From travertine to marble stone and limestone to porcelain, stone flooring sets the tone. If you're wedded to wood, look for designs that mimic timber planks
Limestone, travertine, marble and slate floor tiles are all available at a wide range of prices. Despite being hardwearing, they are also porous so require sealing against dirt and stains. Real stone mellows as it matures, but for an immediate aged effect, consider ‘antiqued’ tiles that have been tumbled or brushed for a weathered finish.
The latest porcelain stone-effect tiles emulate the real thing in texture, pattern and colour, but are moisture proof, require no sealing and need minimal maintenance. When choosing stone flooring, be sure to pick one that will suit your property and lifestyle. ‘Plain colours show every mark and, in a busy family home, stone containing fossils or marked with shade variations will be more forgiving,’ says Louisa Morgan, Marketing Director, Mandarin Stone.
The way stone is finished is key to its look and feel. ‘A high polish
creates a luxurious, contemporary style, while honed surfaces look more
traditional,’ says Robin Auld, Head of Marketing, Topps Tiles.
Both natural and porcelain stone tiles are a great design resource. Popular strategies include using the same material for the floor and walls of a bathroom, or extending a stone floor from inside to outside, say from a kitchen onto a terrace. Check before you buy that the tiles you want are appropriate for your purposes.
More than most other types of stone, marble changes character according to its finish. When given a honed satin finish, as here, it has a deep, lustrous quality.
Tundra tumbled marble tiles laid in a Versailles Opus pattern, around £78 sq m, Mandarin Stone.
Antiqued flagstones with softly rounded or pillowed edges have a well-trodden look that suits a traditional setting. Arrange them in a random layout to complete the effect.
Aged Gevrey classic French limestone flagstones laid in a random design, around £144 sq m, Martin Moore Stone.
Stone in cool neutral tones is always an elegant choice, but these flagstones are flecked with fossils and subtly textured for added visual interest.
Rochester limestone flagstones, from around £100 sq m, Classical Flagstones.
Dark and durable, slate floors are a practical choice for a country kitchen. Extra large tiles give this traditional choice a smart modern edge.
Rustic black slate tiles, 60cm sq, around £34.69 sq m, Topps Tiles.
Large speckled cream limestone tiles with a honed finish create a clean look in a pared-down dining area, but other sizes and finishes are available.
Metro honed limestone tiles with square edge, 600x900mm, around £84 sq m, Indigenous.
These delicately veined pale porcelain tiles are impervious to moisture and easy to clean, and have an optional slip-resistant finish for safer use.
Fontanarosa porcelain tiles, 60cm sq, around £37.55 sq m, Craven Dunnill.
Made using 40% recycled materials, these porcelain tiles have a natural rugged look that is perfect for creating industrial-style interiors.
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Coast porcelain tiles, col Burnham, 29.1cm sq, around £39.93 sq m, Fired Earth.
Long narrow tiles resembling planks of timber can be arranged in a very simple design as shown in the bathroom below, or in the style of herringbone parquet to bring a subtle pattern to your floor.
Westmorland Planks tiles, 22.5x90cm, from around £71.88 sq m, Stone & Ceramic Warehouse.
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