Porcelanosa Wall and Floor Tiles Hero Image

We’re all after that luxurious finish when it comes to tiling, whether it’s a contemporary home or something a little more antique. However, achieving luxury in a contemporary home can be quite tough, especially with so much to compete with in the market. Here are a few luxury stone flooring ideas that might give your contemporary kitchen or bathroom the sparkle it needs to reach new heights.

Glamour

Original Style Artworks Baroque Blue Bathroom Wall Tiles

Glamour and contemporary go hand-in-hand, so going for something that dazzles or sparkles could work particularly well. Once the mirror effect of your shiny stone tile attracts the natural light of your bathroom, it creates a shimmering atmosphere that compliments any modern bathroom design.

Urban Chic

Urban chic is really growing in popularity. The slate flooring effect means that bathrooms and kitchens are now adopting a unique design that compliments the idea of natural stone. With the addition of some exposed brickwork and wooden cabinets or furnishings, you could create a beautifully luxurious urban environment in your bathroom without substantial expenditure.

Scandinavian

Original Style Earthworks Tumbled Marble Beige Floor And Wall Tiles In Bathroom

The Scandinavian effect incorporates plenty of wooden features as well as cubic furnishings and no short amount of natural light. With the addition of some naturals tone tiles, you can create a spa-like atmosphere that lives up to the demands of luxurious contemporary bathrooms. A touch of the outdoors, such as plant life, shells or stones will also work really well here.

For more information on our wide range of slate tiles and more, get in touch with us today or visit our shop in Reigate, and we’ll take you through our unrivalled collection of natural stone.

Natural Stone Tiles With Three Plant Pots Containing Green Herbs

Natural stone is used in kitchens, floors, walls, bathrooms, dining rooms, around swimming pools, building foyers, public areas and façades. Since ancient times, stone has been popular for building and decorative purposes.

The reason you want to seal your natural stone floor is to prevent the following things from occurring and ruining your tiles’ finish and look.

Staining: 

This is the most common form of damage. It is the result of oils or other liquids penetrate deeply into the channels within the stone and deposit material that is effectively impossible to remove without destroying the stone.

Salt Attack:

This occurs when salts dissolved in water are carried into the stone. The two most common effects are efflorescence and spalling. Salts that expand on crystallization in capillary gaps can cause surface spalling and can exert considerable expansive forces as its crystals grow.

Acid Attack:

Acid-soluble stone materials such as the calcite (veins) in marble, limestone and travertine, as well as the internal cement that binds the resistant grains in sandstone, react with acidic solutions on contact. Acid erodes the stone, leaving dull marks on polished surfaces. In time it may cause deep pitting, eventually totally obliterating the form. Even mild household acids, including cola, wine, vinegar, lemon juice and milk, can damage vulnerable types of stone. The milder the acid, the longer it takes to etch calcite-based stone; stronger acids can cause irreparable damage in seconds.

Picture Framing:

This occurs when water or grout moves into the edges of the stone to create an unsightly darkening or “frame” affect. Such harm is usually irreversible.

Freeze-thaw Spalling:

This occurs when water freezes in the surface pores. The general term is Frost weathering. The water expands on freezing, causing the stone to spall, crumble, or even to crack through.

There are 3 main types of sealant that can be used for natural stone floors, these are:

Topical sealers
Generally made from polyurethanes or acrylics. These sealers may be effective at stopping stains but, being exposed on the surface of the material, they tend to wear out relatively quickly, especially on high-traffic areas of flooring. This type of sealer will significantly change the look and slip resistance of the surface, especially when it is wet. These sealers are not breathable i.e. do not allow the escape of water vapour and other gases, and are not effective against salt attack, such as efflorescence and spalling

Penetrating sealers

The most penetrating sealers use siliconates, fluoro-polymers and siloxanes, which repel liquids. These sealers penetrate the surface of the stone enough to anchor the material to the surface. They are generally longer lasting than topical sealers and often do not substantially alter the look of the stone, but still can change the slip characteristics of the surface and do wear relatively quickly. Penetrating sealers often require the use of special cleaners which both clean and top up the repellent ingredient left on the stone surface. These sealers are often breathable to a certain degree, but do not penetrate deeply enough (generally less than 1mm) to be effective against salt attack, such as efflorescence and spalling.

Impregnating sealers

Uses silanes or modified silanes. These are a type of penetrating sealer, which penetrate deeply into the material, impregnating it with molecules which bond to the capillary pores and repels water and / or oils from within the material. Some modified silane sealers impregnate deeply enough to protect against salt attack, such as efflorescence, spalling, picture framing and freeze-thaw spalling. Some silane stone sealers based on nanotechnology claim to be resistant to UV light and higher pH levels found in new masonry and pointing.[2] A good depth of penetration is also essential for protection from weathering and traffic.

 

 

Bathroom decoration takes time and often incorporates various attractive tiling features, from glass mosaics to unique natural stone. Of course, there are many things that need to be considered before you start purchasing your tiling, such as whether or not it suits a wet location. You also need to consider what size you’ll be going with. Remember that smaller tiles generally provide better grip, although you can also get larger tiles with effective slip-resistance. Here are a few other things to consider regarding shower tiles.

