Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of Stone?
Granite: A very hard, coarse-grained igneous rock consisting of quartz, feldspars and micas. It takes a high polish and comes in a wide range of rich color mixes making it ideal for any decorating theme.
Limestone: A sedimentary rock consisting primarily of calcium carbonate derived from the skeletons and shells of marine animals. Limestone can occur in many soft and sensuous colors but is usually ivory, cream, light and dark beige, blue, as well as gray. Tumbled limestones are mainly used for paving applications while polished and honed limestone slabs are commonly used in floor and wall applications.
Marble: Metamorphic rock formed by limestone. It is capable of taking a high polish and is available in a wide range of colors and variations. Beautiful and luxurious, its look enhances any room.
Slate: A fine-grained metamorphic rock that splits into thin smooth surface layers. It is mainly used as a roofing and paving material. Slate is a dark gray color often with a purplish or bluish tinge.
Travertine: A type of limestone that is found as a deposit at natural hot springs. It exists in white, tan and cream-colored varieties and looks like a pocked marble. Its surface can be polished, honed or tumbled to give a sophisticated look or one that's more natural.
What are the major types of Tile?
Ceramic tile: A hard, brittle and corrosion-resistant material made by shaping and then firing clay at high temperatures. They come in a large selection of colors and have a smooth glazed surface. They are easy to clean and will not absorb odors. What's more, they are highly resistant to scratching and moisture.
Porcelain tile: Consists chiefly of finely-ground sand. They are stronger then ceramic tile and are more wear and damage resistant. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish.
Glass tile: Tile made from silica sand and oxides, heated in gas-fired furnaces, at very high temperatures. Glass tiles are popular because they can impart intense color and reflect light and are impervious to water. They are often used in mosaics and as an accent or trim.
Terra Cotta tile: A hard semi-fired waterproof ceramic clay. It is a hard unglazed brownish-red clay typically used for floors. One example is Saltillo tile.
What are some types of Finishes?
Polished: A stone such as marble is a process that includes grinding, sanding and buffing. The result is a finished surface that is smooth, shiny, and reflective bringing out the intensity of color.
Honed: A honed surface is smooth without reflection. It varies from a flat matte like appearance to a low sheen.
Bush Hammered: This is a rough, textured finish but uniformly patterned surface created with impact tools varying in coarseness.
Cleft-stone: Cleft-stone is split parallel to its stratification yielding an irregular but nearly flat surface.
What is Mosaic Tile?
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass stone or other materials. These pieces of stone, ceramic or glass of different colors are used to create a pattern or a picture.
Why is a Sealant used on Tiles?
A sealant is used to protect against moisture and provide easy care.
What is Grout?
Grout is a construction material used to fill in the spaces between tiles. It is comprised of a mixture of water, cement, sand and color tint. Unsanded grout is used for smaller grout joints when tiles are closer than 1/8" or less. While sanded grout is used for normal or larger joints when tiles are from 1/8" to 1/2" apart. There are dozens of grout colors to choose from when considering your decorating theme.
What is the Mohs Mineral Hardness Scale?
The Mohs test is used as a general indicator of the scratch resistance of tile. This is important if you are considering a child's room or a high-traffic area. The scale is based on a relative value of 1 to 10 with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
The following are some examples:
- Mineral - Hardness Comparison
- Talc - Sheet vinyl (inexpensive type)
- Selenite - Wood floor (similar hardness as a fingernail)
- Calcite - Laminate floor (similar hardness as a penny)
- Fluorite - Black marble (not recommended for floors)
- Apatite - Ceramic tile (similar hardness as a knife blade)
- Feldspar - Glazed ceramic tile (similar hardness as window glass)
- Quartz - Glazed ceramic tile (range of 5 to 8)
- Topaz - Granite, unglazed porcelain
- Corundum - Unglazed porcelain (range of 6 to 9)
- Diamond - Diamond (no flooring is this hard)
What is C.O.F. Guide?
C.O.F. is an acronym for coefficient of friction and a term used to determine the slip resistance of a tile. The ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) recommends a COF of 0.6 or greater.
What is the PEI Guide?
The PEI Guide is a classification for a tile's suitability for a particular application.
- Class 1 - Recommended for wall use but not for floors.
- Class 2 - Suitable for residential floors where abrasive foot traffic is minimal.
- Class 3 - ideal for most residential floors which are subject to normal foot traffic and usage.
- Class 4 - Great for all residential interiors and suitable for light to medium commercial applications.
- Class 5 - Great for all residential interiors and ideally suited for most commercial applications.