My DH is daft :-) and has a lot of not bothered views about choosing stuff for the house but then there will be certain things he feels really strongly about like taps. And cream tiles. I really like those Marlborough one..may get a sample ,thank you!
Porcelain tiles can be lovely - when we were looking I was very tempted by the marlborough ones (they have quite a decent range). Terracotta is a bit out of fashion now in faviour of limestone but I can definitely say a slightly textured/patterned floor not too light is way more forgiving of crumbs drips and smudges. Porcelain tend to look better/more authentic than ceramic (they are different).
It is daft saying something will look like a hotel reception, of course it will if you have a desk and sofas in it and a uniformed porter but not with kitchen units!
We have very similar set up. We kept wood in living room and hall and traditional slate in the open plan - not the pure black stuff, the stuff with rusty brown running through it in an irregular pattern. We have a black aga and bone painted kitchen. Looks fab. It's actually easy to maintain and very forgiving in terms of dirt, I was put if limestone after we had similar in a rented property and was forever cleaning.
Ohhh I like that limestone. Think DH may consider it too light - he has a horror of it looking like a hotel reception. Have also considered slate too. Am liking the practical advice re mopping - hadn't considered that one! I think I prefer the irregular stone idea rather than glossy as I am obsessive about wanting things looking as new but without the time to keep it as shiny and glossy -so glossy could well make my head implode. QueenMaeve, glossiness aside head imploding in admiration at you with 5 children keeping it glossy are yours ceramic or porcelain? And actually revisiting that glossiness - do you not have to polish them somehow too to stop any streaks? Will consider looking at the Kardean stuff in the showrooms to see in RL as cannot tell from website - thanks for tip.
Our ground floor is all underfloor heated. 2 rooms are wooden. The hall is tiled black and white glossy tiles which are lovely. The rest of the space is tiled in large grey flecked glossy tiles. They are a dream. We have 5 dc, 10 and under so they get lots of abuse. They do not show dirt easily, they wipe clean in an instant with just water and the tiniest drop of cleaner. It is a huge space, but so easily maintained because of the tiles. Also a good tip is to keep your grout lines as thin as you can, as thats the bit that can look dirty
Stone does need more maintenance than ceramic; it will need sealing whereas ceramic won't.
That said, for such a large area I think you would need the irregularity of stone otherwise it might look bland. Don't go for cream in such a large space, you need something with a bit of definition. I'd also look for something mottled - how about like this? for example?
IMO natural stone is nicer than ceramic tiles. Its also less likely to be damaged by dropped pots and pans in the kitchen.
I have a cream rough travertine marble and although its not what I would have put down it works and looks nice. I wouldn't get cream though. Bloody murder to keep clean with dogs and DC DP.
What about slate? My DM had a nice slate in her last house, in the shop it was a pale colour but once varnished it was dark, but with seams of colours in. That was beautiful. Much more practical than a light colour because with the groves in the stone when you mop a muddy floor you just push the mud into the groves .
We are gutting a house and putting in underfloor heating in the downstairs and opening up all the rooms bar the sitting room. We will be having continuous floor tiles from front door, down the hall, through the open plan dining, kitchen and family area (which will open out onto the garden).
Kitchen will be cream shaker style, with (probably) blackish granite work surfaces. Black Esse range (like Agas but less ££££). Dining room furniture is light oak with yellowy/gold upholstered chairs.
We are going for tiled/stone floor for practicality (dog/children/kitchen floor cleaning) and as it will be more effective with the underfloor heating. But now I am stumped....cream based? Gray? Terracottary? Ohhh help please. Also is natural stone worth the faff of the sealing and the expense or would we be better off sticking with porcelain or ceramic?
I am a woman who is totally pants at a) making decisions and b) aesthetics/interior design so I cannot even begin to work out which will look best.....feeling overwhelmed
Any experiences to share or views gratefully received.