When choosing what kind of flooring to use in your home, stone can be a great option. It’s gorgeous, it’s durable, and it’s classy. But is stone right for your décor? And what kind of stone should you use? Here are some of the key considerations when shopping for stone flooring.
Types of Stone
There are all different types of stone used in flooring, each with their own distinct flavor. Marble, when polished, has a nice sheen that goes great in bathrooms. Granite is one of the hardest (and therefore most durable) types of stone, which is great for kitchens—particularly if you get a matching granite countertop. Slate generally comes in tile form, and can be rough, for outdoor use, or smooth, for indoor use. It also comes in varying densities, which determines its overall durability.
Travertine is a softer stone, which makes it slightly less durable, and more prone to damage, even from some spills. However, in a room with less foot traffic, and with a proper seal applied, it can still be a great flooring option, with a beautiful antique marble look—for less cost. Or if you prefer, you can use limestone, which is similar in look and texture, but slightly more durable.
Pros and Cons of Stone Flooring
No matter what kind of stone floor you get, there are benefits as well as problems. The major drawback is that stone flooring is expensive. It’s more expensive than tile or even hardwood. However, it’s also important to remember that stone is extremely durable. The hardest stones, like granite, can hardly even be scratched, and will last you for generations. You may pay a bit extra for your stone floor now, but you won’t have to replace it for a long, long time.
Stone floors are also very low maintenance. A sweep every now and then for dust, and a quick mop for spills, and it will look as good as new. And stone can be beneficial to allergy sufferers, too. Dust and other allergens can get trapped in carpet fibers, or in the pores of your hardwood flooring. Most stone is fairly non-porous, so allergens can’t linger. Even more porous types of stone, like marble, are still more allergy-resistant than other types of flooring.
Unfortunately, the hardness of stone also makes it more dangerous. If you fall on it, it can cause more injury. This makes it less ideal for homes with small children, or older family members, who are more prone to falling injuries.
Certain types of stone, such as marble, can be a bit slippery as well, particularly when they’re wet. This can make the falling hazard even greater. However, applying a seal can reduce the risk of slippage and make your stone floor safer.
Finally, stone floors don’t absorb much heat. This makes them great for keeping your house cool in the summer, while saving your A/C and lowering your energy bills. On the other hand, in the winter, the lack of heat absorption can be more problematic. If you’ve ever put your feet on a stone floor first thing in the morning on a cold day, you know that it’s not the most pleasant feeling. But with the addition of radiant floor heating in your home, you can keep the floor nice and toasty, and heat the rest of the room as well, for less energy.
These are just a few of the things to consider when looking at stone flooring. Contact our experts to help you weigh the pros and cons and determine if stone is right for your home.