Floors of Stone Beautiful natural stone flooring. Page 2

Floors of Stone Beautiful natural stone flooring. Page 2

Starecase

I recently returned from a wonderful motorcycle tour of France we stayed at twelve different places in fourteen nights and I found that I spent a lot of my time simply staring at my new surroundings, soaking up the atmosphere (and possibly a little wine).  I spent all winter planning, scouring the internet, trying to find curious and quirky places to stay, then exploring the best biking routes from town to town, as well as taking in points of interest on the way.  I enjoy planning.  A lot.

The great thing about researching online is that you’re never truly prepared for the treasures you discover once you are at a place in person.  As you can see from our website, at Floors of Stone we have an amazing limestone spiral staircase, but until you see it in person you can’t truly appreciate how it makes you gasp as you walk into our showroom:

I think our ‘stonecase’ may have inspired me to take a closer look at all the stairs I came across whilst on holiday and I was amazed at the beauty of the many different styles and materials I saw  — this slender, self-supporting, sweet chestnut staircase in Aubin toned beautifully with the bare plaster walls:

These sweeping limestone stairs and chequerboard quarry tiles were totally in keeping with a grand old house down on the Canal du Midi:

The stairs to our cave suite in Doué-la-Fontaine seemed like a natural extension of the cave itself soft, sculpted tufa (a type of limestone) hewn by hand in the middle ages, the marks from the pick-axes are still easy to see in the walls that are full of fossils and shells:

But my very favourite staircase was this simple, utilitarian, white plastic affair to the south of Bordeaux.  These stairs took us to the very top of the great Dune du Pilat the highest sand dune in Europe both the climb and the view from the top are utterly breath taking.  You can enjoy the stunning panorama of the Atlantic Ocean on one side, a huge pine forest on the other and, on a clear day, the Pyrenees mountains way off in the distance:

I’ve definitely turned into a starecase.

Sleek Silver Honed Travertine

At Floors Of Stone we are constantly adding new products to ensure that we have one of the largest tile ranges so that our customers can find a tile that is perfectly suited to their individual needs. One of our latest additions is the Silver Honed Travertine.

The reason we are getting so excited about this particular tile is because of its versatility, it has been proving extremely popular right across the board, the square formation would fit ideally in a bathroom whereas perhaps you would prefer the rectangles in a family room, creating a real statement finish with the 600400 size.

We feel the reason behind this tiles popularity is due to its colour and density. Rich in silvery, cream and taupe tones this tile contains all the current colours that are in vogue in a marbled formation to create a modern sleek finish.

The clean razor sharp finish of this tile, along with the 12mm thickness is making waves with interior designers and architects as it can be wall mounted unlike most of the other leading grey toned tiles found on the market today.

Due to the inclusion of beige hues warmth radiates from this tile, occasional quartz detailing and the stark juxtaposition of dramatically dark greys to gentle dove greys means the versatility and beauty of this tile speak for itself.

The origin of this stone is Turkish which we feel is evident throughout, with the dense heavy marble like formation famous with Turkish marble the density of the tile adds to its luxurious look.

Ranging in price from £34-£37 including VAT our prices are unbeatable, the density of a marble, the sleek finish of a honed limestone yet the price of a travertine, this tile really does have so much to offer and we are confident it will become a best seller along with our Silver Brushed and Silver Tumbled Travertines.

Website Additions

Here at Floors of Stone, customers are our priority. We always take comments of how we can improve our service on board, and where possible, implement changes.

We get a lot of comments about how great our website looks, but some customers felt it was lacking a bit of information. Over the past few weeks we’ve been working hard, to bring about some changes and add useful material.

We’ve added a new, deeper footer with more links, to make it easier to navigate our site. It also contains links to our social media pages, where you can find more pictures, information and inspiration. We went through a few designs, but finally settled on the four columns, which we think looks neat and easy to use.

We’ve also added some new pages to the website, including a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions and delivery information. We’ve introduced these as if you’re new to the world of natural stone, then the terms and conflicting advice can be confusing. This way customers can read and digest the information at their leisure. You are of course still free to call and speak to a member of our knowledgeable sales team or email enquiries, if you would like any clarification.

