Stone. It’s classic, durable and a real statement maker. We’ve been building with stone since, well, the stone age and it’s remained a really popular flooring choice for centuries thanks to its beauty and durability. Even so, a lot of the time stone just isn’t quite what it’s all cracked up to be.
It can be cold, seriously expensive and really uncomfortable underfoot. This can make you feel just a little bit stuck. You want that beautiful stone-floored kitchen or hallway of your dreams, but forking out all that money for something that slowly kills your feet? Well, it’s just not worth it.
There is another way. Stone effect vinyl is a great way for you to get the beautiful look and feel of real stone, without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll look into why you should be considering stone effect vinyl, as well as how to really maximise the impact of the material in your home.
Why choose vinyl over the real deal?
We’ve briefly checked into the main reasons you might opt for stone lookalikes rather than the real deal, but let’s get into the nitty-gritty; this is why you should choose high-quality vinyl over stone.
It’s obvious but important to recognise – stone is a hard material. Even softer stones like marble or slate will still punish your feet after a while despite being ‘soft’. This is especially true if you’re thinking of installing stone into a room with heavy foot traffic like the kitchen. Standing on flagstones all day long was reserved for medieval scullery maids – there’s a reason we moved on from it.
On the other hand, going for some luxury vinyl tiling is much comfier. Your feet will certainly thank you for it. Plus, if used in a room with breakable objects, anything landing on the floor is a lot less likely to smash on vinyl – compared with stone where even the smallest fall can lead to obliterated plates.
It’s true that certain stone flooring will retain heat, but that’s the exception, not the rule. Stone tends to stay cool even in the hottest weather, which is why it provides a lovely cooling sensation in Spanish holiday homes or ancient Roman villas. Unfortunately, in the UK, the weather isn’t quite cut out for it. Of course, underfloor heating is always an option, but it can be pricey, especially when added on to the initial cost of buying and installing stone.
Stone effect vinyl once again offers a better option. Luxury vinyl will sit at room temperature when fitted on a wooden base; already much warmer than the option of natural stone. When it does get a little colder, high-quality vinyl such as Amtico is also a fantastic material for use with underfloor heating, thanks to its 2.5mm of conductive material. Talk about toasty.
It’s easy to care for and install
Stone flooring is expensive and difficult to install, plus it needs a lot of upkeep to stay in tip-top condition. Stone hardly ever works on a timber sub floor like chipboards or floorboards, and we at Hudson are used to replacing failed installations where this has been tried. This also means that whenever there’s a problem, it’s incredibly difficult to reinstall or change stone flooring, another issue resolved by opting for stone effect vinyl.
On the other hand, laying stone effect vinyl tiles is incredibly straightforward as you need only to lay the tiles down like you would laminate flooring or any other form of vinyl – simple! It’s also not a problem to lay it on timber subfloors. Furthermore, the only upkeep you’ll need to perform is regular sweeping and a damp mop every so often and your LVT will look as good as the day you bought it. Unlike stone, the grouting lines in LVT are not a dirt trap and are entirely vinyl. Cleaning these is incredibly easy.
There’s lots of choice
When it comes to choosing real stone flooring there are a lot of options, from granite to marble and everything in between, there are plenty of options to choose from. Unfortunately, some of these stones just aren’t a viable option due to their difficulty to install, price or simply due to a lack of comfort.
Fortunately, this isn’t a problem with stone effect vinyl. If you love the look of a certain stone, it’s likely to be available, even if authentic stone would be incredibly inconvenient. Modern printing techniques allow stone effect vinyl to represent just about any kind of rock in incredibly high quality.
It’s much cheaper
As we’ve mentioned above, stone flooring can be prohibitively expensive. Carrara marble is one of the finest stones available, and you can expect to pay upwards of £300 p/m2 at the least. High-quality stone effect vinyl won’t be quite as cheap as your grandma’s lino, but it’s certainly a money saver compared with real stone. The Amtico flooring that we supply here at Hudson will set you back between £50 and £70 p/m2 depending on the specific flooring, a much more affordable price.
How to make it look great
When you’re installing stone effect vinyl, there are plenty of ways to make it really pop in the room it’s installed in. Thankfully, due to its versatility, you can install it just about anywhere to give any room a touch of stone.
If you have a more rustic look in your home, consider a lighter stone effect vinyl to counterbalance any dark wooden materials. Alternatively, dark stone such as slate can look great in a more modern home – especially in a kitchen.
Fortunately, high-quality stone effect vinyl is waterproof and scratch resistant, meaning that kitchens and bathrooms are prime locations to install some stone effect vinyl. If you’ve ever wanted that ultra-luxury feel in your bathroom, why not install some marble effect vinyl and live out your Queen of Sheba dreams.
Ultimately, stone effect vinyl will fit into just about any home, giving whatever room it’s laid in a touch of natural luxury, without excessive cost or inconvenience. Get in touch with Hudson Flooring today to discover how stone effect vinyl can benefit your home.