Natural Stone / August 30, 2018 / FifineAsselin
Out of all the natural stone materials Sandstone is the most absorbent; Travertine Limestone and Slate all have a medium absorbency while Granite is pretty much waterproof. It is also known that any polished materials will also absorb less water. The next factor to consider it the quality of the materials which is measured in grade. Grade can refer to the size shape and thickness of the tiles along with the condition of its surface. The most common grading systems use three levels of quality. Grade 1 is the highest quality. Everything is uniform and there are virtually no flaws. Grade 2 refers to any materials that have minor defects such as chips scratches or an irregular surface. Grade 3 materials have noticeable major flaws in size shape surface or chipping which makes them only appropriate as accent pieces or used in rustic decorative pieces. The next thing to think about is the coefficient of friction.
The absorption rate is how porous a material is. The more absorbent a material is the more likely it is to stain as well as how much cracking damage it suffers during freezing conditions. There are four different levels of absorption when it comes to natural tiles. Non-vitreous is the highest absorption and should not be used in any environment that can become damp. Semi-vitreous are less absorbent but will require more maintenance the more liquid is exposed to them. Vitreous is the standard level of absorption and is considered most appropriate to be placed in areas with low to mid indoor or outdoor traffic. Impervious is the most resistant when it comes to the absorptions of liquids and are the easiest to maintain and clean.
There are different types of sealer such as invisible sealer color enhancer sealer deep sealer etc. Depending on your purpose you would choose the proper sealer. For example invisible sealer does not change the character or color of your tiles while still protecting it but color enhancer sealer will make your tiles darker and will bring the color out. Deep sealer is used for more porous natural stone such as limestone and sandstone. This process must be repeated every couple of years depending on the type and quality of you Stone. For example for travertine and limestone this should be done every two to three years and for granite and marble it could be done every four to five years.