Underneath each product, we have also added some further information about the type of stone and where you are able to use it. We have also added some images and links to related products, to offer ideas and inspiration of tiles you may not have even considered.

We’re hoping this will make our site even easier for customers to use and offer some much needed information. Let us know what you think!

Remarkable Rustic Multicolour Slate

When customers come to us at Floors of Stone, the dominant characteristic being looked for is to have a stone floor tile that makes a statement, this definitely is the case with our timeless Rustic Multicolour Slate tiles.

When investing in a stone floor people tend to want to have a tile that makes a statement, in the correct setting it is hard to disagree that the Rustic Multicolour Slate can turn a room into a real focal point of the home. The dramatic riven surface, in conjunction with the firey, copper tones make this particular slate one of our most popular, it is also one of our least expensive tiles so it need not break the bank when purchasing.

As always we enjoy sharing the final projects of customers and we have had multiple customers’ kind enough to send across photos demonstrating the Rustic Multicolour Slate in situ.

Such a dominant, dramatic tile tends to be very popular in rustic, shaker style kitchens where the combination of the tiles and kitchen combine to give a timeless classical finish. The Opus pattern can heighten the rustic appeal or perhaps you would prefer the very bold 600900 flagstone effect tiles.

The birth of The Sox Pistols

As a youth, I had a standard pair of roller skates that strap to your shoes and adjust as your feet grow, but my feet grew a little too much… so I graduated to a beautiful pair of burgundy roller boots with yellow wheels and colourful go-faster stripes and I skated and skated and skated until one of my wheels fell off and I got a BMX instead.  Well, it was the eighties.  Fast forward to last summer and imagine my excitement when I discovered that a brand new roller derby team was about to be launched in Loughborough and were looking for new recruits.  A full contact sport, predominantly played by women, roller derby is a fantastic way to exercise, socialise, learn new skills, challenge yourself, whizz around on eight wheels and indiscriminately knock people down – what could possibly be better?  I signed up immediately!

We’ve come a long way since those first, faltering, steps and it’s been an exhilaratingly sweaty journey so far – learning how to fall and turn and hit and jump and skate backwards and weave and block and jam and whip and work as a pack, trying really hard to overcome our innate politeness and not apologise when we deliberately knock each other down.  I have far surpassed the skill levels of my youthful skating and my enthusiasm is still much greater than my expertise, but it was only when I enthusiastically broke three ribs that I realised how some things (like bouncing) just don’t improve with age.  So, I am trying to rein in my exuberance a little and concentrate on my all-round stability and skills by skating outdoors, just like a kid again…except I now get to have a beer en route!

Which layout should I choose?

Floors of Stone are pleased to offer a wide range of natural stone tiles which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and patterns. This can sometimes cause customers to question which layout they should choose so we are here to try and help.

Our Light Tumbled Travertine tiles are hugely popular in our opus pattern, a combination of 4 different size tiles that when laid create, what appears to be a random pattern. This is effective in breaking up large areas and creates a more rustic look.

Above is our Country Mix Tumbled Travertine laid out in the standard opus pattern and below we have the Dijon Tumbled Limestone laid out in the grand opus pattern. The grand opus pattern is the based on the same pattern but with larger tiles so works well in large open spaces. The Dijon is currently being installed outside at our new showroom located at Cotes Mill, Loughborough where our sister company deVOL kitchens is also based.

If the opus pattern is not for you or you find you would prefer the more traditional method of laying the stone then we do sell limestone tiles, slate tiles and sandstone tiles in a free length (FL) or random length (RL) pattern. This pattern means the tiles are a set width, however the length of the stone tiles vary in size. We find that our Umbrian Limestone and Worn Grey Limestone sell particularly well in the free length sizes and below you can see how our Tumbled Antiqued Ash Limestone looks, as laid at the entrance to our new showrooms.

