Understanding Natural Stone

LIMESTONE, MARBLE AND TRAVERTINE.

In our showroom in wellington, somerset. We have noticed an increase in customers wanting to know the ins and outs of these natural stones and the process in how they are made and what the different finishes before being sealed really mean.

Limestone

Olive Flagstone

Olive Limestone Flagstone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite and the consolidation of sediments, and other organic matter. Each limestone exhibits its own characteristic colours and markings, and can vary in density. Some limestones also have a similar appearance to marble and can often lead to mis-classification.

Some degree of edge chipping should be expected along with occasional surface pitting, fossilized shells, fissures, mineral striations and resin fill.

Limestone is an acid-sensitive material and so care should be taken to use the correct products when cleaning.

Marble 

Marble

Marble is defined as Limestone which has been subjected to metamorphism.

When limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures, Marble forms under such conditions because the calcite forming the limestone recrystallises forming a denser rock consisting of roughly equigranular calcite crystals.

This process leads to a dense, closed surface although some material may have slight open veining or surface pitting. Marble is a very dense stone that readily lends itself to a polish but is also available in Honed and tumbled finishes.

Travertine 

 

 

Travertine It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems. It is frequently used in Italy and elsewhere as a building material.

After cutting the travertine is either filled with a colour matched filler or resin, or left unfilled and form voids.

Generally voids are only left unfilled in tumbled or brushed finished, where these voids are filled during the grouting process. Although filling the voids gives a smoother surface, through general usage some small areas of fill may dislodge or previously unexposed holes may become visible. This is not unusual and the holes should be re-filled with a suitable filler or grout.

There are three grades of Travertine, so keep this in mind when buying online.

Grade 1 or Premium Grade, Grade 2 or Standard and Grade 3 or commercial.

For more information on this see this post.

Travertine tiles may requite additional adhesive to be applied to the rear of the tile in order to fill any larger voids.

Limestone, Marble and Travertine are all porous and require sealing. Different methods of sealing can achieve different looks.

We recommend cleaning, sealing and maintaining with LTP Products, and the link here will help you identify what surface you have, what finish you would like to achieve and what sealers you will need.

Cleaning tips for natural stone wall and floor tiles

When is intensive stone or deep cleaning required?

  • As an important stage in the installation process of wall and floor tiles.
  • Where poorly maintained natural stone floor tiles need a top up seal.
  • When restoring natural stone wall or floor tiles.
  • For routine cleaning of unsealed external patios and paved areas.

Why would newly installed wall or floor tiles require intensive cleaning?

Keeping natural stone wall and floor tiles scrupulously clean before and during the fixing process, is vitally important.

Intensive cleaning of stone floors and walls before application of the correct protective sealing product will make sure the result does not disappoint. Installing stone flooring and worktops by nature creates grit, dirt and adhesive residues. Ensuring that a vacuum is used (being careful not to scratch the surface) to remove loose dirt from your new stone floor or worktop will not address stains and residue marks.

Simply washing stone flooring in water will not be effective in removing ingrained marks or adhesive. Using standard household cleaning products that often contain bleach is likely to damage the surface of your newly installed natural stone floor or wall. You should make sure that the correct cleaning product is used for the natural stone material being installed. Need more information about surfaces? Visit our identify your surface selector.

Sealing of Natural Stone guide can be downloaded here: LTP application guide.

Sealing of polished Natural stone can be downloaded here: LTP application guide.

The different finishes available as described above are explained in more detail here;

Honed- A smooth but not polished finish to the face of the stone, edges are either straight or bevelled which gives a contemporary yet classic look. Formed by the surface of the stone being ground to a smooth, flat, consistent surface.  For normally shiny stones such as granite or marble, the polish or shine has been removed leaving a matte (unpolished) surface.

Polished- A highly reflective, gloss finish to the surface of the stone with either straight or bevelled edges. Formed when honed limestone is further worked by polishing pads to create a reflective, glass like sheen.

Tumbled- A method of ageing stone, in which the tiles are “tumbled” to give them a rounded, antique edge-finish. On certain stones this may also leave the surface more open and slightly textured.

Brushed- A method of finishing stone which gives a slight surface texture and can give a subtle softened edge. The effect of brushing and the edge finish can differ depending on the type of stone. Created by working the surface to a patina that softly texturises the stone.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

 

 

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A Collection Of Images From Finished Projects.

TERRACOTTA
Terracotta Hand made 30x30

Terracotta Hand made 30×30

Terracotta Hand made 30x30

Terracotta Hand made 30×30

 

DSCN2173

 

TRAVERTINE/LIMESTONE

Dinning Room Floor 3 SAMSUNG TECHWIN DIGIMAX-340 Around Swimming Pool 2 Wet Room Walls & Floors 1 wet room 1 Kitchen Diner Floor 1

Olive Flagstone

Olive Limestone Flagstone

SLATE

DSC_1415

Brazilian Black Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

Rustic Multi Slate

GLAZED WALL & FLOOR TILES

DSCN2286

Oxida

Oxida

Bronzea

Bronzea

canamia secoyva (1) IMG_20140319_200115

 

DSC_1413 DSC_1392 DSC_1390 DSC_1388

 

For More Images Please Visit Our Facebook Page Wellington-Tile-Company Or Our Twitter Page @Wellytile

What Colour Grout Should I Use?

