There are many elements to consider when choosing the right flooring type for your kitchen, or any other space for that matter. Choosing your kitchen flooring is a big decision. Not only does it have to be long lasting, it also has to fit with the overall design of the room, your personal style and budget. We have put together a list of the most popular finishes for kitchen floors, along with their pros and cons.
Pros – Available in a large variety of colours, sizes and designs. Nowadays, porcelain tiles also come in styles that mimic other surfaces, such as wood, concrete or leather. They’re also stain and water resistant, which makes them hygienic and super easy to clean. They don’t need sealing and they’re very hard-wearing, hard to scratch or chip. Underfloor heating can be installed without negatively impacting these tiles.
Cons – One of the issues with porcelain tiles is that they can be expensive and if one of the tiles does get damaged, you have to replace the entire tile which can be a little tricky. These tiles are very slippery when wet and unforgiving if you stand on them for long periods without underfloor heating. Lastly, the light coloured grout can be prone to noticeable stains which might require deep-cleaning.
Pros – This flooring option is typically cheaper than Porcelain tiles, beautiful, hygienic and is easy to maintain. Ceramic tiles are very versatile and also come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, textures and colours, and even mimic other materials such as wood. They’re also suitable for underfloor heating.
Cons – They’re not as hard-wearing as porcelain and they can chip or crack if not laid on a very solid, flat floor. Some Ceramic tiles’ edges aren’t straight; it can lead to thicker grout lines, which will harbour dirt. As with Porcelain tiles, this option is cold to the touch without underfloor heating.
Solid Wood Floorboards
Pros – Definitely the most timeless option for flooring; it brings forward a warm look to your space; works in any setting from ultra-modern to country; will never go out of style. It is known to last much longer than the other flooring options and is available in a large variety of grains and shades. It’s renewable, recyclable, good-looking, sturdy and long-lasting. Solid wood floors are easy to clean, can be sanded back and refinished as many times as it is needed. Choose oil or wax rather than lacquer for a natural look, and clean with a damp rather than a wet mop. It is quite forgiving on your feet, as it has some give and is warm to the touch.
Cons – They can be noisy. Solid wood flooring can shrink or expand depending on heat circumstances. They will stain and scratch and can show up wear-and-tear in high-traffic areas, such as by the hob and sink. Major damages can’t be fixed with sanding. Subfloor or underfelt is needed, which can make installation costly. Underfloor heating cannot be used with this floor option.
Pros – Personally, I don’t prefer making use of Laminated flooring in a kitchen, but others might. Laminated flooring is definitely the cheaper alternative to Solid Wood flooring; one of the most affordable options on the market to date. They are also easy to clean, hygienic, moisture resistant and can be used over underfloor heating. The trick with laminate is to go for a good-quality brand, which is tough and resistant to wear, stains and fading. It can be installed over existing floors and they don’t need to be sealed or stained. You don’t have to choose a wood look – some laminates imitate ceramic tiles or slate.
Cons – Laminated flooring can be slippery when wet and are not resistant to scuff marks or dents.
If improperly fitted, the planks can slide around slightly and over time warping can occur. They will stain and scratch and can show up wear-and-tear in high-traffic areas, such as by the hob and sink. If it’s scratched, it cannot be easily replaced. Lower quality Laminated flooring needs an additional under-layer that is not attached to boards; they also fade in direct sunlight.
Pros – Polished concrete floors shouts contemporary and this look is right on trend at the moment. Whether you go for a full-on industrial look, or just want to sharpen a simple scheme, this surface does the job. These floors, when properly sealed and well maintained, are extremely tough, hard-wearing, resilient and low maintenance. It comes in a range of different colours and effects. It has great thermal qualities, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night and can be installed with underfloor heating.
Cons – Hire a professional and make sure you get a guarantee – this makes it one of the most costly floor finishes on the market. Concrete can be chipped or cracked if not installed properly. It can be repaired if chip or crack, but not seamlessly and at a cost. They are slippery when wet (however a matt sealer can alleviate that), and not forgiving to your feet if you’re standing on it for long periods.
Pros – Vinyl flooring is making a big come-back in the last few years. Inexpensive, really versatile and durable flooring material and is available in tiles or sheets and in a large variety of shades, textures, patterns, and styles – the designer look for less. Vinyl floors are easy to clean, water resistant and can be laid over an existing floor. It can work with underfloor heating, but the temperature needs to be regulated.
Cons – The issue with Vinyl floors is that it isn’t as hardwearing as other materials; it’s prone to ripping or tearing if it were to come in contact with a sharp object. It can fade in direct sunlight and has a relatively short lifespan. If damaged, it’s unrepairable.