What about natural stone tiles?
If you hanker after a high-end, luxurious look, natural stone tiles are an ideal fit. However, they tend to cost more than porcelain tiles and you may have to spend a little more on maintenance.
Although naturally hardwearing, all natural stone is porous to varying degrees so requires sealing when they are installed. “In order to preserve the surface, the use of specialist cleaning and maintenance products, such as stone-specific sealants, cleaning solutions and grout protector, is recommended,” says Sian.
Top tips to tile installation
When equipped with the right tools and knowledge, you can lay your own tile Flooring Tools and save money in the process. “If you’re not confident and feel as though it isn’t something you can dedicate the time to doing or to master properly, then consider hiring a professional flooring installer who will be able to get the job done efficiently and to a high standard,” advises Sian.
Visit your local tile retailer if you need help finding a trusted installer, as it is likely they will have a list of professionals they work with and can recommend. You can also visit websites such as Rated People that provide information about a variety of tradesmen and tilers around the UK.
“When it comes to picking your tiler, make sure you do your homework by interviewing and getting quotes from different people. It’s important you ask to see a portfolio of their work to get an idea of their capabilities and skill set and, while photos are great, they can be deceiving, so make sure you view at least one of their previous tiling jobs in person,” recommends Sian.
If you decide to install the floor yourself, you need to allow plenty of time to plan the project in detail, with a particular focus on layout and design. Just as when you are making your product choice, spend time researching what tools and materials you need, as well as how to lay a tile properly. “Be sure to make the most of available resources. Watching video tutorials on how to prepare, tile and finish a floor, are all helpful tools. Or why not practice tiling on a scrap piece of plasterboard before starting on your floor? After all, practice makes perfect,” adds Sian.
The virtues of vinyl flooring
Vinyl has come a long way since the seventies, when it was seen as a cheap option. “Technological advances mean it is a durable as well as a practical choice,” agrees Victoria Hemelaer, product manager at Leoline. “These advances, combined with increased research and development spend, mean vinyl manufacturers generally offer great diversity in looks. Compared to wood or laminate companies, we have a very blank canvas!”
Vinyl comes in two formats: sheet or luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), the difference being that sheet vinyl comes in rolls (similar to carpet), while vinyl tiles are smaller and slot together.