Stone Tile: The Pros and Cons

Natural stone tile is one of the most beautiful tile materials around. They give warmth and beauty to a home and go with virtually any type of decor. Natural stones tiles are also eco-friendly, which makes them perfect for those who are concerned about the environment.

There are many types of natural stone, including marble, slate, granite, travertine, limestone and sandstone.

Each stone has its own unique properties, so make sure to research the specific material you choose to make the best decision.

Natural stone is very sturdy and durable, are well insulated and can be a great option for homeowners with kids or pets.

However, there are several things you need to consider before deciding on stone tile for your home. Just because you love the beauty and eco-friendly properties, doesn’t always make it the best fit for you or your family.

With any remodeling choice, it’s important to weigh the pros, cons, installation and maintenance requirements before you can make an informed choice that will make you happy long term.




Click to shop tile

Cons of Stone Tile

There are several cons of stone tile, which many people are unaware of. The high cost of purchase is one of them. .

Some of the other issues with stone tile is the material itself. Some of them can be easily scratched or chipped, can flake off or can be brittle.

If or when damage does occur, it can often be difficult to fix.

Stone tile is also a porous material, which means that it can easily be stained if not regularly sealed. This means that it’s more high maintenance than other tile materials.

Stone Tile Installation

Installation of stone tile can also be tricky. It’s one of the heaviest stones, meaning that if your subfloor is not completely level, you can find that you tile may snap or break.

There are some other installation issues to consider when deciding on stone tile. Be aware that there’s a big difference between installing stone tile and ceramic tile specifically over wood framing.

Unfortunately, most people think stone tile products can be installed over a wood-framed floor in the same way as is ceramic and porcelain tile. This is completely untrue and will many times lead to a very costly replacement.

This is because tiles made from natural stone don’t have the same strength as ceramic tiles and they require a floor system that’s twice as stiff as what is required for ceramic floor tile.

The 2015 TCNA Handbook has only one approved method for the installation of natural stone tile over wood framing with backer board. Make sure you look into the requirements before you get started on stone tile installation.

Stone tile floor structures must be twice as stiff as ceramic tile.

Factors to Consider in Stone Tile Purchases

Here are a few of the factors you should consider in the purchase of an individual style of stone tile.


marble-foyer - Stone tile

Click to shop tile!

Stone Tile Grade:

Some retailers use a grading system to rate the quality of materials. This can refer to the size, shape, and thickness of the tile, as well as it’s surface condition. Here are the three grade levels and what they mean:

  • Grade 1 – high quality, uniform materials.
  • Grade 2 – materials with minor defects, such as chips, scratches, or irregular surfaces.
  • Grade 3 – major flaws in size, shape, surface, or chipping, making them appropriate only as accent pieces, or in certain rustic decorative applications.

Absorption Rating:

This refers to how porous a material is. The more absorbent it is, the more easily it can be stained or cracked under freezing temperatures. Sandstone being the most porous and granite being the least, which is basically waterproof as long as it’s sealed. Here are the absorption ratings:

  • Non-vitreous:  highest absorption level. Not great for damp environments.
  • Semi-vitreous: Less absorbent, but the more liquid they’re exposed to, the more maintenance they need.
  • Vitreous: Standard absorption level. Appropriate for low to mid traffic indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Impervious: Resistant to the absorption and easy to maintain. Great for high traffic areas.
  • Polished materials also absorb less water than honed or matte surfaces.​
slate-bathroom - stone tile

Click to shop tile!


Coefficient of Friction

This measures how slippery various materials are. The higher the coefficient, the more traction a tile will have. This is really important in potentially wet areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Rating

Some stone tile options are better for outdoor areas than others.

Non-vitreous materials can be stained through dirt and acid rain, or cracked if they freeze and expand. Chose something with a higher coefficient to avoid slipping in weather conditions.


Natural stone materials are formed beneath the earth. Sometimes iron is present in these materials, which can show up as bright red and amber specs in the surface of the stone. The problem in an outdoor environment is that those traces of iron can oxidize, or rust.

Now that you know everything to consider before purchasing stone tile for your home, I hope you feel confident enough to make the best decision for you and your home!




