5 April 2017
Planning a new flooring project? Whether inside or outside, the material options can seem endless! For a durable, easy to maintain finish with WOW appeal, choose from our five favourites:
This tough as boots sandstone flag comes with some serious credentials, it has been used for hundreds of years in high traffic areas because it wears so well. Traditionally laid straight on bare earth it prevented damp rising. Sorry to be blunt but before water closets were invented everyone - including gentry and royalty ummm pooped on the floor in the room they were in, York flags did not stain and could be scrubbed clean by the lucky servants. Said scrubbing was often done with a slosh of milk which gave a shiny patina. We have come along way since then but it’s handy to know they will cope with everything the baby/puppy can throw at it. This durable stone is quarried over quite a large region and so there are variations in the colours from a dark buff to greys and greens. They can also be found with a variety of surfaces from smooth honed to a riven textured finish. As they are so durable they can be used inside and outside equally well making it a perfect choice for a room that opens out into a garden, patio or terrace. The more textured the surface the more slip resistant.
The speciality of our region, this honey coloured flagstone requires a little more TLC. This stone has a much looser structure and so it is hard to find individual flags larger than a metre squared. Original reclaim flags will often have a substantial depth to them sometimes even three inches as it is less likely to be damaged the thicker it is. The colours can vary from dark honey to a pale cream and evidence of fossilised sea life can often be seen. With such a pale flooring a pale grout should be chosen to enhance the effect rather than detract. It is a good flooring to use inside but can be susceptible to frost damage when laid outside. Also it is worth bearing in mind that it is more porous so it would be wise to seal it to protect it from spills and stains. All limestone floors such as Cotswold, Bathstone and Portland stone are sensitive to both acids and alkalines so just use a specialist stone soap product for routine cleaning.
Brick floors have moved back into fashion. An economical method of providing and internal or external floor. There are many different laying patterns which can visually play to make it look a wider, narrower, longer, shorter, bigger space. It can be a bit fiddly to lay but once down and sealed it is a durable option. A perfect match for home spaces that have to work like laundry’s, utilities, boot rooms and hallways. The red to terracotta colours are warm and work easily with a wide range of paint colours. To clean a brick floor indoors add a splash of white vinegar to a bucket of warm water to help lift grease but it should be fine with a vacuuming once a week.
These look stunning and have a warmth and depth to them that frankly cannot be matched. They are the Rolls Royce of flooring. But they are rare to find in any significant quantities so can be hard to find a consistent matching batch for a large area. If you have the time to wait and speak to your reclaim yard early they can source large matching amounts especially for you, but it can take a few months. As these boards are over 100 year old they have stabilised and will not twist, split or shrink. If you are careful they can even be used with underfloor heating. If you have a listed property, you may have no other option depending on your Planning Department and Local Authority Conservation Officer. Alternatively if you decide to invest in your property the money you spend on a reclaimed hardwood floor is saved in the value of your property and will come back to you when you come to sell the property.
Perfect for indoor use and outdoors these durable little squares can cope with extremes of weather and a surprising amount of traffic. Like their rectangular cousins (bricks) they have been baked to dry them out but still retain some porosity so be careful with spills and oils or seal them to protect them. Laid out side they make lovely paths, but can get a bit slippy if they stay wet and algae grows on them. A good scrub with a bit of water and a stiff brush will easily restore them.
Need more advice? We are more than happy to have a chat and help you find the best possible option to suit you and your home. Just give us a call!