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Home Uncategorised Stone or tile – which is best for the bathroom?


With so many different floor tile finishes available, it can be difficult to choose – but if you’re looking for a bathroom, it’s a little easier. There are lots of practical aspects to consider and this can help narrow things down in terms of material and finish.  In our latest journal, we compare the features and benefits of porcelain and natural stone.


Porcelain and ceramic tiles

Bathroom tiles are generally made from ceramic or porcelain.  Porcelain is harder, denser and less porous than ceramic, so it’s a better option for the bathroom, especially for flooring.  Alongside more traditional plain and patterned tiles, there’s also a vast array of very realistic natural effects.  These include wood, stone, cement, concrete and marble-effects.  Tiles are offered in many different sizes, thicknesses and finishes, from smooth polished surfaces to textured matt tiles.  In the bathroom, a textured matt finish like our Urban textured stone-effect is the most practical option, as it provides good grip underfoot.


Material: Porcelain floor tiles offer many practical benefits. As well as being robust, their lower porosity makes them more resistant to stains.  Tiles can be laid seamlessly from walls to floors, throughout wet areas and shower cubicles, and they make an ideal partner to underfloor heating.


Treatment & ongoing maintenance:  Matt porcelain tiles don’t need to be sealed, although application of a barrier treatment can be beneficial if the tile has a very textured surface, making removal of fixing residues easier. For ongoing cleaning, we recommend a pH-neutral detergent.  Although porcelain can tolerate a more heavy-duty solution, it will remove the risk of cleaning solution damaging/etching more sensitive surfaces, like natural stone and stainless steel.


Stone flooring

Stone floor tiles can be made of many different materials, including travertine, slate, limestone and marble. Like porcelain, stone is hardwearing and is a great surface option for a bathroom floor.  Tiles are offered in many styles, shades and formats – from intricate mosaics to majestic flagstones – as well as different surface finishes.  Textured or brushed limestone tiles, like our Heritage Brushed design, are especially suitable for bathroom floors as they provide grip and can be laid throughout.


Material:  Whilst stone is dense and durable, it can be porous, so it is more susceptible to staining. It’s colouring or ‘patina’ will also mellow over time.  But, if you’re looking for a genuine natural tile, a stone floor is the authentic choice.  Like porcelain, it can be laid over underfloor heating for extra warmth and comfort.


Treatment & ongoing maintenance:  Stone tiles will need to be sealed after installation and periodically going forward, depending on wear. This is generally carried out with a water-based impregnating sealant, which will protect the floor without changing its appearance or creating a surface film.  Tiles should also be cleaned with a pH-neutral detergent, to protect the natural stone and any sealant applied.








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