About Stone

What are the different types of stone?
There are various types of stone that are used for flooring and decorative purposes. The most well-known are marble, granite, travertine, limestone, and slate.

Where does stone come from?
Mountains are the largest source of natural stone. Riverbeds and the sea are also sources of natural stone.

What are the shiny flakes inside the stone?
Each stone type has different minerals, which give various properties to the stone.

Is one stone better than another? What is the best stone?
Each type of natural stone has unique characteristics that make it harder, softer, or shinier. Depending on your application, there are some design preferences for one type of stone over another. For example, limestone tiles are not suitable for high-traffic areas but will be perfect for wall applications. Tureks only produces stone tiles and decorative natural stone products, which are suitable for interior or exterior floors and walls.

Do some countries produce better stone than others?
There is a general misconception that some countries produce better stone than others. Natural stone comes from nature itself; it is the raw material for the tile and slab industry. The manufacturing processes will bring out the beauty of the natural stone. Tureks has state of the art manufacturing facilities capable of producing high-quality natural stone products.

What are the different finishes for stone? What are the differences between them?
Finishing stone is similar to a sanding process: smaller grit and longer sanding gives stone a more shiny and polished look, whereas less sanding will make the stone look more natural. Finish is a design preference. Usually, polished surfaces are used where a modern look is sought. They require more delicate care and handling compared to antiqued or tumbled surfaces, which have a natural patina and will take “wear and tear” better over time. Stone like travertine has natural holes as a result of sedimentary minerals. These holes can be left unfilled to give an even more natural look to the floor. The stone is also available as filled travertine or you can grout the holes when you grout your joints.

What are the different types of edges? What are the differences between them?
As with the types of finishes, the edge finish is also a design preference. Below are the types of edge finishes generally preferred:

Straight-cut or SC: Tiles are sawn and have a sharp edge.

Bevelled: Also called Chamfered, the bevel is used to make installation easier and to eliminate sharp leveling differences on the floor between tiles when grout is used.

More common edge types are, from rough to fine in increasing order:

Natural Cleft
Chiseled ( Chiseled)
Pave Real ( Finely Chiseled)
Honed With Bevel
Polished With Bevel

What makes an exotic stone “exotic”?
Exotic stones come from very remote parts of the world; they require extra care in production and handling. Due to weather conditions, seasonal limitations, and transportation restrictions, these stones are available in small quantities and therefore considered exotic.

What are the advantages of natural stone over man-made stone?
Can you think of a plastic surface that continues to look impressive after many years? Probably not. Natural stone is just that – natural. It will not lose its beauty, even after thousands of years. As a result, natural stone creates a unique atmosphere anywhere it is used. In contrast, man-made stone is aesthetically repetitive and has an artificial look. It can wear easily over time and will quickly lose its appeal. In addition, natural stone will not need constant maintenance: Take a look at the Lincoln Memorial or the Pyramids of Giza…they still look good after all these years, don’t they?

What are the standard sizes for floor tile? What is the standard thickness of a tile?
Commonly used tiles are 4×4 to 24×24. Tile size is also a design preference; however, larger areas may require larger tile dimensions. Most interior stone tiles are 12X12 or 18X18 and standard thickness is 3/8” on 12X12 and ½” on 18X18. We do not recommend tiles thicker than ½ “ unless you have a concrete floor and a cement mud installation. Please consult your installer for more information.

What is decorative stone? What is it used for?
Decorative stone tiles are used to accentuate various surface-covering forms. For example, you can use moldings to frame artwork on your wall. You can use borders to clarify the distinction between your living room and kitchen. The possibilities are endless with mosaics, moldings, and borders.

What is the temperature of stone? What are my options for heated floors?
In general, natural stone retains heat and cold. It is cooler than room temperature. If you prefer heated floors, please consult your installer for your options.

Choosing the Right Stone

Is more expensive stone better?
Not exactly. The price of natural stone depends on the capacity of its quarry and its production volume. The higher the production, the lower the price. In fact, some of the world’s best stone, like Carrara marble or travertine, is less expensive due to its enormous reserves.

 Is it better to get a lighter color or a darker color?
This is strictly a matter of taste. Generally, it is better to use lighter-color stones in a space where you don’t have a lot of natural light exposure.

Why might I want to use a porous travertine?
Travertine is a wonderful natural material that gives a warm, old-world look at affordable prices. Moreover, it is easy to maintain. If you don’t like the look of holes in the travertine, you can have your tiles grouted by your installer.

Design Your Space

Would a darker color darken the room?
Generally, it is better to use lighter-color stones in a space where you don’t have a lot of natural light exposure.

Why would I want to use natural stone on a wall? Can I use slabs for my wall?
Stone tiles can be used for bathrooms, showers, and backsplashes where your walls are exposed to a lot of wet and slippery elements. It is also easy to clean and repel water.

