Natural stone surfaces are popular in Toronto for their beauty, versatility and durability. There is a range to choose from; granite, marble, limestone, quartzite, all of which are high end choices, which can be found in use for floor, countertop and backsplash tiles.
Granite is the choice for many people in Toronto, for its elegance and luxurious quality. Toronto realtors recommend installing granite stone countertops to increase your chances of a speedy sale if you are thinking of putting your house on the market. It comes in a range of hues and natural patterns, but the one thing all granite has in common, is that it is nearly indestructible.
Many granites require a regular sealant application, perhaps once or twice a year, but even that is open to debate, depending on who you consult. Less susceptible to nicks or chips than other natural stones, and virtually burn proof, granite tiles are an excellent choice if you want something functional and stylish that will last and last.
Marble and Limestone
Others are drawn to marble and quartzite for their luminescent quality. Marble, the stone of choice for classical sculpture, lights up the room. Marble tiles lend a glamorous upmarket appearance to any room. As a countertop, their tendency to remain cool as a surface makes them an excellent choice for a baking or pastry area, and like granite, marble is very resistant to heat.
There are some drawbacks to marble however. In installing it, you have to reconcile yourself to either rigorously maintaining it, or relaxing, and letting the marble develop a somewhat weathered appearance, which has a charm of its own. Marble comes about as a result of a limestone or dolomite undergoing metamorphosis (although often marble as it is sold in the building and decorating trade is a cover-all term, which takes in some types of limestone as well). Limestone and dolomite are calcium carbonates, and react to acidic foods, causing some etching. They are also prone to chipping if treated roughly.
Limestone’s porous nature also means it is not naturally impervious to stains. This same porous nature also means that the stains can lessen or disappear over time, however, and most stains can be prevented with a good quality sealant. Furthermore, if you’re going for marble tiles, over a marble slab, the breaks in the pattern may make any staining on a countertop less obvious. Even with these little asides, marble is still always in demand, on account of its sheer timeless allure.
Quartzite is another natural stone surface with remarkable qualities of endurance. It’s actually slightly higher than granite on the Mohr scale of hardness, and is stain and heat proof. Quartzite comes in any number of varieties from a striking tortoiseshell effect, to some dramatic dark shattered stones, but most notable is that it comes in a few marble-like varieties, a classic ice white with grey veins. Thus, quartzite tiles allow you the glamorous look of marble, but in a more hardwearing package.