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Ready for a change? Now is the perfect time to try something new and what better way than the natural look of stone. Of course, the next question becomes, where do I start? Cost Less Carpet is the answer. From sun rooms to foyers, living rooms to family rooms, kitchen to baths, natural stone is being used to establish ambience, create stunning underfoot effects and define and separate activity areas.

What is natural stone?

Natural stone includes slate, granite, marble, travertine, and limestone. This isn’t cultured or man-made, but rather a product of the earth. Each product is cut into blocks at quarries and then taken to a processing facility to be cut into different shapes and sizes.

You can find sinks carved out of a single block of stone to the smallest trim piece, The most common applications of natural stone is on kitchen and bathroom backsplashes. The 6×6 travertine has turned that average kitchen or bath into extraordinary with simple application and low cost. In addition, stone mixed with glass, 1×1’s, 2×4’s,3×6’s,6×6’s,12×12’s,16×16’s,18×18’s and even 24×24’s are seeing increasing use due to their diversity and style. With the vast array of sizes come different finishes and edge profiles.

  • Tumbled Stone – This process takes the square cut piece and rounds the edges and surface areas. This makes for a less man-made look and is great for doing edges because of its rounded corners. The appearance on tumbled stone sometimes looks very porous.
  • Brushed and Tumbled – In addition to tumbled, the surface area is run through a large wire brush which smooths the surface and gives it a soft texture.
  • Brushed and Chiseled – In addition to brushed, the top of each side edge has been chipped away.
  • Honed and Filled – This process cuts the block like cheese and then fills in any porous openings with filler that matches the color of the stone.
  • Polished and Filled – The surface of the same honed and filled piece is then polished to a high shine.

Care & Maintenance

Natural Stone requires maintenance due to its composition. Cost Less Carpet recommends that all natural stone be sealed after installation. One can use sealer and enhancer to optimize the colors in the stone and create a richer appearance. Granite should be sealed at least one time per year. Marble and travertine needs to also be sealed a minimum of one time per year, however where the installation is near water or has a lot of water contact, we recommend a minimum of two times per year. This also is true for anything installed exterior. If you are in a climate that has freeze and thaw issues, without sealing your natural stone, you will have cracking issues.

Keeping it beautiful

Controlling the amount of debris that is ground into your natural stone product is the key. Sweeping, vacuuming with a vacuum not having a beater bar, and placing walk off mats by entrance and exit doorways can greatly enhance the vitality of your natural stone floor.

Installation

Techniques for installing natural stone are similar to laying tile. Generally, grout lines are smaller than used in tile and unsanded grout is used to avoid scratching. This can be heavy back-breaking work and anyone not up to the task should hire a quality installer.

Things NOT to do:

Do not use vinegar or lemon juice as the acids can cause damage to your natural stone.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or products containing ammonia as they may dull the finish.