Stuck on vinyl? What you need are some vinyl kitchen flooring ideas to help get you on a roll.
Vinyl doesn’t always get the best rep, but the material has myriad benefits, many of which make it a great choice for a kitchen. This material is improving in quality with new technologies and also offers a wide range of design opportunities that will suit a variety of kitchen ideas and styles.
‘Vinyl is a great and inexpensive way to add color, pattern and personality to kitchen flooring ideas without compromising on safety or quality’, says David Snazel, hard flooring buyer at Carpetright. ‘Being highly durable, slip-resistant and moisture proof, it is ideal for busy households with young children.’
Aside from a plethora of patterns and colors, you really have one key choice to make when selecting vinyl kitchen flooring — standard vinyl or luxury vinyl? The former is predictably cheaper, and tends to be available either as tiles or as one large sheet.
Luxury vinyl is made up of multiple layers of vinyl, and is thus thicker, more durable and more expensive. Its rigidity means that it is largely available as tiles (LVT) or planks (LVP) and has a more convincing appearance when emulating natural materials. It can also be clicked together at the sides, rather than stuck down with glue.
Vinyl kitchen flooring ideas
From spectacular patterns that mimic the most elaborate of kitchen floor tile ideas, to wood-effect panels that channel the natural world into your home, these vinyl kitchen flooring ideas and expert tips will help transform your room with minimal fuss.
1. Vinyl doesn’t have to look like vinyl
‘In recent years, there have been many developments in design and styles that mean the effects vinyl kitchen flooring ideas can create, such as tile or wood, are incredibly realistic’, says Snazel.
If you’re looking to emulate natural stone or wood kitchen flooring without the associated price tag and maintenance, luxury vinyl tiles are an excellent — and almost indistinguishable — alternative, says Sarah Escott, design manager at Amtico.
‘Stone and wood LVT are designed with authentic colours and textures inspired by natural materials, and are available in a multitude of colours, so they are the best kitchen flooring option if you want to recreate the appeal of natural wood and stone without thinking about the maintenance required.
‘LVT boasts a huge number of benefits that simply cannot be replicated with its natural counterparts. On top of being water and scratch-resistant, LVT is also easy to clean and look after.’
2. Conjure polished concrete floors with single sheet vinyl
While LVT has its benefits, so does single sheet vinyl. In this kitchen, large format sheets have been used to create a seamless look, one that replicates that of a polished, poured concrete floor at a fraction of the cost and fuss.
No joins means no visual distraction, just pure uninterrupted color — in this case, a glistening gray that runs throughout the large open plan kitchen.
‘Open plan kitchen layouts are growing in popularity, and selecting a contemporary style floor that can flow through all areas connects the zones and creates the illusion of a larger space’, says Snazel.
3. Renew classic chessboard patterns with gray
While black and white checkered floors have hundreds of years of history, they are heavily associated these days with mid-century vinyl kitchen flooring ideas.
To shake off thoughts of a bygone era, update your chessboard floor by switching black for gray. In this chic gray kitchen, a checkerboard floor is created from medium-sized format LVT, with both the white and dark gray panels mottled with a natural stone effect. The result is a gentle softening of the most classic of contrasts.
4. Get the pale, warm wood trend, but make it vinyl
Both natural textures and pale colors are trending right now, so get the best of both worlds with a vinyl that mimics dreamily pale woods.
‘If you are looking for small kitchen ideas, lighter floors will help open the space and create the perfect base to build upon with trending accessories,’ says Snazel.
This pale oak-effect LVT laid in a parquet style is combined with pale neutrals across the rest of the room to create a calming space.
5. Emulate complex tiling patterns affordably
Tiling is having a big moment in kitchen and bathroom design. Complicated patterns, using multiple colored and unusually shaped tiles, are a standout among the genre’s latest trends — but laying them is a messy process that takes time, skill and, of course, adds to your kitchen flooring costs.
Speed things up by opting for sheet vinyl or larger vinyl tiles that emulate this look. In this kitchen, a 3D-style patterned floor looks like it is made of many small diamond porcelain tiles, when it is in fact made of fewer, larger vinyl tiles.
6. Add a lot of color with little fuss
If you want not just a pop of color but a bang, vinyl flooring is an easy way to add bold kitchen colors into a room in one swift act.
