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8 ideas for choosing floor tiles

Is your flooring in need of an overhaul? Discover some of our favourite ways to refresh an interior with floor tiles

Nothing transforms a space quite like a new floor, which is why our expansive floor tiles collection comprises such a varied selection of beautifully designed, practical and hardwearing options. Discover tiles in an array of formats and finishes, from delicate mosaics to impressively large sizes to create a seamless look.

Whatever the brief or budget, our carefully sourced range has options to suit, from durable and affordable porcelain tiles to enduring marble and natural stone. With so many designs to choose from, it can sometimes be tough to narrow it down to a single tile. If you’re able to pop into a Mandarin Stone tile showroom, we highly recommend a visit so that you can experience the materials, finishes and surface details in person. If you’re ordering online, then collating a selection of tile samples will help you explore the collection and create a cohesive mood board for your project.

If you’re just starting out and are in search of inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled some of our favourite floor tile looks below to help get you started on your design journey. For advice, queries and practical tips, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable team.

1. Replicate a parquet floor with wood-effect tiles

If you love the idea of a parquet floor, but aren’t so keen on the cost, then our Jakob Ash Parquet porcelain tiles could be the answer. Emulating the appearance of pale timber flooring, these wood-effect tiles are a highly realistic alternative to real parquet. Featuring a low-maintenance, moisture-resistant construction, this elegant design works beautifully in both classic and contemporary spaces. The effect is one of an artisan-made wood floor, with all the associated warmth and texture, which makes this porcelain parquet an ideal choice as kitchen, bathroom or living room floor tiles.

2. Choose a stone-effect tile that’s perfectly imperfect

Taking inspiration from the tones, motifs and texture of granite, limestone and marble, the Fusion stone-effect tile collection is a wonderfully authentic match for natural stone floor tiles. Subtle scratches and deliberate imperfections contribute to the ultra-realistic appearance of these porcelain tiles, which cleverly mimic time-worn natural stone. Use as part of a modern or traditional scheme to reflect the feel of a well-loved, lived-in home, and choose from an array of shades and formats – from striking chevrons to impressively proportioned tiles.

3. Make a statement with checkerboard floor tiles

As checkerboard floors continue to grow in popularity, it’s no surprise that people are looking for new and interesting ways to implement this tile trend. For something different, yet undeniably timeless, try our Cardinale Di Scacchi Tumbled Marble tiles. This richly coloured design combines Bluestone and Rosso marble for a distinctive and decadent stone flooring option. Natural veining cuts through the strong shades of the marble, while aged edges further soften the appearance of these impactful tiles.

4. Choose an oversized motif for a fresh take on terrazzo

A hit of pattern doesn’t have to involve decorative designs, as illustrated by the striking Shard porcelain collection. These eye-catching tiles feature a super-sized terrazzo motif, where unfussy angular fragments in different shades are complemented by backdrops in muted colours. Choose from dusky blue, jade green and clay-toned pink for a terrazzo tile design with a difference. Use on walls as well as floors for a wraparound scheme, or choose a simple wall tile to let your terrazzo floor take centre stage.

5. Add warmth and texture with tumbled limestone-effect tiles

If you’re searching for a porcelain alternative to a real limestone floor, then look no further than our Trulli porcelain tiles. Featuring gently tumbled edges, incredibly realistic tonal variation and the beautifully mottled texture of the highest quality limestone, these soft-hued stone-effect tiles are a supremely authentic substitute. Choose from three natural shades, with either warm or cool undertones, for a stone-look floor with soul.

6. Combine terrazzo floor tiles in a chequered design

For a checkerboard floor that strikes the perfect balance between contemporary and nostalgic, try the Fragmenta range in green and ivory. A recent addition to our collection, these porcelain tiles evoke both terrazzo and breccia stone with their speckled surface, which is suitable for bathrooms, kitchens and more. Produced in three colourways, Fragmenta is also available as an outdoor floor tile, so you can channel palazzo style and extend a checkerboard design right out onto a terrace.

7. Try an onyx-effect floor tile for luminous colour

Not much can touch a bold marble floor tile when it comes to wow factor, which is why we’ve recently added the onyx-effect Gemstone range to our collection. Inspired by the unmistakable natural banding that makes natural onyx so sought after, this opulent tile features show-stopping marbling and is available in a range of lustrous shades. The high-grip finish of this practical porcelain range makes it an ideal choice for bathroom floor tiles, as well as elsewhere in the home.

8. Channel the look of beautifully worn flagstones

For a rugged tile with all the appeal of an original flagstone floor, our Jaipur Brushed Limestone is an excellent choice for period properties, or for adding character to contemporary builds. Combining shades of grey, soft greens and the subtlest touch of yellow, these rustic limestone floor tiles are an ideal complement to a heritage-inspired palette. The brushed finish provides texture as well as grip, while a hardy construction works overtime in high-traffic areas. We love to see this beautiful stone integrated into all manner of interior schemes, whether as bathroom, utility room or kitchen floor tiles.


