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Many times the terms of natural stone are confused with one another. This is especially true with marble, granite, quartz and onyx. Other natural stone terminology which is confusing includes travertine which is commonly thought of as being a manmade stone. Travertine is a limestone based natural element. It's formed around mineral springs, hot springs and caves including those at Yellowstone National Park. One of the largest areas of use for Travertine is Italy where it's often mined for construction of buildings. The world famous Colosseum is the largest building made entirely of travertine. It was built during the Roman Empire starting in 72 A.D. And took a total of 24 years to construct and modify for use as an Amphitheater.
Marble is another natural element that was made famous by the Roman Empire. This natural stone is also created from limestone which has been compressed over millions of years under extreme heat. Often the surrounding stone of an area of marble is influxed into the stone bed creating colored and veined marble. The Roman's used marble not just for flooring but also for ceilings. To find out more on the many possibilities of marble for floors or walls take a look in for a Houston Granite outlet or any other outlet in the local area.
Onyx is a type of quartz rock with traces of natural earth within it. This so called banded rock can come in many colors except for a few off colors such as purple or blue. Like veined marble, this stone can vary from region to region as the natural occurring effect makes it difficult to match. The Egyptians used onyx to produce bowls and utilitarian wares as early as the 3000 B.C. In today's world some of the most beautiful tiles available are onyx which have a natural translucent look all their own.
Limestone is mined and used throughout the world. This stone is susceptible to fossils and heavy color variations. Limestone has been used for thousands of years and its use in the Pyramids of Egypt attest to its ability to withstand time. Limestone is one of the first flooring to be used in what is known as heated floors. Early floors were heated through fire and vents that warmed thick blocks of stone. Like marble and other stone of natural beauty each mine produces its own color and type of limestone.
Granite is a natural stone which contains mostly quartz, mica and feldspar. Feldspar is what gives much of granite's pink coloring though it comes in many colors including gray. The Red Pyramids of Egypt is a testament to the beauty of pink hued granite. This structure predates the birth of Christ by 2600 years. The Great Pyramid of Giza is another Egyptian wonder with a very famous Sarcophagus in pink granite. Granite today is used in many commercial venues and is commonly used for gravestones. Other uses include counter tops which are now installed in many homes around the country. For more information on this and many other aspects of granite take a look in for a Houston Granite outlet or any other outlet with a knowledgeable staff.
There are many things to think of when looking at natural stone for the home. Maintenance on stone tiles can be easy if installed correctly and sealed. Stains, cracks and chipping are a few issues that must be looked after with this kind of tile. A rule of thumb to any natural stone is to buy at least 10% more than a project is called for. This will guarantee that any damage during installation or down the road can be matched to the tile already set in place.
Be careful of imitation stone tiles. These tiles are produced by either using crushed or powdered stone and resin or they are made entirely of a material other then stone itself. Those on a budget but wanting an elegant look of marble or natural stone can buy imitation tile for much less. Be sure to receive a guarantee from the store in which you buy the tile or from the professional installers who sold them. Take the time to do a little homework on this subject. Getting the correct answer first is important to achieve a positive outcome.
Alan Parker Jnr is writing his very first E Book on the history of tiles. The history has made him want to take a career in teaching.