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Wood or Stone? How to Choose the Right Natural-Look Flooring

Whether it is the real thing or effect, natural-look flooring is always a popular choice and a great look for your home. It rarely looks dated, combines simplicity with elegance and fits well with both minimalist chic and more homely interiors. Plus if you opt for natural effect flooring it is far easier to keep clean than most alternatives. The main choices with natural-look flooring are wood and stone – but how do you choose between the two? Here are a few points you need to think about when making your choice.

What is the purpose of the room?

What is the room used for most, and how would your flooring choice fit with that use? Wood is a great ‘all-rounder’ and particularly good for rooms designed for relaxing such as the living room or bedroom, as the warm tone of most woods adds a sense of cosiness to the room. If using the real thing, however, beware of using it in rooms where it is likely to get wet (such as the bathroom) due to the risk of warping, or very dirty (such as the kitchen) as it can be hard to clean.

Stone can be trickier to incorporate into your interior, especially as real stone flooring is very cold to touch. While this issue can be avoided by choosing stone effect, the overall impression is still of coolness so it is generally best kept for more ‘functional’ rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom or utility room.

What ambience are you going for?

Think about what mood you are trying to strike in the room. If you want a cosy, rustic feel then the warm tones of wood, especially a rich oak, will really add to the effect. If your tastes are more contemporary or cutting edge, stone flooring gives a crisp and minimalist feel, especially darker tones like slate.

Dark wood can combine both comfort and style, and can even create a sense of stately sophistication when set against luxurious furnishings and walls.

What furniture and fixtures are in the room?

It’s important to think about the balance of textures in a room. Be wary of ‘wood overkill’ – all-wood interiors are very hard to pull off without looking like a log cabin! Also if you have various different types or tones of wood in your furniture and fittings then finding a wood floor to complement all of these may be hard to achieve.

Stone can create a pleasant contrast and break up the effect of lots of wooden furniture. Choosing a stone with ‘woody’ tones is the key here as this will complement your furniture while still bringing in a new element.

If your furniture and fixtures are mainly painted or covered, however, wood can be a great way to bring in a natural vibe. Think about the palette of your room to find a tone a of wood that will best match it, whether that’s a chic black to tie in with a monochrome décor or a warmer tone to complement more homely interiors.

What is the flooring like in the adjoining rooms?

When thinking about this aspect, you need to decide how you want your new flooring to relate to its surroundings. Do you want to create a natural flow from one room to the next, or do you prefer to keep different spaces clearly delineated?

If you opt for the former, is it possible to match up the flooring between rooms? This can be harder than it sounds, especially with natural flooring as tones can vary so much. If your new flooring is just a shade out from what’s in the adjoining room, it can interrupt the flow and look a bit haphazard. You could avoid this by opting for the same type of flooring but a strikingly different tone.

If you want to keep the flooring in your rooms completely different, think about how you will handle the transition. The best transitions are sympathetic, not only to the colours in other flooring, but also to any walls, fixtures or furniture in the area. For inspiration on how to create a smooth transition from room to room check out this article with some stunning ideas.

Wood and stone are both great choices for your floor, and with careful thought about the use, mood and furnishing of your room and surrounding rooms you can find a natural-look floor that is perfect for your décor.