Stone - So many, how do you decide?
Stone is used in the home in multiple ways. On kitchen work surfaces, in the bathroom, in the garden, flooring. Stone comes in multiple forms and styles. Depending on your living situation, will determine which stone you should consider buying.
The most beautiful, without a doubt is always going to be natural stone. Sandstone, quartzite, granite, basalt. Stone like marble, where veining is seen, is unlike any other pieces of stone because it is naturally made. Every single piece of cut stone is different and individual. There is something magical about no one else having the same stone as you.
Used a lot to add decoration and drama to a room, marble is beautiful, in its smooth and rugged finish. However, marble although a very hard material, is unforgiving with stains. Like limestone, marble is permeable meaning liquids will go straight through it. If red wine, orange juice or curry sauce spillage is a recurring event in your home, maybe marble is not the best stone to go for. Sealants can be used but it does add a layer to the stone that can discolour the stone so be careful.
Photo: B.E. Architects (terazzo)
Granite is a very popular stone for work surfaces. Highly durable, a hot pan can be taken out of the oven and placed directly on to the counter top without any harm to the stone. The stone is scratch resistant, maintenance being very low with the likelihood of granite work surfaces needing to be repaired or resurfaced being at a minimum.
Moving away from the natural stone, ceramic tiles are coming back in fashion for bathroom backsplashes and flooring. Ceramics come in an abundance of colours and patterns with Moroccan style tiles being very popular. Glazed tiles, which look beautiful with the shine, are both water and stain resistant. Very durable on tough floor the only downside to them is that quite a lot of grout is needed and the tiles need to be sealed. This does mean that over time, the grout will become dirty and therefore will need to be redone.
The stone however that is taking over the market at the moment is porcelain. Non porous, frost proof and stain resistant, it is known by many to be the best material on the market for flooring and work surfaces. Been on the market for quite a while now, in the last few years, innovations in porcelain have dramatically improved that it is impossible in many porcelain slabs to know the difference between porcelain and true marble.
Coming in many different styles and designs, individuals wanted something that was cheaper than marble, non-porous but looked just like it. Designs can be printed on porcelain to create the effect of marble and the look is incredibly mirror-image like. The darker marble print porcelains are unrecognisable to true marble. The lighter white marble prints on porcelain are also very realistic though don’t hold as much depth and dimension as true white marble does. However, with how far porcelain has evolved in recent years this is sure to soon be on par.
Porcelain can be printed in single sheets of 3200 x 1600 x 6mm meaning very little grouting is needed. Not only is porcelain produced to look like marble, it comes in many different shapes and styles, fit for lots of individuals.
There are so many different types of stone to choose from for floors, worktops, shower walls, splashbacks it comes down to practicality as much as personal taste. Trends vary from geometric hexagons and fishtails to triangles which are the new fashion. You can also get such an array of colours now in tiles that a bathroom can be as fashionable as a bedroom. An interior tip, to add on at the end because why not, is that with gardens being small in London properties, people has resourced to using the same stone flooring in their rear kitchen and carrying it on outside as the patio. This is a great idea as doing this will elongate the house bringing the inside out and create one harmonious space.
If you have any inquiries regarding renovating your kitchen or bathroom, please get in touch with us here at nu on 020 7731 6841.