In need of kitchen flooring? The floor of your kitchen is likely to be one of the largest surface areas in the room, so its selection deserves careful thought. It needs to perform on many levels – durability, safety and ease of cleaning – and it must look great, too, so give it as much consideration as your cabinetry.
Your floor should work together with the rest of your kitchen so take the look and material of your units into consideration when picking flooring. Materials such as durable laminate and matt porcelain will look great in modern schemes, while natural stone tiles and warm wood suit traditional designs. A popular, contemporary flooring material is polished concrete, which gives a chic, industrial edge.
Budget carefully to include all fitting costs and extra expenses for underlays, fixatives and grouts. If you’re hoping to lay underfloor heating, do check it is compatible with your flooring before you buy.
See our decorating section for more inspiration
What is the best flooring for a kitchen?
Natural stone floor should last forever and acquire a lovely patina over time, but it will be much colder and noisier than a man-made version such as vinyl or rubber. Wood planks are a timeless classic but can be expensive and need regular after-care, while tiled floors can be cold and unforgiving underfoot (underfloor heating will help). If you have an open-plan kitchen living room, you may want to use contrasting floor materials to define zones, or else use the same floor throughout for a fluid, seamless space (a good option for smaller kitchens).
What is the most durable kitchen flooring?
A kitchen floor needs to be tough, long-lasting and hardwearing, so consider comfort, durability and maintenance issues; it is also an important design feature and material, colour and pattern are of equal importance. It is always better to get your floor laid by a professional, whichever type of material you choose, who can advise on substrate, quantities and any special finishes or treatments that will extend the life of the floor. Natural, stone floors are solid, tactile and classic. Limestone, slate, granite,sandstone, marble and travertine (a limestone/marble mix) come in many sizes,formats and finishes depending on the colour and finish you want.
What is the easiest kitchen floor to keep clean?
Rubber is a really resilient flooring – durable, yet yielding. It rarely stains but it can be damaged if it isn’t swept regularly, as constant treading in of small stones or grit can eventually mark the surface. A quick mop with ageneral cleaning solution will finish the task. Stone floors are tough, won't harbour dust and are easy to maintain with a quick vacuum and mop with a mild detergent. Laminate is durable, but needs a good vacuuming (with a hard floor attachment) before being cleaned. Use a general floor cleaner diluted inwarm water, but as you would with wood, make sure no pools of water sit on the floor as you clean – a damp wipe with the mop is perfect. Polished concrete will need resealing every three to nine months, but other than that you can treat it like any other durable floor and sweep and mop it to keep it clean.
Take a look at these kitchen flooring ideas for more inspiration.
1. NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL
Warm and welcoming underfloor solid wood will need careful treating and maintenance to make sure it doesn’t warp as it is less resistant to water damage than engineered wood (a thin layer of woodveneer). If your scheme is open plan, you could run the same floor throughout the space to give a visual link in different a – dining, cooking and lounging, for instance. ‘Engineered timber is better in kitchens than solid wood, as the layered construction of the boards creates a very strong and stable surface. This is particularly important if you are installing underfloor heating or a cast iron cooker,' says Peter Keane, Director of The Natural Wood Flooring Company.
2. FAKE IT
Supplied in planks that fit together for easy installation, laminate is a good-looking alternative to wood and stone if you’re on a budget. Make sure you choose a laminate that is suitable for kitchen use as some are not suitable in damp environments.
3. GO HARD
Choices include stone, ceramic, terracotta and porcelain. All are hardwearing and easy to clean. Make sure your tiles are treated before laying to avoid staining. For a kitchen floor with individual character and natural beauty, look no further than natural stone: no two tiles will ever be identical, so your floor will be unique. Stone offers a classic and luxurious look and tends to improve as it acquires the ‘patina’ of age. Smooth marbles and honed limestones are a sophisticated and smart choice or choose a weathered flagstone that sits comfortably in a country kitchen.
