Granite and basalt are ideal for outdoor paving. These types of natural stone are indispensable for surfaces that are constantly worn and torn. The terrace paved in granite or basalt tiles will be durable and resistant to temperature changes. Luxury terraces can also be clad with exclusive quartzite, whose hardness, strength and durability equal to that of granite. Quartzite patterns are impressive, but so is the price. The budget needed for installing such a terrace may be impressive too. Marble is another option for paving terraces. It is twice as softer and more more sensitive than granite, with particular sensitivity to acids and less tolerance for extreme weather. Acidic liquids corrode marble, causing it to etch, change colour and acquire stains. Atmospheric pollution and acid precipitation tend to leave traces on marble surfaces.
In warmer climates, outdoor terraces can safely be paved with sandstone and travertine. Both of them come in a variety of hardness and other characteristics. Travertine and sandstone surfaces are naturally slip-resistant and feel warm to touch. Together with marble, these travertine and sandstone are widely used in southern countries for interior flooring. Marble floors are a luxury item that requires a lot of care and attention. It is better to walk on marble wearing slippers rather than shoes, and it is advisable to clean any spills from its surface as soon as possible. Onyx floors, sometimes installed in exceptionally luxurious spaces also have similar properties, but they are even more fragile and soft. They may look spectacular, but certainly are not a practical choice. All natural stone floors need to be impregnated regularly to maintain their perfect appearance.
An excellent alternative to natural stone flooring is engineered stone. These alternative materials do not need to be impregnated and are easy to clean and maintain. Sintered stone, engineered quartz, ceramic and porcelain slabs are lighter in weight than natural stone because they generally are thinner. Concrete floors covered with ultra-thin sheets of sintered stone and ceramics (approx 6-10 mm thick), look modern and elegant. The hardest and most resistant to wear artificial material that can tolerate maximum indoor traffic is sintered stone. The floor can be covered with sintered stone sheets as thin as 6 mm. Sintered stone is also suitable for outdoor use as it can withstand extreme temperatures and changes in humidity. It is non-porous and does not absorb water. Liquids spilled on sintered stone, ceramic and porcelain floors will not soak in to stain them and will be easy to clean. Thin and relatively light artificial stone slabs are particularly suitable for multi-storey buildings, they are convenient to install in small spaces.