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How Much Does It Cost To Install Natural Stone Tile?

National Average Change Location | View National
$1,806
Typical Range
$890 - $2,755
Low End
$450
High End
$5,000

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Natural stone has served as one of man's favored building materials for thousands of years. Few other materials can match it in terms of durability, variety, beauty and versatility. As a building material, quarried stone sees use in both the infrastructure of an edifice and in its ornamental aspects. Unsurprisingly, it is still used much as it has been for centuries, and as an alternative to carpeting, wood or ceramic floors, it remains extremely popular. Stone tile has both advantages and disadvantages, however, so homeowners should thoroughly research the various types of stone as well as the pros and cons of each alternative.

Advantages of Stone Tile

Stone tile has the advantage of being a natural, timeless option for flooring. It is more durable than wood and carpet when properly treated and almost without fail looks beautiful. If it is damaged, it can be repaired with minor cost and inconvenience because repair usually only requires a bit of mineral oil and re-polishing. It greatly adds to the perceived value of a home. Stone tile is also a somewhat green product; it is a natural material that requires no chemical manufacturing processes or dangerous byproduct waste. Finally, stone is simple to clean and keep free of allergens.

Types of Stone Tile

In the construction world, natural stone refers to any hard substance that is quarried in solid pieces from the earth. Understandably, there are many types and variations, each with their own unique qualities. Different stone types will have different colors, patterns, compositions, degrees of hardness and optimum usages. The major types of stone in the construction world are marble, travertine, slate, granite, limestone and quartz.

Granite Tile

Granite is first when it comes to choices in long-lasting, natural stone. Though it is considered less prestigious than marble, it is also more durable. Granite will stand up better to wear and tear than almost any alternative, and its wealth of color and pattern options should keep the potential buyer from easily dismissing it in favor of the more chic marble. Granite has a distinctive look, however, and instead of the swirls and delicate patterns of marble, it appears grainy.

Marble Tile

Marble is often called the king of stone materials. It can be found with a variety of colors from grey and white to pink, brilliant green, blue or even purple. The patterns have enormous variation, and a piece of marble is itself a work of natural art. Unfortunately, marble is not the most durable of the stones available. It requires sealing and will easily stain or damage from as little as a sweating glass without a coaster.

Slate Tile

Slate is a different sort of rock that is formed of heated, compressed layers of mud. It has a wholly unique look that lends itself extremely well to both rustic and sophisticated decors. Slate needs to be sealed and may flake or chip, though such things can be repaired with little drama.

Travertine Tile

Travertine is a sedimentary rock with properties similar to marble when it comes to color and pattern. However, it is generally cheaper than marble and has a classic, weathered look. It is very sensitive to acids but has the benefit of not being slippery when wet. This latter quality makes it highly desirable for bathroom and shower floors.

Limestone Tile

Limestone is a precursor to marble and, like marble, forms at the bottom of the ocean. It has distinctive, fossil-like veining that entitles it to a design all its own. It mostly comes in neutral shades of beiges and tans but has been seen in reds, greens and blues as well. It is extremely durable and, when properly sealed, will resist stains and weathering. Limestone tends to be slippery when wet.

Quartz Tile

Quartz is a hard, common mineral that is white when pure but comes in a variety of colors because of impurities. It is extremely hard and resists acid erosion well. It typically has a lower maintenance cost than other stone tiles, and it will withstand stains much better than marble. Quartz does not require sealant. One drawback is that quartz surfaces can appear more boring and uniform than the patterns of marble or limestone.

Disadvantages of Stone Tile

Stone tile does have some drawbacks. Some types, like marble, are porous enough that they can be stained by a spill. Stone tile needs to be properly sealed and resealed every so often with needs varying among the different types of stone. Additionally, it is more difficult and more expensive to install than ceramic or porcelain alternatives. Care must also be taken when cleaning it as chemical cleaners have the potential to cause damage. Finally, its unique beauty can also be a drawback because a particular color or pattern is limited to what nature has made. Sometimes it can be hard to create a consistent floor when the tile is not bought in homogenous batches or when a tile must be replaced years later.

Tips on Stone Tile

Stone is differentiated mainly by the following three factors, and homeowners should familiarize themselves with these terms so that they can choose the best stone tile for their particular application. First of all, stone is graded by the manufacturer. When looking at samples and prices, homeowners should be aware that a grading of 1 denotes superior samples while a grading of 3 includes pieces that may be damaged or mismatched.

Stone will also have two other ratings that are important for homeowners to be aware of. Levels of absorption in stone range from non-vitreous ? the highest absorption rating ? to impervious, which is the lowest absorption rating. For an example of suitability, impervious stone is best for high-traffic areas that may frequently be wet.

The last rating is the coefficient of friction. This refers simply to how slippery the stone will be when wet. It's especially important for prospective buyers to consider this when buying stone tile for bathrooms or kitchens where the floor may pose a serious danger when wet. The higher the coefficient, the more traction the stone will have. Low coefficients may prove dangerously slippery in the bathroom.

All natural stone should be sealed before grouting is placed, and the floor should be kept swept so that foot traffic doesn't combine with grit and debris to wear the floor down prematurely. Homeowners should always use approved cleaners when cleaning stone tiles. The manufacturer of the product will more than likely provide suggestions or even their own products for safe cleaning.

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Ronald Gots More than 1 year ago
Your site was useless. I described a pool deck tile project and your recommended providers were an electrical company, a cleaning service and an insulator
Joseph Resto More than 1 year ago
I asked for tiles install and sent me to window tinting  
Cynthia Callano More than 1 year ago
The information was helpful although I am looking for Countertops not flooring.  Thank you for the information.
jerry collins More than 1 year ago
Pictures are crucial to me to see a Pro's work.  I won't call a pro without pics on site.  That said, the pictures that open a new window are very mall -- I would suggest enlarging them -- or the ability for the viewer to make them bigger.
Danyel Cook More than 1 year ago
Completely useless. I went through and gave time-consuming,detailed info for a tile project and you gave me an A/C contractor, a water treatment specialist and three other non-tile, non-construction businesses.  
John McTigue More than 1 year ago
so far so ggod
Virginia Hahn More than 1 year ago
As I said, your phone call comes on my phone as "unlisted" and I usually do not ever answer those calls. Also, your site is difficult to narrow down to what I really wanted so it was of no help to me at all. Thank you tho for following up.

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