What Natural Stone Floor Tile is Right for Your Home?

Choosing the right flooring for your home can be a daunting task. When you have a large surface area to cover, you want to select a material that is long lasting and easy to maintain—and beautiful too!

Natural stone brings the exterior world indoors in a sophisticated way, making it the most timeless flooring material out there. At my interior design firm, it’s often a staple in our recommendations to clients. From slate to granite, all the way to travertine, here are my five favorite natural stone flooring options, and how to incorporate each of them into your home—or should I say “castle?”

1. Sleek and Stylin’ Slate

This luxurious natural material is a standout among stone floors due to its vibrant range of colors and patterns. Because it is all-natural, slate is subject to weathering and aging—called “patina”—which means it will look great both today and ten years from now! If you’re aiming for a contemporary style, try a dark gray or black slate tile that has moderate variation and a low-sheen, for a sleek, put-together look.

2. Talk About Travertine

Travertine, a sedimentary limestone deposited by mineral springs, is the epitome of casual elegance. In white and beige tones, travertine lends a soft, warm feel to any space it’s installed in. Most travertine tiles are low-sheen and have random variation, so it is best suited for a large space that doesn’t require perfect conformity. The natural veining of the stone creates unique, natural patterns unseen in other types of flooring. Install it in the kitchen or common living space for a classically regal finish.

3. Marvelous Marble

A classic standby for designers all over the world, marble is a perfect flooring option for anyone looking to style their home in a luxe yet simple aesthetic. With a smooth finish and a medium sheen, marble instantly scales up the look of any bathroom, kitchen or entryway, while offering a romantic and refined finish. Style it with complementary smooth, glossy hardware and light trim for a dashing domain.

4. Standing on Sandstone

While stone certainly looks dazzling inside, it can also add the perfect polish to your outdoor area. Sandstone is a suitable flooring option for outdoor spaces because it’s sturdy and doesn’t absorb water easily—a prime consideration for your patio or garden. Sandstone creates a rustic cottage vibe for your outdoor entertainment area and makes the colors of a garden pop. Style your space with metal dining chairs and outdoor lighting for a cozy country-inspired deck.

Natural Stone Flooring

5. Grandeur with Granite

Last but certainly not least, granite rounds out this list of my favorite natural stone flooring solutions. One of the easiest materials to install and maintain, granite comes in a wide range of colors and styles. Granite looks great on kitchen countertops, living room floors and entryway walls and can be incorporated into just about any interior design style. Aiming for a contemporary feel? Choose a tile that has a honed finish and is either very light or very dark, like white or charcoal. Are you more traditional? Go for chocolaty or beige granite to complement the classic features of your home.

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Natural stone flooring is durable, easy to maintain and visually stunning. Which timeless style fits your home the best?

 

**California interior designer Kerrie Kelly has been helping homeowners choose just the right floor covering for their homes for many years. Kerrie Kelly is an expert on matching floor selection with the rest of the room, and writes about her design planning  for The Home Depot. For a wide selection of floor tiles, including styles discussed by Kerrie, you can visit Home Depot’s website at http://www.homedepot.com/b/Flooring-Tile/N-5yc1vZar0y.

Homeowner Cleaning & Care Tips

We believe in aging gracefully, but when it comes to your home, we want you to keep it looking new.

Here’s a quick reference guide to cleaning your home’s surfaces.

Homeowner Cleaning & Care Tips :: M/I Homes - Care for your hardwood flooring, granite countertops, stainless steel, vinyl flooring, carpeting & laminate countertops

Styling Without Tiling

When the time comes to renovate your bathroom or kitchen floor, walls, or countertops, you may feel obligated to the old timeless standby: ceramic tiles. But never fear – room for unbridled creativity is here! It’s the golden age of DIY: even when your pockets are empty, your floors and countertops can still look like a million bucks, if you play your cards right. And in this game, aces are as wild as you want them to be.

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Glass :: What’s more elegant than glass? The options here are endless, including a variety glosses, frosts, and so many vibrant colors. Glass is resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria and stains. It is non-porous and so easy to clean it almost seems unfair to other materials.

Let your imagination run wild with glass, knowing that your surface is the only one on earth with such an original pattern. Try mixing media, such as marble, ceramic, and concrete tiles to create an eclectic mosaic while smartly – and secretly – cutting costs.

Stainless Steel :: Available in a variety of tile sizes and cut patterns, stainless steel gives a modern, masculine look to any room. Resistant to water as the name suggests, this tough material is undeniably chic for countertops, flooring, or – for a funky futuristic look – an entire room.

Concrete :: Can you believe that a gorgeous floor may already be patiently waiting under your old tiles? Through some creative acid staining and polishing, concrete floors can be thriftily revamped into having a posh imitation stone look.

There are also affordable concrete toppings and overlays in absolutely endless varieties of colors, patterns, and shapes. Create a mosaic as complex or simple as you desire, and no one will ever believe how easy it actually was to achieve such a unique pattern. Cheap, durable, easy to clean, and compatible with heating systems, there’s a reason why concrete floors are common in homes all over the world.

Wood :: Though commonly used as classic for kitchen floors, have you considered letting wood branch out?

While moisture is a valid concern, simple precautions can be taken to protect wood floors and countertops from damage over time:

  • Add extra layers of oil-based polyurethane and varnish
  • Apply wood putty between the boards
  • Ensure proper ventilation
  • Wipe up after showering or splashing
  • Effectively use bathmats and rugs

For the environmentally and financially conscious – and in this era, who isn’t? – bamboo is a great option. Harder than maple or oak, bamboo is extremely tough and long lasting, not to mention exotically earthy. Bamboo is a renewable resource since it grows abundantly and quickly. Naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew, it’s a perfect fit for an elegant bathroom.

For a soft twist on the traditional hardwood floor, try cork. Much like bamboo, cork quickly regrows in the forest within a few years. Naturally flame retardant and resistant to moisture, cork feels almost as soft underfoot as a bathmat itself! Caution: guests may be tempted to hang their to-do lists and newspaper clippings onto your unique bathroom floor.

Screen Print :: But what if you still feel constrained by the materials listed here? For truly unique surfaces, get artistic! Using plenty of waterproof PVC and varnish on thick lining paper and a screen printed design, Rachel was able to create the bathroom floor of her dreams. From copying your favorite skirt’s paisley to a version of your child’s artwork, this unique flooring is anything but ordinary. Get inspired, and get renovating!

When it comes to creating unique floors, countertops, and more, don’t let your ceiling fool you – the sky is the limit!

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Chris Long has worked at Home Depot as an on-the-floor store associate since 2000. Chris provides DIY flooring advice for the Home Depot website. He writes on hardwoods, tile, laminates and many other types of flooring for the website.

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