If you desire a more modern feel from your stone floor rather than a traditional flagstone look then you can always lay the tiles in straight lines with narrow joints between them. This creates a clean, sharp and crisp look from the tiles which can make you floor look contemporary. Natural stone tiles with a square edge are the best to create this look and below you can see how a square edged tile in the Ivory Travertine can make a floor look clean and precise.

Another option to consider when laying your natural stone tiles is a brick bond pattern and we have chosen to do this in our new showroom. We have used the Light Jerusalem Tumbled Limestone in a 600x900mm size and have laid them slightly off with one another to create an unregimented look. This pattern can work with any size or shape of tile, whether it is a travertine tile in a 457x305mm size or a marble in a 600x600mm size.

The important thing is there is no right or wrong way and most people favour different looks to suit their individual requirements. Discussing your project in further detail with us allows us to offer advice on what tends to be popular in specific environments and if we have any customer photos on file we are happy to share these with you.

Dublin

Last week I went on a city break to the exciting city of Dublin. The atmosphere is amazing, especially if you find yourself wandering down Temple Bar in the evening. There’s Guinness a plenty and the sound of traditional Irish music wafting from every pub you pass.

We visited the Guinness Storehouse, the 360⁰ view from the top floor was amazing; Trinity College; the Natural History Museum and Museum of Archaeology; St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Leprechaun museum! We also squeezed in a visit to Dublin Castle where, I’m sure you’ll have guessed by now if you’re an avid reader of our blog, I was a stone bore!

I embarrassed my long suffering boyfriend by pointing out EVERYTHING that was made using natural stone (sad I know). There was some beautiful furniture throughout the castle. My particular favourites were these marble topped side tables. The detail and beauty of the marble was still evident, even after years of being in place, and it was set off perfectly by the elaborately carved gold leaf legs.

I also spotted these Basalt carvings in the Wedgewood room. They had been created from Black Basalt by John Flaxman – a Yorkshire born sculptor, who worked for Wedgewood for over 12 years.

Next to the castle was the Chapel Royal, a beautiful gothic building made of dark grey calp Limestone. The interior was amazing, with vaulted ceilings, carved oak and a stunning stain glassed window.

Beginners’ ‘look’

I have only recently started working at Floors of Stone and this will be my first blog. I was hoping to share with you all what I call my beginners’ ‘look’ at the world of natural stone.

Ever since my first day here, I have been on one of the steepest learning curves of my life! I had no idea of the vast variation of natural products available. Who knew that the ground beneath our feet was so astonishingly beautiful? I wondered how I would ever learn all of the different natural stone types, colours and finishes, but gradually, with a lot of help and patience from my colleagues (credit where credit’s due!), I have started to get my head around this whole new world. So now I have officially had my eyes opened, I wanted to spread the word about my new stone fancies.

Within two days of working at Floors of Stone, I had chosen my favourites. I love the Polished Quartzite and its slightly more rugged sister Riven Grey Quartzite. These glittery tiles are perfect for a glamorous look and have been described by one of my colleagues as a disco in a tile.

Floors of Stone Beautiful natural stone flooring. Page 2

I have always adored the black and silver contrast, but I had never realised I could have such a stunning stone to blend with my dream contemporary home, that with a bit of luck, I may have in the future.

It’s not just the quartzite that has caught my eye though. I am also very fond of the Black Farmhouse Slate tiles. The luxurious smoothness of the calibrated tiles, mixed with the strong, sturdy and classic appearance boasted by slate, makes these tiles, in my eyes, the ideal candidate for any room, in any house!

If natural stone isn’t ‘your thing’ and you want something a little more uniform but still with an outstanding and eye catching theme, I have found the Metal Porcelain to be a great option. Unlike natural stone, it does not require sealing, but again (yes you’ve guessed it) has the gorgeous unity of black and metallic colours.

Meanwhile, on a slightly less stone-related note, I have been noticing so much progression in our showroom recently. I have seen the convenient slide out display units being installed, the new reception desk being tweaked, the grand spiral staircase (which I must say, is regularly admired when people first enter) being officially completed and the log burning fire being set up to give the showroom a welcoming warmth.

