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If you actually have a ceramic tiled floor or perhaps porcelain tiles, you will be aware that they look great and therefore are easy to maintain but if you are thinking about changing the design of your room (or just the flooring), whether it's your kitchen area, bathroom, hallway or conservatory, then no decision is going to be complete without considering natural stone tiles being an option.

You may think your financial allowance won't stretch to gemstone but they are obtainable in a variety of prices so don't discount them until you have checked out what's available. But before thinking about the cost, why can you want to choose natural stone to begin with?

Flooring is a key design element in any home that can set the entire tone of a space, but it is difficult or cheap to replace and often needs to match a variety of styles in the event you decide to change your décor over time. So it's essential for both design and cost consequences that you result in the right choice very first time.

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Natural stone is gorgeous and sturdy with individual characteristics that merely can not be matched by mass-produced porcelain or ceramic tiles, which are all exactly the same and offer no interest to the viewer. Certainly porcelain tiles now are available in "natural stone" effect but these are often poor imitations of the real thing because they do not contain the natural variations and slight imperfections that make natural stone so unique.

But despite the fact that stone tiles are durable, they are doing need good, thorough maintenance and will need to be sealed by having an appropriate sealant after installation. You'll be able to get advice from the reputable supplier about the particular products best suited to various types of stone.

But more to the point than all this may be the look from the tiles and your personal preference about what kind of design statement you want to make. Could it be ultra-contemporary, traditional, rustic or classically understated? All of these selections will influence your choice. Marble is ideal for a classic, luxurious look or slate for the ideal rustic flooring inside a country cottage. Highly polished limestone creates a contemporary feel and some travertine floor tiles manage to combine elegance with a rustic edge. All are impressive.

Be sure to consider the way the hue of the ground will complement your furniture, fittings, accessories and artwork. Pale golden limestone floor tiles are a perfect background for a neutral design scheme or a bolder one using bright colours. However dark slate tiles or black marble will define the design scheme and may imply that other items in a room have to be chosen carefully to avoid the scheme becoming over-dark (or worse, drab and depressing).

But gemstone is flexible and may look wonderful anywhere providing the style and colour is selected carefully to fit your own personal type of interiors. It's really a key element that produces harmony between a number of different rooms.

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