Natural stone comes in a surprising range of colours, from the almost black of slate through various shades of grey, to brown, beige, ivory and classic white, with surface features including staining, cracking and the growth variations induced by the intrusion of water or pebbles. The Burlington range, for example, is based on natural limestone quarried for centuries in the Lake District, and has these subtle surface features faithfully reproduced from the original stone.
The British Travertino range is likewise based on limestone, specifically the Italian variety known as Travertine. The unique characteristics of this material were much favoured by architects in the 16th and 17th centuries for monumental constructions, including the Vatican, as its subtle colour variations and naturally occurring ripple effects give this stone a fascinating individuality.
Trending fashions in interior design are featuring metro-style designs, going back to the basics of the tiled walls you used to find in the underground. These small format wall tiles usually come in matt ceramic limestone effects such as those in the Towerstone range, or a high gloss ceramic finish such as the stylish Calx tile, but for a truly unusual variation there are the rustic brick effects found in the Muralla, or 'little wall' range.
Contemporary Stone Effect tiles also come in a wide range of sizes, from the small subway style tiles above to the medium sized glazed porcelain squares and decor styles of the Sunset range. Then there are the large floor squares and wall plank tiles you can find in the Eterna or the Imperial range, with its elegant polished marble effects, or the sensational high gloss Lounge collection.
For an even more striking design statement, many tile collections are now featuring decor and mosaic options. Try the straight Shutter tile in the Sunset collection, or the rustic split-face stone effect of the Strata Range. For bathrooms and wet areas you can heighten the wavy effect with the 3D decor tiles in the Sovereign collection or the gentle ripples of the Armony range.
Patchworks and mosaics are a fascinating way to individualise your home, where you can mix and match tiles to create your own unique designs. Some collections also have their own featured mosaic styles, including the popular strip mosaics, which are assembled in narrow layers of varying depths and lengths, such as those in the Sovereign or Crossover ranges. Others offer composite square mosaics, where a number of small squares are outlined on one larger square tile, such as you will find in the Eterna collection or in the beautiful contrasting greys of the Silverstone range.
With all the wide variety available in Stone Effect tiles, every design parameter can be met with ease and style, for yesterday's style at today's prices.