Everything You Need to Know About Tile Materials6 September 2021
Artisans of Devizes’ Creative Lead, Grazzie Wilson, shares her top tips on choosing the right material for your project
At Artisans of Devizes, we like to think of ourselves as experts in natural stone. We sell a huge variety of limestone, sandstone, terracotta, marble and slate – each truly unique and sourced from quarries all over the world. We also have a wonderful selection of porcelain, ceramic and encaustic tiles too, so there is sure to be something to suit your next project.
Natural stone is very versatile. It works well in so many areas, but we see it mostly in hallways, on staircases, in kitchens and living spaces, bathrooms, wine rooms, basements, pools surrounds and terraces. The beauty of natural stone is that it becomes lived-in and ages beautifully. If you are looking for something truly timeless then natural stone is a great choice.
When selecting a natural stone, it’s important to think about how the space is going to be used. Is it a high traffic commercial space, a slick apartment or a country home? Who will be using the space? And what is the lifestyle of the user? Sometimes a minimalist look is required for a contemporary space and a clean and consistent coloured stone will be required. On the other hand, if it’s a family home and there is a lot of activity with socialising and entertaining, cooking and family, sports and pets, then a more characterful floor with fossil content, texture and tonal variation will withstand the most active of lifestyles.
As well as natural stone, we also offer a wonderful selection of porcelain tiles. If you are looking for something ultra-contemporary or a material that emulates the look of natural stone but with little or no maintenance, porcelain is a great option. Think about the look and feel, the slip-rating – especially if it’s going into a kitchen or bathroom – as well as where it is going to be laid, as porcelains for interiors cannot always be used externally.
That goes for all tiles. If the product is for an outside space, check if it is weatherproof and slip resistant. If it is for the interior, is it suitable for heavy foot traffic. Also, does it need sealing regularly or is it light enough to be used as a wall covering? Your client may fall in love with a particular product but it is essential to check its practicality for the intended space.
Consider maintenance, too. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are typically wipe-clean and easy to care for, which is why they are great options for both walls and floors. Natural stone will need sealing to ensure that the surface is protected. This is mostly in the form of an impregnator, which fills the pores in the stone to make it impermeable to stronger colours penetrating it. Lay the floor, seal it then recommend that your customer looks after it by vacuuming and washing and it will withstand the most robust of lifestyles.