Deciding what grout colour to use is purely a personal preference, but there are a few hints and advice we have accumulated over the years, on how to achieve the look your after.

BronziaBronzia

 

 

 

 

The above images show the effects of different grout colours, the picture on the left has a very light grout colour and frames the tiles. Whereas the image on the right has grout more to the colour of the tiles and so blends in with the tiles. Grouting is an important part of the decision process. 

If you wish for the tiles to stand out and be “framed” then go for a contrasting colour, but be careful as sometimes all you will see is the grout and not the other way around, try with some grout swatches first, or have a look in our showroom, as we have nearly all the tiles on display with grouting to show the different choices available.


jose sempra 15x30

 

 

 

 

Another important aspect of tiling is choice of grout size, often wrong grout width choice can ruin the look of a tiled area. Have a go with a few tiles on the floor, put a 3mm joint between them and have a look, keep going until you find the space you prefer the most.

In our showroom you will see many displays of tiles with various grout widths and our fully trained staff will be more than willing to advice you on the correct choice to give you your required look.

Or call us on 01823 667242 

Alternatively visit Our website www.wellingtontile-online.co.uk

Why should I choose Wall Tiles?

What are the benefits of kitchen and bathroom wall tiles?

Why use tiles?

Not withstanding the main reason for choosing a wall tile is obviously for design purposes, wall tiles have many practical benifits. They are easy to maintain and their wipe free properties make them extremely hygienic. When it comes to bathrooms and shower areas they protect from leaks and splashes. Correct maintenance can also help protect against mould which will occur in damper areas, and if you use a grout protector and the correct cleaning products, tiles will look fresher for longer.

Popular materials are ceramic and porcelain wall tiles but other materials are available such as natural stone and glass tiles. Floor tiles are often chosen ie when installing a wet room floor tiles are often used both on the floor and the wall. Wall tiles can also be an added investment and can add value to your home, lasting much longer than wallpaper and paints.

Travertine Wet Room Wall & FloorAqua Glass Wall Tiles

Many homeowners are installing splash backs behind the cooker not only to protect the walls but  they are also a great option to add colour and make a feature. Generally the area between the work surface and wall units are also tiled, completing the look.

Natural Stone Mosaic

Finally, kitchen and bathroom wall tiles look great and the choices are endless- wall tiles come in a variety of sizes, colours, finishes and styles. You can use large format wall tiles which will make a small area appear more spacious or smaller mosaic wall tiles.

The choice is yours and remember wall tiles can be used effectively throughout the house, not just in kitchens & bathrooms!

For help and advice on choosing the perfect kitchen and bathroom wall tiles, please visit our showroom in Wellington, phone us on 01823 667242 or email at info@wellingtontile.co.uk .

Website www.wellingtontile-online.co.uk

Are You Laying Tiles Outside? Here is a general overview which may help with your choice.

In this blog we look at some of the considerations when deciding to tile an external area with natural or manufactured floor tiles:

Preparation

The first step is to ensure the area allocated for tiling is suitable, by this we mean a solid, clean base. It is also important at some stage during the project to allow for some fall and drainage so surface water does not pool on the tiles.

Choice of TileExternal Slate Patio

When deciding whether to use natural tiles such as Limestone, Travertine, Sandstone,
Slate, Granite, Basalt or Terracotta or manufactured tiles such as Quarries, Porcelain, Ceramic or Concrete; you need to assess the following:

Durability         Water absorption         Slip resistance               Ease of Maintenance.

As a rule the harder or more vitrified the tile the more suitable it will be for use outside given increased durability and reduced water absorption.

Porous surfaces can absorb water which in freezing conditions can damage the tile structure. With only this consideration in mind you are more likely to choose a manufactured tile or possibly a slate.

However with a durable, non porous surface there is increased risk of slipping when wet so it is important to consider this hazard. There is no point creating a patio that behaves like an ice rink whenever it rains.

The option here is to select a natural stone tile such as limestone or sandstone, with a more natural riven surface. Alternatively, look for manufactured tiles that have high slip resistance values.

limestone patioIt is often the case that Limestones, Slates or Sandstones are chosen as natural tiles have a more aesthetic feel than manufactured tiles especially externally.

To reduce any problems that absorption of moisture might cause, it is therefore very important that these tiles are sealed correctly with breathable, impregnating sealers such as LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. This will allow the tile to breath whilst at the same time                                                                                        protect the surface from water.

To achieve maximum protection however it is important to seal the tiles in a period of dry weather as for best results most sealers require, not just dry conditions during application but also 24 – 48 hours of dry conditions to fully cure.

Clearly all tiles outside will weather more quickly than tiles inside so regular maintenance with suitable aftercare products such as LTP Waxwash and regular re sealing will be necessary to keep the surface in a good condition. It is important to remember that even in the UK sunlight/ Ultra violet will lighten/weather the tiles over time.

For more detailed information on sealing tiles outside, visit the following blogs>>>>>