Limestone


Stone Flooring Maintenance Videos

Bathroom Stone

Materials used in natural stone floors include limestone, marble, slate, quartzite, granite, flagstone, sandstone, and travertine. Stone tiles are sliced from boulders into a variety of sizes and shapes, and then a finish is put on the tiles.

Natural-Stone-Floors

Natural-Stone-Floors

There are four basic finishes: polished, honed, brushed, and tumbled. Polished tiles are shiny because the stone is highly polished until it is smooth enough to reflect light. Honed tiles, polished just enough to create a flat, smooth surface, have a matte finish. Brushed and tumbled tiles are textured…

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Want a kitchen remodeling project this summer?
by Sears Home Pro

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Kitchen remodeling is a fun and interesting experience, and the outcome should please you for years to come. When you get ready to do the job, consider carefully whether you have the skills and experience to complete it. Here are some remodeling tips to think about before you take on this huge challenge.
1. Expertise is helpful in designing any size kitchen.
A medium sized kitchen is probably the easiest to design. You have basic features to incorporate into the plan, and you have plenty of room for them. With help you can design a lovely new kitchen room. A large kitchen takes more thought because you have many more options. If you are not familiar with all the different types of cabinets, countertops, and appliances and how to fit them together, you might sell this large space short. A small kitchen is perhaps the most difficult of all for designing a remodel. To get the most out of every inch of the space, it is a good idea to use an experienced contractor who has worked with small kitchens before.
2. Initial choices affect overall cost.
One of the most basic choices is to what degree you are going to take the kitchen remodeling job. You will have to decide whether to get new custom cabinets, new pre-manufactured cabinets, or reface the old ones. The next decisions are materials for every part of your newly remodeled kitchen. Countertop materials include ceramic tile, granite, marble, laminate, solid surface, engineered stone and butchers block wood countertops. Cabinet choices range from hardwoods to melamine. Be sure you get the quality of materials you want. The best way to ensure this is to have a discussion with an expert.
3. Measure carefully.
When you are doing an entire kitchen remodeling project, you will have to measure every part of your kitchen. Make sure to consider the way the work will be done as you measure each area and board. Then, write down every measurement in a way that you will recognize when it comes time to order the parts and put them together. This can be a very confusing task if you are not accustomed to doing it.
4. Be careful in placing appliances.
If the stove and refrigerator are not separated when you begin your kitchen remodeling project, make plans to separate them at that point. There should be plenty of counter space between the two so that you will have places to put food when you take it out of either appliance. The sink, ideally, should be between the two. This may require special plumbing work as a part of the job. When you are getting ready for a kitchen remodeling job, there are many things to consider. Make sure you keep them in mind.

About the Author:

This article brought to you by Yil Acosta of Sears Home Improvements. To get more roofing information including Cost of A New Roof visit the Roofing Services section of our website or call us today at 877-292-7894

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By Richard McIntyre

Kitchen TilesDesigning your kitchen can be a real task if you do not have a good layout. This is the room where the family may spend the most time hanging out and having dinner or conversations. A kitchen should be designed in such a way that everyone can move around comfortably and have enough space. There is nothing like coming in a kitchen and feeling cramped and cluttered. With a kitchen being as functional as it is, everyone will want to be comfortable in its design. You not only have to make it work for you, but for your entire family.

One of the main things to keep in mind when coming up with your ideal kitchen design is the kitchen work triangle. The triangle is a popular design layout that shows you how your sink, refrigerator and stove should be properly set up in the kitchen. Using the work triangle will help maximize the use of your kitchen space better. Once you evaluate your work triangle, you can make the other kitchen space work for your other appliances such as the dishwasher or microwave. If you use these other items more than you use the oven or sink, you may not need to enforce the work triangle into your design. The shape of your kitchen will also have an effect on how you position your work triangle.

Your kitchen counter will be the most functional piece. Everything you do will rest on the counters. There are various styles and colors to choose from. Counter tops should be chosen carefully. Since most food will be prepare on them, you will want to make sure you do not get counter tops that can crack or stain easily. It should also be easy to keep clean and sanitary. Counter tops can crack, but depending on the material they are made up of, it is possible to sand out the cracks. You want counter tops that are within your budget, trendy an easy to install. Counter top designs and colors should be an attractive compliment to the other appliances and features.

