Stone flooring is a fabulous choice as its durability and natural beauty will bring a long lasting statement to any home.
Even though it is most commonly used as a flooring idea in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and conservatories, there is no reason why you should not choose stone for a bedroom or sitting room.
Isabel Fernandez, Director at Quorn Stone explains, ‘Natural stone flooring can be one of the most forgiving floor coverings if the right stone and finish are chosen. Naturally some stones will be denser than others which provides more durability, however all natural stone will be subject to a little wear and tear over the years.’
‘A tumbled finish provides an aged look, its worn edges, textured surface and natural markings makes it extremely forgiving with day to day crumbs and dirt.’
There is a growing trend to have the same stone laid throughout the ground floor and seamlessly to a terrace to create a wonderful sense of space both indoors and out.
We’ve rounded up our favourite stone floor ideas with a guide to how to choose the best type for any place in your home.
Stone flooring ideas
1. Add rustic charm to a country kitchen
Stone flooring lends itself well to a country kitchen. If you’ve got a light and bright space, why not tie in your floor with smooth limestone tiles in a flagstone design. Limestone will look incredible paired with exposed stonework, cream kitchen units and plenty of natural finishes and accessories.
2. Subtle ripple effect bathroom flooring
If you want a more seamless look, team a modern Scandi space with lots of wood and stone with large format tiles in limestone cut length ways to reveal an interesting, wood-like appearance. This bathroom has lots of textural interest and the floor only adds to the look.
3. Opt for white marble for your bathroom floor
Complement a Mid-century modern inspired bathroom with a touch of luxury in the form of white marble floor tiles. Not only will it look sophisticated but it will also keep the room bright and more spacious looking.
4. Terracotta stone flooring in a boot room
If love the lived-in, shabby chic style aesthetic, an unfinished terracotta tile is the perfect rustic addition to any space in your home. In this boot room, the floor tiles are paired with distressed furniture, wicker baskets and lots of natural looking accessories for the perfect country farmhouse look.
5. Create a pattern with a range of stone types
Stone flooring doesn’t have to come in large flagstones or slabs. Create a bespoke pattern using smaller stone floor tiles like this Art Deco inspired formation using three different tones of marble to complement the large marble sink.
6. Rough finish stone flooring
If you want to inject instant rustic charm to your home, opting for a rough natural looking stone floor with a polished finish. The floor will be uneven but it’ll make up for it with style points.
7. Large format stone floor tiles in a hallway
Look for light coloured stone with darker flecks in small spaces. These square tiles in this slim hallway keep it looking spacious and bright. The dark flecks will be fairly forgiving in busy hubs like hallways and kitchens which get a lot of footfall, crumbies and spillages.
8. Modular variation natural stone flooring
Want to inject a little added interest to a stone floor? Opt for a flagstone style formation in various different sized tiles. The stone flooring adds warmth to a cosy family hub and complements the reclaimed vintage finds in the space.
9. Sleek finished natural stone floor tiles
Keep things sleek with matt stone tiles in a tumbled and brushed finish, that’ll go with pretty much any home or area in your home. You could add this to more than one room and in the hallway for seamless continuity.
10. Tumbled and brushed limestone tiles
Choose a beautiful aged tumbled and brushed limestone which predominantly comes in a mid-beige appearance. With this finish, a delicate and intricate fossil-like detail sit on top creating a unique overall pattern. Limestone is extremely durable making it particularly suitable for kitchen flooring and use in lots of busy living spaces.
11. Blend a marble herringbone pattern in a wet room
If you love the contemporary look of herringbone, you can create the look with stone tiling. Why not add even more interest by combining two types of stone. In this instance marble, to create a seamless blend between floor and wall.
12. Stone herringbone tiles in a bedroom
Adding stone floors to a bedroom might seem a little strange but stone is actually a lot more comfortable underfoot than you’d think. It’s worth noting that it’s best to lay stone tiles in a bedroom on the ground floor as the floor is less likely to shift and settle, inevitably leading to cracking.
13. Polished marble in a diamond pattern
For something a little more opulent, try polished granite tiles in a diamond pattern, like this period home’s white hallway. The natural variation in the granite’s appearance adds extra interest to otherwise simple scheme.
14. Opt for a chequered formation
Marble tiles are perfect for creating a traditional chequer board floor. This antique, tumbled edge finish of these two contrasting marbles from Mandarin Stone creates a beautiful, vintage appearance in this boho inspired bathroom.
15. Worn black slate tiles
Give interior or exterior spaces instant impact with a rich, dark natural stone like slate that oozes dramatic appeal. This large format tile features veining and characteristics that’ll look amazing in both classic or contemporary rooms. Accent with lighter stones and brass accessories to really make a bold statement. You could also add extra wow factor by using slate in your outdoor living room.
What to consider when choosing stone flooring
While colour, pattern and finish may be at the forefront of your mind when choosing stone, do consider the practical questions first.
- Does your home have timber floor joists and are they capable of withstanding the extra weight
- Does your budget stretch to underfloor heating, as stone can feel cold?
- Do you have small children or pets who might find the surface hard and unrelenting?
