When thinking about natural stone tile for flooring first thoughts usually go towards Travertine, Limestone, Marble, and Slate but what about Basalt for your project?
When looking at darker black options in natural stone tile for flooring Basalt should be at the top of your list. It is a durable stone which provides a really consistent color tone. Basalt is a volcanic rock formed during volcanic eruptions when lava meets the surface of the Earth or mid ocean ridge. This makes coastal areas the most common geographical location to find Basalt formations and it’s also a major part to thank for the Hawaiian Islands.
Basalt is popularly used in spas for relaxation therapies including hot stone massage. It is ideal for this use because it holds heat really well due to its composition which includes magnetic iron. This property in the stone also makes it ideal for interior flooring because of it’s ability to hold heat and provide you with more warmth to your floor. Basalt fibers are even used by the automotive and aerospace industries because of it’s fire resistant properties.
Basalt is great for flooring, fireplaces, hearths, patios, driveway insets, veneers and many other design applications. It is a very sleek, elegant, and modern looking stone. The look of the basalt can also vary greatly depending on which finish you do prefer. Finishes that are available in Basalt are Honed, Flamed, Combed, and some custom finishes which you can see in the picture below.
The more common finishes are Honed, Flamed, and Combed. The Honed finish will give you that completely smooth finish while you'll see below that the Flamed and Combed Basalt are textured to provide great traction.
Honed (left), Combed (middle), Flamed (right)
Like any natural stone that you install you will want to seal your Basalt properly. When selecting your sealer you will have the option of using a regular impregnator sealer which will keep the dry natural tone, or you can use an enhancer sealer that will darken up the stone and give it more of the wet look.
With Basalt you are not going to have a large color range of options. In fact, you're really only going to have one color which is dark and again helps put Basalt at the top of the list when looking for a black natural stone tile.