The work triangle helps to make for an easy clean up; since you do not have far to carry food, there will be less chance of spills. If your flooring tiles have a minimal amount of gaps or seams, less dirt will collect in them. How much cleaning you do to the floors is contingent upon the type of tile or material you put down. Keep in mind that while ceramic flooring is elegant, you have to sweep it every day. Cabinets are easy to clean if they have a ‘baked on’ finish. Cabinets with a high gloss finish are easy to wipe down when you see the dirt on them. Cabinets should be easy to open using no more than 2 fingers. Inserts put in the cabinets and drawers will make for an easy cleanup. Having a sink that under mounts makes mess on the counter easier to clean.

About the author:
Want to find out more about kitchen design layout, then visit Richard McIntyre’s site on how to choose the best small kitchen design for your needs.

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By Joe Wallis

California Flooring Store Locations

California Flooring Store Locations

These days, tiles are used in more than just kitchen and bathroom projects. There are many different types of tiles, some of which can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Some are extremely versatile, and can be used just about anywhere.

Before choosing tile, it’s important to learn about the different types and their uses. Whether you want to simply remodel one room in your home or renovate an entire building, here is an overview to 10 different tiles and their uses.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are forged from rich clay gathered from deep within the earth. Ceramic has an elegant, yet natural appearance, and the tiles are typically glazed in a matte or satin finish. You can also choose unglazed, or “quarry” tiles, if you prefer a more natural look.

Ceramic tile is usually found in residential kitchens and bathrooms. It can be used for flooring, walls, and countertops. If you’re looking for an extremely durable material that can withstand scratches and stains, then you might want to consider buying ceramic tile.

Marble Tile

Marble is extremely elegant. It comes in a variety of colors, with the most common being white, pink, gray, and black. The finish can be either matte or polished. This tile is ideal for countertops and walls in kitchens and bathrooms. Many sinks and vanities are made out of marble as well. Polished marble is not ideal for bathroom floors, as it gets slippery when wet. If you
want to buy marble flooring, be sure to choose tiles with a honed (matte) finish.

Vinyl Tile

 Vinyl tile is both durable and low-cost. As such, it’s a popular flooring material in high-traffic rooms. Not only is it resilient to impact damage, it is also supple and comfortable to walk on. As long as they are installed properly, vinyl tiles don’t need a lot of maintenance. It’s ideal for residential flooring and commercial flooring both. If you’re going for an antique look, you can buy vinyl tile that is designed to resemble wood or stone.

Granite Tile

Granite is a common building material. It has been used for centuries in both indoor and outdoor applications. It’s a very hard stone that is water and scratch-resistant. Since it doesn’t conduct heat, it can go anywhere in the kitchen. It can also be used for outdoor building projects, such as storage building construction and paving. Granite was even used to construct Mount Rushmore! You can choose granite tile in a variety of finishes, including sandblasted, flamed, honed, and polished.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is known for its beauty and durability. It’s easy to maintain and is available in different colors and textures. Porcelain tile is very frost-resistant, and therefore suitable for bathroom furniture, flooring, and walls. Some small
businesses also use porcelain tile since it holds up pretty well as light commercial traffic. Porcelain tile is available in high-polished, matte, and unglazed finishes.

Slate Tile

Slate has a rough texture and rustic appearance. However, it still scratches and stains easily, making it a bad choice for kitchen countertops. What it lacks in durability, slate makes up for in versatility. You can use it for interior and exterior projects. Some indoor uses for slate tile include bathroom and
kitchen flooring, walls, and indoor sunrooms. For the outdoors, you can use it as building material for a patio or porch.

Mosaic Tile

Mosaic tile is very translucent, beautiful, and versatile. It is produced in many different colors and textures. This makes it a perfect design for just about any renovation project. Mosaic looks great in bathrooms, kitchens, around pools, bathtubs, and even walls. Some manufacturers even create mosaic tiles for
artistic projects. A lot of artists use this material in their arts and crafts.

