Kitchen flooring: choosing a material to suit you

If (like me) you are a child of the 90s, one of the most iconic interiors-related mental images probably inludes classic, black-and-white kitchen flooring.

While that’s a famous and timeless look – and, I’m not ashamed to admit, one I will forever want in my own home – there are many other options. I’m not only talking black and white – think every colour under the sun. The monochrome options are pretty gorgeous as well, I must say, though.

When it comes to materials, this should help you get started…

Checkered retro-look vinyl in a kitchen

Checkered vinyl is probably one of the best-known kitchen flooring looks. Recreate it for a hint of retro chic or pair it with super-modern appliances to give it a contemporary update. Shown here is the Bubblegum & Liquorice vinyl from Avenue Floors in the Algeria colour, from £16 per sq m.

Gone are the days of having to choose between cheap lino and expensive tiles: vinyl has stepped up its game, while wood-look solutions appear like the natural material but are much more resilient.

But what do you need to know? Well, luckily I’m here with all the detail you need to find the right solution for your kitchen renovation project – read on to find out which flooring material may suit you…

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Solid and engineered wood

Engineered wood in oak

Solid planks of wood look nice, but when fitting them in a kitchen the moist environment means you run the risk of warping. Engineered designs, however, can cope with spills much better (but please still wipe them up immediately) – such as this rustic-looking Oak Auronzono flooring from Kährs, £100 per sq m.

Oak, pine, teak… there are so many different types of natural flooring out there. Their looks are very different, but they all have one thing in common: wood itself is not actually 100% suited to a kitchen.

You cad sand it down and stain it time and time again to fixes scratches, but the heat – as well as a potentially damp environment paired with frequent spills – may cause planks to warp.

Luckily, there is another option if you want the real deal’s appearance without the high-maintenance aspect.

Engineered wood, including laminate or flooring sold by the likes of Kährs and Amtico, looks the part but is often very hard-wearing. It can easily withstand the demands of a busy kitchen, be it in a family home or party central.

Vinyl kitchen flooring

Wood-effect vinyl in a black kitchen

Different laying patterns and a range of effect looks mean luxury vinyl tiles are a versatile, hard-wearing choice. Plus they feel nice underfoot – such as The Oslo from Amtico, price on application, for example.

The iconic black-and-white design isn’t the only option out there. You can buy vinyl as sheets or so-called luxury vinyl tiles, which is exactly what it says on the tin and comes in a whole host of designs.

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Wood-effect? Yes. Porcelain-look? Absolutely. Bright, unusual patterned designs? Vinyl has you covered.

It’s not limited to square tiles, either. You could find hexagonal or trapeze-shaped flooring, too, for an extra touch of character.

Not to mention the material is really hard-wearing and doesn’t mind any spills. That said, it’s still best to wipe up any accidents as they happen, to avoid the chance of staining (or, realistically, to also stop you from slipping).

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Dark wood-effect porcelain tiles in a white kitchen

Hard-wearing and resistant to all sorts of spills, porcelain tiles are ideal for busy kitchens. They now come in wood-effect looks, among a whole host of other designs, so can suit almost any scheme. Replicating a dark wood look, Tile Mountain‘s Country Nut design is laid in a herringbone pattern, so it looks like parquet. Priced £19.99 per sq m.

Much like vinyl, this type of flooring is hard-wearing and comes in a range of shapes, colours, and patterns.

However, tiles also come in different materials. The most familiar are usually ceramic and porcelain. They are often glossy, robust materials you frequently find used for splashbacks or in bathrooms.

But there are other options: encaustic tiles, which carry a pattern all the way through the shingle, or even metal.

Glass tiles also exist, but I’d always recommend them for a splashback rather than the floor. After all, it’d be a shame if you drop something and crack a tile in the process. They are quite tricky to replace after all.

As ever, let me know if you found a solution in this. And if you’re one of the dedicated people who have real wood, please tell me your secret to keeping it in ship shape.

Featured image: No longer constrained to shades of grey, vinyl now comes in options that look like stone, wood, or other materials which may not be ideal for a kitchen. Shown here is the Brandon vinyl flooring from Leoline‘s The Luxury Classics Collection, from £19 per sq m, in 402976092. 

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