STONE FLOORING TRADE-OFFS - BEAUTY vs CLEANING EASE & SAFETY
Risk of slipping is one of the conversations we have with customers in helping them to select a stone product that fulfils their needs. Essentially the discussion is about safety, beauty and ease of maintenance.
Large shopping malls choose beauty and cleaning ease over risk of slipping when they universally go with polished or honed marble, travertine or granite surfaces. Cleaning floors after hours is a huge cost – so speed is important. Machines move over smooth surfaces quickly and do a good job.
Contingency budgets for injuries caused by spilled food and drink beverages are dwarfed by maintenance costs. Safer flamed surfaces are sometimes used but not often.
Cleaning ease is directly proportional to the smoothness of the surface. Bluestone with its highly honed surface cleans easily. Quartzite – a popular outdoor surface for many years because of its beautiful colours and grippy natural split surface is very safe but a high pressure hose is needed to clean it.
The preferred choice of stone in bathrooms these days has a honed surface in a trade-off for ease of cleaning and elegance. There has been a trend toward a softer more aged look in bathrooms recently so tumbled finished travertine with low hole frequencies have been popular. People move slowly and carefully in bathrooms as they do walking down stairs so the risk of slipping is moderated.
Swimming pools provide a challenge because kids move like rockets around the edges so the stone needs some slip resistance when wet. Tumbled and flamed surfaces are ideal. Classico travertine has been extremely popular for pool decks and it is surface that is not too glarey or get too hot in the summer heat.
Buyers of stone need to work through these issues and understand that compromises are all part of the journey to an enjoyable result