The tile in your home or office may look beautiful, but the process that created it is anything but cool, calm, and collected. More than likely, the stone that is adorning your kitchen, bathroom, or hallway has seen quite a lot in its lifetime. From the fiery belly of Earth to your foyer, we take an adventure into the birth, maturation, and journey that tile undergoes before it comes to your humble abode.
What is Tile?
First, for the technical part. By definition, tile is “a thin rectangular slab of baked clay, concrete, or other material, used in overlapping rows for covering roofs.” Today, tile comes in all shapes and sizes and materials, but for the sake of this article, we will talk about stone tile.
Popular Types of Stone
Slate is a metamorphic rock, which means that heat, time, and pressure created it from another form. In the case of slate, it is formed from shale, which is composed of quartz, calcite, clay minerals and mud. Over the course of millions of years, the shale is introduced to pressure and heat within the Earth, and over time becomes the durable form of slate. It is a durable choice for tile and gives an earthy, natural feel.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed of sand/quartz grains bonded together. Sedimentary rock is created from the sediment that travels within water or air. It is typically red, yellow, or brown. Sandstone is durable, but when it comes to considering it as your tile choice be aware it is a porous rock and is subject to mold and bacteria due to its absorption rate.
Granite is a very hard igneous rock consisting mainly of mica, feldspar, and quartz. Igneous rock is a rock that was once part of the volcanic process. It was formed by the cooling of magma or lava. Since it is so durable, you see a lot of granite countertops that see heavy traction.
Marble and slate have a commonality: they are both metamorphic rock. Instead of shale, Marble was formed from limestone. It is typically lighter in color with swirls of minerals that create different colors throughout the rock. Marble is a beautiful addition, but be aware it has a high absorption rate as well, so, in the case of high traffic areas, marble needs attention.
What is Best for Me?
Again, there are many materials that are “tile.” Stone tile will last over time in your home or building project. Feel free to contact our showroom to discuss what we carry. Bonus: we have a warehouse right down the street from our home base, which translates to maximum product availability! Give us a call; we’d love to discuss the best fit for your needs.