• 14809 – Yellowhead Trail
    AB T5L 3C4
  • Edmonton and Area

Guiding you to Select the Best Quality Natural Stone for Flooring

Natural stone tile flooring is considered to be one of the most desirable floor options anyone can ask for a beautiful home. It makes you feel close to the nature. It is long-lasting and is available in wide variety. These are the reasons why natural stone tiles have been able to retain its popularity over the ages.

Natural stones are mountain born materials. The popular ones in use are Slate, Marble, Limestone, Travertine, Granite, and Sandstone. Since each of these has different chemical and physical properties, it is important to understand what type of stone tiles will suit your home or office decor. So, before you make the final order, query about natural stone tiles to the retailers.

Following are some parameters to guide you in the selection process. This will give you a clear indication of what to shop and what not to.

Absorption rating:

This defines how porous a stone material is .More absorbent tiles are more susceptible to stain, cracks and early damages. Following are the levels of absorption based on which you can narrow down your searches.

Non-vitreous – Tiles with the highest absorption power. One should be avoid it in damp environment

Semi-vitreous – These are less absorbent tiles that require high maintenance, especially in exposed environment

Vitreous – Tiles having standard level of absorption. These are considered appropriate materials for medium to heavy use, both for indoor and outdoor environment.

Impervious – These are completely resistant to absorption, so will be easier to maintain. Impervious tiles are ideal for Commercial places where number of footfalls is high.

Depending on the absorption ratings (lower to higher) you can choose stone tiles in following order: Granite (almost waterproof), Slate (medium absorbent), Limestone and Travertine. Polished materials are almost impermeable to water, so could of good use.


Grading system is used to rate the quality of stone material. This can be based on size, shape, thickness as well as the condition of the tile surface. Retailers use 3 levels of grade –

Grade 1 -for highest quality uniform materials

Grade 2 -with minor defects such as scratches, uneven surfaces, chips

Grade 3 – for major faults in size, shape, surface, materials and more


Natural stones may contain a variety of disparate materials such as iron. This may render bright red and amber hues on the surface of the stone. Now the problem is that in an outdoor environment, any trace of iron can oxidize (also called rusting) and can cause the stone tiles degenerate over time.

Coefficient of friction:

This denotes how slippery the stone tiles are. The higher is the coefficient value, better the friction power the tiles will have. High coefficient of friction is the absolute necessity in moist areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, flooring material should have a minimum .6 of dryness coefficient.

Now any type of flooring option you choose for your home, there will be advantages and disadvantages both. It is up to you to decide how to maximize the benefits and avoid the drawbacks of stone tiles. Once you understand the characteristics of stone materials you will be in a better position to decide what materials to purchase, where to use and how to maintain them.