Your burning questions, answered. Over the past three decades, we have found our clients share a number of the same stone-related wonderings. So, here, we have gathered them all and detailed our expert advice. And if there is something we have missed, or if you would rather discuss your question in more detail, our stone and tile specialists are always at the other end of the phone.
What is the difference between natural stone & porcelain and which is better?
Nowadays, there is a huge choice of different floor tiles available, but natural stone and porcelain are among the most aesthetically pleasing options. It can be difficult to choose between the two, so we have put together a helpful guide to help you decide here.
What is the best material for a kitchen worktop?
Artisans of Devizes offers a range of beautiful stone worksurfaces including granite, marble. limestone and Intelligent Stone, which is manmade. All are suitable for a kitchen workshop but there are always considerations that should be made when choosing. Read our guide for more information.
Can I use Terracotta outside?
We would not recommend using Terracotta outside in the UK, due to the risk of cracking.
Why does my stone look slightly different to the website images?
Stone is a natural material with its own unique characteristics, so although we always try to show the most accurate representation of our stone products there will always be variations. We think that this is the beauty if natural stone – that two pieces are never the same.
Where does your stone come from?
We source our stone directly from specialist quarries in the UK & Europe.
What colour grout should I use for my stone and/or tile?
Grout colour is very important as it can make such a difference to the overall look of the floor or wall. Although very much a personal choice, we would always recommend choosing a colour that blends with the stone or tile, so that you are focusing on the tiles not the grout joints. However dependent on the tile you use, there are grout colours available to make the area more of a feature.
What does the slip rating of a stone/tile mean?
Most tiles are assigned a slip rating and based on this rating you can assume which tiles are suitable for your project, for example, a high-slip resistant tile is suitable for a wet environment or external environment where the risk of slipping is greater. There are two different ways slip testing is done with some materials having a PTV rating and some a R rating.
What are PTV / R ratings?
PTV stands for pendulum test value, which essentially measures how slippery a floor surface is when a foot comes in contact with it. PTV also calculates slip-resistance. It is measured with a pendulum that mimics a shoe on a surface. The results will determine the PTV or R rating and thus the suitability of the tile, for example:
PTV 11 - 18 (R9) - low friction. Suitable for dry internal domestic floors such as kitchens, dining areas and hallways.
PTV 18 - 34 (R10) - medium friction. Suitable for internal domestic floors subject to occasional wetting, such as bathrooms.
PTV 34 - 51 (R11) - high friction. Suitable for external areas such as patios, walkways, dressing rooms and pool surrounds.
What does rectified and non-rectified materials mean?
Rectified applies to porcelain or ceramic tiles that are cut to size after the firing process. Rectified tiles are ‘dimensionally stable’ and will exhibit little variation in size of tiles from one production run. Non-rectified applies to porcelain or ceramic tiles that are not cut to size after the firing process. The firing process then causes expected shrinkage and warpage. Because of this greater variation in size between tiles should be expected than with a rectified tile.
What is the difference between a crack and a fissure with natural stone?
A crack is a broken piece of material, which is most of the time, chipped, uneven or separated and is usually the result of man-made stresses. A fissure is a thin line of mineral veining which normally contrasts with the base colour of the stone and so can be mistaken for a crack in the tile. One way to help distinguish between the two is by running your fingernail across the surface, when doing this across a fissure your nail should glide over smoothly as a fissure doesn’t change the surface of your stone top, when running your fingernail over a crack, your nail will not glide smoothly as there will be a noticeable unevenness.
Do you offer trade discounts?
Yes! We offer discounts to Interior Designers, Architects, Building Contractors, Developers, Landscape & Pool Designers and Tiling Contractors. Contact us for more information or sign up for a Trade Account [insert link when ready].
Do you do training or CPDs?
Our Project Consultants are experts in natural stone and tiles and are happy to visit you in your studio to help with training as well as CPDs. Email us for more details.
Are you able to provide samples?
We would be delighted to send you swatch or full sized samples or bring them to you at your studio. If you are in a rush, you can order up to six free cut tile samples from our website.
Our Bespoke Service
What is your Bespoke Service?
