What floor tiles would you use?

Bit more forward planning, in anticipation of looking out for a discounted pallet load of tiles:
I've been looking at floor tiles, to go onto a solid concrete floor for kitchen, utility and bathroom areas.
I'm looking for stuff that lasts (because laying it is the lion's share of the "cost" and I want 30 years plus out of this) and is practical to clean and maintain. Not too worried about materials expense withing reason, because I'm able to vary the look to take advantage of last minute big discounts on job lots - I expect to be buying by the pallet load as we'll be using the same pattern in several areas.
My research so far:
Marble - often shiney and too slippery. I have seen a less pilished marble, but I have no idea what it's like.
Travertine - I like the general look, but it seems too porous to me to be practical (I don't want to be resealing it all the time), and I hate the swiss cheese effect on some of the variants.
Slate - I really like the look and feel, but riven is perhaps going to be more of a pig to lay (grouting in particular, and getting a level finish) and more of a crap-trap cleaning wise. Robust though.
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I'm not discounting ceramic (and other varieties) tiles but I'd like it not to be something where either the glaze crazes or the pattern wears off too easily.
Any other suggestions?
Cheers
Tim
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 18:15:09 +0000

I used travertine ('Kale' from Kirkstone). Polished and filled are the key words. I sealed with a special sealer that is 'said' to last the lifetime of the stone as it is absorbed and present as the stone wears. We'll see about that. But it was very easy to lay. Self-levelling is your friend though.
R.
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Have you looked at rubber tiles? The outlets are quite restricted, but they are v warm, available in a wide range of colours and surfaces, and I believe are long-lasting. Mike
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TheOldFellow coughed up some electrons that declared:

Rightly ho. I'll take that suggestion to Topps and see if I can see some in the flesh with that description.

Ok - that sounds hopeful. Out of necessity, the floor's going down early - after the really filthy work but before most of the plumbing and kitchen fitting, so I hope it will take a bit of abuse.

The biggest floor which is lumpy (+/-15mm) is being screeded for me. The other floors I've depth-gauged with a laser and seem very close to flat - I don't think I'll have any trouble there.
Thanks for the info.
Cheers
Tim
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Wickes do some very cheap tiles, 7.95 a square metre, free next day delivery. Dark grey and with a dark grout they look great.
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We used Italian 12"x12" ceramic floor tiles for our entrance hall. There has been no discernible wear over 13 years. You can (could) get sheet door matting of a similar thickness so just a matter of leaving a suitable gap.
For some obscure reason, my wife wanted them laid *diamond* pattern and totally ignored comments about the amount of cutting required.
They are a bit unforgiving towards falling breakables.
Kitchen is Amtico *herring bone brick* pattern vinyl tiles.
regards
--
Tim Lamb

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Tim Lamb wrote:

That's a bit of an understatement isn't it?
Anything glass or ceramic dropped on stone or ceramic tiles *will* break. Vinyl might not last as long, but your china will do better!
Andy
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Tim S wrote:

Quarry tiles, should last a hundred years or so? And as a 'classic' won't go out of fashion in five years' time. http://www.dennisruabon.co.uk/quarry-tile-shade-range.htm
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Completely agreed.
--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
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Rod coughed up some electrons that declared:

The data sheets speak volumes. The house did have quarry tiles in two small areas - so there is a certain attraction in using them. Probably not in the original red, but some of the other colours look appealing.
Thanks for that - a very good lead.
Cheers
Tim
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This firm: <http://www.wallsandfloors.co.uk/ always has end of lines and special deals on pallet loads of all sorts of tiles.
When Daniel Platt (the Potteries based major UK manufacturer of quarry tiles) went bankrupt a couple of years ago, the above firm bought all the remaining stock and are still selling it off, although it's not described as Platt's product. [Aside: Platts also manufactured the geometric tiles sold by Original Style - they now source the product from Europe].
I bought many sq m from them in 2006 when renovating our current Victorian house. The price then was a bargain GBP 10 + VAT per sq m.
You may find Ruabon tiles sold by B&Q as their own brand. Same product, but thinner. Quarry tiles are not too popular these days, and B&Q often sell them off. I paid about 6 per sq m a couple of years ago in the previous Victorian house for a van load from B&Q. [Note to self: Must stop renovating Victorian houses...]
Hope this helps
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Richard Perkin
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Richard Perkin coughed up some electrons that declared:

Ah yes - they were already on my watch list as a good source.

This is the sort of money I find appealing :) Large area to do = big savings on my budget.

This is also interesting. I have to go and fill a skip with crap now, so I'll nip into Topps and B&Q on the way and grab a couple of samples for the missue to feel. Once I know what I'm likley to be using, I can investigate suitable adhesives and paintable membranes that are going to function together.
BTW - Thanks to everyone for other suggestions. I may be looking to use some sort of wood in the bedrooms (on concrete, so either floating or stuck down engineered). Upstairs is easy - joists, so I'll look out for a job lot of floor boards, maybe reclaimed. Haven't rules out lino/rubber for some areas.
Cheers
Tim
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Quick follow up...
Dennis Ruabon are in trouble again. Manufacturing paused, but expected to start up in Jan with March availability - but only the browns and reds.
As for the italian ceramics - Topps pointed me at some Keope "through" tiles, which looked very good. Being "through" there's no surface pattern to rub off and the assistant said any chipping looks OK as it just exposes more of the same. She also said they don't need sealing.
Unfortunately SWMBO didn't like any of the colours, but I think we're onto something here :)
Now I know what I;m looking for I'll widen the hunt.
Cheers
Tim
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Tim S wrote:

agree on both the above. Not good surfaces. Suffer frm acid attack too.

Yup. Hot a lot of 'Montauk' slate here If you like greenish grey.
End up scruppingte grud wit a scrubbing brush to get the mud out.

Go expensive and go italian. Think I have some decent ones that look like sandstone at around 30 a square. More than the slate actually but they dont need all the sealant ;-)
Got a heavy glaze on them too. They clean ok but et grout sill needs a scrubbing brush :-(

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Yes. I think they came in three flavours when we were choosing. Ours have a slightly orange tinge but there is quite a variation between individual tiles.

I suppose ours are washed about once a fortnight.
regards
--
Tim Lamb

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