Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers

Etched in stone- selecting the right rock for your installation

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If you don’t want lemon juice to ruin your new stone, be sure to select the right type of rock. Tile and stone are among the most durable building products in use today, but the acids in lemon juice, vinegar, and cut tomatoes can etch calcium carbonate and calcite-based stones.
The key is to select the right stone for your project. The chemical makeup and the method of formation of each type of natural stone contribute to whether it’s suitable for a particular application. Calcareous rocks such as marble, travertine, and limestone are composed of primarily calcium carbonate mineralogy, and may not be the best selection for a kitchen countertop where they might come in contact with the mild acids found in some common foods. Quartz-based sandstone and granite are more dense stones and should be more resistant to acids.
In addition to acid sensitivity, abrasion resistance and water sensitivity are important considerations when selecting your stone. For safety reasons, only textured finishes are recommended for outdoor or wet area applications. Travertine may not be the best choice for a commercial application since high-heeled shoes and wheeled carts can fracture the areas where a thin shell of stone conceals a natural void just below the finished surface.
Many green-colored marbles and serpentines warp or curl, when exposed to water or water-based adhesives during the installation process.* For this reason, additional preparation steps and particular care during the setting of the stone may be necessary. Light-colored marbles and almost all limestones must be installed with white mortar in order to prevent staining during installation. Particular care must also be taken when grouting calcium-carbonate based stones as the sand in sanded grout is generally harder than the stone itself. (Masking the stones or using unsanded grouts need to be considered).
As you select natural stones for your next project, be sure to consult with a tile professional. Qualified installers and showroom designers are a great resource for making the right stone selection. And be sure to use a certified and experienced tile contractor who will stand behind your beautiful and long-lasting stone installation.
*2011 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation — Tile Council of North America

Author: Neuse Tile Service

We are second generation, NC small business tile contractors dedicated to quality tile and stone installations. Since 1964, the Neuse Tile team has worked very hard to maintain the quality and integrity that have been crucial to our business' success in the Triangle area. Specialty construction trades have changed and evolved over the years, and our certified installers are truly talented craftsmen. We are proud of our work, and are committed to doing everything we can to promote the proper installation of ceramic tile, to satisfy our customers, and to run a viable business. We are honored by the trust our customers place in us and look forward to serving this area with high quality tile installations for many years to come.

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