Resource Type: FAQ

Natural Stone FAQs

Shopping for natural stone tile products is a special experience, here are some need-to-knows to help you on your journey.

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What are the benefits of natural stone?

Natural stone has been preferred by architects and builders throughout the ages because it offers strength, beauty and something unique: no wall, floor or counter will ever be the same as another. Color, texture and markings vary from shipment to shipment, so you should make every effort to view multiple pieces of stone before selection as well as to view your order before it is installed.

What is the difference between limestone, marble and granite?

Limestone and marble show subtle veining and movement. They are sedimentary rocks composed primarily of calcium carbonate and are sensitive to acids. “Marble” derives from the Latin “marmor,” which means “to shine,” so marbles are hard limestones that accept a polish well. Limestone and marble are often selected for the master bath but many also perform well on high-traffic floors when a honed finish is specified. Granites are harder rocks of volcanic origin and are not acid-sensitive. Frequently they display artistic veining and movement. Granites are generally selected for kitchen counters and high-traffic floors where performance is the priority and a polished finish is desired.

Where is the best place to purchase natural stone tile?

Most showrooms display and special order their stone. Direct importers like Tile By Design can offer more competitive pricing, more experience with the unique characteristics of each stone and more conveniences (see it before you buy it, take it home today and returns are made easy).

Is natural stone hard to care for?

When the correct stone type, finish and sealer are selected for your application, natural stone is simple to care for and maintain. Sweeping and wet mopping are all that is normally required. Consult us for recommendations unique to your stone and application type.

Can slate be used in a shower?

We don’t recommend multi-color slates for shower areas because of the oxidation that can occur. Consider a quartzite or a digital-glazed porcelain tile that looks like slate.

Can I hand pick my natural stone?

The beauty of natural stone is that no two pieces ever look the same. You are welcome to view the current lot when you pick up your stone; however, you cannot hand select or return individual pieces.

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