Are you considering Natural Stone ?
HERE, WE DISCUSS THE PROS AND CONS OF QUARTZITE, BASALT, LIMESTONE & SANDSTONE.
Quartzite is amongst the very toughest and colourful stones that we see on offer in Brisbane. This type of natural stone was originally pure Quartz Sandstone. Through long periods of immense heat and pressure, Quartzite is formed and is now much stronger than any sandstones. Quartzite comes in many colours– white to greys, shades of pink and red due to iron oxide in the ground as it forms. Other colours that commonly appear are ochre, greens tones, blue grey hues and some rusty oranges- all of these colours are due to various minerals. This stone reminds me of the look of Slate, it’s very durable and the tiles are split, so they feature a slightly uneven surface. You can expect a difference of around 5 to 15mm difference in thickness between some tiles. Because of this uneven thickness, Quartzite will often cost a little more to lay, with the tilers taking more time to level the tiles. You gain a lovely natural look and the colours tend to blend beautifully in a informal, leafy environment.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, which means it was formed by small particles of rock or stone, shells, crustaceans and sealife fossilized and compacted by pressure over a long period. Sandstone and Limestone are similar in some respects but Limestone is definitely more hardy, more dense, stronger and provides better resistance against heat and impact. We see 3 main colours in Limestone – Whites, creams and greys. Many people love the fossils that feature throughout the stone tiles. It’s a great natural stone tile to walk across but is usually lower in slip resistance than Granite and tumbled Travertine.
Basalt is a fine-grained, hard rock that forms when lava shoots out of volcanoes and cools rapidly on the earths surface. It’s a dark coloured rock and fine grained, so when it’s cut and honed for tiles, the surface is pleasantly smooth. There are a couple of issues that can arise with this very dark dense rock- in our hot summer months, Basalt becomes very very hot under foot and retains the heat. It’s also known to hide fracture lines through the tiles and as the stone expands or contracts with the season, those fractures can split the stone tile.
Sandstone is a favourite for many families. It’s usually the most cost effective stone, looks great and has some random mottle of colours that are very appealing. Sandstone, is a sedimentary rock like Limestone but softer, less dense and slightly weaker. It’s quite porous and if it’s in continual shade, algae can grow in it’s pours. If you have children pulling themselves up on the coping for hours in summer, they will rub their fingers raw from the sandpaper effect. A clear advantage of Sandstone is that it remains quite cool under foot in summer.
Maintenance – Many kinds of stone tiles can last a lifetime provided care is taken at two stages. At the time of installation, the tiles must be installed and sealed professionally so that tiles do not crack under weight. Second, after every few years, tiles should be checked and cleaned with sealants reapplied to ensure that all joints and surfaces are sealed completely. If you have blemishes or stains, contact a Natural Stone cleaning specialist – NEVER use Hydrochloric Acid or any other harsh chemicals until you have consulted a cleaning specialist.