So, what exactly is natural stone? It’s a mineral substance that is all natural, unlike synthetic products or those stone products that are manufactured. Some of the natural stones you might find most commonly used in flooring include:
Within these stones, you will hear your flooring professional speak about grade. When you hear a reference to Grade One, you can know that these are uniform stones, and are of the highest quality available. Grade Two speaks to those stones that might have a few scratches or irregularities. Grade Three stone is likely to have more outstanding flaws, which means they will be better used as accents or to create a rustic look.
Another important feature to be concerned with is the absorption rating, which tells you how porous the material will be. If a product is extremely absorbent, then it will stain very easily. Sandstone is easily the most absorbent, while granite, on the other hand, is practically waterproof.
Absorption classifications you might hear include “non-vitreous” (very porous and should not be used where it will get damp), “semi-vitreous” (will demand more maintenance with increased exposure to water), “vitreous” (standard absorption rating, good for low to medium traffic) and “impervious” (resistant to most water and spills and easier to clean and maintain).