As far as history tells us, marble and stone have been known as status symbols of power and influence and is the go-to material used in flooring for many a residential dwelling. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks used manual labor that involved quarrying, cutting and polishing the natural stone for its richest citizens as they were the only ones that can afford such opulence. Today, the use of modern equipment and transportation have made this material more accessible to more people it has never lost its air of regal mystery. If you are planning a remodel of your home and planning to use natural stone, here is some information you should know about to help you in your decision.
The Making Of A Stone Tile
There are minor differences in how different kinds of natural stone are quarried and molded into tiles, countertops and others. Nevertheless, the process is almost the same for all the different kinds of stone regardless if it is marble, granite, slate, limestone or travertine. In the case of marble, it is normally found in a remote mountainous site and special equipment is needed to drill access holes through which diamond wire cables are run, much in the same vein as a chainsaw cuts through wood. The process is done until a large chunk of rock, weighing several tons separates from the surrounding stone in the quarry area. This large block is next cut down into smaller blocks, each weighing thousands of pounds and is then lifted by heavy cranes and transported into hulking trucks that move it into a cutting yard. In this area, the stone is further cut into smaller slabs or narrow strips for making into tiles. The strips are then passed through equipment that polishes the stone. This is done with the use of coarse diamond abrasives and then moving into very fine abrasives. Once the amount of polish is achieved, the strips or slabs are then moved to distribution warehouses and then shipped to different destinations all over the world.
Benefits of Natural Stone
The main advantage of marble and other natural stone materials for the bathroom is that it evokes a bold statement and exudes an aura of style and elegance. However, there are a bevy of other construction materials that offer better value, dependability and durability and even lower cost. One particular material is concrete that can be molded to look and feel like natural stone. Why still choose marble or natural stone? Its exclusivity and classic style.
From an aesthetic standpoint, every quarry in the world features a slightly different stone, even if they came from the same quarry. Slabs of stone will have different veining and coloring as evidence of this. For a typical bathroom countertop for example, will have a uniquely different look that is completely unique from every other one in the world. That is what you are paying for when it comes to natural stone. This is the reason why using natural stone almost guarantees an instant increase of resale value for any property. A lot of prospective buyers always see this as a plus factor.
Limitations of Natural Stone
The number one limiting factor why people choose other materials than natural stone is its sheer cost. This exclusiveness has a price tag. Depending on the kind of stone you end up choosing, be ready to pay one hundred to three hundred dollars per square foot for both material and labor cost of stone floors, walls and showers. A typical 6x8x7 foot tall shower that is lined with rare marble can cost somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars alone. Stone is also slippery and walking on bare feet in a bathroom lined with marble can be quite unpleasant unless you can afford to have radiant floor heating system installed as well.
Should you still choose natural stone for your bathroom remodel? It really depends if you can accept the obvious limitations of the material. Natural stone is a material that commands an air of exclusivity. If this is something you want then it is the right one for you.