Travertine Tile

Travertine is a stone tile that is used in a variety of residential applications. It’s easy to cut for a stone; therefore, it can be cut to fit any type of area. In addition to flooring, travertine tile can be used on kitchen countertops sinks, in showers, and for fireplaces. For outdoor applications, it can be used as a garden path or patio. Travertine is rather porous and quickly absorbs liquids. For this reason, you need to wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Also, you need to be careful in regards to the cleaning products you use.

Laminate Tile

Laminate looks like hardwood, yet no wood is used in its construction. Laminate tiles are made up of a variety of materials which are bonded together under high pressure. They are topped with a photographic image of hardwood flooring, followed by a hard, clear coating. Laminate is an ideal choice if you want an inexpensive alternative to a wood floor. It can be installed in just about any room in your home, save for the bathroom and laundry room. This is because laminate tiles can swell when exposed to a lot of moisture.

Linoleum Tile

Linoleum is a great looking tile that looks attractive in both contemporary and traditional settings. Linoleum floors can last for a very long time, and don’t require a lot of maintenance. It’s extremely water-resistant, so you can put it in your bathroom, laundry room, patio, and just about any other indoor or outdoor setting. The downside to linoleum is that it doesn’t do well around heat, so avoid using it near a stove or fireplace.

About the author:
Joe Wallis is the editor of the Learn How to Lay Tile website, which provides information about how to choose tile and set it properly for a wide variety of home improvement projects.

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By Sandy Yeates

Natural-Stone-Floors

 

The next time our highly plasticized world starts getting you down and you feel an urge to commune with nature, slip off your shoes and walk barefoot on a floor made from natural stone.

Chances are, no matter what type or quality of stone tiles you have used for flooring, it will feel wonderfully cool during the hot summer months and retain warmth during the colder winter months.

Apart from its natural beauty, natural stone also contains no toxins or chemicals which can cause allergies.

But like all natural products, the qualities and features of various stones differ dramatically, so if you want to choose natural stone tiles for your flooring you need to consult an expert to find out which stones work most effectively where.

Let’s have a look at how you can incorporate natural stone indoors as a feature.

Slate Tiles

The beauty of slate is in the rich diversity of colours and its durability.

Each piece of slate tiling is like an individual work of art with its variations in tone and texture, ranging from pale greys and pinks to intense greens and blacks. When laid properly in a large space, these variations give a feeling of continuity and tonal flow – much like a painting.

Alternatively, individual slate tiles or small groups can be used to offset or complement a plain stone tile like sandstone on the walls or floors. For example, a cream coloured sandstone with overtones of pink can be highlighted with a small grouping of slate tiles with deeper splashes of pinks and blues, placed on the diagonal.

Like most natural stone products, a sealant improves the quality and durability of slate so it is easy to maintain, easy to keep clean, resistant to chemical spills, won’t fade and is impermeable to water.

Sandstone Tiles

Sandstone is a generic name given to a type of natural stone that contains quartzite – the inclusion of quartzite is the only characteristic the various types of sandstone share. Sandstone is obtained from quarries all over the world, so the qualities of sandstone are unique to the region where they are sourced.

Although most designers and homeowners use sandstone for outdoor paving and around traditional chlorinated pool areas, it blends beautifully indoors, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens. Sandstone is slip resistant and impervious to water (although poor quality sandstone doesn’t possess these important qualities).

Sandstone is an incredibly versatile product and is used extensively by architects and designers because of its durability, fire resistance and thermal qualities. Sandstone is generally pale in colour, so it effectively enhances the feeling of light and space when used indoors, particularly in large open plan rooms.

Designers often use a darker natural stone tile like bluestone or quartzite to break up large sections of sandstone or to define a particular area. This effect can look stunning with a little creativity and imagination.

Bluestone

Nothing beats bluestone for its incredible strength and versatility. Not only that, bluestone is an aesthetically beautiful natural stone that is grey in colour but with subtle variation in tone. Surface treatment options make it versatile for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Bluestone with a polished surface has a refined luster under any lighting. Honed bluestone is a softer, low sheen option popular for both indoor floors and walls. Bluestone with a flamed finish is a natural outdoor paving stone.

