Lay a stone floor and you lay a floor for life. Tougher than wood, easy to clean and they can be heated from underneath. Genuine stone floors feel wonderful underfoot and have natural, undulating colours and patterns that cannot be compared. Now, let us look at glorious Stone floors, Ceramics, Mosaics and Porcelain.
Domestic stone flooring comes in tile form from 1 x 1cm mosaic to a whopping 100 x 100cm tile and everything in between. The larger the tile the sleeker the look as the less joins there are. Smaller tiles offer a more casual appearance as they have more grout lines and pattern options.
Stone flooring maintains its wonderful appearance for a extremely long periods. We only need to turn to the Romans and look at the excavated remains of what once would have been astounding stone and mosaic flooring and we can still appreciate the splendor of them to this day.
Tiles are durable, they keep their form when used a lot, are moisture resistant and are not sensitive to lighting and chemical materials. There can be problems with mutual cracking when objects fall on them and they can be chilly underfoot without unfloor heating! However, in summer, if out of direct sunlight tiled floors will keep the house cool.
Limestone is incredibly hard-wearing and comes in colours ranging from yellow to chocolate brown. It can have a smooth or for added character often comes with bonus fossils as this photo with the wonderful tree table shows.
Marble is smoother stone with distinctive veining throughout the array of colours are fascinating, the most expensive marble has the least veining but then surely the veining is part of it’s charm so the less expensive options can turn out to be the more attractive.
Granite is hardest wearing, mostly seen in its shinier, polished form but you can find unpolished versions too. It is often used for counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms.
Slate is a stylish option for slightly textured floors and has a lovely eggshell type look in greyish, greenish, purplish hues. Again slate makes a wonderful and unusual kitchen counter top.
Terrazzo is man made and has been around since Roman times and, as with marble, is having a resurgence since its last heyday in the 50s and 60s (think classic Italian cafes). Made from chips of stone and/or glass, embedded in cement or resin and polished, your surfaces can be made in any colour and will be as hard as nails.
Porcelain – If you’re thinking of porcelain just take a look at Marlborough Tiles www.marlboroughtiles.com for some inspiration, as they themselves say; “The highest quality porcelain floor tiles offer stunningly beautiful stone and wood effects which have to be seen to be believed. They also have an outstanding versatility, strength and practicality – frost proof, extremely strong, capable of being used with underfloor heating and completely stain resistant, unlike real wood or stone.”
This photo shows porcelain tiles used on walls and floor. Granite surrounding the Butlers sink.
As with wood when looking at natural stone you can find sustainable, reclaimed options such as flagstones – they have an excellent secondhand value – and can add much character to your home.
So many splendid alternatives – which one will you go for?