The Best & Worst of 2017 Interior Design

Our Favorite Interior Design Trends:

Mini Subway Tile:

Mini subway tile has seen a huge boom in 2017 interior design. The 2x4 tile (typically 3x6 or 4x12) comes in a mesh back tile format, so they go up so much quicker, as they're foot by foot sheets. This has made installing them a breeze, and homeowners love the dramatic look they bring!

Schedule Your FREE Kitchen & Bath Design Appointment!

As 2017 comes to a close, let’s evaluate which interior design trends were hero’s and which were zero’s.

Geometric Inspired Decor:

Geometric patterns can be found all over 2017 interior design. From wallpaper patterns, to cabinet hardware, faucets and more, this is the go-to pattern of the moment.

Brass Fixtures:

Brass is not the outdated finish it once was! It’s making a comeback and I for one love it. Check the bathroom above to see how classy gold can be when done the right way. Pair it with neutrals or bold colors for a modern or eclectic look.

Patterned Tile:

Patterned tile was one of my favorite interior design trends of 2017. Some are subtle, like the one shown above, and some are much more bold. You can use them on a backsplash, a bathroom floor, in a laundry room, or anywhere that you want to make a statement! This trend is here to stay for a while.

Bold Colors:

This look is refreshing as solid white has been in style for quite some time it feels like. Bold colored cabinets like this are in at the moment and I love it! Whatever color makes your heart happy, you can splash throughout your home and know that you’re right on track with the current styles! Cabinet companies like Wellborn are making it easier than ever with their ColorInspire collection. The sky is the limit!

Natural Stone:

Natural stone in your home gives it a cozy, old world feel. You can use large stone as shown above, ledge stone panels, or brick tile to achieve this look. Use it on your fireplace, an accent wall, home exterior, or on columns to really warm your space up.

Ceilings that POP:

Ceiling detail was IN for 2017! Whether it’s unique colors, large beams, or intricate tile work as shown above, 2017 homes had us looking up more than ever before! Get creative and make your house your own!

Interior Design Trends that Are OUT:

Solid White Spaces:

I love white rooms as much as the next girl. They’re classic and clean. However, this trend has been a little played out in the last few years. It’s starting to get very sterile and mundane. Get ready to punch it up in 2018 with white PAIRED with bold colors to break up the space and add some flare.

Copper Fixtures:

Copper had a good run. It was the alternative to your standard chrome, brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze. It was used as decorative accents, kitchen sinks and more. But it seems that it’s day may be over. Will brass be taking it’s place? It sure seems that way! What do you think of 2017’s interior design trends, for better or worse? What do you hope to see in 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Bathroom Remodeling, Bathroom Cabinets, Vanity tops and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Schedule Your FREE Kitchen & Bath Design Appointment!

Fireplace Remodeling Ideas

Today, we’ll be giving you some amazing fireplace remodeling ideas that you can use to spruce up your home! A fireplace is a focal point in many homes, so it only makes sense that you would want it looking it’s best and reflecting your personality.

Ledge Stone Fireplace Remodeling

ledger panel fireplace remodel

Ledge stone is such a versatile remodeling material, so it only makes sense that it would be perfect for fireplace remodeling! Ledge stone can give a rustic, craftsman or modern look. The color you choose and the décor in your space will determine the style it takes on. Click here to shop ledge stone!

Geometric Tile Fireplace


Click here to shop decorative tile!This modern style fireplace is fun and subdued at the same time. It will work in any space, with almost any décor and with any color palette. The geometric pattern is very in style. I would definitely recommend you consider this style for your fireplace remodeling project.


Fun Patterned Fireplace Remodeling


Click here to shop arabesque tile!This fireplace is one of my favorites! The arabesque pattern is feminine and soft, but in this neutral hue doesn’t look too girlie. The Darker grey wood mantle goes perfectly with this and really makes this fireplace a focal point.

White Brick Tile Fireplace


Click here to shop brick tile!I am a HUGE lover of brick in every color and in any space. This fireplace doesn’t disappoint. You don’t have to have real brick on your fireplace to get the look. If you’re doing any fireplace remodeling, check out brick tile. It looks just like real brick and can go over pretty much any existing material giving your fireplace a whole new look!  Shop brick tile options here!

Red Brick Tile Fireplace


Click here to shop brick tile!

Just like the brick tile above, we also carry this distressed red brick tile. I love the red in contrast with all the white. It’s very shabby chic and gives off the very popular rustic or farmhouse feel. Brick always has a way of warming up the space, so definitely consider this color for your next project.

