By ordering your granite sample online, you save yourself the trouble of schlepping all over town.
Won't it be just so much easier to make decorating decisions, if you have granite samples in your hand to compare colors and textures?
Colors include your choice of black, blue, brown, gray, yellow, white, gold, pink, purple, red, green and orange! You can mix and match to your heart's content.
This will give you a small taste of the granite color samples that are available:
Flooring And Countertops: Granite Tile Samples
- Cabot Granite Tile Tan Brown 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Cabot Granite Tile Crystal Gray 12"x12"x3/8"
- Cabot Granite Tile Absolute Black 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Cabot Granite Tile Peach Flower 12"x12"x3/8"
- Cabot Granite Tile Black Galaxy 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Cabot Granite Tiles Golden Yellow 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Cabot Granite Tile Blue Pearl 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x3/8"
- Cabot Granite Tile New Venetian Gold 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Cabot Granite Tile Giallo Santa Cecelia 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Cabot Granite Tile Emerald Pearl 12"x12"x3/8"
- Cabot Granite Tile Almond Mauve 12"x12"x3/8"
- Cabot Granite Tile Verde UbaTuba 12"x12"x3/8" or 18"x18"x1/2"
- Centaur Granite Countertops Uba Tuba / Various Sizes / Various Thicknesses
- Centaur Granite Countertops Tan Brown / Various Sizes / Various Thicknesses
- Centaur Granite Countertops Kashmir White / Various Sizes / Various Thicknesses
- Centaur Granite Countertops Venetian Gold / Various Sizes / Various Thicknesses
As you can see, granite sample colors are rich and varied. To see them up close and to run your fingers over the texture, you should try and order your granite samples online.
Granite Tile Buying Guide: Choosing Granite Tiles For Floors
Why should you consider buying granite tiles when remodeling your home? These tiles are extremely versatile and can be used in almost any area of your home. The list of their benefits exceed the possible drawbacks by far!
Best of all, should you decide to sell your home in the future, prospective buyers are likely to be quick to note granite countertops or floors in your kitchen and bathrooms. These tiles have gained quite a reputation for adding value to properties!
An investment in a granite tile installation conveys a message of durability, classy sophistication and elegance. Many folks know that granite is one of the hardest materials available, so it oozes durable robustness wherever it has been installed. With these natural stone samples in your hand, you can make sure that you choose the best shades and textures for your home improvement needs.
Here is what we have for you in this buying guide:
- What Is Granite
- The 4 Most Popular Finishes Used For Granite Tiles
- Granite Tile Pros And Cons
- Can Epoxy Grout Be Useful?
What Is Granite?
Are you wondering where granite comes from?
If you love the idea of creating an old world atmosphere in your home, you should love granite! You can know that the stone in every granite tile took ages and ages to form...
How amazing is nature that the flooring and countertops that beautify our homes today were slowly formed over millennia, due to a process of unimaginable heat and pressure deep inside the earth! Granite is formed during volcanic processes. A semi-fluid material, called magma. lands up between rock layers, where it eventually cools to become a new layer.
Granite develops its unique crystalline structure when quartz, mica, feldspar and other trace elements are fused with this layer. As you can imagine, this whole process is conducive to creating an extremely hard natural rock or stone. The balance between quartz, mica and feldspar in a particular stone, is mainly what determines the color and character. As this varies from stone to stone, a whole range of possible shades and mottled patterns are unearthed to give us many different options to choose from.
The 4 Most Popular Finishes Used For Granite Tiles
Are you all about smooth, stylish elegance? If you enjoy creating a more formal look, a polished finish may be what you are looking for. This is also a good choice if you want to accentuate the color. Another plus point is lower maintenance in your kitchen if you choose polished granite for your countertops. Polished granite products are suitable for use as countertops or vanity tops. When it comes to flooring, it can be installed in lower traffic areas.
For folks who are a bit more down to earth, a honed finish may be better. Your countertops will still be smooth, but have a more matte appearance. You may have to be more careful in terms of maintenance, as a honed finish is more likely to stain, but with proper care and sealing you can prevent this. Honed granite can also be used in areas with a higher traffic volume.
This gives more texture than a honed finish. It creates a sort of 'antique' look. With good sealing, the result should be fairly low-maintenance countertops or flooring. Brushed granite can also be used outdoors for decking or a patio, for example.
