Choosing the right flooring can make a huge difference to the feel of your kitchen. In this guide, we explore four popular kitchen flooring materials and focus on their advantages and disadvantages.
Unsurprisingly, stone is a popular flooring choice. There are countless materials to choose from including limestone, travertine, granite, marble and slate, each with very different characteristics. Even between the same stone type, the natural beauty means that unique variations in tone and patterns make no two the same.
How to use Stone Flooring
Here we can see that the pale floor complements the neutral shades of the cabinets and worktop. The natural shade can also be seen in the curtains, blinds and wall. The soft colour palette used in this kitchen creates a light and airy space.
Advantages – Stone is dramatic, timeless, sophisticated, durable and easy to maintain. It is also a good conductor of heat so works particularly well with underfloor heating.
Disadvantages – As a hard material, stone is not very forgiving if crockery is dropped. It is also one of the more expensive kitchen flooring materials and is cold if not installed with underfloor heating.
Nothing compares to the beauty of real wood. Much like stone, it is available in a huge range of colours and textures, and so can be incorporated into a variety of designs from contemporary to traditional. It works particularly well with solid wood kitchens. You also have the option to use reclaimed timber, which can at a rustic effect.
How to use Solid Wood Flooring
In this example we see that a similar wood has been used for both the worktop and the kitchen floor. It is dark to match the walls but has been separated by the pure white cabinets and skirting boards.
Advantages – Wood is warmer and softer than stone, it is also renewable, recyclable and durable. With a little maintenance it can be made to look like new. The variety of timbers make it easy to match it to the style of your kitchen.
Disadvantages – Unless you use rugs, wooden floors can be noisy. Installation is expensive because they require a sub-floor and underfloor heating cannot be used because the changing conditions will cause the timber to warp.
Constructed from natural materials such as linseed oil, cork dust and wood dust, linoleum is an environmentally friendly option. There are also countless colours and patterns to choose from and it is available in sheets or tiles.
How to use Linoleum Flooring
This galley kitchen is predominantly white however the cabinets and linoleum flooring are a rich blue colour which creates a striking contrast.
Advantages – Linoleum is warm and is forgiving if plates or crookery are dropped. It is easy to clean, suitable for underfloor heating, and cheaper than natural materials such as stone or timber.
Disadvantages – The sheet variety is tricky to lay. It can be damaged by impacts and wears poorly over time.
Laminate flooring is available in a range of different decors from wood to stone. Most are covered in an invisible protective layer to protect them from scratches, but some have a thin veneer of wood for a more realistic effect.
How to use Laminate Flooring
If your budget cannot stretch to solid wood, laminate flooring is a great alternative. Here it has been paired with a solid wood worktop and grey cabinet frontals to create a warm and welcoming kitchen.
Advantages – Many laminate floorboards are realistic and feature textured patterns. They also tend to be affordable and are easy to clean and install.
Disadvantages – An underlayer is essential for installation and although this is often attached to the laminate board, it is not always the case. It is also unrepairable if scratched and underfloor heating can only be used with select types.
Although we have only covered four kitchen flooring materials, these are the most popular choices. Apart from material choice, what else would you consider when buying a kitchen flooring?