Frequently Asked Questions

1. Natural Stone


2. Porcelain Tiles


1. Natural Stone

1.1. Can a stone floor really last a lifetime?

We believe that if a stone floor is installed and cared for correctly then it should last the lifetime of a house. Make sure it's installed a professional, sealed correctly and cleaned with the right products and you're on to a winner. Stone also gets better with age.

1.2. How accurate is my sample?

Only use samples as a rough guide. The nature of stone is so different and varies so greatly that it's hard to get a full idea of what's to come. However, samples are great to find out the thickness of the stone. Stone tiles even vary from batch to batch so it's hard to give an overall view of the colour and characteristics of any particular type of stone. For large projects we suggest you ask for an array of samples.

1.3. What is blending and how can it help me achieve the look I want?

Blending involves laying out the tiles and having a good look at them. Those with minor damages or unusual markings should be put to one side and used for cutting or less visible locations. If you're having a specific pattern fitted make sure your installer knows before blending.

1.4. What are the different types of stone?

There are three main rock types: sedimentary rock, metamorphic rock and ingenious rock. Limestone's and travertine's are sedimentary rocks. Marbles and slates are metamorphic. Granite is an ingenious rock.

1.5. Will the colour vary much?

Stone tiles vary in colour. They are always packed in wet conditions at the factory and can not properly dry out until unpacked. They will lighten in colour as they dry out. You have to make sure that the tiles are completely dry before blending them and installing them. Sometimes it may be necessary to dry the tiles in front of a direct heat source to see the true colour of the stone when it is totally dry.

1.6. How is fixing natural stone different to fixing porcelain tiles?

In general, installing natural stone tiles is very similar to installing porcelain tiles. Natural stone tiles however have different qualities that need to be taken into consideration when fixed using adhesive. Installing natural stone usually requires a professional who knows what they are doing. We suggest you speak to your tiler directly and maybe ask to see examples of their work.

1.7. Why do I need to seal my natural stone tiles?

If you don't seal your natural stone tiles every time you spill a liquid onto it it will seep into the stone and stain it. We highly recommend that you seal all natural stone tiles. There are many different types of sealant on the market. The main thing to remember when choosing a sealant is to choose one that allows the stone to breathe. To ensure that your natural stone tiles remain looking good, the crystals that it's made from, must be able to interact with the air. All the sealants we provide are designed to work in harmony with our natural stone and help to promote its well being. Tell our Sales Team to add a bottle to your order.

1.8. Why should I choose natural stone tiles?

They are hard wearing, trendy, very adaptable and will add value to your home. They are flexible and suit a country farmhouse as well as a city bachelor pad. It works well with under floor heating and goes well with other natural products such as wood. Which Stone?

1.9. Compared to other flooring materials, is it expensive?

It depends on your budget really. But overall stone has become very affordable to everyone. The good thing about stone is that it lasts much longer than carpet or wood so it's definitely worth the investment. If you're looking for a deal slate can be found for as little as £ 13.99 per sqm â€" making it very cost effective in comparison to other flooring materials.

1.10. What types of stone can be used as flooring materials?

Limestone, travertine, marble, granite or slates are all popular indoor flooring choices.

1.11. Can stone really add value to my home?

According to many estate agents, stone is a great selling point and can add value to your home.

1.12. What colours do natural stone tiles come in?

Natural stone tiles can come in an array of colours, tones and shades. For natural earthy tones from creams, beiges, blues, dark browns go for Limestone. For bright reds and bright whites go for marble. Slate and granite are available in a huge range of mid tone and dark colours including greens, grey, black and multi-coloured ones. Whatever colour you are looking for can be found in natural stone.

1.13. Can you do designs with natural stone tiles?

Just like any other tiles, natural stone can be laid into a specific design. You can lay square ones in a grid, diamond or brick formation. Rectangular tiles can be laid in a grid, brick bond or herringbone design. Hones limestones and travertine can be cut into hexagons and laid insets to design a Georgian floor. Why not go for a traditional Dutch chequered floor and mix black and white marble tiles? If you have a particular design in mind just ask our Sales Team for advice to help achieve your look.

1.14. How can I recapture an old look with natural stone tiles?

Aged stones floors are great for recapturing the traditional or old look. Tumbled or brushed edges, repeated in a pattern, with different size tiles mixed together, can create an antique look.

1.15. How can I achieve a young contemporary look?

Large tiles can help create a more clean and modern look. Travertine is increasingly popular and honed limestone can give off a smooth matt finish. Slate can give off a cool look and the price is always a bonus too.

1.16. Is a natural stone floor practical for people with young children?

You'll be glad to know it is. The natural veining and fossil marks found in some stone act as a great way to hide any mess your kids can throw at it. If your children suffer with asthma or eczema, natural stone tiles are far less dust harbouring than carpet. And as the stone would have been sealed, potty training is great as you can just mop up any little accidents with a cloth or towel.

1.17. Do I need to reseal my natural stone tiles?

It really depends on how much you're using your floor. We suggest that you seal it again after 3-5 years, just as a precaution... The sealant would have worked its way into the stone after its first seal.

1.18. Does the sealant wear off?

Provided it was applied correctly the sealant should not wear off as it actually gets absorbed into the stone after the first application. If you use a room a lot and feel the floor could do with another seal, it definitely won't harm the floor and is easy to do.