Flamed granite is suitable for countertops, floors or a variety of external areas, including decks and pavements. It gives you a good slip resistant surface. The richly textured surface is created by exposing the granite to heat that is intense enough to cause melting and also shattering of some of the crystals in the stone.
Granite Tile Pros And Cons
Let's first take a look at the long list of all the benefits of granite tiles...
If you maintain your granite tile installation with care, you can look forward to years of good service and looks! It is a tough, robust stone that is resistant to scratches, heat, fading, temperature changes, etc. Just what one would expect from one of the hardest materials on earth!
Granite tiles are highly versatile and can be used for almost any tiling project. Utilize them for floors, walls, backsplashes or countertops. They do well in living areas, bathrooms or kitchens. Due to the heaviness of the tiles, an expert installation will be required when using granite tiles on walls.
Granite Tiles: Three important points to keep in mind
- It is a good idea to make really sure that you get your granite tiles from the same batch. Check the cartons to make sure that this is the case. While there will still be variations from tile to tile as this is a natural stone, this helps to ensure uniformity as far as possible.
- Try to buy a bit more than you will need, so that you will have some spare tiles in case of a mishap during installation or later on.
- Remember that granite tiles make quite a bold and strong statement in your room. You will probably get a better effect if you limit the use of granite tiles to one type of surface, for instance either the floor or the countertops. It will be overkill if you do both the floors, the backsplash and the countertops in granite!
Daily cleaning is simple, requiring little more than a wipe with a damp cloth or damp mop. Check with your supplier to make sure that you use the right kind of detergent, as some cleaning fluids could damage your tiles. You should never use acidic or abrasive cleaners.
Depending on the type of finish you choose, granite tile countertops can have a dramatic, lustrous and crystal look that helps to create an atmosphere of sophistication and luxury. With brushed or honed finishes, you can tone this down a bit for a more earthy look. In fact, as you will see when you get your granite samples for countertops, you can find a combination of finish and shade for every type of decor and taste. You will not easily be able to replicate this versatility with other materials.
If you make use of a reliable supplier, you should be getting precision cut tiles that will help with a neat installation and fewer issues with unsightly grout lines, especially on kitchen counters.
As granite tiles are very likely to keep their beauty for years, provided you seal them and maintain them properly, this is an installation that should not lose value over time. In fact, you could even be paid back handsomely when you eventually sell your property, as a granite countertop kitchen should add to the appeal of your home.
If you are looking for a tile surface that won't be prone to contamination with all sorts of nasties, granite tiles can give you this. It is a very hygienic option as it isn't too porous, which means that bacteria are not likely to get a hold on granite. Mold and mildew shouldn't be a problem, although you need to take care to seal grout lines. These will be your most vulnerable spots after installation.
A unique look
Remember that this is a natural stone, so there will be natural variations in the mottled patterning and shading. If you want a totally uniform look, rather go for another type of material. Every granite installation will be unique and can have your own stamp on it. Even if you and a neighbor choose the same tile shade, there will be subtle differences once it is installed.
Range of shades
Expect to be blown away by all the different shades available! Whatever your decor style or color scheme, you are bound to find a shade that will tone in perfectly. Just remember that granite lasts a long, long time, so choose your texture and coloring with care. Make sure it is something you can live with for some time to come.
This is why it can be helpful to have a sample on hand, so that you can look at it in your own kitchen over a period of days or weeks, before you make a buying decision.
Granite tiles are way thinner than slabs, so they are less expensive. In fact, it can work out to up to 60% less than slabs, if you shop around. Provided that you get a professional tiler to do the installation, you can get excellent results with a tiled countertop, rather than a slab. The labor itself will also be less expensive.
Easier to install
Granite tiles are much easier to handle than slabs, as they are so much lighter in weight. Using slabs for a countertop will involve extra cost, as they are so heavy and may require more in terms of special arrangements and tools.
Superb for cooks who love to bake!
If you enjoy baking in your kitchen, you may find the coldness of granite to be a huge bonus! It can help to keep dough nice and cold while you work with it! Just try it and see for yourself what a pleasure baking and kneading can become...
Granite tiles are highly scratch-resistant, which makes them suitable for use on kitchen countertops. Even if your knife slips, your counter should be okay.
