GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT NATURAL STONE
If you are planning to use natural stone in your home, you should consider a few things before buying. When choosing the floor covering, pay attention not only to the appearance, but also to the quality of the material, the maintenance requirements and the resilience.
What advantages does natural stone have over ceramic tiles?
In contrast to ceramics, natural stone is unique in its composition and captivates with its unique beauty. Stone floors are piece by piece unmistakable unique specimens of nature from the quarry grown over millions of years. Natural stone even gains beauty through ageing and still looks good after years.
How can you recognise the quality of stone floors?
High-quality stone floors are exactly rectangular and have a sharp edge, possibly with a micro-bevel, thus creating a narrow joint pattern. The shades of a noble stone floor create a harmonious overall picture. Extreme colour and structure outliers are sorted out during production.
How can I tell that I am walking on a real stone floor?
You can recognise a genuine stone floor just by the rich sound of footsteps on the laid floor. Stone floors are used over the course of decades, become sanded down and thus acquire a charming patina. Stone floors have been used in domestic building culture for centuries and outlast generations and their trends.
What about sound when walking on a stone floor?
In a large, sparsely furnished room, it can reverberate. In such cases, the stone can be laid on a substructure that reduces sound transmission.
Does an indoor stone floor need underfloor heating?
Stone floors in our climatic zones require underfloor heating, at least to support the room heating. This creates a floor covering that is warm to the feet. The advantage of underfloor heating is that a large heating effect can be achieved with only a small increase in temperature. If the screed is already finished, the thickness of the stone floor plus adhesive should be within the freely available construction height.
What influence does the lighting have on the choice of stone?
The choice of light colour (cold or rather warm light) and the type and amount of light source have an influence on how a stone floor looks indoors. This also affects the compass direction to which the room is oriented. Rooms facing east tend to get cooler daylight, while rooms facing west benefit from warm evening light.
What current trends can be identified in terms of stone tile design?
On the one hand, the trend is towards light limestone floors with discreet, warm, beige tones, on the other hand towards dark sandstone, travertine and slate floors that create a basis for a light interior. Antique limestone floors with slightly rounded edges are also used in modern houses of the 21st century to offer an archaic grounding and radiate a pleasant living feeling as a counterbalance to a lot of glass and light-coloured walls.
Do antique natural stone floors go well with modern architecture?
Antique limestone floors with slightly rounded edges are also used in modern houses of the 21st century to provide an archaic grounding and radiate a pleasant living feeling as a counterbalance to a lot of glass and light-coloured walls.
Which stone is suitable as a backlit picture?
All transparent, translucent stones such as agate, rock crystal, onyx and carnelian can be used. LED is best suited as a light source.
Are there many pictures hanging on the wall in my house? Which stone fits best?
For rooms with many pictures, a neutral, unobtrusive stone is a good choice. Otherwise, there is a risk that the pictures and the floor will compete with each other visually.
Should stone be sealed? What types of surface treatment are there for stone?
After regular cleaning, impregnation of the stone makes perfect sense, as it creates new colour intensity and protection against dirt.
NATURAL STONE FLOORS INDOORS
Which stone floors are there and which stone is suitable for which floor?
Hard limestone and granite are very popular for stone floors. In the past, limestone floors were mostly laid because granite could not be cut without electricity. And that didn't exist back then. That's why you mainly find limestone floors in historical buildings. It was only in the 20th century - after the advent of electricity - that granite floors were laid.
What is the difference between limestone and granite?
Limestone looks a little more homely and pleasant than a granite floor, which can seem rather forbiddingly cool.
Granite floors are particularly suitable for very heavily used areas, such as train stations, airports or even shopping centres. However, you can also use a limestone floor on more heavily used surfaces. In this case, however, the limestone should not be polished, but ground or brushed. This way, scratches and dull spots are not noticeable because the floor is dull to begin with. Through wear, the limestone floor becomes more and more matt and then develops a beautiful patina over time.
What about the treatment of granite floors? Should they be impregnated?
Granite floors are harder, but become a little more matt over time because they also contain softer components. In any case, a granite floor is also impregnated. Because even if it is hard, it has pores and must be protected against stains.
Which stones are still popular for interior flooring?
Quartzite, which is as hard as granite but visually resembles marble, is also very popular as a stone floor. And then there are slate floors, which are soft and either naturally split or honed. Natural-split slate has this beautiful rough surface, but over time it becomes somewhat smoothed in the heavily used area. What else to look for in a slate floor: In the beginning, you can see the light scratches very strongly. However, through walking and regular cleaning, the light scratches become dirty grey like the slate itself, and are then hardly noticeable. I would not recommend black slate in public areas because it easily becomes dusty.
What is the wear and tear on the marble floor?
It depends on whether the marble has been honed or polished. If a marble or limestone floor is polished, the wear is not as visible. If it is polished, firstly it is slippery and secondly it creates a walking path through use. This means that it becomes matt more quickly in the middle and on the less frequented edge you can see that the floor has been polished. If the floor is matt from the start (polished or brushed), there will be a matt surface due to stains and due to foot traffic, but the floor will become more supple again over time. You can see this very well in historical buildings. These old floors become more beautiful again through use and sanding and acquire a so-called "patina".