It needn’t be a garish addition — this kitchen contrasts traditional-style, green-gray cabinets with a warming red ochre vinyl floor, that is softened with a subtle texture, that hints at gentle leather-like ageing.
7. A natural stone effect that doesn’t cost the earth
Wood and ceramics aren’t the only materials vinyl can imitate – natural stones like slate can be deftly recreated for a considerably smaller cost.
‘For the authentic country kitchen feel, muted wood or stone flooring offer a chic yet rustic look,’ says Snazel. ‘If your budget won’t stretch to authentic stone or reclaimed timbers, consider using a hard flooring or vinyl solution. They look convincing but cost a fraction of the expense of sourcing and fitting stone floors, and take far less time to install.’
8. Channel Mediterranean-style encaustic tiles
The encaustic tile trend has taken the motifs of the Mediterranean around the world – but it’s more than possible to get a similar look in easier-maintained vinyl.
Encaustic tiles are made from different colored cements that are pressed together – this means their elaborate patterns are long-lasting, but their porous nature can make them tricky to clean.
In this kitchen, vinyl tiles are decorated with similar multicolored motifs and can be wiped clean with ease.
9. Mix natural textures with modern geometric layouts
As this kitchen demonstrates, you don’t need to choose between a jazzy geometric pattern and a natural wood look. Do both by embracing different tones of wood and stone – an easier thing to do with purpose-manufactured vinyl than with its organic counterparts.
This LVT floor from Amtico arrives as tiles in different wood tones, with instructions on how to lay them to create this undulating herringbone pattern.
10. Catch onto contemporary tile styles (without the commitment)
Tile trends come and go – but porcelain and stone tiling is designed to last you a long time. If you’re enamored by a certain flooring trend right now, but not sure how you’ll feel about it in a few years time, try it out in vinyl.
This hexagonal-patterned vinyl floor is an on-trend winner, and as well as being easier to lay, it’s much easier to change around in the future if another style takes your fancy.
11. Dare to stand out with patterns on patterns
If you’ve gone all out with bold walls, why not take the party to the floor too? In this kitchen, a vintage-style red and white wallpaper is contrasted with a blue and white vinyl sheet floor, mixing a curved, nature-inspired print with an intensely geometric look.
Snazel warns, however, that you should be sure you have the right space to make it work. ‘In awkward spaces with curved walls or tight corners, try to avoid patterned floors as the pattern may be interrupted’, he says. ‘It’s best to employ an experienced fitter who will be able to ensure that the floor is properly laid and aligned in these spaces.’
12. Go both big and small with your tile choices
If you’re not quite in the market for all-out pattern but are looking to add a touch of visual interest to a pared-back floor texture, consider playing with scale in your vinyl kitchen flooring ideas.
In this kitchen, a combination of smaller and larger square tiles in the same concrete-inspired finish are tessellated together to add a contemporary quirk to what could be a very straightforward flooring choice.
Can vinyl flooring be used in the kitchen?
Of course – both standard vinyl and luxury vinyl work well in a kitchen environment.
‘LVT can absolutely be used in the kitchen’, adds Escott. ‘LVT is hard wearing and durable thanks to its multiple layers, meaning it is able to withstand the demands of a busy kitchen. LVT is also water and scratch-resistant, so drink and food spills and dropped cutlery will not leave any marks or affect your floor.
‘It is also easy to clean and look after. The kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas in the home and so picking a floor that requires low maintenance is key.’
What is the best vinyl flooring for kitchens?
When making a choice between standard and luxury vinyl, you’ll most likely find that the decision hinges on cost. Luxury vinyl trumps standard in almost every way, but is more expensive.
‘Vinyl is a great choice for busy families with children as it is highly water-resistant and durable whilst being softer and warmer underfoot than laminate,’ says Snazel.
‘Alternatively, luxury vinyl is an elegant choice as it effectively emulate more expensive design styles, whilst being incredibly practical. Just as easy to maintain as vinyl flooring, luxury vinyl is also water resistant, ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, and is compatible with underfloor heating; which will resolve any concerns that feet will be cold.’
Be aware that the key advantage sheet vinyl has over luxury vinyl is a little extra waterproofing – no joins means no cracks for water to seep through.
I started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. I then spent three years at the Evening Standard on the GO London team, covering restaurants and bars, and getting to eat and drink a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful things around the city. I left the paper in 2020 and went freelance, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures. A little less than a year later, I started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing me to fully indulge my love of good interior design.
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