Compared to walls and ceilings, floors are of high utility units in the construction industry. We used to expect smooth, clean, impervious, colorful, sturdy, durable, weather-resistant, and alluring surfaces from the floors. Our needs, expectations, and aspirations have given birth to various flooring material in the history of human civilization.
Today, with the advent of technologies, we have far better options to choose for the flooring material than our predecessors had. However, manufactured flooring materials are gradually becoming the least preferred choices due to raised environmental issues with it. Thereby, our inclination toward natural material is getting up and advanced technologies have made the availability of natural stones and natural woods easy as well as cost-effective even for lower to middle-class economy people.
To be green and natural, we two options to pull into the debate, natural stones and woods. Let’s explore to know what is best and worst for both worlds.
Availability of Stone vs. Wood for Flooring
The source of both kinds of paving material is natural but differs in many respects. Natural stone mining is green, which means environment-friendly whereas, woods are leaving negative impacts on the environment when cut. Thus, natural stones are the obvious winner here on the environment front.
Availability of Natural Stones
|Natural stones are forming beneath the land surface and in a deep layer of land core strata. The quarries of natural stones yield different kinds of stones in different areas. Therefore, mining, cutting, packing, and supply factors are impacting the availability of natural stones. Fortunately, today, we have advanced technologies and infrastructure present to transport and ship natural stones to any corner of the world in the shortest timeframe and at affordable rates. It has made all types of natural stones available across the globe.|
Availability of Woods
|Woods are of varying types and found in different areas of the world according to the climatic, soil, and other natural conditions to grow the trees. Cutting and shipping of wood are now easy, so the availability of original wood material across the planet. Commercial plantations of demanding wood varieties have fulfilled the deficit of forest destruction a lot.|
Natural Stone Pavers Collection
Cost of Stone vs. Wood for Flooring
The cost of material is the most decisive factor for flooring in a building. On one hand, natural stones seem a costly choice due to price tags for different types of stones and installation costs, but the advantages of natural stones are immense compared to wood material for flooring.
Cost of Natural Stone Paving
|Natural Stone Paver||Basic||Better||Best|
|Material Prices||$690.00 – $740.00||$765.00 – $890.00||$905.00 – $915.00|
|Installation Cost||$425.00 – $435.00||$450.00 – $465.00||$580.00 – $600.00|
|Total||$1115.00 – $1175.00||$1215.00 – $1355.00||$1485.00 – $1515.00|
|Total Average Cost/Sq. Ft.||$11.45||$12.85||$15.00|
|Natural stone prices are fluctuating a lot depending on the season, supplier, location, and most importantly, the type of natural stones you choose. For instance, marbles are costlier than slate or sandstone. Moreover, stone size, shape, surface finishes, and delivery to your door may affect the overall cost of natural stones.If you are wise and calculate the overall cost of natural stone flooring against the lifespan of the material and reselling values of other flooring material like wood, natural rocks are obvious winners here. It is worth investing in natural stone paving in the long run.|
Cost of Wood Paving
|Type of Wood||Flooring Cost per Square Foot|
|Softwood like Pine flooring||$1 to $6|
|Mid-grade like Oak flooring||$5 to $10|
|High-grade Mahogany flooring||$8 to $15|
|Engineering wood flooring||$6 to $23|
|Bamboo wood flooring||$3 to $5|
|We know there are dozens of wood types used in flooring across the world. Vicinity of wood source greatly impacts the cost of wood flooring. You have to add $3 to $10 labor & other charges per square foot.The details price tags are:
Properties of Stone vs. Wood Material for Flooring
Natural rocks vastly differ in physical and chemical properties, so stones made for the construction of floors. However, woods have narrow differences in properties, and most are similar. Let’s compare both flooring materials on the basis of property parameters.
|Properties||Natural Stones||>Natural Woods|
Durability or Scratch Resistance
The durability of flooring material means look-n-feel against wears & tears, which greatly depends on the softness of rocks. Softness measured by scratch resistance property. Different stone types have different scratch resistance, but the durability of natural stones always is greater than the wood materials.
|3 to 4 on Moh’s scale||Less than 3 on Moh’s scale|
Hardness or Strength
The compressive hardness of stones are double or more than the wood material, so stone is considering a sturdy material in the construction industry.
|1800 to 2100 kg/cm3||370 to 740 kg/m3|
Water Absorption or Permeability
Indeed wood absorbs moisture rapidly and more than stones.
|Less than 1%||1 to 3.5%|
Glossy stones are not slipping resistant, but semi-glossy and coarse stones are skid-free at a greater degree.
|Depends on surface finishes||Completely Slip Resistant|
Resistant to Staining
Compare to wood, the stone has good resistance to staining, and proper coating can increase it a lot.
|High to Medium||Highly Prone to Staining|
Wood is an excellent choice in extreme weather conditions like high heat during summer and frost in winter.
|High to Medium||High|
We know wood is highly prone to fire and stone is completely resistant.
|Completely Resistant||Highly Prone to Fire|
Mass density is high in natural stone that increases its lifespan and reselling value of the property.
