Onyx is a banded stone not unlike agate. It was formed from limestone so it is a soft stone. Color variation comes from dissolving and redepositing of the limestone. The appearance and color of onyx change with the variations in light. This makes it an exciting building material.
Onyx is as old as Biblical times but it was mostly used for jewelry and artist’s carvings. In Egyptian times, onyx was used to make pieces like bowls and other pottery items. Now, thanks to modern technology, onyx has been re-purposed. Onyx tiles are now used as backsplashes on kitchen and bathroom counters, as wall tile in bathrooms, kitchens, family rooms, and dens or on shower wall surfaces.
Onyx floor tiles grace bathrooms, kitchens and foyers adding an air of opulence to your home. Because of their extreme color variations onyx can be used to create a focal point such as a bar or fireplace.
Valued for its almost endless variation in color, onyx is one of the most fragile of nature’s stones. Luckily, there are ways to offset this fragility. Onyx stones are often manufactured on a backing made of mesh or fiberglass. This lends tiles strength but the backing can make cutting the stone to fit a designated space tricky and time consuming. The surface on which onyx tiles are mounted must be perfectly even and stable. Otherwise the tiles may crack.