How To Choose The Right Flooring For My Kitchen

What Are My Kitchen Flooring Options?

Here’s a description of how a selection of different flooring types will actually work, or not, in your home.

Tiles
A tiled floor is very hardwearing and easy to clean, with ceramic and porcelain being the two most popular tiles. Porcelain tiles are made from a denser clay than ceramic tiles, this is mixed with fine sand resulting in a much harder wearing, scratch resistant and less porous tile than a ceramic one. Also available are Terracotta Tiles, handmade in natural clay and fired on a kiln. Just remember that Teracotta tiles will need sealing to prevent staining from spills and foot traffic.

Quarry tiles  are also very dense and durable. These tiles aren’t glazed, although they can be left unsealed, sealing them before fitting will help prevent staining & we do recommend it.

Solid wood

Available in many different wood types, generally fitted together using tongue and grooves. As this is a natural material, no two trees are the same, you will have variation in colors. Each plank in the floor although laid tightly together will shrink and the gaps will likely increase in size over time.

The boards can come pre-finished or be finished after fitting. This option is not a very hard wearing floor, however, If over time the finish deteriorates, it can be sanded and refinished. It’s important to consider that if for any reason, your washing machine or dishwasher fails and leaks, unless the leak is dealt with very promptly, your floor will be ruined.

Engineered wood flooring

This is made up of a 3-6 mm thick wood veneer on a plywood backing. The advantage of this over a wood floor is that the shrinkage will be a lot less. You will still get a variation in color & it can be re-finished, but prolonged contact with water will ruin your floor.

Laminate flooring

This use to be considered as a cheap, unstylish option, however there’s now a huge range to choose from. This flooring is definitely a case of you pay for what you get, the cheap options aren’t very realistic or hardwearing. A quality laminate flooring is realistic, easy to lay, durable, and easy to clean and maintain. This is a great choice if you suffer from allergies or have pets.

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring is durable, easy to keep clean and maintain. Made from Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), this is a versatile product available in sheet form, tiles and as a click together floor. The dated vinyl sheets you may remember have now been replaced with a fantastic range of finishes including stone, wood, ceramic and many others. Again, if you have pets or allergies, this is a great option.

Natural stone

These tiles come in a variety of natural stones. These are an expensive tile to buy and lay, as these have to be laid on a cement bed on a concrete sub floor. The bigger the tile, the better your finished floor will look.

Marble

Again this is an expensive option but can look incredible when done well. The tiles must be sealed to keep them stain free and in good condition. Marble is shiny, and it’s worth noting that you will end up with a slippery floor, unsuitable for young children & pets if you want to prevent injury.

Slate

This is a hardwearing, reasonable stain resistant and durable tile available in a variety of surface finishes and colors.

Limestone – This is a mid-priced flooring, more expensive than ceramic or porcelain tiles and less expensive than Marble. Limestone has a warm rustic look, however it is porous like Terracotta and will need subsequent sealing.

 

If you want a warm floor in the depths of winter, all of these floors can have underfloor heating installed under them for extra comfort and a luxury feel. Electrical under floor heating is low cost and easily installed, but it may not be ideal for large areas, or beneath complex to install surfaces (stone, solid wood). In those cases a ‘wet’ system plumbed in to your central heating may be the optimal choice.

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