Can I mix different stones with different textures in the same room?
Yes, you can. However, it is recommended that you use materials from the same parts of the world to preserve some similar characteristics among different elements. You can still use different colors.

Where do I use decos?
Decorative natural stone is mostly used to accentuate your floor, walls, or other tiles.

Stone Care

Will my stone stain? What types of stone are resistant to stains?
We recommend sealing all natural stone with a good sealer. Once sealed, all stone will be stain resistant. Please see your sealer’s instructions for recommended sealing procedures.

Will my stone change colors or degrade in quality when sealed?
Different sealers have different degrees of changing the stone color. However, sealing the stone will give a slightly wet and cleaner look to it. There are sealers without color enhancers that will most nearly retain the original look of the stone.

How often do I need to seal my stone?
Depending on the usage, you might seal your stone tiles once a year. See your sealer’s instructions.

Care & Maintenance

The Importance of Cleaning
The secret to beautiful marble is simply keeping it clean. The cleaning and care of natural stone is different from that of ceramic or porcelain. Proper care of this porous material will allow for durability and beauty year after year. The daily removal of ordinary dirt and soil is a necessary step in caring for natural stone. Sweeping compounds containing oil must never be used on natural stone because they will eventually discolor the surface. Cleaners containing acid or bleach will scratch the surface and ruin natural stone; therefore, neutral cleaners should be used. If the floor is heavily trafficked, it should be cleaned daily and rinsed with clean water until all traces of dirt solution are removed. Natural stone should then be allowed to dry.

Complicated cleaning agents and maintenance procedures will never be needed if marble surfaces are regularly cleaned. When natural stone is neglected, dirt and grease can accumulate, which can damage the surface almost beyond repair. Cracks can also be caused by general deterioration. Improper cleaning materials such as those containing alkali, acid metallic salts, or other strong ingredients actually attach themselves to the natural stone itself and increase and enlarge dirt-catching pores. Soap or abrasive cleaners should never be used on marble surfaces. This type of cleaner reacts with the natural stone compound to build a soapy scum, which destroys the beauty of natural stone and forms a greasy or slippery film that will catch or hold dirt. The use of an abrasive cleaner will result in unsightly scratches on the surface. Abrasive cleaners are almost impossible to remove by rinsing and normal foot traffic will grind the leftover abrasive particles into the surface, thus ruining the floor. The ideal cleaner should be, first and foremost, effective in removing soil. Secondly, it should not create any damaging discoloration or surface film. It should be rinsed free even in hard water

Natural Stone Maintenance Procedures
The care and cleaning of natural stone is quite simple. If the proper procedures are followed, products will maintain their innate beauty and durability for a lifetime. To ensure the best experience with natural stone, clean the product thoroughly after installation and follow up with a regular maintenance program. Immediately after completing installation, wash the floor clean of loose debris, dirt, and foreign material. Use clean and soft cloths, sponges, or mops and fresh warm water. Allow to dry. A second rinse application may be required to remove any additional film. Apply a thin, even coat of sealer and allow it to dry for 3-5 minutes, removing excess sealer before it dries. If too much sealer is applied, it may be removed by reapplying the sealer to reactivate residue. Make sure to buff it off before it dries. Within 3-5 hours, the finished area can be used for normal foot traffic but must be kept dry and free of staining agents for 72 hours. It is strongly recommended that the aforementioned procedures be completed immediately after installation and repeated in a regular maintenance program.

Natural Stone Maintenance Products
There are many natural stone maintenance products on the market that can be found in local home improvement stores, floor covering dealer showrooms, and online. Only cleaners designated for natural stone should be used. Products available for natural stone maintenance range from everyday cleaning to heavy-duty cleaning and anything in between. Deep cleaners are used for heavy-duty cleaning. These products penetrate the stone to get any unwanted dirt or residue out without damaging it. Other products available include stain removers, etch removers, grout cleaners, polishes, and color enhancers. Products may vary by manufacturer.

Natural Stone Sealers
All natural stone should be sealed prior to installation, and sealing should be incorporated into your maintenance plan. Because natural stone is porous, it is necessary to use a penetrating sealer. Such penetrating products fill the pits and voids of the stone and actually become an integral part of the floor itself. The primary purpose of sealing is to provide protection to the natural stone itself. Ordinary dirt and soil are sealed out of the floor as if all pits and voids have been filled and sealed. They are held on the surface where they can easily be removed. Natural stone floors properly sealed and finished are easy to clean and maintain. Marble floor should not be sealed until the surface is thoroughly cleaned and dried.

After installation, the entire application (grout included) should be sealed again, thus protecting both the stone and grout from color damage. Depending on the sealer, location, and use, the number of times you need to seal in a given time frame may vary. It is very important to seal your natural stone to protect against dirt penetration and stains.

There are many different sealers available on the market. Penetrating/Impregnating sealers are generally used on all natural stone; however, stone enhancers can be used if a richer color is preferred. Consult your manufacturer for specific product information and instructions.