For a country look, you can’t go far wrong with natural materials. Wood has a sympathetic warmth and character that can change or evolve according to your preferences: you can subject a wooden floor to sanding or staining, painting or bleaching. Stone floors and ceramic or quarry tiles need not be cold and they
have a convincing air of country dairy about them. They come in rich and subtle colours and are not demanding to care for. Good old lino is a friendly floor-covering – it does not have the repellant, hectic sheen of modern floor-coverings – but it has a tendency to crack in inexpert hands.
Stained with light oak and mah ogany
New or reclaimed wood block mosaic flooring
If your house still has its original floors, think hard and long before you change them. Plan any new flooring to match the period and character of your home. Quarry tiles or small paviour bricks add solid authenticity to old cottages; eighteenth-century rooms look best with wooden boards.
Encaustic tiles (which take many stages to make, and are built up rather like cloisonne enamel Work with different colours of clay being poured into a moulded tile) are splendid in Victorian and Edwardian houses, but they will cost almost as much as the house, and suffer from unrepentant newness for a generation or so – they look best when they have been interestingly worn.