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Kitchen

16 min read

What Is the Best Kitchen Flooring?

Kitchen

16 min read

What Is the Best Kitchen Flooring?

KitchenWhat Is the Best Kitchen Flooring?

The kitchen is a focal point in any home; an area which we tend to gravitate toward and spend a lot of time in. Kitchen flooring renovation projects are very common among homeowners looking to revamp their living spaces. There are a myriad of reasons why you would be looking to undertake such a project. Among the many, it may be to improve the overall look of your kitchen, increase the value of your home, or revamp damaged, worn, or outdated flooring.

There are several different types of kitchen flooring options. The flooring you choose will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, budget, and the level of care and maintenance required. Is your current kitchen flooring in need of a little revamp, and you’ve started looking around at flooring samples in various stores or on blog articles? Keep on reading to get some more insight into your renovation project.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Kitchen Flooring

Photo: unsplash

Numerous flooring options are suited to this area, but prior to choosing your favourite, here are a few factors to consider:

Budget 

Just like any renovation project, you have to start by establishing your budget. It’s your starting point. It might come in handy to mention your budget to in-store customer service personnel when you begin shopping around for your kitchen flooring. 

Low Maintenance  Factor 

At home, the kitchen is probably the area that’s most messy and accident-prone. Therefore, opting for low-maintenance and stain-resistant flooring is of utmost importance. Keep in mind that a single-coloured floor will bring out any stains or dirt, so choose flooring with some sort of pattern, or even real wood for that matter, to better conceal any stains. 

The Room’s Current Aesthetic

When you’re ready to start shopping around, it may be worth having a few pictures on hand of what your kitchen currently looks like. Some flooring options are more versatile and timeless compared to others.

Flooring Colour

In order to create the perfect pairing, the colour of the chosen flooring is highly important. To create a harmonious design, make sure to consider the current shade of your countertops, cabinetry, and other items featured in this space. 

Service Life

Just like any flooring, consider the durability of the material in question. A kitchen is a high-foot-traffic area that’s more prone to wear compared to other areas around the house. If you have pets, note that some flooring is more vulnerable to claw marks from your furry, four-legged friends. Choosing a long-lasting flooring is also a green and cost-effective move on your part. 

Installation  

If you’ve already set aside a portion of your budget to hire a professional to lay your new flooring, the world is your oyster! However, if you’re considering the DIY route, you’ll need to choose a flooring that’s suited to your “handyman” skills. But, rest assured, it can be done!

What are the best kitchen flooring options? Take a peek at these 20 materials!

The kitchen is where one tends to spend a lot of family time. Being comfortable and liking the look of it is very important. There a several flooring options capable of withstanding daily foot traffic and wear that are also considered low maintenance:

Tiles: The flooring of preference for many

Photo: Pexels

Tiles have been a timeless indoor flooring option for decades now. Tiles are a great option; they’re cost-effective, wear-resistant, low-maintenance, and available in a wide variety, suiting all tastes and preferences. 

Tile is the most common kitchen flooring material. It’s available in a wide range of sizes and finishes. In fact, you can find glossy, polished, metallic, or patterned tiles. As such, they're perfect for any and all kitchens. Furthermore, since tiles are relatively thin, they’re just as suited for floors as they are for walls. 

1- Ceramic 

Ceramic tiles have an extremely long-lasting service life and can be very modern looking. Furthermore, ceramic tiles are a popular choice amongst those with allergies as well as pets, since this material is allergy-proof. 

2- Porcelain 

Porcelain tiles are denser, thus heavier, than ceramic. They absorb less water and are more stain-resistant. Should you choose this material for your kitchen floor, make sure the surface is non-slip. Porcelain tiles are also very hard and won’t crack as easily as ceramic might. 

3- Glass tiles 

Glass tiles are expensive, but make for such a beautiful finish. This type of tile can be cut to suit numerous shapes and sizes, so much so that a lot of people who pick this sort of tile do it because of its versatility. 

4- Terrazzo

The manufacturing process of terrazzo tiles is as old as it is traditional. These tiles are made with dyed or pigmented cement to which one or more aggregates are added. It’s made with fragments of marble, quartz, granite, glass, shells, etc. Once everything has dried, the surface is ground for a smooth finish. Next, a coat of polyurethane polish is applied to protect the surface and prolong the durability of terrazzo.

