The insider guide to beautiful, durable flooringEditor
The insider guide to beautiful, durable flooring
So, you want to create a floor that’s beautiful and durable, but it can be easier said than done, what with all of the different types of materials to choose from these days.
Many people whittle down the various options to natural stone or porcelain. However, while the appeals of natural stone may be obvious, it’s not always necessarily the best option for beautiful, durable flooring. Yes, it’s naturally beautiful, hard-wearing and the fact it’s sourced from the ground does make it somewhat intrinsically appealing. But hold that thought, as it does have its limitations.
Natural stone v porcelain
While it may be very hard-wearing, natural stone does slowly wear over time which means that after many years of heavy duty use, you’ll start to notice wear patches in the finish. Porcelain will take decades of the same heavy traffic before wear is noticeable. Natural stone is also porous, which means it’s susceptible to staining and weathering, so don’t expect it to look the same as it did when you first purchased it several years down the line.
Porcelain, on the other hand, is even harder than natural stone, which means it hardly wears at all, even if it’s been exposed to extreme conditions for decades. And unlike natural stone, it’s unporous and virtually stain-proof plus, it doesn’t fade, stain or weather, meaning the flooring you lay today, will look exactly the same in 20 years’ time. What’s more, quality modern porcelains actually do an extremely good job of replicating natural stone while offering all of the benefits of porcelain (which, coming from natural stone experts, says a lot!)
The chameleon of the stone world
The beauty of porcelain is that it can take almost any print. As a result, manufacturers are now using a large selection of high-resolution textures for tile ranges, which means the natural looks are extremely well replicated. For instance, any granite, marble, limestone, sandstone and basalt, can all be mimicked with a quality printed glazed porcelain tile.
In a league of its own
Porcelain is a fine grade of ceramic that’s made from finer materials. This means it’s fired at higher temperatures than standard earthenwear ceramic to give a harder, more durable end product. In fact, porcelain has such a high compressive strength; it’s widely used for commercial and public buildings, such as hotels, shopping centres, airports and office developments.
While it can often be found in busy, high traffic areas, the quality and finish of porcelain also means that it lends itself well to more refined projects, such as luxury homes, hotel suites and luxury airport lounges.
So there you have it, our expert guide to helping you create beautiful, durable flooring without having to contend with that age-old quandary of choosing between natural stone or porcelain. While there’s always a place for natural stone, there’s no denying the benefits offered by porcelain and it’s ability to provide stunning projects capable of lasting a lifetime.
Do your flooring projects tick all of the right boxes? Read about the commercial building codes and compliance regulations you need to adhere to in our blog, ‘How to deliver compliant commercial flooring projects with the wow factor.’