Laminate is a popular kitchen flooring choice due to its affordable price tag and low maintenance requirements. It’s often used as a cheaper alternative to hardwood kitchen floors, due to its realistic wood appearance.
- Scratch and moisture resistant
- Easy to clean
- Simple to install
- Wide variety of styles and colours
- May be slippery or ‘squeaky’
- Not refinishable so would need replacing if damaged
How to style
Laminate flooring comes in such a huge range of designs that it can be styled to suit any kitchen, modern or traditional.
For a contemporary kitchen, consider a dark wood or trendy light grey panels with white cabinets. Or for a more traditional style, pair a paler or white-coloured wood with cream or rustic green cabinets for a farmhouse look.
Those with a bigger budget may choose to upgrade from laminate to the real thing; wood has the added appeal of being unique due to the natural variations in grain and colour.
- Attractive look
- Can be sanded or refinished to mend minor damages
- Can add value to your property
- Susceptible to dents or scratches
- Can warp from moisture if not protected
- Requires refinishing from time to time
- Can be noisy
How to style
Like laminate flooring, wood can be adapted to fit a range of kitchen floor ideas. Natural wood adds a real warmth to any space, so you can even make your floor a main feature of the kitchen, keeping your cupboard units and worktops more neutral.
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.
Floor tiles are a common choice in kitchens, and for good reason. They’re low maintenance, hardwearing, and designs are getting increasingly imaginative - meaning you can create a real statement floor!
- Popular tile materials like ceramic and porcelain are extremely durable against wear and tear
- Moisture resistant
- Heat and chemical resistant
- Easy to clean
- Wide variety of colours and shapes
- Grout lines require maintenance
- Items likely to break if dropped on tile
- Will feel particularly cold in chilly weather
How to style
Start by choosing between gloss and matt tiles. While gloss has a reflective quality that opens up small or dark kitchens, matt tiles provide better grip for kitchen floor tiles, where you may be rushing around with hot food. They’re also more low maintenance, as they show up water splashes and smudges less.
With ever-advancing design developments, tiles can now be manufactured to mimic almost any material for a lower cost; from stone to wood to marble effect, you can take your pick from endless kitchen tile ideas!
For an eye-catching modern or kitschy kitchen, consider a bold geometric print with brightly coloured units, or opt for a more natural look with a neutral slate or stone-effect tile.
Like hardwood, the variations in colour and pattern of stone give it a gorgeous authentic feel. Stone is naturally cool, which is handy for temperature control in hot weather but can be chilly in winter; you many want to invest in underfloor heating.
- Hard and durable
- Easy to clean
- Beautiful, natural look
- Can be cold
- Some materials are susceptible to stains or chips
- Need to be sealed regularly
How to style
Stone fits perfectly into a farmhouse kitchen and can be complemented well with other natural materials like wood. Build on your outdoorsy feel with wooden cabinets or tables, neutral coloured decor, and accessories like plants or flowers.
Stone can also be used outside, which is ideal if you want to create a sense of flow between your kitchen and an outdoor patio or porch area.
Vinyl offers the best of many worlds; it’s cheap, hardwearing, and comes in a variety of styles. While it doesn’t have the most high-end appearance, it is a super practical solution for kitchen renovations on a budget.
However, bear in mind that the cheapest vinyl will be very thin and therefore more easily damaged. Aim for a thickness of 3.5mm upwards to ensure a more durable floor; this will be more cost effective in the long run as you won’t need to replace it as quickly.
- Easy to clean, with a vinyl floor cleaner
- Wide range of styles and textures
- Usually easy to install
- The floor beneath must be completely smooth before laying vinyl
- Chemicals used in the manufacturing can release potentially harmful gasses into the home for a period after installation
- Can’t be refinished if damaged
Be aware that, while vinyl tiles are relatively simple to install, you may require a specialist to lay sheet vinyl.
How to style
Vinyl flooring is now available in a wide range of exciting colours and patterns; what it lacks in the authentic look of more natural flooring, it makes up for with imaginative designs. A bold pattern is perfect for a fun family kitchen, a mosaic theme, or a retro look with pastel cabinets.
Vinyl can also be printed to imitate natural materials, like wood or stone. This can be a handy fallback solution if you want the natural look, but don’t have the budget.
Open plan kitchen flooring ideas
If you have an open plan kitchen and living area, you may have to make slightly different flooring choices depending on the needs of the other space. A dining room may suit the same flooring, whereas a cosy living room might require a different material.
Here are a few ideas to inspire your open plan flooring…
Keeping it consistent
The most straightforward approach is to have the same flooring throughout the space; in this case, you should choose something that will suit both areas. Wood is a warm material that feels perfectly at home in both a kitchen and living room, whilst stone can work in a trendy industrial space, especially if warmed up by splashes of colour and textiles in the lounge area.
If you want different materials for your kitchen and living areas, there are a few ways to seamlessly transition between the two.
If you’re combining tile with another material, position the edge tiles in an irregular arrangement so there’s a feeling of flow between the tiles disappearing and the new flooring taking its place.
A more subtle approach is to use the same material in two slightly different tones; for example wood or laminate with a similar grain but different colour. This separates the areas but in an elegant and almost unnoticeable way.
Playing with textures
A third option is to maintain consistent flooring throughout the space, but layer fabrics through the living area and walkways to break it up a little. Subtle flooring materials like wood and stone can be complemented with rugs in bold patterns, bright colours and interesting textures to add a more comfy feel.
Choosing a kitchen flooring colour
As well as style, you should consider your colour scheme and the atmosphere you want to create when choosing your new kitchen flooring. Will you choose light or dark flooring?
For a dramatic look, why not try all dark cabinets with matching dark flooring? A monochrome look will create a seamless line from wall to floor for a sleek, ultra modern design.
For a small kitchen, or in a space with little natural light, light wood floors are a great choice.. Pair with white or light neutral coloured walls to brighten up the space and make the room feel larger.
Plain or patterned?
Now that you know whether you want light, bright or dark flooring, will you choose a classic plain flooring, or make a statement with a pattern?
Natural materials like wood and plain tiles are a classic for a reason - they’re timeless, easy to style, and will never go out of style. Plain flooring works beautifully in traditional, neutral kitchens and bold, colourful kitchens alike.
However, if you have a mostly neutral kitchen and want to inject some colour, why not try a patterned tile floor?
How bold you go is up to you - you may choose a monochrome or neutral toned pattern. Or go totally eclectic with bright colourful tiles (blues and oranges for a stunning, mediterranean look), paired with brightly coloured cabinets.
If you do choose a patterned kitchen flooring, avoid using too many patterns throughout the space, or using clashing patterns to maintain a put-together and sophisticated look.
If you have a kitchen island, a great way to create a real focal point in the room is by creating an ‘island highlight’ with the flooring.
What do we mean by that? An island highlight is when you use a different colour, pattern or texture flooring around your kitchen island. This will then act as a border around the unit to bring attention to it, and create a distinct zone within the space.
Rugs & Runners
Want to add some colour underfoot without the commitment of coloured tiles or panelling? Kitchen rugs and runners are a fantastic, easy way to incorporate different textures and colours into the space.
Use in food preparation areas or under the table in a kitchen-diner to create separation between work and social zones, while making the room more cosy and comfortable.
So, which kitchen flooring is right for you?