is by using smaller pieces of marble, metal or glass interspersed as jewels to bring some bling down to the floor.”
Davis also suggests that for square-shaped flooring materials, consider installing it on the diagonal , and using larger sizes such as 18-inch by 18-inch or 20-inch by 20-inch, even in a small space. “Placing the material on the diagonal tricks the eye and visually increases the size of the space,” explains Davis.
Of course, the easiest way to ramp up the visual impact of your new stone flooring is to coordinate it with the rest of the room’s décor, not only in terms of color but with texture and style. For example, for bathrooms and kitchens, coordinate the flooring tiles with countertops and backsplash or tub and shower surrounds. For larger living areas, such as a great room, choose complementary flooring colors that mesh with the room’s overall design theme.
Many stone flooring manufacturers also offer stone surfaces for countertops and tiles for walls, which makes coordination a snap.
“We’re helping people move from simply looking at numerous slate color options to selecting a combination of colors that work together effortlessly and help create the look and feel they strive to achieve,” says Dan Piché, president of American Slate Company, one of the largest sources of natural slate in the United States.
Timeless elegance, durability and an option to suit any budget—stone flooring has it all. So, what are you waiting for?