DENVER, CO – Remodeling a home, or indeed even building a new one, is all about the expression of a desire. A desire for more space, a desire for a better space, a desire for a space of one’s own. And while there are a myriad of both practical and stylistic decisions to be made when creating such a space, one of the most important will be in the selection of the tile and stone. Think of it as “The Three Fs – Form, Function and Flair.” Tile and stone will form the space, will function in accordance with your desired lifestyle, and will be the most manifest expression of your individual flair for living.
As you can see, tile and stone work in your new or remodeled home is a transcendently important factor.
At Chase Custom Homes our job is to make all things possible for our clients, and that includes arming you with enough information to make the right decision for you for every detail of your new homes, including the tile and stone work. We have prepared a backgrounder on tile and stone to get you started so you’ll know what you’re up against when you being the search.
· Ceramic tiles. The word tile is a derivation of the French word “tuile,” which itself is from the Latin “tegula,” and it originally meant “baked clay” as it was first used as roofing tiles. Used for centuries also as flooring, wall coverings, countertops and decorations, tiles are generally called ceramics and are made of a form of clay or a clay-earthenware mixture baked in a kiln – think pottery. And like pottery, tile can be glazed and decorated. Ceramic tiles are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns, and are usually used for floors, walls, and countertops in bathrooms and kitchens and as flooring in other areas of the home. However, ceramic tiles should only be used in low- to moderate-traffic areas as they are prone to wear.
· Porcelain. Porcelain tile is a form of ceramics that undergoes a pressing of clays, which makes the tile more dense, less impervious to water and staining, fine grained, and smooth with a sharply formed face. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and have more wear- and damage-resistance than ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any residential application.
· Concrete. Decorative concrete is showing up in more homes as walls, floors, and even countertops. Generally used with a sealer to make it less porous, concrete has a funky, edgy look or it can be glazed and polished to a high sheen. The major advantages of concrete are its malleability – it can virtually be cast into any shape – and its ability to accept a wide range of dyes and colors to fit any décor.
· Granite. Granite, as anyone who’s been in a modern kitchen knows, it highly popular as a kitchen counter material because it is the second-hardest stone known, with diamond on top. Granite is an igneous rock formed either from the melting of sediments deep within the earth or through magma (lava) activity that has heated and cooled. These sediments were held under extreme pressure and temperatures for millions of years, then brought to the surface of the earth through upheaval of the crust that formed mountains. Minerals within granite typically appear as small flecks throughout the stone, often creating a salt and pepper look. Other types of granite have veining similar to marble. Once polished, natural granite will maintain its high gloss finish virtually forever. It also cleans in seconds. Because of its durability, it can be used successfully on kitchen countertops, wet bars, entry walls, floors, fireplaces and bathroom vanities. Flamed or honed granite can be used almost anywhere.
· Limestone. Limestone is actually a form of marble, only less dense. It is a sedimentary rock consisting mostly of calcium carbonate and is formed from the remains of ancient sea life, such as oysters, mussels, and other ancient shellfish and invertebrates, that have dropped to the sandy bottom of ancient seas and then compressed over millions of years. Limestone is a very common stone found all over the world, and in some places it can include the mineral dolomite, which makes it harder than regular limestone and much easier to polish. Limestone makes for a great decorative tone for application on structural walls, entry walls, floors, fireplace surrounds, vanities and shower walls, however it is not recommended for kitchen counter use because it is easy to scratch and is susceptible to staining from food preparation, fruit juices and alcohols.
· Marble. Marble is one of the more popular natural stones, formed from fossil sediment deposits that have been pressed by natural geologic forces of nature for millions of years. Marble was at one time limestone that underwent a metamorphosis from the intense pressures and high temperatures within the earth. This natural pressure produces unique colors and veining with a richness of depth and intensity. Most marble products are generally softer than granites and have more porosity. Since marble is a softer stone than granite, it’s most often used in bathroom walls and flooring, as well as for tub decks, fireplace surrounds, furniture, sculptures and courtyards. Marble may be used in kitchen, however it requires honing and sealing to protect it from scratching and staining.
· Slate. Slate is a fine-grained, metamorphic rock, derived from sedimentary rock shale. It’s composed mostly of micas, chlorite, and quartz and works best for floors, walkways and roofing, although recently slate has been used attractively for kitchen countertops and wet bars. It’s a dense, very tough composite that’s typically available in blacks, grays and greens, although many other colors can also be found in slate products.
· Travertine. Travertine is a form of marble, however much less dense and more porous. It can have a honed, unfinished surface, or polished to a high gloss. It’s best used in entry walls, floors, fireplace surrounds, vanities, shower walls, tub decks and mosaics, but again not recommended for kitchens because it can be easily scratched and stained from food preparation.
Builders can help a lot with the selection of application of stone in your new or remodeled home, assisting with color selection, appropriateness for walls, floors or counters, durability and the like. When it comes to ceramic and porcelain tiles, the Porcelain Enamel Institute has developed what it calls a PEI rating, which should be included in the specifications for the tiles under consideration. The PEI Ratings are as follows: PEI Class 1 – no foot traffic, suitable for walls; PEI Class 2 – light traffic, suitable for walls and bathroom floor applications; PEI Class 3 – light to moderate traffic, suitable for countertops, walls and floor; PEI Class 4 – moderate to heavy traffic, suitable for all applications; and, PEI Class 5 – heavy to extra heavy traffic, suitable for all applications. Most porcelains are rated PEI Class 5.
The use of ceramic tiles, porcelain and the many fine stones available for the modern home will beautifully form and enhance any space desired, function for years as durable and attractive additions to the home, with enough flair to express the custom look you seek for your lifestyle.
For all of you Denver custom homebuilding needs, contact Chase Custom Homes on the web at http://denvercustomhomebuilder.com/ We build a home to be an address for a lifetime.