Tiling also contributes to the feel of the shower. Remember that if you’re tiling somewhere you are likely to sit, such as in a miniature sauna or shower room, the tiling should be larger and possibly incorporate a curved finish. Smaller tiles are more likely to be uncomfortable.

If style and design is your prime concern, think about tiling your shower area with two different tiles. This could be two different types of texture or simply a varied selection of colour. You could even go for some glass mosaics to give you more flexibility when creating unique shower room design ideas.

A final tip for your shower tiling project would be to choose carefully when going for mosaic tiles. You shouldn’t just rely on the gluey substance on the back of mosaics as they can quite easily slip. Contact between the back board and the mosaic tile is essential and leads to a seamlessly stunning installation.

 

Once you’ve got hold of your natural stone tiles from our broad selection here at the Stone Tile Emporium, you might either be looking forward to or dreading the prospect of having to actually install them. Whatever your views are on this type of DIY, the National Development Minister in Singapore believes that robots could make tiling floors “four times as efficient”.

In a blog post back in May, Khaw Boon Wan stated that he felt tiling was “one of the most labour-intensive processes in construction” and it could be enhanced and improved with the inclusion of robotics. With many companies based in East Asia looking into the prospect of incorporating robots into their industrial work, tiling could be the next on the list.

So how would robots actually carry out the tiling job? Mr Wan went on to explain that robots could carry out the labour-intensive aspects of the job, whilst we as humans could contribute by carrying out higher-precision tasks such as grouting or cutting odd-sized tiles. Researchers at the Singapore-Eth Centre Future Cities Laboratory believe that robots could potentially lay tiles two or three times faster than humans.

The questions is, should these robots become commercially available, could they benefit anything other than open plan living spaces with large surface areas? We are interested to get your feedback on this interesting story, so have your say in the comments section below.

The Stone Tile Emporium specialises in tile installation, and can carry out work both inside and outside your property.

This stunning work below was completed by one of our professional fitters for a designer’s new house. The client was interested in having matching stone in the same style throughout the downstairs of his property, which would then continue out to form a patio.

Our team was able to create seamless lines by joining the two sections. This beautiful look provides an elegant running flow out through the large glass doors.

designers house

Our installation service

This is a fantastic example of the brilliant work that our installation team can produce for you. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable tilers and stone fitters would be delighted to help you with your stone tile project.

We have expertise working with virtually every type of tile, ranging from ceramic and porcelain through to stunning natural stone. Additionally, we can provide electric underfloor heating and a range of other services to ensure that you get the perfect tile flooring.

To learn more about the range of tiles we provide, as well as our high-quality fitting service, please get in touch with the team at The Stone Tile Emporium today.

Archerfield Limestone Tile Floor In Cosy Seating Area

We thought it would be a good idea to remind you of some of the benefits of having natural stone tiles as part of your interior design plan, especially as the summer holidays often go hand in hand with various household construction projects. If you’ve considered making the most of our vast natural stone range here at the Stone Tile Emporium for parts of your property, here are some of the reasons why it’s such a popular alternative to other forms of flooring.

Appearance

Artisans - Kit Stone Clifton

Stone Tiles offer a wide variety of different styles and finishes and promote a unique elegance and luxury which can’t be replicated by any other type of tiling or flooring. Stone tiling is different every time, so you also know that no one else in the world has the style you’ve gone for! It is a classy, high quality alternative to carpets and wooden flooring, whilst it also has a historic demeanour with various fossils shaped over millions of years often still visible in the stone.

Maintenance

Tile fitting and installation services hero image

Stone Tiles need to be sealed before and after their installation. Once you do this, you don’t have to treat them again for up to two years.  They are extremely easy to look after and the sealing procedure isn’t as difficult as it sounds either.

Atmospheric

Porcelain tiles gallery image 1 - MUD_Bestone porcelain

Stone Tiles are great all year round as they can help cope with both the hotter and colder seasons. However, Stone Tiles create a sense of warmth wherever they are used, so during the winter with the addition of a warm, cosy fire, you’ll certainly feel a lot more comfortable surrounded by some beautiful stone tiles.

Marble Tiles Gallery Image - Original Style Earthworks Viano White polished marble and Nero Polished Marble

We’ve all experienced the ups and downs of carrying out DIY work and installing new stone flooring or wall tiling is probably one of the most common DIY jobs that you’ll come across. There are always questions that need answering when tiling, so we’ve decided to put together a few FAQ’s for those of you who are seeking out some helpful tiling advice or information. Three questions will be answered each week, so keep an eye on our blog over the coming weeks!

Q. Is it safe to drill through my bathroom tile installation?

A. Yes. However, it all comes down to what your tiles are made from. If they are thin and ceramic, a cheap drill bit is all you need to carry out the job. Porcelain tiles on the other hand require small diamond drill bits and can be much more difficult to start.

Q. Can tiles stick to plywood?

A. Plywood is quite a common bathroom material, though it must be thick enough to not be affected by regular changes in temperature. You will need a latex based bonding solution rather than standard PVA solutions to get tiles to stick to Plywood.

Q. Do I have to seal my natural stone tiling?

A. Yes. Natural stone isn’t porous so you’ll have to carry out a grouting procedure. Once the grout has been left to dry, it should become waterproof. Grouting doesn’t have a significant effect on the look of your natural stone tiles, so don’t worry too much about this.

Download our natural stone tile guideClick Here