What are the Different Types of Natural Stone Tiles?

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  • Written By: B. Galbreath
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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Natural stone tiles can be any type of tile that is manufactured from stone that has been harvested from the earth. These types of tiles are often prized for either their durability, their unique beauty or both. Different types of natural stone tiles have different attributes — from hardness to look — and all of them can be cut to specified sizes and shapes. Among the various types are granite, marble, slate and travertine.

Some natural stone tiles are made from granite stone. Granite is an igneous rock and is the second-hardest material on Earth, next to diamond. It comes in a variety of colors, from black to pink; some varieties are also variegated. Its hardness, color palette and lustrous finish makes it an ideal tile choice for a variety of areas, including floors, counter tops, backsplashes and showers.

Marble also can be used for making natural stone tiles. It is a metamorphic rock that is composed of calcite. The material comes in an array of colors, such as white, gray and green, and it often has striations that run through it. Like granite tiles, marble tiles are also commonly used for flooring, counter tops, backsplashes and showers, but the material is less durable than granite.


Slate is another type of natural stone tile. This type of metamorphic rock is composed of volcanic ash or clay. It is a durable stone that offers a less-showy yet attractive look than granite and marble. Though slate is most commonly gray in color, it also can be red, green, purple or beige. Slate is slip-proof and absorbs water slowly, so slate tiles are often used in flooring or roofing, but they also can be used for other tiling needs.

The sedimentary limestone rock known as travertine is another material that is used for natural stone tiles. When travertine is processed, it is either cross-cut with the natural grain of the stone, creating an even look and color; or it is vein-cut, or cut through many layers of the rock, giving it a striped look. This material comes in neutral shades of ivory, beige and gold. It is porous, meaning that it is more likely to stain, so travertine tiles might not be ideal for use in counter tops but rather for a backsplash or a shower surround.


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Post 1

Very informative and descriptive post. Natural stone tiles create a naturally beautiful pattern. Thanks for this post.

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