A stone floor is a large investment, so think it through. One complaint about stone in kitchens and dining rooms is that glass and chinaware will break if dropped, while bathrooms can become slippery.
Virtually indestructible, it is easy to clean if sealed properly, allergy-friendly, and a good choice for wet areas as it withstands damp and flooding.
Experts at Artisans of Devizes explain, ‘Natural stone is very versatile, it works so well in so many areas but we see it mostly in hallways, on staircases, in kitchens and living spaces, bathrooms, wine rooms, basements, pools surrounds and terraces.’
‘When choosing a natural stone it’s always important to think about how the space is going to be used. Is it a high traffic commercial space, a slick apartment or a country home? Who will be using the space? And what is the lifestyle of the user?’
‘Sometimes a very clean and minimalistic look is required for a contemporary space and a very clean, consistent colour stone will be required. However, if it’s a family home with lots of socialising, entertaining, sports, pets, then a more characterful floor with fossil content, texture and tonal variation will withstand the most active of lifestyles.’
Types of stone flooring
It is a natural material that comes in a vast choice of colours and finishes, from pale marbles to black slates. Plus a surprisingly lively colour palette in between with yellows, blues, greens and pinks created by mineral content.
Natural variations add interest – look for grain, veining and even fossils – and you can alter the character of any stone with a finish such as a high-sheen polish, an understated matt or even a weathered effect.
Artisans of Devizes’ experts explain, ‘When we think about the size and the style, we’re thinking about the building, the setting, the space and the architecture around where the floor will be laid. Is it Georgian Classic, a Country Farmhouse, an ultra modern setting or a timeless masterpiece of real estate we’re investing in?’
Experts at Artisans of Devizes say, ‘There are always the classic floors, pentagons or octagons. And the much more elaborate patterns and designs can be achieved by cutting from much bigger scants of stone or slabs if using marble.’
‘With the finishes subtle changes can play a big part. If you are wanting the floor to appear crisp and new then you might want to look at an etched finish. Or if you would prefer for the stone to look worn-in with some texture you might want to consider our seasoned finish.’
‘Remember a natural floor in the right setting will typically last a lifetime so it’s important to get it right and fit in authentically to the surroundings. If your project is part of a more modern setting, you may want to have a set size square or rectangle natural stone. Then you could create more of a grid layout – laid square or brick bond.’
Although neutrals are popular, consider more unusual shades such as the pinks and greens. We’d also recommend viewing as many different stones as possible and look out for interesting patterns.
Can I have underfloor heating with natural stone?
‘This questions always comes up – can I use this stone with underfloor heating? The blunt answer is ‘of course.’ Stone is a great conductor of heat and outstrips other floor finishes due to its very low tog value.’ explain experts at Artisans of Devizes.
‘When heating a floor you are creating a large space of radiant heat. Therefore you’re only raising the temperature somewhere between 4-6 degrees centigrade. On your thermostat this would be 19 – 25 degrees which creates a low ambient heat.’
Despite its reputation for being cold underfoot, stone is a great insulator. It keeps cool in summer and retaining ambient heat in winter.
Old, new or composite stone flooring?
Reputable specialists offer both freshly quarried and “reclaimed” stone. The latter tends to be more expensive. However, it 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’s cast as tiles and has a more uniform finish with a lower price tag.
Ask to see a similar floor in situ, as it can look quite different en masse and sealed. And always check lead times as stone that is not held in stock may take longer to arrive.
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.
How to look after stone flooring
A huge consideration is how you’ll clean your stone and marble flooring. Experts at Artisans of Devizes fill us in:
‘Stone is an alkaline, which means it’s above 7 on the Ph scale. Therefore you need to use a Ph neutral cleaner as anything below which is acid will potentially and overtime damage the stone.
‘There are some really good antibacterial stone cleaners on the market for your regular upkeep. Maintenance at whatever frequency you choose or time permits but it is really important to keep away from bleach.’
‘Remember the stone needs to be sealed well. This is mostly in the form of an impregnator which fills the pores in the stone to make it impermeable to stronger colours penetrating the stone.’
Charlie Smallbone of Ledbury Studios adds, ‘A big misconception is that limestone floors stain or discolour with use. But modern seals preserve even the palest stone.’
How to clean stone flooring
- Stone will often have been treated before it left the factory. If not, it will stain easily so it’s important to seal it with a proprietary sealant or, for terracotta and slate, use linseed oil.
- Once sealed, clean it with a mix of mild detergent and water. However, it will need re-sealing at regular intervals to keep it looking its best.
- Immediately wipe away any acidic spills.
- Reconstituted stone needs to be sealed with a stain inhibitor then impregnated with a top coat of water-based sealant. It’ll need re-sealing every two years. Ask your manufacturer or suppler for specific care advice and suitable products.
Flagstone, limestone, slate
- Damp-mop flagstone or slate floors using either clear water, an all-purpose cleaning solution in warm water, or water to which fabric softener has been added.
- Wring the mop until it doesn’t drip, and apply it to the floor in slow, even strokes. Ask the manufacturer for recommend the appropriate cleaning product.
- Wipe up spills on unglazed floors immediately or they might cause a stain.
- Remove stubborn marks with white spirit, but always do a spot test first.