6 Tips for using natural stone in wet spaces
There are many wet spaces in a decoration project, therefore you should consider the particular ambience for each area. The wet spaces of residential projects include: bathroom, kitchen, terrace (balcony), swimming pool, basement (garage, wine cellar, warehouse etc), while for public projects you have restrooms, kitchens, manufacturing process areas, event halls, bathrooms, swimming pools, public bathrooms, terraces, basements, open areas. Due to its sustainability, quality and beauty, natural stone feels organic in any of those areas.
For every new project the selection of natural stone is challenging, in terms of category, size and the type of finish. Virtually any type of stone can be used with optimum results for decoration projects in wet areas, but there are specific requirements that must be complied for meeting the standards of efficiency, profitability and safety. By listing the areas that use naural stone, you will be able to draw the right conclusions on the requirements to be fulfilled.
1. The residential bathroom and public bathroom/restroom - use natural stone for flooring and cladding, shower trays and bath tubs, countertops and natural stone bathroom sinks. The main requirements for cladding bathrooms with natural stone:
- slip-resistant features
- mildew resistant ambience
- avaiding tiles that overload the underlay
- avoiding stains (corrosive and grease)
- facilitating installation
- easy and cost-effective aftercare
- minimizing costs
By fulfilling these requirements, you will get to choose the type of stone and its compatible finish. Therefore, we will select a more durable stone (granite, slate) for flooring and a less durable stone for cladding (marble, travertine). In regular bathrooms with high and medium traffic and mixed staff we will use higher thickness tiles (2 cm). The most popular finishes are honed, tumbled and brushed, due to their slip-resistant feaures. You can use any type of finish for cladding, including polished stone. The tiles will be thinner for avoiding the overload of the wall, especially for drywall. For shower trays and bath tubs you can use any type of stone with honed or tumbled finish. Marble and glossy finish travertine are recommended for bathroom sinks, due to their minimum aftercare and granite or slate as stain proof durable stones for countertop. For preventing molding and for extending the lifetime, remember to use the best materials (grout, adhesives) alongside aftercare and sealing solutions for natural stone. Obviously, we can use our favorite stone, as long as we seal its surface for maintaining its features and the original appearance.
2. Residential and restaurant kitchens – use natural stone for flooring and cladding but also for countertops and backsplashes, or as cooking stone (for preparing food). The requirements in terms of natural stone cladding are similar with those for bathrooms; keep in mind the high risk of developing grease spots which also results in risk of slipping. For such projects granite floors and honed slate are suitable. For working tops, the danger of scratching and corrosive stains should be avoided. We also recommend polished granite countertops, 2 cm thickness. The selection of stone for backsplash varies between the aesthetic and functional purpose. Keep in mind that you are not supposed to apply any solution over the surface of cooking stone.
3. Production premises (workshops, factories), areas for events, with a high humidity level – use natural stone for flooring, walls, furniture and stone decoration projects. Choose natural stone to match your decoration project.
4. Exterior spaces – natural stone is used for home bases, fences, paving, uncovered terraces. Based on the complexity of your project, you can use granite, slate, marble, travertine for home bases and fences, while for paving a traffic analysis (pedestrian or car) is recommended. Also for paving, you can use cubic or polygonal stone (decorative).
5. Basements – requirements are determined according to the use of space. Garages have a higher risk of developing grease stains and for wine cellars, there is a risk of corrosive spots.
6. Bathrooms, swimming pools – usuallym mosaic is recommended for interior cladding and it requires treatment. For exterior cladding you can use any type of stone as long as it is waterproofed.
Each project requires a detailed analysis for a decision and this selection is only one stage in the process of completing the building. PIATRAONLINE will support this decision with detailed information for each specific situation. Read our series about THE USE OF NATURAL STONE IN WET SPACES.
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