Natural stone has a lot of aesthetic appeal due to its natural and organic appearance. However a natural stone tile should not be your first choice for a steam room due to its porosity. Natural Stone tiles will absorb steam which will lead to damp problems and therefore it will affect your tile appearance. Natural Stone also absorbs heat, drawing warmth away from your steam room instead of containing the heat. Ultimately, this means a stone tile steam room or steam shower will demand more electricity than usual.
Porcelain is durable and non-porous, which basically means that it will not absorb steam in the way that stone will. In addition, porcelain and ceramic tiles retain heat and acts as an insulator for your steam room. For this purpose, porcelain tiles are an incredible choice for a tiled steam room. If you are worried that porcelain or ceramic will not look as good as natural stone, you will be surprised at what is on offer these days. Porcelain and ceramic tiles include an increasing number of stunning colours and varieties designed to replicate the look and feel of natural stone. Recent innovations by porcelain tile manufactures have made it possible to add an anti-slip finish to the porcelain or ceramic tile without changing its appearance. This is a fantastic option for wet areas like your steam room.
The Bottom Line
Decobella recommends avoiding natural stone altogether for any room that hosts steam of any sort, especially the more porous stones like marble or limestone. Even if you seal your stone tiles regularly, steam will eventually find its way in, ruin the appearance of your tile and thereby lets heat escape. Rather opt for a porcelain or ceramic tile with an anti-slip finish on the floors to ensure your steam room stands up to years of enjoyment.