|2.5 to 2.65 kg/m3||1.6 to 2.2 kg/m3|
Design Choices of Stone vs. Wood for Flooring
Design Choices for Natural Stone Flooring
|Natural stone has grains and patterns formed by the prolonged natural or geological processes such as thermal activities, sedimentation, and metamorphism. It creates different types of grains and patterns. Chemical changes during the processes bring different colors and hues in the natural rocks.These amalgamations bring natural beauties in the mass of natural stones. It lets you create different patterns and layouts in creative ways.|
Design Choices for Wood Flooring
|Wood has grains and layers, which are based on the Xylem, Phloem, Cambium, and Parenchyma like tissues in the mass of wood. These are a very complicated system and differs vastly among the wood tree species. Therefore, we get unique patterns of wood grains and layers in the wood to decorate our floor surfaces.|
Material Types of Stone vs. Wood Paving
Stone and wood both have different types of species used in the flooring, and the following are the most common examples of it.
Material Type of Natural Stones for Flooring
Natural stones are classified into siliceous (Silica) and calcareous (Calcites) types based on the dominance of minerals they contain. If you want to know more about each type, please refer to our previous blog “10 Types of Natural Stones” with details.
Material Type of Woods for Flooring
Woods are typically classified into softwood (Coniferous) and hardwood (deciduous) trees in the construction industry. As its name suggests, hardwood is completely befitting in the criteria required for flooring material. Let’s see some examples of both types of wood species here.
Installation of Stone vs. Wood Floors
Installation charges add to the total cost of flooring, so it becomes the prime concern when total expenditure on flooring is calculated.
Installation of Natural Stone Floors
|Natural stones are demanding intensive labor and use of heavy tools due to heavyweight of stones. The stone installation also demands skills and getting the right service provider is daunting if you are unfamiliar with contractors in your locality.
Installation of Wooden Floors
|Wood logs are lighter in weight compared to natural stone slabs or tiles. Cutting is easy and quick. What you need is skilled labor for it. Thereby, the installation cost of wooden floors is cheaper compared to stones.|
Maintenance of Stone vs. Wood Flooring Materials
Wood cleaning is tough and demands special care while the stone is easy to clean and remove stains. Similarly, replacement is comparatively easy in both types of materials if the size of tiles or logs is medium to smaller.
Maintenance of Natural Stone Floors
|You need scheduled cleaning of natural stones with the help of stone cleaning solutions appropriate to types of stones, mops, and dryer/dry clothes. Regular inspections of stone floors and timely replacement can make a big difference in the maintenance and replacement costs.|
Maintenance of Wooden Floors
|Wooden floors need extra precautions while cleaning and usage. You must avoid hard footwear while walking on wooden floor surfaces. Similarly, dragging and installation of heavy objects with sharp edges touching the floor is prohibited. Regular sweeping of dirt and steam mop or wet mot is essential on costly wooden floors. Thereby, overall maintenance cost goes high for wooden floors.|
Applications of Stone vs. Wood Material for Flooring
Natural stone and natural wood flooring are possible on both interior and exterior spaces of domestic and commercial buildings.
Application Areas of Natural Stone for Flooring
Interior Natural Stone Flooring:
We can use natural stones in dry and wet interior areas of our building using appropriate stone types. For instance,
Semi-glossy and non-glossy finished natural stone surfaces are good for wet areas like bath and toilet and washrooms. Thereby, granites, quartzite, sandstone, limestone, and slate are stone types mostly used in wet areas. However, many marbles with coarse finishes are a good choice of bathrooms and toilets.
Highly glossy surfaces of natural stone prove attractive and easy to clean and maintain if used in the kitchen, living room, study room, playroom, dining room, hallway, and entryway/porch areas. Here, marble, granite, and travertine are choice of stone types with glossy to semi-glossy finishes.
Exterior Natural Stone Flooring:
Exterior landscapes have various elements, such as
- Backyard patio or garden patio in isolation
- Swimming pool areas
- Entry walkway
- Driveway to garage or parking
- Outdoor kitchen, barbeque, and grills
You can find details of applications in our Infographics.
Applications Areas of Wood for Flooring
Different types of woods used to apply in different areas based on their properties. For instance,
|Laminated Wood Flooring:||It is an excellent choice in hard traffic areas such as living room, study room, playroom, and so on.|
|Engineering Wood Flooring:||Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and so on.|
|Solid Wood Flooring:||Living room, hallway, and entryway areas.|
|Reclaimed Wood Flooring:||Use only in dry areas of the building.|
|Parquet Flooring:||Use only in dry areas of the building.|
|Bamboo Flooring:||Use it anywhere, including wet areas with proper sealing or coating with chemicals.|
|Cork Flooring:||It is a softer wood type, so best for bedroom and playroom.|
We have seen that natural stone flooring is a superior choice in most the cases. It can augment your property values more than woods. Therefore, getting high-quality natural stones becomes imperative to create stunning, aesthetically pleasing, and high utility flooring across the interior and exterior areas of your building.
World of Stones USA, is the perfect destination to get the best stone material at the best price. It has a widespread supply chain across the States and adjoining countries to provide you a huge inventory of different natural stones and porcelain tiles at the place of your vicinity. Check where you will get supply in your town or city.