Every month there is a new stone coming on the market. Some of these are just new to us but relatively common in their home area while some are truly brand new. So how do you know if these new stones are any good for counters or flooring applications? Good question, really good question.
If you don’t already know, ask if the stone is classified as a granite, marble or limestone. Ask the fabricator how much experience they’ve had with the stone and why the’d recommend using it. If it’s new to the fabricator I’d ask to see any test information that is available for the stone, ie compressive strengths, flexural strength, abrasion resistance ect. If test results aren’t available then I’d probably not look at them for use in your home.
I’m really partial to using stones that the fabricator has had experience with.
Have you seen what’s available with regard to the size of floor tile these days? Back in the day regular tile was 8×8 and a big tile was 12×12 or 300×300 for those of you who prefer metric.
That my friends is definitely passe. Now it’s 12×24, 24×24 or 18×36 . I just looked at a new metallic finished tile that was 36×36 or 900×900 for us metric freaks and there getting bigger.
Yes tile sizes are on the increase again. I think the last big push for large tile was about 15 years ago when the 16×16 inch format was launched and believe me that was a “big”deal. At the tme most tile was 8×8 and like I said earlier 12×12 was considered a large tile. The jump to the larger format brought about new thinsets and adhesives to handle the larger tile. Most trade associations that dealt with ceramics and stone even developed new installation proceedures to address the larger format tiles.
So what’s happening now? Not much really. I think everyone in the design world has voted that bigger is better it’s just up to us contractors to figure out how to install these bemoths.
Don’t get me wrong. I like big tile. Big tile means less joints and an easier floor to maintain. However, every ying has a yang. These new extremely large format tile are much more challenging to install properly.
First be extra sure you’ve choosen the right installer. The only thing worse than looking at a bad installation is removing one.
Secondly you need a very flat floor with very little deflection. These tiles are very flat and not very forgiving. If your floor isn’t flat then your installer has to know how to level the floor before installing the tile.
So big can be beautiful, just know what you’re getting into.