Performs well in all temperatures
Granite tiles do well in all sorts of temperature extremes. They are also heat resistant, so hot pots and pans on a countertop shouldn't be a problem. However, it is a good idea to continue to use trivets to protect your counters.
Interior or exterior use
You can use granite tiles in exterior settings as well. You can easily use it for a patio or deck, provided that you choose the correct grade and that the installation is done properly.
What are the possible drawbacks of using granite tiles?
Granite is extremely heavy
Granite can be heavy, so ensure that your base can tolerate the weight. This is particularly important if you are planning to use granite tiles for your countertops. If the base needs to be reinforced in some way, it will add extra expense.
Durability can be a drawback too...
How can this be a possible drawback? This one has to do with the condition of your kitchen cabinets. Remember that a granite countertop installation has a pretty long life and is quite pricey to do.
So, it is of little use to install a granite tile countertop on iffy cabinets that have seen better days and may have to be replaced in a year or two. Even more so if you install a granite slab. So, make sure you have a good base to work on, otherwise it might not be worth your while.
Granite doesn't usually lend itself well to a quick DIY installation, unless you have some experience in the field. It is an expensive material to work with. It is also very labor-intensive and requires special tools, such as a diamond wet saw.
Make sure that you get an estimate on the cost of the installation itself, before buying your tiles. The labor can in fact be the most expensive item of the project, due to the time, expertise and effort required and the tools needed!
Can be slippery
Make sure that the texture you choose will be suitable for the area of use. Some granite tiles can be extremely slippery when wet.
With slabs you won't have to worry about grout lines showing. With tiles it is a different ball game. However, it can be overcome with a little know how...
A good tiler will know how to space the tiles close together to make grout lines as inconspicuous as possible. This can give a better long term result.
Some folks prefer to choose darker granite tiles, as they can then use a darker grout which will be less likely to show dirt over time.
Some tilers make use of an epoxy grout. It is a matter of personal choice and how deep your pocket is. An epoxy produce is usually much more expensive than regular grout and can be an art to work with. If the guy who uses it, doesn't have experience with it, it can turn into a very expensive mistake!
A real pro can hide the seams between the tiles very efficiently with a little colored epoxy magic! The grout can be as crucial a choice as the tiles themselves. (More about epoxy grout at the end of the guide) Take your time and do some careful homework beforehand about the grouting process.
Granite can stain fairly easily, if you are not careful. This is more of an issue with the lighter shades. Although the dark colors also need to be sealed, they are not as likely to be damaged by staining.
Staining can be prevented by sealing the tiles carefully with a quality product, before using the counters. The sealer prevent any possibly damaging substance from seeping into the granite. Even fruit juice could stain an unsealed granite tile!
Some sealers last a number of years, while others have to be redone after 1 year. Check the instructions with care and never wait until the last moment to repeat the process. Countertops are often bombarded with things that could spoil your beautiful installation, if you put off repeating the sealing for too long. Never seal granite over an already existing stain, as this will turn it into a permanent stain!
Although granite is very hard, it is still vulnerable to cracking on impact. Don't just assume that this won't happen. Use common sense and be careful in spite of the robustness of the tiles. This is also why the surface on which you are using the tiles, need to be a hundred percent even and solid.
Granite tiles will be very cold, as they don't conduct heat efficiently. This will be more of an issue when it comes to flooring, than with a countertop installation. In fact, on a countertop this will be an advantage if you are working with dough.
Be aware of this factor when making your decision. Depending on where you live, granite may be too cold a material for you.
Requires an even, solid subfloor
If you are planning a flooring installation, you need to make very sure that the subfloor is absolutely even and shows no give, otherwise you may end up with cracked granite tiles.
Can Epoxy Grout Be Useful?
Epoxy grout contains an epoxy resin and hardener. This makes the grout less porous, therefore easier to keep clean and less likely to stain. It will also show better impact resistance than conventional cement-based grout. In addition, it will give you a better range of shades, is harder, more durable and can cut down on maintenance after installation.
Unfortunately, it can cost up to 3 or 4 times more than conventional grouts. These days the newer epoxy products are easier to work with than in the past, but the installer is very likely to ask more if he has to use it. Usually, the cost won't justify grouting with epoxies, unless it is for a tiled countertop. In this case, it may be well worth your while, but check around first to make sure you will be happy with the result.