Strong, Solid and Stable – benefits of going natural

by Tania Wannenburg
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Natural stone floors continue to remain a popular choice for specifiers, as they create the look and feel of pure elegance and quality.

There is a positive stigma attached to natural stone flooring, which is considered a luxurious and premium option to install in any space. These floorcoverings have stood the test of time and are an ancient architectural stereotype. However, it doesn’t change the fact that natural stone flooring continues to remain a popular choice when specifying for commercial environments.

There are several benefits to installing any type of stone flooring, which add to its allure and communicate why specifiers turn to these natural floorcoverings. Three words perfectly sum up stone flooring: strong, solid and stable.

1.    Strong & Durable
There are several natural floorcoverings available to the commercial sector, including slate, marble, travertine, granite, limestone and sandstone, to name a few. All of these options have two characteristic in common, those being that they are extremely strong and versatile. Stone floors have a reputation for being able to withstand heavy wear and tear; however, the lifespan of a floor will be determined by the correct stone selection (harder stone for higher traffic areas), the correct surface finish for the application (ie polished, honed, natural quarryface etc) and by how well it is treated and cared for.

The hardness of certain stone floors also adds to their hygienic value. This is because they are resistant to stains and scratches which usually create conditions that encourage the growth of bacteria.

2.    Timeless Beauty
Natural stone floors date back to ancient times, and was the material of choice in Egyptian pyramids, Grecian temples and Roman baths. The numerous options available in terms of colour, pattern, types of finishes and textures all add to their lasting beauty and premium qualities. Furthermore, stone floors add a sense of opulence to commercial spaces, with their range of colours complementing and defining a space.

3.    Stain- & Scratch-Resistant
Stone floors have varying degrees of hardness, which add to their hygienic attributes. Due to their composition, stone floors are also stain- and scratch-resistant (once again in varying degrees), especially if the floor is sealed. This makes natural stone ideal for commercial environments, simplifies the process of maintaining the floor, and prevents the formation of bacterial growth. These are all factors that specifiers look out for when selecting a floor to perform within a commercial space.

4.    Ease of maintenance
Stone floors don’t require complex cleaning programmes in order to maintain their beauty. In fact, there are some natural floors that have extremely low porosity levels, making it easier to sustain and maintain their look and feel in high-traffic areas. Commercial spaces in particular require flooring maintenance and cleaning programmes that are as simple as possible, without having to turn to strong chemical detergents that are expensive and could harm the performance of the selected floor over a period of time.

5.    Uniquely Distinctive
Quarried from Mother Earth, natural stone’s complexion is impacted by temperature, pressure, minerals and underground springs. This is why each slab cut is absolutely unique, ensuring that no installation is in any manner an imitation of another project. With the latest abundant technology that enables the exact imitation of any type of natural stone flooring, it still remains a luxury being able to install and make use of a naturally beautiful, authentic, one-of-a-kind stone floor.

These are just a few of several benefits when it comes to natural stone flooring which is able to bring ‘nature’ into a commercial space and provide an experience for users, not just an appreciation of its aesthetic beauty. The following quote aptly encapsulates the above: “Natural stone has details which only time can achieve.”

Acknowledgement and thanks are given to the following for the information contained in this article: www.naturalstonewarehouse.com, www.womag.co.za and www.fromthefloorsup.com

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