National Trust Hidcote Flagstone paving and flooring
The brief for the renovation of Old Stone Cottage, a 17th century former smallholding, was to replace an existing wood and glass lean-to with a larger, triple glazed garden room with underfloor heating. The owners also planned to knock through parts of the stone wall to the back of the cottage so they could access the new garden room from both the living room and kitchen to create a much better flow to the downstairs living space. The extension need to be big enough for both a dining area as well as an informal sitting area.
The clients required external paving and flooring which would be immediately sympathetic to the period of the home, be suitable for use with underfloor heating and would be easy to lay for a seamless indoor/outdoor design theme.
The cottage was constructed using traditional oak framing and local sandstone and the owners were keen to make the extension oak-framed to match the original palette of materials. Whilst excavating the old kitchen floor for the underfloor heating, they unearthed the original sandstone flags from when the cottage was first built which, whilst very worn and crumbled, lead to the decision to replicate a traditional flagstone look in the finished room.
An earlier project searching for flagstones for an inglenook fireplace in the lounge led the owners to Westminster Stone and their National Trust range. Hidcote Flagstones from the National Trust Cotswold Manor range fitted in beautifully, and being man-made meant they are exactly the same thickness and size so laying them was easy.
"As we had already bought the Westminster stone flags for our hearth, we thought they’d be ideal for the extension floor. It would also link nicely to the flagstone patio which was already outside.
"The tones of the Hidcote flags matched the internal sandstone walls perfectly. Unfortunately, the flags that we had used for the hearth were too thick for the extension, but we were thrilled to find out Westminster could produce our order in a reduced 25mm thickness with fast delivery.
"The Westminster Stone flagstones ticked a lot of boxes for us. They suit the property, have great durability (dogs and children!), can be used with underfloor heating, and they could be produced in a reduced 25mm thickness for interior stone floors. Another benefit was that we could order more for other rooms at a later stage and be guaranteed the colour would be the same. Whereas limestone tiles, for example, change quarries and you may not be able to match the original tile colour.
"We are really happy with the overall result and finish of the room. We plan to use Westminster Stone again for our future projects, including a circular brick patio we are laying where we’d like to incorporate a granary millstone as the centre.”