The eternal elegance of stone has amazed the human race since ages. This is especially true of natural stones which owe their beauty to their innate imperfections. This sturdy material, available in countless hues, sizes, shapes and textures, is often used for outdoor and high-footfall areas of a house such as the patio, driveway, walkway, and the space surrounding a swimming pool, mostly because of its strength and ability to stand up to moisture. From the stunning limestone textures, to the elegant marble and granite, fancy mosaic to the more rustic travertine and slate, the choices are endless when it comes to stone flooring.
With so many types of stones out there, it can be tricky to decide which one you should use. The hardness and porosity of natural stones are vital aspects that require your consideration. Also, less porous stones are more resistant towards stains. So, for areas like the entryway or halls where people walk around all the time, granite or slate is a wise choice. Marble is softer and is more often used in bathrooms and kitchens. But if you feel that you can maintain the grandeur of marble properly then feel free to try it on staircases and halls as pictured above.
Stones are found in both light and dark shades. So for the stone flooring in a small room, pick large tiles in lighter hues which will lend the feeling of additional space. Keep an eye on your budget too while implementing stone floors. Remember that the harder, denser and better quality the stone, the higher it will cost. So if you can’t afford marble, go for limestone or travertine which can look very aesthetically pleasing too.
First and foremost, stone is extremely long lasting. They can last almost as long as your house itself! They can endure daily wear and tear easily, and can be much more conveniently maintained than timber floors or carpets. Since natural stones are of several types, colours and textures, you can use your creativity to come up with personalised flooring ideas which make your house stand out from the crowd.
Though stone floors can be costly at times, they can enhance the value of your property significantly. And this is particularly helpful if you are planning to sell your house in the future. Such floors are also suitable for inhabitants with allergies. Finally, natural stones are eco-friendly and shows that you care about the planet.
In the rustic room above, natural stone tiles have been laid out to produce an interesting neutral colour scheme. The furniture, rug and the lights augment the raw appeal of the space.
Kitchen countertops are not the only places to use these beautiful stones. Offered in myriad tones, granite can be used for flooring, with matte or polished finish. Kitchens, bathrooms and hallways are ideal zones to use it. Extremely durable, this stone can be used in combination with other natural stones to form exclusive designs.
Take a look at the angular kitchen above to understand how granite tiles can fit in easily in any space. Light-coloured woodwork beautifully complements the dark floor.
If luxury is your watchword, then nothing can top marble flooring, be it your living room, bedroom or bathroom. The stone can take on very high polishing, making them extremely glossy and attractive. Marble is also slightly translucent which makes it look more enchanting under the right lights. In the living area depicted above, note how both the floors and walls are covered with gorgeous marble tiles. The elegance of the seating arrangement, shelves, chandelier and the curtains seem amplified due to the brilliance of the stone.
Limestone is basically a sedimentary rock, obtained from beneath the sea floor. These stones are durable (though not as much as granite) and can be cut conveniently into pieces of different types as per your requirement. Since it is available in various patterns, colours and textures, limestone can go well with both traditional and contemporary style interiors. It is ideal for use in bathrooms, hallways and kitchens.
Observe how limestone tiles add a simple, warm and cosy feel to the living room above. These were supplied by DT Stone Ltd, from United Kingdom. Limestone hardly needs any maintenance except for regular wiping with warm water and soft cloth. If you intend to use cleaning solutions, then only stick to those especially meant for limestone. Or else the stones may get damaged.
When minerals dissolve in ground water and then get transported by rivers and springs above the ground, travertine is formed. It comes in different hues such as beige, ivory, gold, or reddish brown depending upon the iron content. You can choose from diverse finishing like matte, polished, brushed or tumbled.
This stone is simple to cut and shape, so even oddly shaped nooks and crannies on the floor can be filled. Also, if you have to replace a few tiles in the future, finding a replacement that matches your existing tiles will be easy. Check out the kitchen floor pictured above, to appreciate the antique appeal of lightly tumbled travertine.
The only disadvantage is the high porosity of the stone. So water based or acidic substances can stain the tiles if you don’t wipe them up immediately. Naturally, having children or pets in the house can make you think twice about going for travertine floors.
Tiles made from natural stones are increasingly becoming popular among those who want to infuse individuality into their home décor. Whether your home style is colonial, country, Mediterranean, minimalist, modern or rustic; stone tiles can be used to create a one of a kind flooring for you. With marble, granite or limestone, every single tile will feature different grains, veins or swirls! Observe how the use of stone tiles has transformed the look of an otherwise simply furnished room above.
These tiles are also long lasting, robust and can be cleaned easily. Just remember that the matte finished versions are more porous than the shiny ones, and can get stained if you spill juice or wine on them.
Slate is a type of metamorphic rock and contains mica, quartz, chlorite and calcite. It is waterproof and stain resistant, which makes it a perfect flooring option for bathrooms, kitchens, pool areas and driveways. Slate is also fire resistant, needs very low maintenance and extremely hardy. It can effectively endure the stress of a busy household full of children, pets and visitors.
Slate is found in multiple shades of black and grey to suit your needs. The dining area in the above picture features Brazilian black slate on its floor. The neat square edging of the tiles contributes to a practical and contemporary appearance.
Please bear in mind that slate tends to get a little cold during winter months, but the problem can be remedied through proper insulation on the bed of the tiles. It is also slightly prone to scratching, so you should get your furniture padded to avoid this.
So are you ready to start with your flooring project? Get in touch with professionals who can advise you in more details and help you to select the stone best suited for your requirement. For more inspiring ideas, go through this ideabook – Natural Stone Flooring.