In two of our previous posts (here and here), we talked about sizing and measuring for tile and also went over some of the basic terms used to describe natural stone tile.  In this one, we want to help you understand and appreciate the natural irregularities and imperfections that are found in natural stone products.

Light travertine

Natural stone is a product of nature.  It will often have variations in
color, texture, edges, corners, pits, striations and veining.  There can be differences from one tile to another, even if you are buying the same type of stone from the very same batch.  In the natural world, perfection is an illusion.  The irregularities and variations found in a stone tile can be a big part of what makes it so beautiful.

Minore Pattern (Blue Green) Full on Tumbled Durango

The Durango stone type has some movement, but it is very consistent in color and “visual
texture” from one piece to another.  There are lighter and darker areas
on all pieces, but the variations are spread throughout, in way that
gives a relatively uniform appearance.
Kuprios Mural on Tumbled Durango

Shown on Tumbled Durango

These are only a few examples of the different natural stone tiles you can find, but it gives you a little taste of the variety available.  A good tip is to look at more than one
piece of stone tile from the same batch when you are trying to determine which stone type that you like.  Four to six tiles of the same stone will give you a good idea
of how much variation you might find in that particular type of stone.  But don’t get carried away with this.  If you find yourself asking the tile person to bring out the crate of stone so you can pick through it, piece by piece; or if you want them to promise you that all of the tile that you receive in your order will look exactly like your four sample pieces….time to slowly back away from the boxes of natural stone and shuffle on over the oasis that is the ceramic tile aisle.

Balance is the key

Altalena Pattern (Sienna)

Like most things in life, it really comes down to balance.  You might want to choose a “calmer” or more consistent stone type if the rest of the materials that you are using in your room already have a great deal of visual texture.  Or go a little wild with your stone to spice things up in a room that is awash in mild, non-threatening neutrals.

Click below for other posts in this series:
Stone Tile Basics Part 3 – Embracing Imperfection- YOU ARE HERE
Stone Tile Basics Part 4 – It’s all about us, baby! – COMING SOON