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Stone vs. Ceramic natural tile from Metro Flooring
- Natural Characteristics: Understand that many natural stones may contain small, naturally occurring cracks (fissures). Cracking and pitting are common complaints heard from consumers that were unaware of these characteristics when they selected stone. If you want consistency and uniformity, then select porcelain tile.
- Installation costs: natural stone is generally more expensive to install. The cost is primarily due to the overall difficulty of the installation.
- Maintenance: If you own a large quantity of stone flooring, you will want to have it deep-cleaned on occasion. Also most stones require a grout release before installation and a penetrating sealer after installation. A penetrating or impregnating sealer needs to be re-applied periodically as per manufacturer instructions
- Vapor Transmission: All stones breathe. This means they breathe up moisture from the slab and setting materials, and they tend to breathe in moisture from external sources as well. This means all stones should be sealed using a penetrating sealer that allows vapor transmission but inhibits staining. Vapor transmission also means that if you're using a light stone over a large area, you may want to check the moisture passes from the slab to the stone; it is possible to discolor some lighter stones from within.
- Wear Resistance: Granites are the hardest of all natural stones, and there are some stone types that approach the hardness of granite. All polished stones scratch dull, yet some honed stones may be more difficult to clean than polished (A porcelain tile can be up to 30% harder than granite).
- Acid and Stain Resistance: Granites typically have superior resistance against staining. However many common household products will stain or etch stone, yet most will have little effect on ceramic or porcelain tile.