RUTLAND, VT -- The design possibilities for natural stone just became more diverse, thanks to the launch of a new collection of beautiful stone tiles in an array of colors and sizes that are perma­nently protected by Q-Seal, the world's first lifetime sealer for natural stone, according to Questch, a leading manufacturer of stone and metal tile solutions for the kitchen and bath.

 Available beginning this month, this latest line-up from Questech includes seven different stone colors, two finishes and seven sizes. For all the design variety the collection rep­resents, what each piece has in common is the patented Q-Seal technology that perma­nently protects natural stone tile from stains and wear while enhancing its innate beauty.

"This new collection has a very natural, elegant feel that has been captured in a subtle yet rich color palette -- warm browns and golds, soft beiges, creams and grays -- all colors that will easily complement a wide range of decors," said Gary Marmer, Vice President/Gen­eral Manager of Q-Seal. "We wanted to give homeowners more variety in their design choices, and with the permanent protection of Q-Seal, natural stone can now be used in any room in the house without concern for maintenance or special care."

Unlike ordinary stone tile that often change color after the sealing process, Q-Seal allows the true color and tone of the natural stone to shine through before it is installed. Included in the collection are tiles made from travertine, marble and limestone, four with a classic tumbled finish and four with a smoother honed finish. The most popular sizes are a 4- x 4-inch field tile for use on backsplashes, walls and showers, as well as a 12- x 12-inch tile for dramatic floors and walls. A smaller 3- x 6-inch "subway" tile offers a contemporary yet classic option for backsplashes and walls. Two sizes of liners may be used as finishing pieces to add visual interest, create a chair rail or wainscot topper, or add a framing element. For even greater detail, the collection includes 1- x 1- and 2- x 2-inch mosaic tiles to add accent strips, line a shower pan or create a focal point above a stove or tub.

The protection of Q-Seal makes it possible to incorporate natural stone into areas that were previously considered off-limits, such as moisture-rich bathrooms or kitchens where food and beverage spills might damage the stone. Q-Seal is the first factory-applied sealant to offer protected, hassle-free beauty backed by a lifetime warranty, reports Questech. Stone tiles treated with Q-Seal are as easy to maintain as their ceramic and porcelain counterparts. Think of Q-Seal as the equivalent of Stainmaster® for carpeting. It permanently protects natural stone from water and stains, causing liquids to literally bead up on the surface, ready to be wiped away. Unlike ordinary sealers, Q-Seal also protects the stone from the harmful effects of chemicals -- like the acids in foods and beverages; and bleaches, ammonias and other damaging chemicals found in ordinary household cleaners. Q-Seal has the added benefit of offering a built-in antimicrobial to fight the growth of molds and bacteria.