Ceramic

Tiles are characterized by a dark red or terracotta back with a fine glaze over them. They are fired at a lower temperature which means they are brittle and contain only a surface glaze.

Porcelain

A hard, white, translucent ceramic made by firing a pure clay and then glazing it with variously coloured fusible materials. They are made from a finer type of clay and are fired at a higher temperature. The result is a highly durable with an impervious water absorption rating. Not all porcelain tiles are full-bodied (i.e. have the same color throughout the tile); some porcelain tiles have a porcelain bisque with a glaze on top.

Terracotta

Is quite simply “baked clay” and it is the production process that transforms one of nature’s most basic elements into a product which is rich and warm in appearance. The simplicity and traditionalism of terracotta means that even the wood-burning kilns used to fire these tiles are often handmade. Once laid and sealed, colour and texture offer a calm, natural background for any room within any property.

Sandstone

A sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation and compaction of sand, held together by natural cement, such as silica. Sandstone is found in many residential and commercial buildings around Australia. It is advised to treat Sandstone that is located around salt pools to prevent degradation.

Travertine

Cream or reddish in colour. It’s formed through the accumulation of calcite from hot springs. It contains lots of holes that are formed from sulphur bubbles eating away at the stone. These holes are often filled with synthetic resins or cements, this may cause the appearance of the polished travertine to look inconsistent. It requires more maintenance when the holes are not filled (called cross cut). Classified as a limestone and a marble.

Limestone

Mainly consists of calcite and some magnesium. It does not show much graining or crystalline structure. It has a smooth granular surface that is usually honed; however, some dense magnesium based limestone’s can be polished (varies in hardness). Common colours are black, grey, white, yellow or brown. It is more likely to stain than marble; limestone is known to contain lime from sea water. It’s extremely popular due to its natural earth-tone colours that coordinate in any environment.

Slate

A fine grained metamorphic stone that formed from clay, sedimentary rock shale, and sometimes quartz. It’s very thin and can break easily. It comes in black, grey, or green; however there are more vibrant colours available today.

Terrazzo

Marble and Granite chips embedded in a cement composition. Durable and easier to maintain, does not provide the beauty of natural stone.

Marble

A recrystallized limestone that formed when the limestone softened from heat and pressure and recrystallized into marble where mineral changes occurred. The main consistency of marble is calcium and dolomite. Marble ranges in many colours and is usually heavily veined. Very sensitive to the improper cleaning products. It is very important to take care of marble from the beginning with proper stone care products. Restoration is often required on neglected or improperly treated marble. Marble is very sensitive to both acid and alkali cleaners. Glass rings, surface scratches, dull spots, and shower wall streaks can be re-polished by hand. More severe etches in marble may require machine polishing.

Marble is classified into three categories:

  • Dolomite:If it has more than 40% magnesium carbonates. Does not provide a high polish; however, it is a very durable marble.
  • Magnesium:If it has between 5% and 40% magnesium carbonate. Usually provide a finish with less polish and reflectivity and are more durable than calcite marbles.
  • Calcite:If it has less than 5% magnesium carbonates. Calcite marbles provide the highest polish; however, they are more sensitive to acids and alkali chemicals.

Granite

Primarily made of Quartz (35%), Feldspar (45%) and Potassium, normally has darker colours. It contains very little calcite, provides a heavy crystalline and granular appearance with mineral grains. A very hard material and easier to maintain than marble, yet it’s still porous and will stain.

There are different types of granite depending on the percentage mix of quartz, mica and feldspar. Black granite is known as an Anorthosite, it contains very little quartz and feldspar and has a different composition than true granite. Fine grained granites are often more absorbent than others; however, they are all extremely durable. Granites should be sealed to protect against water and oil-based spills. Flamed/Thermal granite can be enhanced and protected by using Penetrating Sealers.

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