Large Format Tile Fireplace Remodeling

large-format-fireplace remodeling

Click here to shop large format tile!Fireplace remodeling using large format tile is not the most common, but it sure is stunning! They have really made the fireplace feel large and modern by using such large tile in a beautiful neutral color. It can morph to the style of the room no matter what décor they put in it over the years. Click here to shop large format tile!

– Related Posts –


Subway Tile Turning Basic Backsplash Bold featured

Stone Fireplace: Featured



Marble Fireplace Makeover


Click here to shop marble tile!Marble is a classic material that has been used in remodeling for decades. Using marble tile for your fireplace surround is gives a classic elegant look that should continue to give a look you desire for many more decades to come.

Marble Subway Tile Fireplace


Click here to shop subway tile!Like the larger format marble tile above, this is a more modern version of the classic. The popular subway style tile in the marble material is a big seller and a top choice for fireplace remodeling. This looks so clean, fresh and inviting! Click here to shop subway tile!

Modern Neutral Fireplace Upgrade

Photo: Michael J. LeeThis neutral larger format subway tile is such a beautiful choice for a fireplace. It is a color that will coordinate with anything. This is important to consider as you can change your living room furniture and décor many times before you do another fireplace remodeling project. Pick something that you will be happy with for years and years. This works great for males and females alike and has an understated modern look, which I love. Click here to shop tile!

Interlocking Mesh Back Fireplace


Click here to shop mesh back mosaic tile!This interlocking mesh back mosaic tile on this fireplace surround is understated, yet fun! It gives texture and movement, but keeps the color neutral. It’s a playful modern look. Mesh back mosaics are becoming very popular options for fireplace surrounds, so shop all the options today!

Stone Fireplace

stone-fireplace remodeling

Click here to shop ledge stone!A stone fireplace has been a classic in fireplace remodeling trends. Just because it’s not new, doesn’t mean it’s not great. It’s been so popular all these years for a reason. There are so many styles of stone that you can really make it your own! It can go in modern, rustic, craftsman, or industrial spaces and feel right at home. Don’t discount this classic choice if you’re thinking about fireplace remodeling! Click here to shop ledge stone!


Builders Surplus is a renovation company that provides full-service solutions in Louisville Kentucky,  Florence Kentucky. Their services extend to Cincinnati Ohio as well.  The company is a leading supplier of Ledge Stone, wall tile, and backsplash tile in the three cities. They specialize in interior design, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, home improvement, and building materials. Their clients can avail themselves of free interior design and measurement services. Builders Surplus offers building materials in a wide range of prices, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to high-end Wellborn cabinets. They also provide installation services. Clients who have queries or wish to schedule a free design consultation with an interior designer are encouraged to contact the company.

set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers,

Builders Surplus also publishes articles on interior design, home décor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. They invite readers to check back for their next article and wish everyone a happy renovation!

Written By: AB  Updated by TB

Granite Edges: The Finishing Touch

There are many things that go into purchasing a new granite countertop, such as deciding on the color and choosing between the different granite edges.

When you first sit down with one of our kitchen designers, the first step will be to take measurements of your kitchen, or work off of the measurements that you provide.

If you are completely gutting the kitchen, you will have the flexibility to virtually choose exactly what you want for your space.

After layout, the next step is to decide on the granite color. This is definitely one of the most fun decisions to make. We offer 20 colors in our custom granite line, and 8 colors in our prefabricated granite.

Lastly, you will choose the finishing touch for your countertops; your granite edge profile. The edge is the shape created and the end of the slab that you will come into contact with on a daily basis.

There are a wide variety of edges to choose from, but our Louisville and Newport, Kentucky stores offer a total of 9 different edges. We will discuss the Basic Edge Profiles, Premium Granite Edges, and Unique Granite Edge Profiles. 

Basic Granite Edges:

The four edges shown above & below are some of the most common & are virtually always included at no additional cost, no matter what fabricator you’re using. These are offered free with our custom granite selection.

  • The straight edge is the most basic, with a hard chiseled edge.
  • Beveled edges tend to be more popular in kitchens with traditional décor.
  • The 1/4 and 1/2 bevel is a nice variation on the original bevel that highlights the thickness of the countertop. It allows you to have the decorative edge while still showing the depth of the 3cm stone.

