When it comes to floors, interior designers are spellbound by natural stone... we find out why.
Bamboo, wood, laminates or vinyl — when it comes to floors, there’s plenty to choose from. But perhaps the trendiest and most sought after material is stone. Beautiful and evocative, stone floors have been the first choice since the time of the ancient Pharaohs and are no less a contender even today. From rustic and chic to polished and elegant, they can transform your home any way you want. However, ensure that the floor you choose is something that you are ready to live with for a long period of time.
Natural stone is always our preferred choice because of its timeless appeal and ease of maintenance. It can always be re-polished after a period of time to regain its initial finish.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of stone floors.
— Stone is practical, durable and easy to maintain. And thanks to the development of sealers and finishes, it is virtually indestructible.
— Classy and aesthetically appealing, no matter which type of stone you use, the result will not disappoint.
— It offers a cool, pleasant feeling under your feet — great for warmer climates.
— Its neutral nature makes decorating a cinch.
— It offers a variety of choices in terms of colours and textures.
— The biggest downside to stone flooring is its high price. But considering its durability and longevity, it may not seem that unreasonable.
— When choosing stone flooring, taking into account the structure of your home is essential. A strong structure is vital to support the weight of the stone.
— Most stone floorings, especially marble, can be slippery when wet.
— It is hard on the feet and legs. People with leg-related ailments find it difficult to live with.
— If not protected properly, stone can be difficult to clean. Certain stones like marble and limestone absorb stains and dirt easily.
There are several kinds of stone that can be used as flooring, each of which has its own unique qualities. These are some of the most commonly used materials...
Marble is the most elegant stone and perhaps the most beautiful. It offers a sophisticated and refined look. It’s durable and if finished properly with a stain-resistant sealer, can last a lifetime. Polished marble comes in a variety of colours — from black and white to hues of beige, grey, peach, pink and even green.
Granite is perhaps the hardest of natural stones. It comes with shiny, matte or textured finishes in shades of black, green, grey or other neutral tones. It is stain and scratch-resistant and is the right choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
Slate is an extremely dense stone that will not burn or stain, which is why it was traditionally used in fireplaces. Today, designers use it for bathrooms and kitchens as well. It requires no maintenance and has the added advantage of being slip-resistant. It is also available in a variety of rustic colours.
Similar to marble in appeal, travertine is a less
expensive option. It is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Travertine comes in a variety of colours — from soft white to deep mahogany. It works well in almost any room.
Limestone is ideal for a chic yet rustic look. Available in a variety of colours like taupe, grey and amber, its fossil-like veining adds to its texture. It is stain-resistant and cleans up easily with water.
While stone floors are durable and require practically no maintenance, here are a few tips and tricks to keep them shipshape and looking fabulous!
— Treat floors, especially marble and travertine ones, with an appropriate sealant at regular intervals.
— When using a vacuum, ensure that the attachments or the wheels are not worn as they can scratch the surface of some stones. A dust mop or broom work just as well too.
— Wipe up spills immediately.
— Do not use acid-based products on limestone, marble or travertine.
— Use mats or rugs inside and outside your home to reduce natural damage caused gradually by dirt or sand.
— Clean stone surfaces with a neutral cleaner or a mild detergent and warm water.
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