Terrazzo tiles are unique-looking and rather joyous. With just the right dosage, accessories, and colour palette, the result will be stunning. Why opt for a dull, neutral interior when you can sprinkle it with personality and class with materials as beautiful as terrazzo?

Neutral cleaners mixed with water on a damp sponge are ideal for daily terrazzo tile maintenance. Then, rinse and dry, nothing too strange.

5- Zellige tiles

Zellige is made following a long-standing craftsmanship tradition that’s deeply rooted in the Morrocan culture. Tiles are moulded from grey clay (an abundant material local to Fez, Morocco). It’s then weighed and dried, then fired for the first time. Post-firing, the tiles are enamelled and fired a second time to then be cut into geometrical shapes. 

Zellige making is an art form. Using some arithmetics, the goal behind this tradition is to create an orderly and formal environment, contrasting with the chaos of the outside world, creating a balance. Zellige tiles are installed indoors to promote a state of absolute serenity and relaxation in one’s home. 

6- Terracotta

Made with warm colours, terracotta tiles are especially aesthetically pleasing. As a matter of fact, it’s no longer exclusive to older homes, it’s quite the opposite actually. More and more, interior architects include terracotta in contemporary-looking settings. 

Amongst its many advantages, resistance comes out on top. All terracotta tiles have an unbelievable resistance to compression forces, with heightened tensile strength. While its composition will influence its capacity to contract, it won’t lessen its resistance.  

However, terracotta tiles are porous. It’s its biggest downside. Without adequate protection, stains will seep into the surface. Luckily, there are some waterproofing and oil-repellent treatments meant to protect the tiles from water and grease stains. Moreover, such tiles can be rather slippery; their non-slip feature is a direct result of their finish. 

Natural Stones

A stone flooring will add a hint of richness and authenticity to your kitchen. Its main downside resides in the fact that it’s a type of flooring that’s rather on the expensive side compared to others. Also, installation-wise, it’s a tad complex and requires a few adjustments. 

Natural stone tiles can add an unparalleled appeal to your kitchen. While it is on the expensive side, it’s still preferred for its luxuriousness and authentic appeal extended to a room. There’s a wide variety of natural stones to choose from for your kitchen flooring.

However, every stone type has its unique characteristics and necessitates specific maintenance. As such, inquire prior to choosing a tile type as whichever tile you choose will have a porous surface and, therefore, will be vulnerable to water and stain-prone. You’ll have to waterproof your flooring every year. 

7- Marble

Famous for its beauty, elegance, and durability, marble is a popular kitchen flooring choice. However, it’s also an expensive option compared to other flooring types and requires regular maintenance to keep the surface devoid of stains and scratches. 

Marble is a natural and durable material available in numerous colour palettes. 

8- Granite

Granite is an extremely resistant stone. This type of stone is mainly made up of quartz, feldspar, and mica, which give it a granular aspect and thick texture. Its robustness and low porosity render it ideal in high foot traffic areas like a kitchen, withstanding stains and humidity. 

Besides its durability, granite also exudes a luxurious and natural aesthetic. It’s available in a variety of colours and styles, which makes it easy to blend into any kitchen design. 

However, it's a pricey material. Nonetheless, due to its prolonged durability, it turns out to be a worthwhile long-term investment. And, since it’s low maintenance, it makes for great kitchen flooring. 

9- Slate

Much appreciated for its versatility and ability to create unique designs, slate is a natural stone that can be used as kitchen flooring. It’s very resistant and low maintenance, which makes it very popular amongst homeowners. Slate tiles are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours, which allows you to customize your kitchen design. 

Slate has an excellent heat-retention capacity, which can be especially beneficial in a kitchen. Its non-slip surface also makes it an ideal choice in areas where spills are to be expected and frequent. 

However, not unlike most natural materials, slate requires appropriate care to preserve its aesthetic appeal and durability. Specially designed sealants can be used to protect the tile’s surface from stains and humidity. 

