In many New Mexico homes and businesses, tile floors are commonly found, usually either porcelain or ceramic tiles. For commercial buildings and for some homeowners, the look of stone tile makes a beautiful, but likely more costly, flooring option. In our climate, it’s very easy to care for stone tile floors. Stone tiles are available in many types. Some of the most common are travertine, marble, granite, limestone and slate. Slate makes a good outdoor choice and can also be used for interior floors; the others are better for use inside the home or office. At The Floor Store, when a customer is interested in stone tile flooring, one of our first questions is “Do you like uniformity in the flooring or are you open to more variety?” Because stone flooring is a natural product, it may have much more variation that a porcelain or ceramic tile that is manufactured, and the variation is a controlled option. Variation in stone flooring, as in ceramic and porcelain, is rated from V1 to V4; V1 tiles have a uniform appearance while V4 tiles have significant variation in the shade. Be aware that with stone tiles, you’ll need more than a sample board to get a true sense of the variation in the tiles. When a customer is interested, we will order in actual size samples, enough to lay out and give you a much better sense of how the tile would look on your floor. It’s also important to see current samples of the stone tile. Because these tiles are quarried from the earth, one section that is mined may have a very different appearance than another section. Having current samples will show you what’s likely to be delivered for your installation. We caution about purchasing stone flooring from a big box home improvement store or a flooring wholesaler. If you see a stone tile price of $2.00 or so per square foot, this stone will be lower-quality, and much more prone to breakage. You will need to order more to account for the loss of the product. Travertine is one of the most popular types of stone tiles and will run in the $4-7/sqft range at The Floor Store. Some stone tiles will go up into the $12-$15/sqft range; these are most often used for accent areas and backsplashes. There are thousands of stone tile options, with color and texture variations as well as how the edges of the tile are tumbled or finished. To see options in stone tiles, visit The Floor Store on Second Street in Albuquerque, about one mile south of Paseo del Norte.