Our Cotes premises are charming as they are in such a natural environment, with a variety of birds lining the river that runs past the old mill building and the doves living in their dovecote in the car park. This makes being here a pleasure, as I have an enormous passion for nature and wildlife and, twinned with the classy, sophisticated, yet still practical, showroom, customers find that even if they have travelled far to visit, they are never disappointed by what they see. If you are able to make it over here, it will definitely be worth your while, as you can see the surrounding area, whilst getting to see our tiles at their best.

‘The Apple Store of Stone Flooring’

Here at Floors of Stone we are settling in to our new home and enjoying watching things progress and take shape around us.

We have been at Cotes Mill for 7 weeks now and things have changed quite drastically since my last blog on 20 th February. We have been working on the external areas to make the building look more inviting and ‘open’ as we still have workmen onsite.

We have used Tumbled Antiqued Ash Limestone to landscape the external entrance area of the mill and have planted an array of trees, lavender and rosemary plants to make the building more welcoming. The Tumbled Antiqued Ash Limestone is a light grey, tumbled natural stone and has been installed in the 500mm x free length pattern which gives a traditional flagstone look. This limestone can be used for internal and external applications making it a very popular choice for those looking for a practical stone running from an internal living area out on to a patio area.

Once you walk through the glazed entrance doors you are welcomed into our new showroom which now boasts wall displays of 31 of our most popular travertine, limestone, marble and slate tiles. We also have display tables and units housing display tiles of every product that we offer, including our basalt, quartzite and porcelain range. Each display is clearly labelled with the different available size options and prices, allowing you to browse at your leisure. Our staff are all on hand to offer advice and assistance and we also have free samples which you can take away with you.

The showroom is getting great feedback from visitors who are stunned by the beautiful limestone staircase and impressed by the traditional features such as the water wheel. ‘The Apple Store of Stone Flooring’ is my favourite comment so far. The large open plan space means customers can stand back and admire the wall displays and the freestanding tiles can be moved around allowing comparisons to be made with the wall displays, or moved to see the stone in different light which is proving very helpful.

The limestone staircase is now complete with its beautiful handmade wooden rail. One of deVOL’s very experienced carpenters; Ben Creed was given the task of creating and producing the handrail. He made each spindle with a spoke shave and the hand rail itself was made in situ by laminating thin strips of oak onto the top of the spindles. It took him approximately 3 weeks but I hope you agree the result is beautiful.

We have also fitted a wood burning stove in the showroom giving it a more homely feel along with a 25ft Olive tree which gives an added air of opulence to the room. All of this before you even pass through the second set of doors into the kitchen and antique showrooms to view more and more interesting items.

Why I’m adopting an Elephant!

I’m writing my blog post today alas not on a tiling matter, but a matter that has been on my mind none-the-less.

Recently I’ve been becoming more worldly! As my colleagues will tell you, my geographic knowledge of the globe leaves something to be desired at times.

On my world expanding knowledge journey (aka looking at the world on google maps). I have sparked an interest in elephants!

They are incredible animals, that travel in herds and like us have strong family ties and they are the largest land-living mammal in the world. They can live up to 70 years old, and are the only mammal in the world that can’t jump. Elephants can snorkel under water using their trunks to breathe and spend up to 16-18 hours per day eating (I wish I could!). They have advanced emotional understanding and express a varied range of emotion in deep intensities.

Unfortunately, due to poaching numbers are threatened, so it is for this reason that I have decided to adopt a baby elephant.

Not only are they one of the cutest baby animals ever:

But they are also playful:

And like most little things, they love a bit of fuss off their parents (something I’m sure my poor mother can empathise with):

So I thought, well why not? I have chosen a beautiful orphanage and a little one to sponsor! They will send me regular updates about his progress and from his profile I can already tell he’s a little cheeky character!

I can’t wait to let the family know that we have a new family member (sort of!) we may or may not have them for tea, a 16-18 hour banquet may be too long…even for me!


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