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Stone Tile Textures

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When choosing the surface for a bathroom or kitchen remodel, many homeowners turn to the classic look and excellent durability of stone tile. Though choosing things like color and size often come down to personal preference, stone tile texture is likely to be a choice based, at least to some extent, on practicality. Of the six basic stone tile textures that are commonly available, each has its own pros, cons, and situations where it will work best.

Honed: A low to medium gloss and an unglazed surface characterize this stone tile texture. Honed tile is likely to hold up better than some other stone tile finishes in high traffic areas, making it an excellent choice for floors. Though it is porous, its slightly rough surface provides traction. It has a duller, flatter appearance than polished stone tile.

Polished: A polished stone tile texture is very glossy and is prized for its brilliant color. Its surface is very resistant to moisture, but can become very slippery when it gets wet. Often used on countertops and walls, polished stone tile gets its shiny surface not from a coating, but from manipulating the stone itself.

Flamed: A flamed tile texture is created under extremely hot conditions. When exposed to this level of heat, natural crystals in the stone explode and create a uniquely textured surface. Though porous, this texture, once again, provides a certain amount of slip resistance.

Tumbled: A tumbled stone tile texture is often used when a homeowner wants a more weathered, classic appearance. Its slightly rough texture is created by tumbling various types of natural stone to achieve a worn surface. Marble, granite, and limestone can readily be found with a tumbled finish.

Sand Blasted: Natural stone tile that is sandblasted has a textured surface with a slightly glossy finish. The process of sandblasting can also be used to etch images and designs in natural stone.

Sawn: Sawn tile's unique surface is created by using a gang saw. Sawing can be combined with other techniques such as sandblasting or honing to alter the surface even further. Appropriate in several different settings, it presents yet another option for those who want the genuine look and feel of natural stone.

Mixing Stone Tile Textures
Though you probably want to keep tiles used in a single setting relatively uniform, having different types of tiles for different rooms of the home is certainly a technique used by many homeowners. In some instances, you'll need a different textured tile for multiple settings, as the performance of each is more appropriate under different circumstances.

When using natural stone, it is important to remember that there is little telling exactly what a finished installation will look like. Though you can specify things like color and texture, the final appearance depends on what concentrations of minerals and water different pieces of the original stone has been exposed to.