Geological rock types
Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation of sediments, seashells and other organic matter. This calcareous stone forms our largest product range. Each Limestone exhibits its own characteristic colours and markings with some Limestones having a similar appearance to traditional Marbles. Some degree of edge chipping can be expected together with occasional surface pitting, fossilised shells, fissures, mineral striations and resin fill. Limestone is an acid-sensitive material and so care should be taken to use the correct products when cleaning.
Marble is a metamorphic rock historically used in ancient buildings. Marble encompasses a vast spectrum of colours with mineral veining generally contrasting to the base stone colour. Some Marble tiles or slabs may have a meshed backing or resin to help strengthen them when the veins are particularly predominant. Marble is a very dense stone that readily lends itself to a polish, also available in Honed and Tumbled finishes.
Travertine is deposited by hot mineral springs. The result of this method of formation is a honey-combed structure which when finished has visible surface pitting and voids. Travertine generally comes in either ‘cross-cut’ or ‘vein- cut’. Vein-cut tiles are cut so that the surface plane of the tile runs parallel to the long veins present, cross-cut being cut perpendicular to these veins. Once tiles are cut they are then either filled with a colour matched resin, or left unfilled. Generally the voids are only left unfilled in Tumbled or Brushed finishes, where these voids are filled during the grouting process. Although filling of the voids gives a smoother surface, through general usage, some small areas of fill may dislodge or previously unexposed holes may become visible. This is not unusual and the holes should be re- filled with a suitable resin or grout.
A fine-grained metamorphic rock that is characterised by its ability to be split into broad sheets, Slate is a durable stone which presents a diverse range of colours and textures. We offer Riven Slate, which has a naturally cleft surface and is rustic by its nature, with chips and chisel marks present on some surfaces and can be used both internally and externally. Some of our Riven Slate varies in thickness or is ‘uncalibrated’ and therefore requires ‘bedding up’ with the appropriate thick bed adhesive during installation. We also offer a range of Honed slates that are machined to create a smoother, more even surface. Highly textured Splitface panels are stocked in various colours.
SCHIST & QUARTZITE
These are densely crystalline, metamorphic rocks that offer considerable shade variation, ranging from light cream/white to charcoal grey/black with many colours in between and often contain reflective crystals which glisten in the light. Schist is available in tile formats with an undulating, Riven surface finish; highly textured Splitface panels are available in both Schist and Quartzite.
A fine grained, dark coloured igneous rock generally formed from volcanic lava flows, Basalt is made up of minute crystals barely visible to the naked eye. It is a hard-wearing stone which offers some amazing design inspiration. Basalt can have small voids present as a result of volcanic gases trapped during it’s formation and as a result should be allowed to dry completely before each stage of the installation process.
The term Granite is generally used to refer to a large range of Igneous rocks originating from the slow crystallisation of molten magma cooling deep beneath the earth’s surface. Granites are amongst the hardest stones in our range and are available in Polished and Honed finishes as well as the more textured Flamed Brushed finish or the Flamed which is available in exterior thicknesses. Due to the nature of this material and the vast array of mineral crystals that serve to make up this stone, characteristics can vary greatly and some may be acid sensitive, so please ensure correct sealing and maintenance guidelines are followed.
A coarse-grained sedimentary rock formed by compressed sand deposited by water or wind. Available in a Riven finish which is characterised by its granular, undulating surface, or a silky smooth, Honed finish with some variation in texture. Sandstone is a hard yet very porous stone that requires thorough impregnation and surface sealing if used internally. Sandstone in its large flag format is a very popular external stone choice.
Terracotta is made from natural clay which has been moulded and then kiln fired to bake the clay and produce rigid tiles. The clay is either moulded by hand to give a more rustic feel, or machine-moulded for a more consistent finish. All Terracotta tiles will be subject to edge chipping and variation which is part of the finished look of an authentic Terracotta floor. Terracotta when untreated is very porous and as such any unsealed tiles will look very different from your finished floor. Rapid setting adhesives should always be used in order to minimize the chance of efflorescence.
PORCELAIN, CERAMIC, DECORATIVE & GLAZED
Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic with a very low absorbency. They are usually made from kaolin clays and fired at around 1,200°C, due to this high firing temperature and high density they are very hard wearing. A majority of our Porcelains are ‘rectified’, which means there will be little variation within a production run, however, different batches may vary in size slightly, so it is always advisable to purchase all necessary tiles at the same time.
Tiles referred to as Ceramic are generally fired at lower temperatures than Porcelains and usually colour glazed to give a matt or gloss finish. Unlike natural stone they do not require sealing.
Our Porcelains range from those designed to mimic natural stone or wood, through to minimalist architectural ranges. Our Decorative & Glazed tiles come in a range of neutral tones, bold colours and intricate, beautiful designs.