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Granted, this is an obvious initial question, but there are some fundamental things to think about depending on whether your flooring is going inside or outside.
For outside stone tiles are great. Particularly, as stone is hewn from the earth, therefore looks stunning outdoors in its natural environment, however, which natural stone should you choose?
Slate is relatively low priced, so perfect for large areas such as patios, plus it is naturally slip resistant, even when wet. Sandstone is equally resistant to weathering and alongside Travertine stone tiles often used around swimming pools. Likewise Limestone is hardwearing, and just like some of the others can be used both outdoors and indoors.
To make sure your natural stone outside stays looking fabulous, as with any natural stone floor a little, gentle maintenance will not go amiss. Make sure when the patio is installed, an impregnating paving sealant is used, to help stop algae growing. But, don’t worry if it does set in, it might make the tiles slippery, but can easily be removed either with a specific stone cleaner or diluted bleach. However, it is always worth, once the stone is clean and dry, potentially resealing it.
You may also want to consider ensuring the stone laid is frost resistant, particularly if you are likely to experience severe frost in the Winter months. Granted there are not many that can’t be used outside, but it is worth asking the question when looking at your options. Other ways you may want to use stone in your garden is to add areas of interest, such as smaller patio areas, intriguing pathways or around a water feature.
For inside you might want to use natural stone for your kitchen, conservatory, bathroom or hallway. Increasingly, we are also seeing it being used even in living areas and bedrooms, mainly due to its ease of maintenance and durability.
The range of colour variations and natural feel, which in some instances means even fossil shells and crystal veins feature, ensures it lends itself to working well with other organic materials such as wood. Stone also retains heat for a long time, so works really well with underfloor heating. Understandably, the sustained floor temperature depends greatly on what is underneath it and how well it is insulated. So, it may be worth considering underfloor heating, which enables a lovely gentle heat to radiate, as well as providing a pleasant surface to walk on when in bare feet.
Increasingly, people are exploring ways to bring their garden into their home or wanting to create more of a seamless integration between their garden and the house. Natural stone, which works equally well inside and out, allows you to create a flow between the two environments, while also making both spaces work independently. So, this is becoming a very popular way of combining both.
Finally, price will ultimately have an influence on your decision making. And the cost of stone can depend on a number of factors; where it is from, the nature of the colour, how hard it is to cut and how unique it is. However, the realities are, with such huge varieties, there is an option to suit. At Coulon Stone, we hold a large amount of stock and due to our long term relationships have access to wide variety of stone supplies, which means that we can work with you to understand what you are trying to achieve and source the right stone for you and your budget.