Expert Q & A’s from our in-house technical team when choosing your flooring.

A- Porcelain tiles are made by adding specific clay to moulds and exposing them to searing hot temperatures. During this intense heating process, all the individual grains and particles of the ingredients are completely fused together. This gives the porcelain a single mass and its low porosity of less than 0.5%, making it exceptionally resistant to water and humidity and extremely hard wearing. It is a versatile option for both interior and exterior floor surfaces, and is also suitable for walls.

A- This is of course down to personal preference and each option will have individual pros. Porcelain doesn’t require sealing on installation and overall is less maintenance. Porcelain tiles are often so highly sophisticated due to improvements in digital technology it is difficult even for experts to tell the difference between porcelains and their natural counterparts. Porcelain can be produced in thinner, large format tiles allowing you to lay extremely large tiles in minimal thicknesses on floors and even walls. Porcelain floor tiles can cleverly replicate wood, stone, marble, concrete and terrazzo to name just a few.

Natural stone flooring is naturally dense and hard-wearing. It requires sealing initially, but will stand the test of time and ages beautifully. There are many finishes and formats to choose from and whilst a stone floor’s patina will change over time, that’s part of its charm. If your heart lies with having the real, natural material with all of its inherent natural beauty and imperfections, nothing else quite compares.

A- Hard flooring, including both stone and porcelain, is an ideal option if you have pets, unlike carpet, it can be easily cleaned by sweeping, vacuuming or mopping. It is also useful for temperature control being warm in the winter with underfloor heating, whilst remaining cool in the summer. Floor tiles are easy to clean, they do not trap odours and are resilient to stains and hard to scratch. As with all flooring, tiles with more variation will be more forgiving underfoot than surfaces that are very plain.

A- Yes, it can, the key is, as always, ‘measure twice, cut once’. The more prepared you are the smoother the job will go.  Dry lay some tiles so that you can plan out any awkward cuts and distribute shades or patternation evenly. If laying a random mix of patterns have an idea before you start to ensure you achieve your desired results. Nevertheless, depending on the size of the area, your knowledge and ability, it will be well worth getting an experienced fitter to lay your tiles. Choose someone who is experienced in laying hard floors, when purchasing floor tiles from Mandarin Stone a list of suggested fixers is available on request.

A- Stone and porcelain tiles are excellent conductors of heat so will hold onto heat and make the perfect option to use with underfloor or undertile heating. By the same token, hard surfaces will have a cooling effect during our recent warm British summers.

A- Natural stone will need sealing during the installation process to protect the tiles. Porcelain generally doesn’t require sealing but the grout can be sealed to make routine cleaning easier.

A- You should avoid the use of harsh detergents and cleaners sticking to a pH neutral routine cleaner. Keep acids (such as vinegar & lemon juice) away from natural stone.

A- Ceramic and porcelain are part of the same family and some often use the terms interchangeably. However there are some important differences that affect how they can be used. They are made from different clays and porcelain is fired at higher temperatures. This means that porcelain has a much lower water absorption rate and is more dense and hard- wearing. Whilst some Ceramic tiles can be used on floors, they are mainly used as wall tiles. Porcelain can be used on walls and floors and also outdoors.

A- We have a series of guides in our help and support section that can be referred to but below are some essential tips to bear in mind

Make sure you order enough tiles. If you need to order more, your original batch may not be available and variation will occur between batches of both stone and porcelain tiles.
Don’t spot bed, tiles should always be laid on a solid bed of suitable adhesive.
Dry lay a few tiles beforehand. This will let you plan out any awkward cuts and distribute any variation.
Use a suitable tile cutter. A wet, bench cutter is best so that you don’t break too many tiles when cutting.
Good housekeeping. Clean as you go, make sure you remove any adhesive or grout residue as you go.
Movement joints. Always leave a movement joint around the perimeter of the room. You may have to add more depending on the size and layout of the room.

A- Accidents happen, but rest assured there are usually ways and means to overcome any issues that arise. Grease, wine and organic stains all have remedies. We have a wide range of Fila products suitable for most situations.

For further guidance our expert teams can help with both design and technical aspects of your projects, please get in touch today. Alternatively, you can visit one of our 14 inspirational UK showrooms and see our beautiful tiles in person.

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Wilmslow Weybridge Tunbridge Wells Primrose Hill Petersfield Monmouth Outlet Warehouse Monmouth Head Office Monmouth Marlow Harrogate Fulham Road Exeter Cheltenham Cardiff Cambridge Bristol Bath
Wilmslow Weybridge Tunbridge Wells Primrose Hill Petersfield Monmouth Outlet Warehouse Monmouth Head Office Monmouth Marlow Harrogate Fulham Road Exeter Cheltenham Cardiff Cambridge Bristol Bath