Flagstone flooring is a fabulous investment and a great addition to any home. With so many beautiful designs on offer, making the right decision can seem a little overwhelming, but if you concentrate on five main areas, you’ll be able to narrow things down and quickly build a favourites short-list. The key things to consider are:
- What type of stone are you looking for?
- What sort of style do you want to achieve?
- Which colour should you choose?
- Which finish do you like best?
- Have you found a floor fitter?
1. What type of stone are you looking for?
Flagstone flooring refers to a look, rather than a particular type of stone. Generally speaking, most floors will be limestone but some may be sandstone. Limestone is smoother, more dense and hardwearing than sandstone, which can have a coarser composition. Sandstone tends to be a popular choice for patios and pool surrounds, whilst limestone is most often chosen for indoors.
2. What sort of style do you want to achieve?
Flagstone flooring tends to create a traditional, rustic feel. Slabs often come in a random pattern and varying lengths, rather than uniform sizes. However, there are lots of different colours, sizes and finishes, which create very different styles. For example, grey French limestones, like our Cathedral stone have a modern, elegant feel, whereas our buttery-toned Old English is very ‘country’.
3. Which colour should you choose?
The colour of your flagstone flooring will determinate the overall look more than anything else. Here, it’s really down to personal taste. Very dark floors tend to create a solid, historical feel but can make rooms seem a little dark if there’s not much natural light. Paler floors bring a bright, crisp feel to an interior and, as well as cream beige tones, there are now lots of fabulous light grey designs too. In between, there are honey, biscuit and bluey-grey shades, and more mottled designs, which can be a little more forgiving in terms of muddy boots and paw prints if that’s an important issue for you.
4. Which finish do you like best?
There’s a lot to think about in terms of your flagstone flooring finish, starting with the different types of tile edge. It may seem like a small detail but it can create a very different look. The main options include:
- Tumbled edge – gives a worn, more traditional look.
- Broken edge – gives a less regular edge to the flagstone flooring.
- Pillowed edge – a rounded and softened edge.
Surface finishes for flagstone floors
Then, there’s the actual surface of the slab. Here, the main options include:
- Tumbling – creates an aged look; softens the colour tone and gives a slightly roughened surface.
- Brushing – creates surface texture; ideal for outside or in wet areas.
- Acid treated – the acid etches into the surface whilst bringing the colour out. This creates an aged look.
- Sand-blasting – gives a chalky effect that softens the colour of a honed or smooth tile.
If your flagstone flooring is for a bathroom, hallway or patio – or a kitchen where the floor often gets wet – it’s worth looking for designs with more surface texture, as they will provide better non-slip qualities.
5. Have you found a floor fitter?
We always recommend a professional tiler. Laying a flagstone floor is more complicated than you might imagine, especially in terms of subfloor preparation and level. A professional will be able to ensure that there are no snags or issues with aesthetics, like pattern and colour mix, etc. You might also want to discuss underfloor heating, as it works really well with flagstones.
We’ll be able to recommend someone with lots of experience. And, it’s worth booking them in early, so that you can line everything up and don’t have to store your slabs for weeks ahead of the installation.
If you’re still unsure about which design to choose, take some samples home and live with them for a few days. A flagstone floor should last a lifetime, so it’s worth taking time to choose a design that will work now and for years to come.
For more advice, visit www.indigenous.co.uk and browse our flagstone flooring collection, join us on FACEBOOK and follow us on Twitter. Or pop into our Burford showroom to talk through some interior ideas, and compare different samples over a coffee.