Selection of the perfect material for a flooring option to be used during construction or renovation of office space or homes is an extremely important decision to take. A lot of explicitly important factors should be taken in consideration while choosing the perfect flooring option for the office space, and they can be summarised below :
- Considerable amount of initial investment
- Lifespan of the flooring material
- Aesthetics of the flooring material
- Design of the floor
- Maintenance of the flooring material and the floor.
Stone flooring option for office :
While choosing the right flooring material for an office space, the first question that comes to mind is selecting the best among tile or stone flooring.
Though tile floorings are relatively inexpensive , have simple as well as inexpensive installation procedures and do not need extensive maintenance; they are not quite resilient. They are quite a bit impervious to stains but they lose their shine and get scratched over time. They have to be replaced and cannot be restored and hence the recurring cost of maintenance and replacement is fairly high.
Though stone floorings, particularly natural stone floorings are extremely expensive and have complicated as well as relatively expensive installation procedures, they are quite hardy. They have superior resilience and provide extreme resistance against foot traffic, scratches and loads. Stone floorings require massive levels of polishing and maintenance since they are prone to discoloration and are susceptible to stains.
Stone flooring and its advantages :
Natural stone is an exquisite as well as one of the foremost choices for office flooring cases. Natural stone slabs are cut out from huge blocks of natural stones which have been mined from quarries. The natural build of stones renders a variety of colours, shades and textures to them. Good quality natural stones are devoid of cracks and fissures and have a homogenous pattern implying that the design is consistent across every layer.
The primary advantage of stone floors is -they have natural polish and that can be restored after losing their lustre. The grinding and polishing processes remove the dirty layers and stains revealing the fresh, shinier layers of stone underneath.
Different types of stone flooring :
There are various types of stone flooring options available in the market. These can be classified and summarised below.
- Marble flooring – Marble is one of the most elegant as well as the most popular options which have been used by architects, designers and artists since time immemorial. The cost of marble flooring can range from as low as Rs. 90 per square foot to thousands of rupees per square foot, depending on the factors like size, thickness, grade and finish of the marble slab which affect the variations in the price and quality of marble. The total cost of marble flooring includes the cost of installation of marble and the source from which the marble has been obtained. Professional installation costs more. The appearance of marble is exquisite and has a timeless appeal to it. There are numerous styles to choose from as marble offers a lot of uniqueness, textural variety and versatility with various types like sandstone, white marble etc. and both gloss and matte finishes. Being a natural stone, marble is porous and therefore becomes susceptible to stains and should thus be treated with below-the-surface sealer and a surface finishing treatment. This prevents discoloration of the marble and also creates an invisible protective layer on its surface. Marble, though extremely dense, is a soft and porous stone and can suffer from damage, resulting in cracks, breakages and fissures in itself. Thus extreme care should be adopted during installation of marble and with proper maintenance, the lifespan of marble flooring can extend upto 25-30 years. The reflective property of marble makes the room appear larger than its usual dimensions and it can be deemed as a status symbol.\
Therefore it is a very fine choice for office spaces, if proper periodic maintenance and the expensive initial investments of installation are taken care of.
- Granite flooring – Though normally available for kitchen countertops and backsplashes because of its excellent stain-resistant properties and its superior hardness, granite is a durable and popular flooring option, owing to the splendor and aura of richness associated with it. It is much harder, less porous than marble and does not need protective sealing during installation. Granite is a luxury flooring material and hence has a superfluous price tag associated with itself. The appearance of Granite is extremely sophisticated, beautiful and exquisite and it exhibits numerous textures like sleek, high gloss, matte, muted and rustic variants. Granite offers a wide range of colour choices and can also be mixed and matched to create unique designs or provide minimal monochromatic looks with an inherent sparkle due to the presence of mineral ores like quartz in them. Granite slabs are generally pre-polished and proofed against moisture and bacteria. Though the diverse patterns of granite make it an exciting flooring option, the installation of granite is quite tedious and expensive and requires expert treatment. Granite is excessively tough and resistant to stains, spills, heat, moisture and microbial growth if sealed properly during installation. It also offers the ease of low maintenance and only regular sweeping or mopping is enough to preserve its natural lustre.
Thus granite is a very popular flooring option for office spaces as the maintenance part is minimal and yet the appearance is magnificent, though the initial investment of obtaining the stone and its installation is quite high.
- Kota stone flooring – Kota stone is a fine grained variant of limestone and is not as superlative in its color, appearance and textures as compared to marble or granite. It is extremely durable and non-porous as well as resistant against water and slipping hazards. Kota stones have a cheap price inherently and the installation costs are also quite inexpensive. Polishing periodically helps in maintaining the shine of the stone, though normally it is one which requires low maintenance. Continuous usage and high foot traffic might result in flaking of the stone.
Thus it is not quite often preferred as a flooring option in offices unless and until it is a temporary office space or one where investments for flooring and aesthetics are negligible.
This compilation of various stone floorings and their associated pros and cons will definitely help one to choose the perfectly suitable stone flooring that will adorn his or her office space.