How sensitive is polished marble?
Polished marble is particularly sensitive. The polish is applied mechanically and brings that very special shine. However, the surface can be damaged by acid or scratches.
How to protect marble floors?
In any case, it is important to impregnate the floor to protect it from stains. The frequency of impregnation depends on the load. In private areas, it is sufficient to impregnate the marble floor about every 5 years. In public areas or in shops with high user frequency, the floor should be treated every six months.
What if the marble floor is in a restaurant?
In a restaurant, where a lot is also poured onto the floor, maintenance will have to be carried out more often than in an office. Maintenance in this case means cleaning the floor, but also regularly refreshing the impregnation.
What does basic impregnation look like?
For basic impregnation, the floor must first be thoroughly cleaned and then dried. Only then can the floor be impregnated. The impregnation penetrates deeply and closes the pores so that the floor does not absorb dirt. This protects it from grease stains, for example.
Does this protect the marble floor from stains of any kind?
Unfortunately, there is no impregnation for marble against acid stains. The impregnation penetrates into the depth and prevents the penetration of dirt. However, it does not prevent the acid from converting the lime contained in the stone into "salt" on the surface. This salt then produces dull stains. An impregnation can delay this somewhat, but not prevent it.
What do you have to consider when choosing a black or white floor?
Basically, black and white floors are extremely difficult to keep clean. A white, shiny floor is even easier to keep clean than a white, matt floor. On a matt floor, footsteps remain visible. Rubber abrasion from shoes can also permanently soil a beautiful floor.
STONE FLOORS IN THE OUTDOOR AREA
Which types of stone are particularly suitable?
In general, any granite stone as well as some serpentines, travertines, hard limestones are suitable for outdoor use.
Which stone floors are particularly popular for outdoor use?
Limestone is now very often used in outdoor areas. Limestones have a very wide range of applications. Sandstones are also popular. However, they sometimes have the problem that they are uneven. In places where there is shade or little wind, the water then remains. This can lead to the formation of algae. But regardless of whether limestone or sandstone is used, you should always make sure that the water can drain off well, i.e. that there is a sufficient slope.
Should outdoor stone floors also be impregnated?
An impregnation also solidifies the stone in the outdoor area and prevents the penetration of stains. However, nature also plays a role in cleaning. It is important that the flooring is rather rough and thus slip-resistant. This applies above all to the entrance area. On the terrace, which is usually located behind the house and is used in the warm season, the stone floor may also be a little smoother and more supple.
Which natural stones are frost-proof?
Granite stone, serpentine, travertine, hard limestone and some types of marble are frost-resistant and are therefore popular for outdoor use. However, not only the stone itself, but also the professional installation plays a role in the durability of the stone.
THE IMPREGNATION OF NATURAL STONE
What mistakes can happen when impregnating stone floors?
If you use too much impregnating agent, a layer remains on the surface. When the impregnation agent hardens, it remains fixed to the surface and forms a greasy layer. You have to use a very strong basic cleaner to get rid of this layer.
How do I do it right?
Since natural stone "absorbs" the impregnation differently, you should look carefully at where the impregnation has already been absorbed. In some places the stone needs longer than in others. Where the impregnation is already "standing", it must be removed. Therefore, the impregnation should always be removed with a clean cloth until no more residue can be seen on the surface.
Can stone floors also be sanded, like a wooden floor?
Of course, you can also grind stone floors, for example if they are very scratched. However, this is a very time-consuming procedure. Sanding is done with the help of water. Sanding creates mud, which also splashes on the wall, so that you have to paint again afterwards.
What happens to the joint when sanding?
When you grout a stone floor after laying it and wash off the excess grout, the joint is always slightly recessed. When sanding the floor, make sure that an excess of joint compound remains. This is because the joint should become completely flat when sanding.
What should I bear in mind when grouting?
The joint is an important issue with any stone floor. When laying the floor, care must be taken to ensure that the joints are as narrow as possible. According to the standard, a joint of 2 mm is provided, which should not be exceeded. This also has to do with cleaning the floor. This is because the cementitious joint is a weak point when it comes to cleanliness, as it accepts dirt more readily.
STONE AND PARQUET
Stone and parquet - how do they go together?
Real stone floors are timeless, not subject to fashion and, as a natural product, go perfectly with real wood parquet. If a parquet floor is laid next to the stone floor and this has already been selected, then the stone floor should be coordinated with the parquet in a harmonious contrast.
In which living areas do you recommend parquet, in which stone?
We recommend a stone floor in all areas that can be accessed directly from the outdoor area. A stone floor is insensitive and easy to clean. Dirt brought in from outside can be quickly removed with clear water.
What distinguishes technostone from natural stone?
Technostone is an extremely hard, artificially produced stone made of natural quartz and a certain amount of kaolin. It is sintered at 1,200 degrees Celsius and is 100% colour and heat resistant.
How robust is technostone and what care does it need?
A technostone is abrasion-resistant and exceptionally durable. It is also insensitive to acid and scratches. Technostone has no pores, which makes it harder for dirt to penetrate. It is perfectly sufficient to clean the stone with water from time to time, because technostone is pure and dense enough to repel even bacteria.