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.
See our decorating section for more inspiration
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.
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 wood veneer). 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. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.