There are many variations of natural stone and manufactured stone tiles when it comes to tile flooring. Between natural and cultured or artificial tile, there are many similar characteristics, as well as having distinct differences. No matter the type of tile, they are hard, durable, and water-resistant; especially when they are properly taken care of. The melted glass glaze it has is one of the major distinctions found with manufactured tile. Manufactured tile, or ceramic tile is very versatile and is designed to mimic other materials such as glass, wood, metal, and even natural stone. Today, we at Silver State Floor Restoration would like to share natural stone tile versus manufactured tile since they have other characteristics, including the differences in cleaning and maintenance.
Types of Natural Stone Tile Countertops & Flooring
The basic attributes from the common types of natural stone tile are listed below.
Slate: Compressed by the weight of the earth in solid sections, slate is nearly as hard as granite, and has layers of flat, hard-packed stone. Though it can be vulnerable to some chipping on tile edges, it is strong in nature, and it resists breaks and cracks. Slate should be sealed in addition to being properly kept up at installation.
Granite: Though it can be left in a naturally gauged state or either polished or honed flat, granite is the hardest and densest construction-grade stone materials. Making it need a sealing at installation and routinely maintained, granite is a bit porous, but resists stains and water penetration.
Limestone: Being still a bit porous, the limestone provides strength and is moderately dense. Limestone is a natural stone that weathers as well.
Sandstone: Because of the extreme porosity and requires a surface sealer after installation and on a routine basis, sandstone should be avoided in moist environments.
Manmade Tile Types
Made from clay and are available glazed and unglazed, manufactured tile such as ceramic, porcelain, and terra cotta.
Cleaning Natural Stone & Man Made Tile Surfaces
Making it vital to avoid acidic cleaners as they will cause damage and staining, acids damage natural stone. Be sure to immediately clean up any acidic based foods and beverages though all spills need to be promptly wiped up. Especially when your tile depends on sealant for protection, vinegar also needs to be avoided. The grout lines can be compromised and degraded with the harsher chemicals where glazed ceramic can be cleaned with nearly any sanitizing cleaning agent. Use mild cleaners and natural stone tile need to be cleaned with specific cleaners for best results.
Stone & Tile Maintenance
No matter which type of tile is, they all need to be professional cleaned and sealed 1-2 times a year. You want to ensure your natural stone tile is routinely sealed though granite and slate can weather nicely with the initial application if that is your goal. When it comes to glazed ceramic, sealing is not necessary. However, all grout lines should be sealed, to prevent discoloration except for epoxy grout.