Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Stone Cottage Kitchen Floors

Posted on | April 20, 2010 | 26 Comments

Recently I’ve been really inspired by English cottages. Their unfussy charm is great inspiration for my renovation. The other night I came across these beautiful kitchens on UK site Border Oak featuring stone floors. The floors in my someday kitchen are not wide plank like the rest of the house but wood floors from the 1950’s. Do I keep the floors, paint them, or rip them out and put in something different? Merry from Border Oak was sweet enough to send over a few inspiration photos as well as some suggestions.

Popular stone options for floors are limestone, travertine, or natural slate. Merry also suggested reconstituted concrete ‘flagstone’ made in molds of original flagstone but out of a new mixed concrete formulation to give the appearance of traditional old flagstones (easier to lay, to actually find and cheaper). Try Classical Flagstones in the UK for more information.

I do have some hesitation about using stone in my kitchen. I hear from stateside friends that stone can be killer on a cook’s back. The other issue is weight. The beams below my kitchen need to be replaced but if I use a stone I assume they will be need to be additionally reinforced? If I choose stone I should probably use under floor radiant heat? Hmm a lot to think about. Above and below a few photos from Border Oak’s website.

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26 Responses to “Stone Cottage Kitchen Floors”

  1. giftsofthejourney (Elizabeth Harper)
    April 20th, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    We were going to put stone floors in the kitchen of our home here in England, but decided on wide plank light wood instead. Stone is pretty, but too hard and too cold. Underfloor heating could take care of one problem, but not the back pain. Kitchens should be comfortable as well as pretty.


  2. nole
    April 20th, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    The stone floors look lovely, but I’d keep the wood! I think a wide plank wood floor would be equally as charming and probably more comfortable and warm during the winter. I have tile in my kitchen now and it’s freezing even now during spring!


  3. kristen
    April 20th, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    Stone floors are charming, but unforgiving when it comes to dropping something… everything breaks.


  4. Polly
    April 20th, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    We too are at a point in renovating where we need to choose the kitchen flooring, because I have wide pine plank floors through out the rest of the house and I can’t get the same patina my current floors have, I am opting for stone..I especially love stone in a mudroom as you come into the kitchen. I want to be able to take a mop and go right over the floor when it needs to be cleaned, when I cook everything tends to get messy, stone is easy to maintain, it gets my vote !


  5. RLG
    April 20th, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    Stone is very unforgiving on your feet and legs. I bought foam mats to stand on while in the kitchen and it helped a great deal. It cleans up quite well, and is has that roughed in durability and charm. I say go for it (and plan on something extra to stand on, like a mat). HTH. xoxo


  6. Ann S.
    April 20th, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    If you are intent on using limestone, beware it is very porous and crumbly. You will have to look into sealing it to prevent its deterioration and staining.


  7. Katy Elliott
    April 20th, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    Thanks for all the great comments.

    Fyi if you put radiant floor heating below stone floors you won’t have cold floors. Radiant is the way to go. Super efficient but requires some planning. Radiant can be electric or done through a water heater.

    You may think I am crazy thinking about kitchen floors this far ahead but considerations for reinforced beams and heating source need to be figured out before I put in a stone floor.

    If I don’t do stone floors all of those extras are taken out the equation.


  8. KGC
    April 20th, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    Stone floors seem most appropriate for ground level rooms. They have an “entry” feel to them that might seem out of place in your upper story kitchen. I’d say skip the stone upstairs and use the money you’d save to buy top of the line appliances or custom tile work. I love the rustic look of wood flooring in kitchens.

    Dying to know what your architect’s plans are!


  9. Katy Elliott
    April 20th, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    Actually the kitchen is now going to be on the first floor including a mud room.

    And the architect has been nixed. I loved him but in the end I think I get the job down with a good General Contractor.


  10. Heidi
    April 20th, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    I torn after seeing these – I’ve chosen white shaker cabinets and had planned on metal pulls but the wood ones look great. I wanted stone floors, but my contractor convinced me to go with light oak to match the rest of our 1920 bungalow. Thanks for bringing us such gorgeous kitchens, Katy. These are really inspiring. Wow.


  11. Roxane
    April 20th, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

    We had Italian tile in our previous home’s kitchen. The room was over a heated family room & over part of the garage. The coolness of the floor was splendid in the summer, but in the winter the part of the kitchen floor that was over the garage froze your feet. The other part was ok because it was over the heated room, if your new kitchen is over the unheated basement, plan on radiant heat. We now have Brazilian Teak in our kitchen with radiant heat & I love it!


  12. Kathy G
    April 20th, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    I have had both wood and stone (radiant heated). As much as I loved the look of the stone I think wood is the best floor for a kitchen for all the reasons given above but mostly for the comfort of your back and feet.