The best quality bluestone is being used extensively indoors in kitchens, living areas and hallways because it is virtually impervious to water and has a stain resistance. The dark grey tones of bluestone effectively hide dirt, making it a busy homeowner’s dream natural stone surface.

Cutting edge designers are now incorporating bluestone into high traffic areas because of its durability and toughness and also because it is so easy to maintain. Nowadays you will see bluestone in honed and polished form used extensively in wine bars, restaurants, hotel lobbies and up-market retail outlets.

Outdoors the natural stone tile of choice is flamed bluestone because of its non-slip characteristics, to say nothing of its luxurious appeal. Garden designers are increasingly using the grey/black tones of bluestone to offset water features and pool surrounds.

The Appeal of Natural Stone

From the sleek lines of steel and glass used in contemporary architecture to the soft decorative features of a federation style home, the inclusion of natural stone complements any environment.

Imagine a stacked stone water feature made with blue-grey slate inside a glass covered portico at the entrance to an architectural masterpiece, or the soft colours of sandstone laid in the entry of an old inner city terrace, or an expansive family room floor tiled in the earthy, ambient tones of limestone.

Natural stone is…well…natural and it glows with life, no matter how or where it’s used. In a world burdened by the effects of toxic chemicals and products, doesn’t it feel good to experience the look and feel of something that you know has been created by nature? Natural stone was here long before we were and will still be around long after we’re gone.

About the author:
The next time our highly plasticized world starts getting you down and you feel an urge to commune with nature, slip off your shoes and walk barefoot on a floor made from natural stone.

Chances are, no matter what type or quality of stone tiles you have used for flooring, it will feel wonderfully cool during the hot summer months and retain warmth during the colder winter months.

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By Leigh Kerr

Stone Flooring Maintenance Videos

Click Picture for Stone Flooring Maintenance Videos

 

There would seem based my own experience that there is a lot of confusion amongst the general public and some builders as to what sealing natural stone actually means.

When we talk about sealing a surface we normally mean that an impenetrable barrier is painted on or applied in some way. For example tiled floors are often sealed to give them added protection and make them shine. To do this a series of coats of emulsion polish are applied to the surface and allowed to dry. This seals the floor and gives it protection. Other surfaces such as wood are often sealed with a coating of a polyurethane product. This adds strength to the surface and protects it. Many other normally porous surfaces can be sealed with a layer that sits on the surface acting as a barrier to penetrative agents and gives protection also.

The sealing of natural stone such as marble, granite, limestone and slate is very different. Natural stone is made up of crystals that interlock together. The actual minerals that are present as crystals in the stone give it its colour and striations. However there are spaces between the crystal and the smaller these spaces are and the more the crystals have been compacted together the less porous the stone is. So these spaces will determine the porosity of the stone. A combination of pore size and mineral content of the stone will also determine its hardness and thus its durability. These spaces in the stone are air filled when the stone is dry and water filled when the stone is wet. Bacteria inhabit these spaces and these are often vital for the maintenance of the stone. Very little research has been carried out into these bacteria but what has been done would suggest that they are essential in maintaining the integrity of the stone.

Consequently we have the picture of stone as quite a complex mix of minerals, bacteria and spaces. You must imagine the stone to be something akin to a very hard sponge! If you drop a liquid onto the stone it will be absorbed and spread through the spaces. This is why what initially looked like a small spillage can end up as quite a large stain in the stone. To remove the stain it has to be flushed out of these spaces. All a stone sealer does it fill up these spaces. Many of the stone sealants in use are based on fatty acids rather than synthetic sealants. These natural sealants are better because they do not destroy the bacteria but often enhance them. Synthetic sealants will destroy these bacteria that has longer-term consequences on the stones makeup. Sealants based on fat however have a shorter lifespan and must be renewed periodically.

Whatever sealant is used it simply fills up the spaces between the crystals it does not cover the surface of the stone. Its purpose is simply to delay the penetration of liquids into the stone. So if corrosive materials get onto the stone then it will be damaged. Stone sealants do not form a protective ‘seal’ on the surface of the stone. Consequently stone is only protected from absorbing liquids. It is not protected from surface damage.

About the author:
Information on back spasm treatment can be found at the Body Spasms site.

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