Yorkstone is a great natural material for creating a beautiful, hard wearing internal floor that will last a lifetime and beyond! It can be laid in a random layout or coursed in specific widths or in different or alternating widths to add interest to your scheme.
Old stone floors should be cherished and, wherever possible, retained, as unnecessary replacement will harm a building’s character and possibly its value.
Durable local stone of various sorts was used historically as slabs or finer tiles for flooring in many places. Cobbles or ‘pitched’ floors (comprising small pieces of stone set on edge) were frequently laid in ancillary areas.
Decorative schemes with stones of contrasting colour, including imported marble, became popular from the 17th century. Many period properties still retain this original feature, and it is one that will likely last forever with some proper maintenance.
Maintaining Original Stone Floors
Undulations add interest to old floors so, unless dangerous, they are best accommodated. Where necessary, isolated uneven or rocking stones can be re-bedded in coarse sand or hydraulic lime mortar. Slight undulations might be reduced with suitable matting.
The approach to flaking stones may well be to simply dress back loose material, although laminations in limestone can in some cases be repaired by conservators using injections of lime-based grout. With serious erosion, it may be possible to lift and reverse stones.
Deep holes or chipped edges in stone flooring can be filled with a hydraulic lime mortar but continuing maintenance is likely to be necessary. Renewing part of a damaged stone with matching new material is normally preferable to complete replacement.
Where needed, joints between stones or cracks across them can be pointed with a hydraulic lime mortar. If joints have never been filled or are dry-jointed with sand, repointing with lime is not necessarily required. Strong cementitious mortar or waterproof grouts that inhibit ‘breathability’ – preventing moisture from passing through permeable materials – are not recommended.