In this section you will find some useful information on Natural Stone.
Natural Stone consists of basically anything that come out of the ground and is either machine cut or formed with the use of chemicals similar to that of terracotta which is made from clay.
I will list of each of the main natural stone that is most common.
Sandstone is mostly used for out door areas but is sometimes used in living areas. For floor applications it is best if it is sealed, to keep its beauty. Sandstone can be used for feature wall outdoors also and is quite often used for the front facade of houses. Its not a good idea to use sandstone for wet areas as it is very porous and too irregular. I have seen it in wet areas and it looks really good but I don't recommend it because it is too high of maintenance for a wet area. Sandstone needs to be cut with a machine such as a brick cutter angle grinder or a specialized cutter designed for cutting for all types of stone incl. slate. Laying sandstone is a lengthy process as it takes time with the cutting.
Slate used to be very popular some years ago, but it is a bit costly to lay and most people find that it can make a room look quite dark due to its naturally dark shades. Slate was mainly used in living areas where a more rugged look is desired, it is also used in outdoor areas and also on facades .Again as sand stone i don't recommend slate in wet areas due to the high maintenance, and if left unmaintained can cause water leaks if used in shower alcoves. I have done slate in wet areas in the past. Slate needs to be sealed and requires regular maintenance as over time bits flake of and corners flake and chip needing the missing piece to be grouted. Slate needs to be re seal every 2 years, to keep it looking good. Slate needs to be machine cut also and is very time consuming to lay. Before the laying of Slate it needs to be sorted into three categories thin, medium, and thick. The thicker pieces need to be laid in higher traffic areas while the thinner pieces in the low to no traffic areas, and needs to be laid gradually from think to thin using the medium pieces.. Also it is mandatory to either wash slate thoroughly to remove all dust and dirt before laying or must be sealed using primer on one side of the slate. All this time involved really adds up from washing and sorting and the cutting. Although its time consuming it is not hard to lay because of its rough edges it does not have to be laid too accurately making it perfect for a diy tiles project.
Pebbles are a natural stone but are often machined down to have a flat side for better adhesion . They are mainly used as a feature as a strip or border of a feature wall . I love the look of pebbles as they give a feeling of being near a natural spring. i used pebbles in my own bathroom floors for the whole floor area and they look amazing. Pebble are quite expensive and come in various sized sheets and different shades. Pebbles need to be sealed as they are porous and will stain if contaminated with dirt. They can be used anywhere in wet areas living areas and outdoor, they look really good for feature walls or border strips around swimming pools.
Marble is one of the most stunning products used for tiling, it looks amazing. It is also very expensive to buy and to lay. Marble can be used in living areas and wet areas .I don't recommend marble for out doors as it is very soft, its easy to scratch and requires a lot of care and maintenance , Marble needs to be sealed to protect its shine. It is prone to become dull quite quickly if no sealer has been applied. Marble is sensitive to chemicals and the surface and become etched quite easily from cleaning chemicals that are normally used on ceramic tiles. Like other stone it is a very lengthy process to lay , but with marble the stone is cut very accurate and a 100% job must be done. Marble is an upper-class looking product so it has to look perfect.. Laying marble takes three times as long than laying ceramic tiles. But it is well worth it when you stand back and admire the impressive look of marble.
Granite is similar to that of marble but granite is a very strong stone. Granite is sealed to get its shine but is very durable and is excellent for living area floors.