1.19. Is it hard to reseal a floor?

No, the whole process will only take you about an hour. Just buy a bottle of sealant. Our Sales Team will help you choose the right one for you, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. You start by cleaning the floor thoroughly with an intensive stone cleaner, wait to dry and apply the sealer with a clean cloth. Make sure you ventilate the room well, whilst you are doing this as the fumes can be overwhelming. Repeat the process until the stone is saturated.

1.20. Can I seal the floor with linseed oil?

Linseed oil was used a lot before modern silicone based impregnating sealants came along. However, sealants are much more effective than linseed oil and they won't leave a greasy film over the stone.

1.21. If I spill a dark liquid on my floor will it get ruined?

If the floor has been sealed correctly then the liquid should not penetrate the floor. The liquid should just sit on top of the floor waiting for you to mop it up. If wine, vinegar or acidic food is left on the floor then it may start to erode the sealant and may stain.

1.22. How can I check if my natural stone tiles are sealed correctly?

A quick and easy way to check is to pour a small amount of water (2 tablespoons) on to your tiles and leave it for 10 minutes to see what happens. If it sits on the top of the tiles the sealants OK, if it sinks into the stone and leaves a mark you have to have it sealed again.

1.23. What's the best type of stone for my bathroom?

Marble is a great hard stone, but can be slippery when wet. Soft limestones have better grip in bathrooms. Mosaic tiles look great and can make it seem bigger. Slate tiles with a riven finish can provide natural grip, but we suggest you always lay a mat down to avoid slippery surfaces.

1.24. Can I use natural stone tiles in a wet room?

Yes you can, we even did Madonna's wet room for her. The tiles must be tiled onto a properly fitted tanking system.

1.25. What stone is good for a hallway?

In a hallway you want to make a good first impression so I would go for a shiny marble or honed travertine. As its so hard wearing, it's a great way to make sure your hallway can handle all the footfall.

1.26. Is stone too cold for the living room?

With the advancements in under floor heating, stone is no longer a no-no for living rooms. We supply a full range of under floor heating systems that work in conjunction with our stone tiles. Just add felt pads to any hard surfaces to avoid marks on the stone.

1.27. How can I avoid damaging my stone flooring?

The good news is, it's very hard to damage the floor so you don't have to worry. Unlike wooden flooring that can be marked and scratched easily, stone flooring is incredibly hard wearing, especially once it's sealed.

1.28. What adhesive do I need to use?

We have a range of adhesives that work in conjunction with our natural stone tiles. Just ask our Sales Team for more advice. If you are planning on having under floor heating you need to use a flexible adhesive and grout.

1.29. What about grouting?

Again, we have different types of grouting to suit different tiles. Just ask our Sales Team for more advice. When applying the grout we suggest you apply it across the whole surface of the tile, then completely wipe it off and wash the surface thoroughly.

1.30. Who can I call if I have a problem?

Simply give our Sales Team a call on: 0845 108 5533 anytime between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. They're always happy to help.

2. Porcelain Tiles

2.1. How hard are porcelain tiles compared to other natural stone tiles on the market?

Porcelain tiles are around 30% stronger than natural stone tiles on the market meaning less scratches, chipped tiles and broken tiles.

2.2. Are porcelain tiles less maintenance and cheaper to lay compared to other tiles?

Porcelain tiles are virtually maintenance free. Porcelain tiles can be laid straight away as they don't need any preparation. The conclusion is porcelain tiles are a far cheaper solution to the consumer as you are only paying for laying time and not preparation as your tiler can lay more m2 a day in porcelain compared to marble. Once down porcelain tiles take no taking care of and no long term maintenance as natural stone tiles does.

2.3. Are porcelain tiles environmentally friendly?

Porcelain tiles are environmentally friendly due to the use of natural products such as clay and the manufacturing process. The manufacturing process virtually generates no byproducts and the waste is recycled back into the manufacturing process for the next batch of tiles.

2.4. Does water and frost damage porcelain tiles?

Porcelain tiles can be used in outdoor areas because of it's durability in colder climates which are frosty. Water does not penetrate porcelain due to its low absorption at 0.5% so porcelain is fantastic in bathrooms and kitchens. Porcelain does not stain so it's an ideal low maintenance product.

2.5. Is porcelain resistant to abrasion as is it clean surface compared to other flooring?

Porcelain tiles are fantastic in high traffic areas and will not need to be treated against scratches and abrasions. Sometimes porcelain might get aluminum burns into the tiles from a chair dragged across the floor leaving what looks like a scratch. The solution to a burn from metals which looks like a scratch it acid and wire wool, after a little scrubbing the scratch will disappear leaving the tile as good as new. Porcelain is resistant to chemicals, cleaning agent's alkalis, acids and bacteria making porcelain tiled floors very hygienic.

2.6. Can large size porcelain tiles be manufactured?

They way porcelain tiles are manufactured allows tiles in sizes such as 1000mm x 1000m 1200mm x 1000mm and even up to 2000mm x 1000mm in commercial places. These tiles are becoming more popular due to contemporary living where people want big tiles to make rooms look more spacious and less grout lines.