4. FOCAL POINT
With so much choice available in terms of both material and pattern, it can be daunting to find the right option. Herringbone styles are currently very popular, either in ceramic or wood, and they’re an ideal way of introducing subtle yet beautiful pattern and a welcome sense of texture into even the simplest floor, instantly making it a focal point.
5. COLOUR POP
We’re so accustomed to standard tiles that it is often easy to forget that the variety in size and manufacturing processes gives rise to a huge number of design possibilities. The floor is a beautiful way to experiment with bold, distinctive pattern choices, especially if you choose to keep the rest of your kitchen neutral.
Porcelain tiles were developed some years ago to overcome many of the technical and aesthetic shortfalls of traditional clay-based ceramics. A very popular tile material, it’s extremely hardwearing,can be given a smooth or textured finish and can convincingly take on the appearance of stone, leather, wood or marble. 'Vastly more robust than ceramic, as well as non-porous, frost proof and colour-fast, porcelain is suitable for almost any cladding application,' says Jules Archard of Surface Tiles.
7. TILE MASTERCLASS
This isn’t the first time that patterned surfaces have dominated the home. 'It started with soft, delicate colour palettes that didn’t stray too far out of the comfort zone, and patchwork styles which combine a mix of pattern and colour on one tile.We’ve found that early on in the trend, tiles of this nature were commonly used in smaller spaces, such as shower enclosures, cloakrooms and kitchen splashbacks but as we’ve grown to know and love playful patterns, we’re branching out to using them in large kitchens and open-plan space,' says Katy Harris, Marketing Director at Verona.
8. CONCRETE JUNGLE
Far from being ordinary construction materials, the raw unfinished beauty of plaster and concrete are finding a very stylish home in the kitchen. In their exposed, uncovered state, both plaster and concrete have a bold, utilitarian quality, and an almost brutal sophistication. Concrete, in particular, is a hardwearing and versatile material that can be cast into shapes and slabs, or poured, smoothed and polished, making it suitable for floors, worktops and even part of the kitchen itself if it’s an industrial look you are after.
9. SUBTLE FEATURE
There has been an increase in the popularity of patterned wood floors. Larger herringbone pieces often look more contemporary. If it’s for an open-plan space, a distressed chevron or herringbone floor will stand up well to general wear and tear.Choose a delicate parquet if you want to give a nod to a feature floor without being too over the top. Classic parquet flooring can be laid as individual blocks, or the effect can be copied by engineered wood planks, which are easier to fit.
10. PATTERNED PERFECTION
‘With statement flooring, use block colour on the walls to give the eyes a rest. If you’re adding other patterns, choose multiple-scale designs and ensure they complement the floor,’ says Lorna Haigh, Alternative Flooring.
11. WOODEN WONDER
Reclaimed wood floors are not only full of charm, character and history but buying anything salvaged is environmentally responsible and spot-on for today's recycling trend. Whether it's oak beams recovered from old American barns or Burmese teak parquet reclaimed from the V&A, salvaged boards bear the unique marks of time, much like a slice of history at home.
'You can't get more 'green' than buying reclaimed timber flooring,' exclaims Nick Newman at salvage specialists Lassco. 'It is environmentally responsible and will have been sourced relatively locally, had the nails removed by hand by us, then sorted and stacked. Reuse reduces landfill while curbing the need to plunder the earth's resources. Salvage generally has not travelled very far so it bears a comparatively tiny carbon footprint.'
12. GEOMETRIC DESIGN
Bold geometrics and exotic Moroccan designs are a particularly contemporary and versatile choice too as they have a timeless appeal that means that they’re equally at home in both modern and traditional interiors.
13. NICE AND EASY
'Keep it simple and don’t use too many different tile formats, colours and finishes. Less is more when it comes to bold flooring so use pattern selectively. It loses its effect when there is too much of it or when there are other patterns competing for attention. Try a classic diagonal checkerboard or a very defined and crisp geometric so that the eye can catch the defining principle of the pattern with just one glance,' advises Dorothee Junkin, Dorothee Junkin Design Studio.