The floor is the anchor in any design scheme, making it an important, long-term decision. There are numerous options available on the market, from vinyl to hardwood and tiles; and that is before the subject of laying patterns. Like many other elements of your kitchen design, there are pros and cons lining every avenue. We have compiled a quick guide to help you navigate different materials and find the right option for your kitchen.
Middle of the road in terms of cost, tiles are a popular choice for the kitchen, mainly due to durability and simple upkeep. Take porcelain as an example, a strong and tenacious material with high absorption, it is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. Though it should be noted that it’s not indestructible and heavy droppages will result in cracks, not to mention the slip hazard when very wet. The development of modern printing technology also means design possibilities now include surfaces that can mimic natural stone, wood, concrete and other colourful styles.
Below is the Ledbury Slate Grey Tiles from Walls and Floors (from around £50 per sq m). With an encaustic effect design, the vintage patterned tiles are ideal for a statement floor.
A timeless material, real wood flooring has become synonymous with quality and authenticity. But does this mean it’s “the best”? As with most beautiful things, solid or engineered hardwood will come at a cost. In fact, it is one of the most expensive options on the market. There is also the question of upkeep – hardwood floors are vulnerable to scratching when coming into contact with harder materials and warping with exposure to prolonged moisture. Having said that, if you protect the flooring correctly it has the power to outlive almost anything in your property. All things considered, hardwood flooring has an enduring appeal with homeowners and will therefore reap dividends when you come to selling your property.
Below is an engineered wood from Kersaint Cobb Duo living XL 113XL Grey Mist (£52 per sq m).
Vinyl flooring is a product of modern development and has evolved a lot in recent years. Despite what the name suggests, new collections have a textured design to realistically replicate wood and stone, giving the look and feel of natural materials. Usually engineered with a thick protective wear layer, you can now buy LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) with a lifetime warranty. Unlike hardwood, many LVT products are also compatible with underfloor heating up to 27º, meaning they match up to modern day demands. It is fair to say LVT is a smart balance of form and function.
Below is the Mineral ceramic tile from Amtico’s Form Collection (prices start from around £50 per sq m). The natural variation of shades draws the eye to subtle changes in colour that replicate the appearance of stone.
Laminate does suffer from a poor reputation, however it is an inexpensive option that delivers on durability. Its scratch-resistance makes it ideal for busy kitchens with high footfall and, like LVT, it offers realistic wood and ceramic finishes. However, compared with LVT and tiles, it doesn’t have the same protection against moisture and is therefore vulnerable to warping. You can use a moisture-resistant cleaner to help combat this, making it slightly more labour intensive in terms of upkeep. There is no denying that it is a cost-effective option.
Below is the Ostend Kansas Antique Finish laminate flooring from B&Q (£15 per sq m).
Any flooring you select should have a fair balance of style and performance, so always consider the demands of your space before shortlisting the type of product.