Natural stone flooring brings a timeless sophistication and style to any home and it’s also an extremely durable material if you’re after something long-wearing. Stone floors are a very popular choice for many homes and businesses and it can look particularly effective in entranceways, halls, bathrooms or kitchens.
While there are many benefits to be gained from choosing stone flooring, it’s a material that can become unpleasantly cold during the winter months. Noone likes waking up and putting their bare feet straight onto a freezing cold floor, but luckily there’s plenty you can do to ensure your stone flooring stays warm all year round. If you’re thinking about making an upgrade for your home flooring and want to know more about the benefits of stone floors, read on for our guide and find out how to keep your home warm, cosy and stylish.
Types of stone flooring
Stone flooring comes in a variety of materials and finishes to suit all tastes, from sleek marble to more rustic slate or granite. We’ll take a look at some of the most common types of stone flooring and their properties in more detail below.
This type of stone is formed under intense heat and pressure, which gives it an extremely hard, non-porous surface. This makes it ideal for use in kitchens, as granite won’t be damaged by spills such as citrus juice, vinegar or fizzy drinks. It’s also resistant to most scratches, but it can still be damaged by oil or vegetable oil.
Limestone is formed from a build-up of calcium and organic matter that has hardened over time. Limestone tiles are a popular flooring choice for bathrooms or hallways, but as a general rule it’s not suitable for kitchen flooring as it’s prone to staining.
This metamorphic rock is composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble is characterised by its range of colours and instantly recognisable bands and streaks and it tends to be associated with luxury and grandeur. It makes for a stunning looking floor, but it’s less durable than some other types of stone and can be easily damaged by acidic liquids.
Slate is an excellent material for both roofing and flooring and it’s a common choice for kitchens, patios or other outdoor areas. Slate is made up of a mix of shale and quartz which naturally forms in thin sheets. Despite its slim thickness, it’s still very durable and long-lasting and gives a rustic, natural look.
The benefits of stone flooring
There are many benefits to be gained from choosing natural stone floor tiles, aside from their aesthetic appeal. Stone flooring is hard-wearing, durable and very easy to clean, so it requires little maintenance to keep it looking fresh for years to come.
Stone floors also give a timeless elegance that won’t go out of style, so you don’t have to worry about it looking dated or not being on-trend from one year to another. While we’re going to talk about how to keep your stone floors warm further on, this material is actually perfect for warmer climates as it helps keep your home naturally cool during the hot summer months.
Many types of stone flooring are also scratch and stain-resistant, making them an excellent choice if you have young children or pets, and they can often be cleaned using just a soft brush or mop.
How to keep your rooms warm
Stone flooring might be highly efficient when it comes to keeping your home cool in the summer, but what happens during the colder months? Some people might be hesitant about installing stone flooring due to cold temperatures, but there are many ways to keep your rooms cosy and warm, allowing you to enjoy your natural stone flooring all year round.
Installing underfloor heating is one of the most effective and reliable ways to ensure your floors stay warm all year and stone is a particularly good heat conductor. The high thermal density of stone also means that your floor will retain heat long after the heating is turned off, potentially saving you money on your heating bills.
Hot air rises, so adding underfloor heating will also ensure that toasty heat is evenly distributed throughout the room. If you’re on a budget and can only add underfloor heating for one room then the bathroom is a very popular choice and saves you from the unpleasant experience of stepping out of a hot shower onto a freezing cold floor.
It might seem obvious, but laying down rugs or mats in high traffic areas is highly effective at retaining heat, and it protects your stone flooring from general wear and tear too. Laying down rugs also injects some style into your home and you can increase their heat-storing potential by choosing thick fabrics such as sheepskin.
Again, it might seem obvious but don’t underestimate the effect that draught excluders can have. Heat can escape through the smallest of gaps, so if you have a gap between the bottom of your doors and your stone floor, seal it up with a draught excluder. You can purchase many novelty shapes (such as a ‘sausage dog’ dachshund) or it’s very quick and easy to make your own.
Thick curtains work in a similar way to a draught excluder and they help prevent any heat from escaping through tiny cracks in the windowpane. Choose thick, heavy fabrics like velvet or brocade and ensure curtains are drawn if you have the central heating on in the evening, this will keep the heat contained and ensure that your floors don’t become unpleasantly cold.
Fire or wood burner
The living room is often the place where most people spend their time (aside from the bedroom for sleeping), so if you have stone flooring in your living room you’ll want to make sure the space is as cosy as possible. Natural paving stones are very easy to heat up and often the heat from a fire or wood burner is all you need to keep the floor at a comfortably warm temperature.
You may be lucky enough to have an existing open fireplace, but if not, they can be easily installed in a number of different sizes or styles. Stone flooring around a fireplace is also much safer as there isn’t the same fire hazard that you get with carpet. Stone flooring is also much easier to clean if there’s any excess dirt from the wood, coal or fireplace ash.
Use warm colours
Don’t underestimate the effect that colours can have on a room, and choosing warm colours for the walls, rugs or accessories can help your room feel cosy during the cold months. While we know that a coat of paint can’t physically warm a room, it helps give the room a ‘warmer’ feel if you have exposed stone floors. Think autumnal shades like terracotta, burnt orange, browns, yellows and reds.
Wrights of Campden – The Finest Stonework Flooring in Gloucestershire
If you’re looking for bespoke, high-quality natural stone flooring for your home, get in touch with the stoneworks team at Wright of Campden. Our experienced stonemasons can transform your home with a range of stone flooring, from our famous York paving stones to Cotswold limestone tiles.
We’re also proud to offer a wide range of additional stone products, including doorways, stone fireplaces, staircases, chimneys and much more. We have everything you need for your garden too, with benches, fountains, statues, birdbaths and paving all on offer, made from the highest quality materials. For more information about any of our stone products and services, give us a call today or visit our website.