10- Travertine 

Travertine is a stone that offers a unique and exquisite style. Travertine tiles are further gaining in popularity. While they’re not as versatile compared to some of the materials mentioned above, they can mimic the look of natural tiles for a fraction of the price. This material is eco-friendly and, therefore a definite option for green-hearted homeowners. Albeit, travertine is very porous and stain-prone. Therefore, if you plan on often having guests over, it might not be the right flooring for you. 

Wood

Wood is a noble and warm flooring material. It’s one of the most expensive options, but it’s extremely durable and, therefore financially worthwhile long term. When it comes to a wooden kitchen floor, you have to pay close attention to the wood species used to ensure it’s water-resistant. Teak, merbau, and ipe are wood species that are suitable for a kitchen.  

11- Hardwood

Hardwood is the ideal flooring for those who like a natural-looking touch to their interior design. Hardwood has naturally resistant properties to wear and warping, rendering it particularly suited for kitchen use. 

There are numerous hardwood species, ranging from oak to birch, each with a unique colour palette and patterns. 

  • Oak: The species is known for its robustness and durability. It’s also appreciated for its warm tones and distinctive grain patterns. 

  • Birch: With colours ranging from light pink to deep brown, birch wood exudes a rich and luxurious appearance in any and all interior settings. 

Another huge advantage of hardwood is its restoration capacity. In the event that it’s damaged or scratched, it can be sanded and restored to its original state. 

Lastly, hardwood is also an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator, which helps retain your kitchen’s heat and overall comfort.

12- Laminate floors

Laminate is a popular choice in terms of kitchen flooring options. With the help of cutting-edge technologies, the quality and look of laminate have been greatly improved over the years. It’s a great budget-friendly option for those looking for hardwood-inspired flooring, but can’t necessarily afford it. 

Unfortunately, unlike stone and wood, which are natural materials, the durability of laminate depends on how well it's manufactured since it’s a man-made product. And, since this material isn’t waterproof, keep in mind that there’s potential for water-related damage. However, laminate remains an excellent option for homeowners who aren’t looking to loosen their purse strings too much. 

13- Engineered wood

Engineered wood is a flooring option that’s increasingly sought-after in kitchens. It’s a composite-like product since it’s made with a layer of real wood topped with several layers of plywood or high-density fibreboard. Given its making, it’s highly resistant to humidity-caused variations, which can be a frequent occurrence in a kitchen. 

Another major asset is that engineered wood is easy to install.

Furthermore, it’s a material that doesn’t trap allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet fur. It’s an excellent choice for households with pets or allergy-prone individuals. 

Engineered wood is available in different wood species and an array of shades, which allows you to customize your kitchen based on your preferences. Lastly, engineered wood is a more eco-friendly choice compared to hardwood since it doesn’t require as much wood during its manufacturing process. 

Concrete

Concrete is highly regarded for its sleek and industrial aesthetic, and is an increasingly sought-after flooring option in modern kitchens. Concrete is both an extremely durable and robust material that doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds, which makes it an eco-friendly choice. 

You can customize a concrete floor using several different methods. Concrete can be stained and polished, but it can also be stencilled or waxed for a unique finish. This flooring option can also be treated to further be stain- and wear-resistant. 

A downside of concrete is that it isn’t especially comfortable to tread on barefoot, which is enough for some to steer clear of it. It’s indeed a cold and hard surface, however, adding a rug atop it can mitigate this discomfort. 

For a concrete kitchen floor, regular maintenance is recommended to maintain the floor’s appeal and durability. 

14- Waxed concrete

Waxed concrete is a flooring option that’s increasingly sought-after, especially given its modern and minimalist aesthetic. Its installation method is relatively straightforward: it’s applied directly atop the existing tiling; no need to break it. It’s also relatively thin (2 to 4 mm), meaning it won’t make your floors that much higher, allowing you to retain your kitchen furnishings. 

15- Concrete epoxy paint

Concrete epoxy paint is an excellent option for those looking to revamp their concrete flooring without undertaking large-scale renovations. This type of paint is easy to apply and offers a smooth and glossy finish that is wear-resistant. It’s rather appealing due to its ability to withstand stains, discoloration, and chipping, even when exposed to sunlight and adverse weather. 

