TOP 5 TIPS FOR GETTING THE BEST NATURAL STONE TILES AND PAVERS
Natural stone tiles and pavers are the most beautiful, and most reliable of their classes of home feature materials. Getting the best requires a strong knowledge base, and an understanding of the points of quality in stone. You’ll find that shopping for stone can be a lot of fun, too. Whether it’s sandstone tiles in a kitchen or stackstone cladding in the garden, stone says “home”, as part of your life.
The beautiful world of natural stone
There’s absolutely nothing like the natural stone look. Whether you want the rugged natural look or the stylish polished, honed, flamed or bush hammered looks, the sheer fun of browsing for stone is a real pleasure. Real stone lovers swear by their stonework, and in terms of value for money, homeowners don’t seem to mind much, either.
Shopping for stone
It’s important to match the stone you want with the area in which it’s used. Each stone type is physically & chemically different. That makes a big difference in your choices. For example, a light limestone is not the best choice to use in an outdoor BBQ setting, because grease stains and the acid sensitivity of this type of stone make it unsuitable. A different type of stone like hard wearing quartzite or granite, however, would be perfect.
Quality shows- Guide for picking good stone
Designer stone quality is defined by market reputation. You’ll find that your tradesmen have definite opinions about stone quality. The top of the line stone tiles, not coincidentally, also happen to be the most reliable. They don’t have structural faults, they don’t fracture like potato chips, and they’re consistent to work with.
Important: Quality service means quality materials. In a case in Sydney some years ago, homeowners bought a large quantity of tiles. What was delivered was basically a pile of gravel, utterly useless. It didn’t even survive transportation. You’ll find the best professional stone suppliers know their materials and their business, and know how to ensure quality. The very best suppliers will display independently conducted tests for quality but sadly few go to the trouble.
Tiles and pavers
The main difference between tiles and pavers is thickness, not quality. Tiles are usually 15mm in depth, whereas pavers are usually double that thickness. Tiles are designed to be fixed to a hard substrate, like concrete. Pavers are designed for softer substrates like packed earth or a road base topped with sand. Pavers are made much thicker to provide structural strength in these diverse environments.
Getting the best for your home
This is a representative sample of what’s available in stone tiles:
This is where the fun really starts, and you can have a ball picking colors and choosing design ideas. You can work with multiple ultra-elegant design concepts using stone. Don’t be too surprised if your designer has quite a few ideas to show you, because designers love stone for its versatility and ability to achieve truly spectacular aesthetic results in any setting.