Stone is the perfect choice if you want flooring that's both practical, hardwearing and beautiful. Here's all you need to know before you buy.
Old, new or composite?
Reputable specialists offer both freshly quarried and “reclaimed” stone. The latter tends to be more expensive, but has an immediate patina and softness and can be more environmentally friendly (although weigh up the transportation implications). Solid stones such as slate, sandstone, limestone and granite are all good choices, but also consider composite flooring. Made from chipped or ground stone mixed with a bonding agent, it is cast as tiles and has a more uniform finish with a lower price tag.
Stone floors must be properly installed. A professional fitter can advise you on sealants, adhesive, grouts and the preparation of the substrate to avoid movement.