Our granite is 3cm thick, which is the standard width. Anything smaller would be at risk of breaking, and thicker would potentially be overkill and quite costly.


The above example is that of a straight edge, sometimes called the “pencil” edge. This is the most basic edge that you can choose, however, with the right granite, it still looks phenomenal!


The beveled granite edge is quite popular. It adds a touch of geometric flair to any countertop. It is not overly ornate, but does add some visual interest.

1/4 and 1/2 BEVEL EDGE

The 1/2 and 1/4 bevel are very common as well. The bevel is less dramatic and is a more subtle touch to your granite edge. The profile is sleek, without being too chiseled. I see this very often in bathroom granite vanity tops. These both have a shorter pitch, which is the flat edge on the top, and a longer rise, which is the bottom edge pointing down. This is a very sophisticated profile that will work well with all styles from traditional to contemporary.


The eased granite edge is another popular choice. The slight curve adds movement and tames the sharp edges that some dislike. This profile can be seen in many kitchens, old and new. It is simplicity at it’s finest. With the right granite, you simply want to highlight the beauty of the stone, which the eased edge does perfectly.


The 1/4 Radius edge is a variation on the eased edge. Instead of offering the secondary curve on the bottom, it chooses to only arch at the top. It provides all of the benefits and simplicity of the eased edge. The 1/4 Radius edge is a perfect blend of the Eased edge and the Straight edge..


The half bullnose edge adds a greater curve to the room than the 1/4 Radius or the Eased Edge. Of the basic granite edges, this profile shows off the thickness and sturdiness of the slab.


In the 1/4 Round T&B, or Top & Bottom, the profile looks exactly as it sounds. There is a slight curve on the top and bottom of the edge, creating a slightly round, slightly pitched edge that is a favorite among many.

Premium Granite Edges:


The Ogee Edge is one of the most widely known and well loved of all of the premium edges. This granite profile is elegant, decorative, and makes a statement. This granite profile looks perfect with traditional styles and adds fair to rustic decor as well. It can be used in contemporary spaces, but it is not something that you see often. Modern looks tend to opt for the sharper or more straight edges.

This ornate profile adds drama and excitement to your space. Although this granite edge is a premium profile, it is included at no cost in our prefabricated granite, making the value that much higher for our clients.


The Full Round Edge, Also called the Bullnose, is a completely rounded profile. This look works best with traditional, transitional, or the rustic/farmhouse style. Again, curves and contemporary don’t always make the best pair. We offer this edge in many of our prefabricated granite as well, meaning that you are getting low price & high quality and design, which is something that you can rarely find in today’s world.


The Deep Ogee is a variation of the Ogee. It is not one that you see too often, but it definitely makes a statement when it does pop up. The deep swooping edge just screams elegance and high design.


The Inverted Bevel is another one of the premium granite edges you might be interested in. This edge looks very similar to the Knife edge, which we have not listed due to the fact that is is very rare and is not asked for often. However, the uniqueness of this edge can really make your countertops stand out from the rest. In this edge, the steep pitch is going upward instead of downward.

Unique Granite Edges:


Rough or natural granite edges are really something special. This look will work with any style and really highlights the natural beauty and uniqueness of the stone. This is one of my favorite edges of all!


The rope edge is an incredible profile that you don’t see very often. This edge takes real skill to fabricate and a unique home to put it in. A nautical feel is a perfect fit for this type of edge, but it can work well in traditional or even rustic style homes.


The Triple Waterfall edge is slightly more common than the two listed above, but is still considered unique. The three tiers make for a stunning focal point and add interest to your countertops. This ornate style screams elegance and high end quality.

Laminate Countertop Edge Profiles:

Laminate countertop edges are completely different in terms of name, as those that we discuss when dealing with granite or any other solid surface countertop. They names can be quite confusing, actually. The combinations that can be achieved with laminate countertops are endless. They can be just as unique and ornate as those of their solid stone counterparts.

If you have any questions regarding granite edges, laminate edges, granite or granite installation, the team at Builders Surplus is ready and willing to help. We strive for excellence in everything that we do and believe that paying attention to detail is what ultimately sets us apart from our competition. Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your network though the social share buttons below. Subscribe to our newsletter on the home page of our website for more incredible design & renovation content. 

Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, building materials, and home improvement materials. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from laminate countertops to top of the line Quartz Countertops. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd