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Picking out the best flooring for kitchens is such an important decision when it comes to designing your space.
After all, kitchen flooring is probably the most hardworking surface in the home and needs to withstand regular staining (and therefore lots of cleaning), water spills, and temperature fluctuations.
Of course, this doesn't mean that kitchen flooring ideas can't be pretty too.With beautiful patterns and finishes available regardless of the material you choose, there's no excuse for your kitchen floor not to be a major feature of the space.
Experts at Amtico (opens in new tab) explain, 'These days our kitchens are at the heart of the home, and are an important space for cooking, socializing, working and entertaining. It goes without saying that your kitchen flooring needs to look great, but it also needs to be durable, hardwearing and easy to clean.'
To help you find the best kitchen flooring, we have put together a guide that takes you through all the options plus how to keep your choice looking at its best.
- Considering a major kitchen overhaul? Our kitchen design: how to plan a kitchen guide is exactly what you need to read.
Pick out easy to maintain kitchen floor tiles
For durability and a range of visual effects, nothing beats floor tiles as one of the best flooring for kitchens.
Floor tiles come in a range of natural and manmade materials and finishes, from textured to matt to high shine. Some tiles are more porous than others – something to be careful of in a room where moisture levels tend to be high. If you've fallen in love with a tile, such as terracotta, that is porous, ensure it's well sealed, and resealed regularly.
Choose: Want real stone? Opt for slate or granite. For manmade materials, porcelain or ceramic tiles are a time-tested flooring option for kitchens.
What's the difference? Real stone has plenty of character; manmade materials less so, although they are generally more affordable and can be made to mimic other materials convincingly, such as wood.
Avoid: Limestone, which tends to scratch, and travertine, which is porous.
Design know-how: Use larger-scale and/or pale-colored and/or high-shine tiles, to make a small space feel bigger. Lay tiles diagonally rather than square on to the wall, too, to enhance the effect further.Tiles with a pitted surface are much more difficult to keep clean than those with a smooth finish.
Installing floor tiles: Is perfectly doable by DIYers, unless your floors tiles are particularly heavy and expensive, or a tricky material to cut (which some natural stones are), in which case invest in the services of a professional. Find out how to tile in our guide.
Cleaning floor tiles: To clean your tiled kitchen floor, use warm water only on natural stone, and a mild detergent on ceramic and porcelain.
- Need more guidance on ceramic tile floors? Read our guide to choosing ceramic tiles
Opt for the warmth of wood kitchen flooring
Wood flooring brings warmth and texture to a kitchen, particularly in a period home, but importantly in a contemporary home where cabinetry might be sleek and modern. However, any kitchen will always be exposed to a lot of moisture, which means your choice of wood flooring needs to be a careful one.
Choose: Engineered wood flooring, which will do much better in a kitchen – with a durable top layer, it is much more resistant to warping and movement than solid wood.
Avoid: Expensive, solid wood flooring, which can warp when exposed to water.
Design know-how: For an on-trend, expensive finish, have parquet flooring laid in a herringbone pattern. Lighter wood colors will create a more spacious feel in your kitchen, but will show dirt more quickly; white or pale cabinetry can look stunning contrasted with dark wood flooring, which hides marks more effectively. Wider boards look more contemporary than narrower ones.
Installing wood flooring: Professional installation is often recommended for a perfect finish, but as most of the ranges now come as a floating floor with a click-lock system, competent DIYers will be able to install wood flooring themselves.
Cleaning wood flooring: Clean your wood flooring with a damp mop, and avoid saturating the surface with water.
Choose laminate for a cost-effective kitchen floor
Laminate flooring has been a firm favorite for kitchens for a long time. Its main edge over tile and wood flooring is its cost effectiveness, although high-quality and pricier options are available.
Ari Ziskin at FlooringInc.com (opens in new tab) says, 'As technology improves, so does laminate flooring. You will see even more convincing wood looks and all of the current wood trends including handscraped wood looks, and distressed wood looks.'
Stain- and scratch-resistant, it's a great option for busy kitchens, but check yours copes with the room's steamy conditions before buying.
Choose: Higher-end laminate, which can have a very convincing wood or tile effect, complete with grain finishes, embossing, beveled edges and stone looks.
Avoid: The cheapest laminate, which tends to stain, warp, and peel. With laminate flooring, you get what you pay for, with cheaper options often having an overly shiny and unrealistic effect.
Design know-how: Go for a low-sheen finish, and look for the details mentioned above, such as beveled edges, to get a truly convincing lookalike. Protect your laminate flooring from damage by heavy kitchen appliances with an underlay.
Installing laminate flooring: It is possible to lay most laminate flooring yourself, as most manufacturers have updated their laminate with easy-to-fit locking systems.
Cleaning laminate flooring: To clean your laminate floor, use a damp cloth, but never a soaking wet mop, which can get water under the laminate flooring and ruin it.
- You've been cleaning laminate flooring all wrong. This is how to get that pristine, no-streak finish.
Explore alternative materials for your kitchen floor
- After more inspiration? Make sure you check out our kitchen ideas page too.
Alternative materials, such as vinyl, rubber, even bamboo, for kitchen flooring have been gaining popularity in recent years: they can be hard-wearing and water-resistant, and more cost effective than traditional options.
Choose: Bamboo, which is eco-friendly, tough, easy to maintain and more water-resistant than hardwood. Cork is another suitable option for kitchens, but is incompatible with underfloor heating.Concrete and resin flooring is a possibility for ground-floor kitchens, but will not be suitable for upstairs kitchens. Rubber can work in kitchens, but can be easily scratched, so avoid damage from kitchen appliances by placing a sheet of hardboard between the appliance and floor.
Avoid: Leather and reclaimed wood, beautiful but expensive and high-maintenance materials that will not respond well to the wear and tear that is part of daily kitchen use.
Design know-how: Poured concrete looks good as part of a contemporary open plan space. It can also be used outdoors, so offers the perfect opportunity to incorporate the same flooring throughout, connecting the garden to the rest of the house. Create a similar effect with floor tiles, from contemporary to traditional in style.
Installing alternative flooring: Bamboo can be installed with glue or as a free-floating floor, and is compatible with underfloor heating (though you will need to contact your manufacturer for temperature limits). Polished concrete tiles, rubber tiles and vinyl tiles can be laid by an experienced DIYer, but poured concrete, poured resin and rubber and vinyl sheet kitchen floors should be left to professionals.
Cleaning alternative flooring: Concrete, rubber, vinyl, resin and bamboo are all generally very low-maintenance and should be wipe-cleaned with a damp cloth.
What is the best hard wearing flooring for a kitchen? ›
Tile. Ceramic tile or porcelain tile is a good choice for kitchen flooring because it's waterproof and resistant to stains. Tile is difficult to break or scratch so it can last indefinitely, showing little to no wear over time.What flooring is best for a kitchen and living room? ›
What's the Best Flooring for a Kitchen and Living Room Combo? Vinyl plank and waterproof laminate are the best flooring options here because they balance comfort and performance well. You won't have to worry about spills and a classy hardwood style is always a good look.What is the best vinyl flooring for a kitchen? ›
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and vinyl roll (also known as sheet vinyl), are both suitable for kitchen floors. They're durable, moisture-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Kitchen spills and splashes from cooking and washing up are no problem for vinyl's durable and water-resistant surface.What is the easiest flooring to keep clean? ›
Vinyl flooring is probably the easiest to clean out of all the options listed here and also one of the easiest to maintain. Also known as Cushion Floor, vinyl flooring is available at a good price and can take plenty of wear over the years, which is why many will come with a 15 year warrantee.What kitchen flooring is easy to keep clean? ›
For kitchen flooring, durability and ease of cleaning are top criteria. Good choices are linoleum, ceramic tile–both very common–and wood. Linoleum is inexpensive and provides an easy-to-clean surface and comes in countless designs. Ceramic tiles are even better.What type of flooring lasts the longest? ›
Porcelain and ceramic are some of the longest lasting flooring materials available, and they require little maintenance. Tile flooring is also moisture resistant, making it the perfect choice for areas where spills are common like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.What is the most durable long lasting type of flooring? ›
“Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn't wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn't fade, it's waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet.What Colour floor is best for kitchen? ›
Neutral colours like white and cream give natural wood space to shine; stick to pale wood for small or narrow kitchens where dark corners are a risk, or create contrast in a larger kitchen with white units and dark wood floors.Which is better laminate or vinyl? ›
To summarize, vinyl is a better choice when you need water resistance, lifespan, and durability in your flooring. Meanwhile, laminate is preferable if you want a more stylish appearance, lower costs, and a comfortable feel underfoot.Do kitchen and living room floors have to match? ›
There is absolutely no need to change flooring from room to room. We often work with homeowners who feel the urge to pick a different flooring for every room of their home, but there is absolutely no need to do this. Your home will look best if you create one consistent look that travels from room to room.
Should kitchen floor be darker than cabinets? ›
There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to whether your floor should be lighter or darker than your cabinets, but as a general rule of thumb, use darker floors with light cabinetry and vice versa. When it comes to striking the right balance between your kitchen cabinets and your floor, contrast is a useful tool.What is the best thickness in vinyl flooring for a kitchen? ›
The rule of thumb is to use 4mm to 6mm thickness in heavily used areas of the house and 4mm and below for areas like the bedroom.Is laminate or vinyl better for kitchen? ›
Neither type of flooring is better than the other across all categories. Vinyl flooring is best in high-moisture areas and it's easy to keep clean. Yet laminate flooring offers a wider variety of style choices and has a higher resale value.What floors never go out of style? ›
Hardwood floors work with almost any style — year in, year out. Given that flooring is the biggest expanse of product you'll see in your new space, designer Christina Fluegge of Greige Design recommends going with a high-quality hardwood that allows you to refinish as time goes by rather than having to replace.What floor color looks the cleanest? ›
So, what flooring looks cleanest? Typically, lighter color woods show less dirt and dust. Dark floors can easily show dust, while lighter floors mask it.What color floors never go out of style? ›
Neutral shades such as light brown, gray, and black are timeless classics that will look good for years to come.What is the most preferred flooring? ›
Popular flooring options include wood, engineered flooring materials, vinyl, tile and carpet.What is the best flooring that won't fade? ›
A good quality laminate floor is well equipped to handle levels of high UV, which means that it should not fade easily in the sun. Laminate flooring has aluminum oxide coating as a top layer, which will prevent fading and determines how the floor will wear over time.Should floors be darker or lighter than walls? ›
Many home experts agree that the floor color should be darker than the walls. The rule generally applies because lighter walls and a dark floor make the room seem larger. Most homeowners prefer a spacious looking interior. However, the rule can change with low ceilings.What flooring is easiest to repair? ›
Vinyl flooring is easy to maintain and requires no special care or maintenance. This is another floor covering that would enable you to trash the vacuum, as regular sweeping will be enough to keep your vinyl flooring looking just like new.
What type of flooring is most scratch resistant? ›
Tile made from ceramic or porcelain is the most scratch-resistant flooring. Ceramic tile is made of fired clay, and it's a hard and durable substance. Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic, but they make it from a more cultivated clay and bake it at higher temperatures.What is the toughest vinyl flooring? ›
In recent years, LVT (luxury vinyl tile) has established itself as one of the toughest surfaces in the flooring world. Major manufacturers, including Armstrong (with their Diamond 10 Technology), Shaw, Mannington and Congoleum have embraced its durability, stability and wide range of design options.What color flooring makes a kitchen look bigger? ›
Light colors are more reflective than dark colors and they will make your kitchen appear bigger as well as more open and airy. Light blues, greens, or pale yellows are other great colors to make your space look larger than life.What color flooring goes with everything? ›
Floors with a white finish go with almost everything. A light burlap-like color is a great choice because you still get a light floor, without installing a truly “white” floor. You can use a variety of wood species to create a light floor.What floor looks best with white kitchen? ›
Flooring: Wood is by far the most-used flooring option for traditional white kitchens. Darker stains provide a gorgeous contrast against white cabinets, while incorporating a natural feel. Ceramic tile is another great choice--the fewer grout lines, the better for a more seamless look.What's more expensive vinyl or laminate? ›
#5 Laminate is overall more affordable.
The initial costs associated with laminate flooring are typically lower than that of vinyl, with labor and materials starting at around $1 per square foot for laminate (versus $2 per square foot for vinyl).
Porcelain or ceramic tile flooring is extremely durable. Because tile is a harder material than wood or vinyl plank, it is more resistant to scratches, dents, fading, and other types of damage.What happens if vinyl flooring gets wet? ›
Luxury vinyl planks (or tiles) are, in themselves, completely water-proof and cannot be damaged by exposure to moisture. For that reason they are an excellent choice for laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and other areas where moisture is around.Should a kitchen have different flooring than the rest of the house? ›
A kitchen creates conditions different from many other rooms in a home. It's a working room with busy circulation, the floor is likely to get splashed with water, food may be dropped or spilled onto it, and items such as dishes can fall onto the floor surface. All these factors should weigh into your choice.Do kitchen floors have to match countertops? ›
The short answer is no, kitchen floors don't have to match countertops. With the exception of certain stone and tile options, floors and counters are made of different materials. Therefore, even if you select the same color, they probably won't be an exact match.
Should kitchen and bathroom floors be the same? ›
In addition, due to the amount of water, liquids, spills, and such that can happen in both locations, they will need a similar flooring. Tile floor is the best option for both of these spaces, so choosing the same is a good idea.Does flooring go around or under kitchen cabinets? ›
In most cases, given standard flooring heights, you will install the cabinets or kitchen island before the floor covering. You will also install flooring before appliances.What is the most popular countertop color? ›
Homeowners install countertops with hues across the entire spectrum, but the most popular colors are off-white and dark gray.Do we need underlayment for vinyl flooring? ›
Common Question #1 – Do vinyl floors need underlayment? Short answer is no, vinyl flooring itself does not necessarily need underlayment, however it may need depending on the acoustic requirements of the building.What do you put under vinyl flooring? ›
Cork: Cork absorbs sound, which is why it is the most preferred material to be put under the vinyl floor. It can also be a good choice for minor moisture issues, but not for large amounts of water. It also proves to be great material for combatting mould and mildew.Is vinyl plank flooring good for kitchen? ›
Durable and Long-Lasting: Vinyl is considered to be a highly durable flooring material, which makes it a great choice for kitchen flooring. It can take almost anything a normal to a chaotic household life can deliver.What type of flooring should be in a kitchen? ›
Since the kitchen is a high-traffic area, you need a durable flooring material that can withstand wear and tear. Consider materials like ceramic or porcelain tile, natural stone, or hardwood floors that are strong enough to handle foot traffic and heavy furniture.Which is quieter vinyl or laminate? ›
When it's installed with a suitable underlayment, laminate is more comfortable and quieter than vinyl. That's why it's great in bedrooms and living areas.What is better for kitchen vinyl or laminate flooring? ›
Neither type of flooring is better than the other across all categories. Vinyl flooring is best in high-moisture areas and it's easy to keep clean. Yet laminate flooring offers a wider variety of style choices and has a higher resale value.What is the most durable type of flooring? ›
“Tile is the highest-rated flooring among the categories we test,” says Enrique de Paz, who leads flooring testing at Consumer Reports. “It doesn't wear out, scratch, or stain. Its color doesn't fade, it's waterproof, and it is surprisingly slip-resistant, even when wet.
Is it better to have tile or hardwood in the kitchen? ›
Kitchens typically are the highest-traffic area in the home, therefore your hardwood floor will need more upkeep than tile. Hardwood is generally very easy to clean as it does not accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and debris.What is more durable laminate or vinyl plank? ›
Vinyl also has a longer lifespan and better overall durability than laminate. Although it can last twice as long as laminate, vinyl (especially luxury vinyl) may involve a larger investment upfront.Why avoid vinyl flooring? ›
Manufacturing vinyl flooring requires the use of toxic chemicals, and after installation, vinyl floors have been known to emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Off-gassed VOCs can adversely affect health and an indoor environment, particularly without windows or ventilation, will lead to higher concentrations.What destroys vinyl plank flooring? ›
Water from an overly wet mop can destroy the glue bond that holds down the vinyl. This can cause the corners to curl and the vinyl floor to become loose. Never use rolling casters. Rolling casters can damage the surface of your vinyl floor.What looks more real laminate or vinyl? ›
Many homeowners prefer the look of laminate to that of vinyl. Although both flooring types come in a range of styles, colors, and patterns, laminate typically features better imagery or embossing that gives the floors a more realistic look.Should I put vinyl flooring in kitchen? ›
Vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for the kitchen. All of our vinyl flooring products are 100-percent waterproof, stain resistant and can work well in all types of spaces.Which flooring type is the most water resistant? ›
Porcelain tile, however, is waterproof and proves to be one of the most durable waterproof floors available on the market today. Tile does not tend to scratch or scuff easily, and it's one type of flooring that has continuously proven it's a great option if you're looking for durable waterproof floors.Do people still put tile in kitchen? ›
Tile is known for being durable and easy to clean, perfect for kitchens. But, with the surge in wood kitchen flooring, is tile on its way out? Not at all! Tile is still as trendy in kitchens as ever before.Do people put hardwood floors in kitchens? ›
If you're looking for a gorgeous, durable flooring option for your kitchen, wood floors may be the answer. It's been popular for centuries, and its timeless design never goes out of style. Plus, "we see this trend a lot because people love the feel of wood underfoot.What are the disadvantages of tile flooring in the kitchen? ›
Expensive: Compared to other types of flooring like laminate, tile—especially high-quality or natural stone tile—is expensive to purchase and install. Grout issues: Grout between tiles needs to be actively maintained, especially in high-traffic areas.