Formed by volcanic ash and dust, cantera stone tiles have been used for thousands of years, thanks in large part to their incredible versatility and beauty. The porous nature of cantera creates a soft, almost velvety finish for flooring while also making the stone light and easy to work with. So easy, in fact, that it’s often carved into enormous decorative features, including fountains, columns, and fireplaces. You can even have your door and window surrounds carved out of cantera stone, or lined with tiles.
When it comes to flooring, cantera tiles work with nearly any color scheme or décor, because they come in so many colors, from creamy whites to pinky beiges to beautiful grays to rich shades of brown. However, even though no two cantera tiles are exactly the same, you can also create a monochromatic look if that’s your preference.
You can install cantera tiles both inside and outside the home, thanks to the fact that they don’t expand with moisture. In fact, their naturally slip-resistant surface makes them the perfect choice both around the pool and in moisture-prone areas indoors, such as the kitchen and bath.
The Versatility of Cantera Stone
The incredible versatility of cantera stone allows you to integrate it fully with your décor, which helps create a flow throughout your entire home. Architectural features carved from cantera, such as columns, door surrounds, and fireplaces, beautifully complement cantera stone tile flooring.
You can even create a natural progression from your home’s interior to its exterior, with cantera pavers, tiles, and decorative pieces carved from the stone. This includes stairs, patios, pool decking, fountains, and benches. The tiles come in a wide variety of colors and you can have them cut into any size or shape.
The soft texture and natural color variations of the stone create a rustic beauty whether you install it inside the home or outside of it. Cantera is naturally slip-resistant, thanks to its porous nature, yet it doesn’t expand when it becomes wet.
Protecting Your Cantera Tile Flooring
Cantera makes an excellent flooring material, since you can use it in every room of the home, even in rooms that take on a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and the kitchen. However, even though the tile withstands moisture well, its porous nature does have the potential to stain. The best way to protect your investment is to have your cantera tiles sealed. When spills do occur, make sure to wipe them up quickly.
There are two types of sealing products when working with natural stone, penetrating and coating.
Penetrating sealants are water-based and contain acrylic polymers that do the actual work of sealing the stone. The water base helps the sealant penetrate throughout the stone to give it great resistance to staining liquids and debris. Penetrating sealants also help protect the surface and accentuate the tile’s natural coloring while still maintaining cantera’s natural non-slip properties.
The main three benefits of using a sealant on natural stone tiles are:
- Creating a decorative finish that accentuates the stone’s natural beauty and ranges from low sheen to semi-sheen to high gloss
- Maintaining a rough, non-slip surface
- Protecting the tile against the penetration of staining liquids and items
To choose the right sealant for your cantera tiles, talk to your installer. He or she can recommend the best sealant, as well as how often you need to reapply your sealant to ensure your tiles continue looking as fresh and beautiful as when they were first installed.
Your installer can also advise you on the best methods for keeping your natural stone floors clean. You want to clean up spills immediately to protect the tile from stains and damage from any debris. When it’s time to mop, be careful about the cleanser you choose. The best cleaning solutions have a neutral pH and are designed especially for use on natural stone flooring. You may also use a mild dishwashing liquid diluted with warm water and applied with a soft cloth or rag mop. Rinse frequently to protect against streaking. Dust mop your floors a couple of times each week, paying special attention to high traffic areas.
If you’d like to learn more about cantera tiles, schedule an appointment to visit our showroom and meet with one of our natural tile experts.