  13. Jane Flanagan
    April 20th, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

    I love flagstone floors!


  14. Lynne
    April 21st, 2010 @ 6:11 am

    I tried to follow the Border Oak link but it appeared to be incorrect. Could you check that out for me please, so I know if it is my browser being temperamental or not? Thanks.


  15. Morag
    April 21st, 2010 @ 6:40 am

    I’m a housecleaner and I can tell you that stone floors in a kitchen or mudroom are VERY high maintenance. People think they’re easy, but they’re almost impossible to get clean. Same for any kind of tile. Granite counters and stainless appliances are also high maintenance. The dirt/grease doesn’t show right away, so it tends to build up, then it’s a major job to get it off. Wouldn’t wood be more appropriate for New England? And EASIER to live with. Stone would be beautiful for a greenhouse or covered patio – anywhere that’s not exposed to greasy dirt, that can just be swept and occasionally mopped if you’re fussy.


  16. Jeannie
    April 21st, 2010 @ 6:59 am

    Stone floors look great, but anything you drop on them is guaranteed to smash into a million pieces.
    I vote for painted and stenciled wooden floors. That would be gorgeous in a 260 year old house.

    I’m very jealous of your old house in Marblehead, by the way. I’ve always been obsessed with old houses, plus my hubby and I were in Marblehead while on vacation a few years ago, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

    Jeannie in New Brunswick, Canada


  17. bridget
    April 21st, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    i looove this house.


  18. Katy Elliott
    April 21st, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    Hi Lynne,

    I just doubled checked all the links in the post. The Border Oak link goes to a flash site which sometimes can look weird if you have flash disabled. Hope that helps.



  19. Mason
    April 21st, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    I assume my rough brick floors share many of the same properties as stone. Yes, if you drop something it will break. Not a huge issue as I don’t drop that many things.It’s hard on the back but even with my scoliosis it hasn’t been a problem. I didn’t put a finish on mine. I simply gave it a couple of coats of mineral oil. It’s an “old” look which I like. What I really like is there are no wear issues by the door and kitchen chairs. Much less maintenance than wood!


  20. Alison
    April 22nd, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    If you want stone it is worth considering buttingthe flags and not having wide grout which made our lovely floor a nightmare to clean -out last two kitchens have had wooden floors and I can recommend Bono Traffic (a swedish product) which is really durable and comes in matt and satin to finish the floor


  21. mopar
    April 23rd, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

    I can’t opine on 1820s New England, but I think stone floors, although lovely in English cottages, are wildly inappropriate in, say, an American Victorian house. I would go with wood floors or genuine linoleum (Marmoleum). Well, I guess that would be a bit later than your place. Yes, definitely wood. Fill in the cracks with sawdust and poly the heck out of it (if you’re using poly) so mice can’t get in and out. (If you don’t have a cat.)


  22. Cass at That Old House
    April 26th, 2010 @ 5:04 am

    When we bought our 1832 house in New Jersey two years ago, the kitchen had been rather badly “redone” and the floors were (are) stone-look tile. Hard on feet, hard on back, and also — you drop something, you kiss it goodbye. Not only does nothing bounce on tile or stone, it smashes to smithereens. I am constantly conscious of this, and on pins and needles when anyone is helping in the kitchen. I think it would be a nightmare with children in the house.

    Keep your wood; that’s my vote. It’s old enough to have earned a spot in the “keeper” column, and you can paint it or spatter it or just let it be. And keeping an old feature is always the “greenest” thing to do. Put that stone floor money to better use. Like, soapstone counters — now those I love!



  23. Emma
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 6:53 am

    Hi, We have stone floors just like the first photo in our house. The house is old so for now we do not have any underfloor heating, so good slippers do the job. Our stone tiles are a little uneven and spaces between each need to be filled (so that they look as good as the first picture)but I don’t know where to look to find info on how to make them nice and pretty.. Any ideas…


  24. lisa ward
    February 22nd, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    We are planning to remodel our kitchen and love the large stone floors shown in the photos above.

    Is there a supplier in the US who sells this type of stone flooring? How large are the square slabs?

    any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks, lisa


  25. John Miller
    March 22nd, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    Beautiful floors, I have a friend with stone kitchen floors with in floor heating. It’s the most used room in his home.


  26. Sir David of Avonsleigh
    October 25th, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    In one of those strange moments you’ve just fixed a plan for my new kitchen in my mind. I have a wooden floor & exposed beams. That sort of cabinetry will be perfect to bring it together – even down to the square sink. In fact it’s all perfect except for the stone floor.. which was what the article was about. Oh well.. :)


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