Our Bespoke Service allows us to tailor make basins, shower trays, staircase treads and anything else you require to your individual specifications. Find out more about our Bespoke Service here.
Where is your Bespoke Workshop?
Our Bespoke Workshop is based at our Head Office in Devizes, Wiltshire.
Can I see the slabs before I purchase?
Yes, you can see all our stocked slabs at our stone yard in Devizes. If we are sourcing a slab for you, we will be able to supply photographs for your approval.
Do you come to site to template?
To ensure your bespoke design is as precise as possible, we can either work with your own technical drawings or arrange for one of our experts to visit to laser template the area. Should you prefer to use our templating team, be sure to read our predatory document here.
Do you supply bespoke stone for pools?
Yes, we are experienced in fabricating stone for pool surrounds and exterior areas.
How long does a Bespoke order take?
Depending on the size of the project we can produce bespoke orders in as little as 3-4 Weeks.
What if I can’t see quite what I’m looking for?
If the slabs in our stone yard are not quite right, then our experienced purchasing team can recommend and source other options from their network of quarries.
Is my order in stock and how do you take payment?
You can check stock on our individual product pages online and add to basket. We can also advise on stock and take payment over the phone or via email. You can contact us on 02033 029996 and email@example.com.
How can I make sure I order the right amount?
We recommend allowing an extra 10% for cuts and breaks and there is a handy tile calculator on all our product pages to make sure you order enough for your space.
Do you have a showroom?
We have three showrooms in the UK, in Hampshire, Devizes and London.
Look at our Showroom Pages for more information on location and opening hours.
You can view our understanding document here.
Delivery & Returns
How long will my tiles take to arrive?
If in stock, we aim to deliver within 3-4 working days from order.
How are my tiles going to be delivered?
You can find all of our delivery information here.
What do I do if I have some broken tiles?
Please report any damages within 3 working days to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will aim to deliver replacements within 2 working days if required.
What if I have changed my mind?
We accept returns up to 30 days, provided they are unused and in their original packaging. We are unable to accept returns of clearance lines or bespoke, made to order items. You can find all of our returns information here.
How can I return my tiles?
You can find all of our returns information here.
Can I collect?
Yes, you can collect from our Melksham warehouse with 48 hours notice.
Our collection address is:
Sarsen Stone Group,
Bowerhill Industrial Estate
Do you deliver outside of the UK?
For all export orders, please contact us for international shipping rates at email@example.com
How should I unpack and store my order?
We recommend checking your order within 24 hours of delivery for any damages and to keep them covered and dry until installation.
Do you install?
We have a list of recommended installers that you can find here.
How should I cut my tiles?
Tiles should always be installed by a dedicated professional who is used to dealing with these products due to different materials needing different care, tools to cut, and installation. Natural stone and tiles can be cut using a diamond blade – ideally a water-cooled machine. Some porcelain, glass and ceramic tiles can be cut with a scribe and break type cutter. Tiles which are extremely thin, require various specialist tools due to having less surface tension, such as glass cutters and manual tile cutters, along with a tile cutter ruler. A specialist frame used alongside a hand-held angle grinder may also be required.
Sealing & Maintenance
Do I have to seal all natural stone and how often?
All natural stone products need sealing and care. For a more complete guide, read our article on How to care for your Natural Stone floor | Artisans of Devizes.
Do I have to seal my outdoor stone?
When it comes to exterior stone tiles you should use a water-based sealer, according to Aidan. You can clean exterior stone tiles by pressure washing them, but it will affect the sealer. Let it dry out for a few days, make sure the temperature is above 5 degrees and then apply another coat of water-based sealer.
Do I need to seal porcelain?
No, you do not have to seal porcelain product.
Can marble be restored if I spill red wine?
With any spills, aim to clean up as soon as possible as usually you can avoid any damage if the product is sealed. If your marble becomes dull or etched over time then it can be restored back to its original finish.
What product do you recommend to clean your stone floors?
We recommend our Clean and Sheen products, which include a little sealant to clean your natural stone floors.
Terms and Conditions
You can read all our Terms and Conditions here: Terms and conditions | Artisans of Devizes | Artisans of Devizes