Starting with stone, generally speaking, it’s lower maintenance than a wooden floor. Once a stone floor is sealed, it really does ask for very little. Depending on what sort of sealant is used (check the bottle or ask your fitter), you might need to reseal the floor every so often, but with stone, that’s a quick and easy job. Timber on the other hand is likely to need re-finishing at some point – in other words, sanded back and either stained or waxed – which is much more labour intensive. We’re talking years and years before you’d need to do that though but it’s worth knowing if low, low maintenance is your priority.
With a wooden floor you also need to be mindful of how it will expand and shrink depending on the humidity levels of the room – something that isn’t the case with stone. That’s why we used an engineered underlay on our wooden floorboards and it makes them more stable.
Stone is naturally chilly underfoot and is a much harder surface than wood, which can be a detractor for some people. Wood is more insulating and has an inherent warmth to its character. You can of course use underfloor heating – it’s better as conducting heat than timber – but not everybody wants to have that switched on all of the time.
In terms of installation, stone flooring is usually more expensive to fit. Wooden flooring is easier and therefore usually less, but remember that it does need more after care than stone.