Bathroom tiles come in many different styles and varieties. Widely considered the most attractive of all these are Natural Stone Tiles. However as with most things, if you want the best you must be prepared to pay for the best. Natural stone bathroom tiles do not come cheap.
Natural stone bathroom tiles can be broken down into 3 categories based on the type of rock they come from; Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic.
Granite (its name coming from the Latin for “grain” due to its texture) and Basalt are both types of Igneous rock mineral tiles used to make tiles. Igneous rock is created by the cooling of magma (molten rock). As the magma cools into rock, it crystallises giving it its granular appearance.
Granite comes mainly from India, although Brazil, and, closer to home (unless you live closer to Brazil or India), Scotland has large occurrences of Granite.
Not just a product of planet Earth, Basalt is known to have formed on the Moon, Venus and Mars. When we discover Martian habitats I’m 99% sure they we will find that they have tiled their bathrooms with Basalt! (My 1% of doubt leans towards them having ceramic bathroom tiles.)
Formed at the surface of the earth and at the bottom water bodies, Sedimentary rock consists of Limestone among others. It is created in 2 ways; the first is created by the compacting, over millions of years, of mineral and organic material. This could be stones, dust, dead animals and plants, bits of rock weathered away, anything really. Over time, as more and more sediment gets deposited to the top of the stack, the pressure at the bottom increases. As the pressure increases, the water in the stack is squeezed out leaving behind its dissolved minerals. These dissolved minerals act as a glue to bind the sediments.
The second means by which sedimentary rock is created is crystallisation from dissolved minerals. This occurs in shallow water bodies (the sea or lake) when water evaporation is greater than precipitation. As the water in the water body evaporates, it leaves behind its dissolved minerals and these settle at the bottom of the water body to form sedimentary rocks.
Limestone is proving a very popular tile among the contemporary crowd due to its light and neutral tones. Limestone can be coloured anywhere from cream to gold!
Metamorphic rock includes Marble, Coal, Quartz and Slate. Simply put, ‘metamorphic’ means to change form. Metamorphic rocks are Igneous or sedimentary rock which have changed form, this usually occurs by the extreme heats and pressure deep in the earth’s crust.