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Marble or laminate? Laminate flooring is now so convincing following exciting innovations in stone finishes

13 July 2004

Chic and trendy: The stone and ceramic look in laminate flooring for domestic interiors scales new heights through innovative features. As with most timber finishes, the patterns for the stone and ceramic laminates originate from natural products. The most modern printing techniques enable an uncanny, perfect reproduction of the tones, structure and relief of the original materials. The world’s finest stones act as inspiration for the current design developments in laminate flooring, providing a uniquely stylish ambience.

For example, Azul do Macaubas is a natural stone found in Brazil, with a shimmering bluish colouring and abundant veins that together give a most attractive appearance. The Chinese granite named Padang is a most valuable and beautiful stone. Its finely grained, black and white structure offers a superb decorative furnishing feature, while Scuro from Labrador creates its attraction from the reflection of light on the minute crystals within the blue/green stone, giving a softly shimmering effect.

Authentic Structures

Rojo Alicante is a reddish version of finely grained marble, whose beauty is particularly effective over large areas. Estremoz marble is another high value stone – essentially white , but with relief in black to give striking and exclusive design ideas. Travertino Classico comes from the well-known Tivoli quarries, and provides a porous stone with great character and a subtle beige background.

The latest ceramic finishes use their warm terracotta tones to create a Mediterranean ambience. Bearing the names of Italian towns like “Firenze”, “Roma”, “Venecia” and “Siena”, they blend perfectly into the modern living environment. Ceramic tiles are reproduced with amazingly realistic 3-D effects and combine the texture of ceramic floor tiles with the fine grains of grouted joints. The large (60 x 60cm or more!) tiles make up a typical Majorcan “Finca”, but smaller tiled effects can be just as impressive and trendy. A new width of 40cm is available in floor tile effect, to give a most effective appearance when laid. Stone and ceramic laminate flooring finds many applications outside of home décor. Shops, fitness-studios, museums and other contract areas are today using the combination that laminates offer for innovative design features with top quality flooring.

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