Furthermore, concrete epoxy paint is available in a wide variety of colours, allowing you to customize your flooring based on your preferences. It can be applied in a single coat, which makes it cost-effective and less time-consuming compared to other coatings.

The exceptional resistance of concrete epoxy paint makes for an ideal kitchen flooring option. In fact, this type of paint doesn’t only withstand stains, but also chemical products. 

Synthetic Materials

Source: pexels

Synthetic (or plastic) flooring has undeniable potential. Whether mimicking wood, concrete, or stone, it's easy to install and can revamp the look of a room in no time, for a budget-friendly cost. 

Synthetic flooring materials make for excellent thermal and acoustic insulators. 

16- PVC

PVC flooring is gaining some traction. The main advantage of this type of flooring lies in its ability to mimic to perfection materials such as wood, metal, and stone. It’s a relatively easy material to install since it solely requires an adhesive to be sealed.

17- Vinyl (or linoleum)

Supple materials are shaping a new kitchen flooring trend. Vinyl is budget-friendly and a unique alternative to tiles and wooden floors. It’s especially easy to install and even easier to clean. What’s more, vinyl is available in a plethora of shades and diverse patterns that will please all tastes and preferences. The creative energy one can put into designing with this material is nearly endless. 

Eco-Friendly Materials

If you’re looking to mitigate your environmental footprint, we highly recommend opting for renewable or recyclable materials.

For humidity- or water-damage-prone areas, such as a kitchen and bathroom, it’s important to have flooring that’s non-porous. 

Note that some eco-friendly materials can be on the expensive side, unlike more traditional materials. However, it’s oftentimes much more durable and requires less maintenance long term. 

18- Bamboo

Bamboo makes for eco-friendly flooring material, and it has gained popularity over the last few years as a wood alternative. Bamboo can be treated to resemble oak or pine. However, the process affects the material’s surface as it hardens with time. 

Both appealing and eco-friendly, bamboo is a great alternative to any wood flooring. It has an overall similar look, not unlike its resistance and durability. 

One of the main drawbacks of bamboo flooring is that it has a tendency to bulge, meaning that the installation process must be done with the greatest of care. Make sure to choose a brand that offers a product warranty since it’ll reflect the product’s overall quality. 

19- Cork

Cork is a natural material extracted from a cork oak’s bark. Cork flooring is most definitely appealing due to its soft and elastic properties, which in turn makes it comfortable, especially in areas where one tends to stand for extended periods of time, such as a kitchen. Cork is both fireproof and wear-resistant. Furthermore, small scratches are barely visible since the surface is naturally irregular. 

However, note that cork is a natural product that doesn’t react like tile, so it must be used with precautionary measures depending on one’s lifestyle. Cork does require a specific maintenance routine to retain all its properties, especially when it comes to its thermal and acoustic insulation. 

20- PVC-free linoleum

PVC-free linoleum is an eco-friendly and durable kitchen flooring alternative. Contrary to popular belief, linoleum isn’t a PVC-made flooring. It’s actually made with natural elements such as resin, natural pigments, linseed oil, and other renewable materials. Amongst its many advantages, one can list the following: a great variety of designs, exceptional durability, low maintenance, as well as budget-friendly.

FAQ: Wisely Choosing Your Kitchen Flooring

What are the most budget-friendly kitchen flooring options?

The most affordable kitchen flooring options usually are:

  • Vinyl

  • Linoleum

  • Laminate

What’s the most resilient type of flooring?

The most wear-resistant materials are:

  • Ceramic

  • Porcelain

  • Concrete

  • Limestone

  • Marble

  • Granite

What's the easiest flooring to DIY install?

The most straightforward installation options are:

  • laminate flooring;

  • vinyl (in roll form mostly); and

  • cork.

What are the most low-maintenance flooring options?

Looking for low-maintenance flooring options? Set your sights on:

  • ceramic and porcelain tiles since they’re non-porous;

  • natural stones; and

  • concrete.

To learn more about the average cost of kitchen flooring, check out our article on the matter or our Kitchen Flooring Price Guide.

Are you in the midst of planning a kitchen renovation project? Check out our Kitchen Renovation Guide for a whole lot of useful information. 

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Last modified 2023-11-10


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