ADVICE & TIPS, FLOORING

How To Choose Your Kitchen Flooring – Material & Design Selection

Trying to choose the right kitchen flooring can be a daunting task, with so many materials and designs to pick from it’s tricky to know how to narrow it down.

So, after my 10+ years in the kitchen design industry, I’ve come up with a series of questions and considerations to work through to help you choose the perfect kitchen flooring.

Let’s get into it!

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In a hurry? Here’s my key takeaway:

👣 When choosing your kitchen flooring, ask yourself:

  • Durability and Traffic: Can it withstand your household’s activity levels?
  • Moisture Resistance: Is it suitable for the inevitable spills in a kitchen?
  • Maintenance: How much time and effort are you willing to invest in upkeep?
  • Aesthetics: Does it complement your kitchen’s design and your personal style?
  • Budget: Does it provide value for your investment without breaking the bank?

Read on to learn more…

How To Choose Your Kitchen Flooring

When choosing your perfect kitchen flooring, I like to break it down into two sections, material and design.

Material Consideration:

The journey to selecting your kitchen flooring begins with identifying the material that best aligns with your day-to-day needs.

Factors such as durability, maintenance, and moisture resistance play crucial roles in this decision.

Consider how each option stands up to kitchen challenges like heavy foot traffic, spills, and varying temperatures to ensure a long-lasting foundation for your kitchen and lifestyle.

Design Selection:

After narrowing down the material, the next step is to explore the vast array of design possibilities that it offers.

This stage is where your personal taste and the character of your space truly come into play.

From the colour and pattern to the finish and layout, every design element should harmonize with your kitchen’s overall theme and the look and style you want to achieve.

Consider how the flooring will integrate with existing or planned elements of your kitchen, such as cabinetry, countertops, and lighting, to create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

Kitchen Flooring Samples

Kitchen Flooring Material Considerations

1. Durability and Traffic

Consider the amount of traffic your kitchen receives. How durable do you need your flooring to be? Does your current floor have scratches and stains?

Kitchens are high-traffic areas, so choosing a durable flooring material that can withstand daily wear and tear is essential.

Materials like porcelain tiles, natural stone, and high-quality laminate or vinyl can be excellent choices for durability.

Just be careful with some natural stones such as marble and sandstone, while still durable they are considered soft stones and may scratch and etch a little more easily.

2. Moisture Resistance

Consider how splashy a cook you are and the overall levels of moisture in your environment compared with the material’s resistance to moisture.

Spills and splashes are common in kitchens, so opt for flooring that is water-resistant or waterproof.

Vinyl flooring and porcelain tile floors are notable for their resistance to moisture, whereas hardwood and laminate can require more care to prevent water damage.

3. Maintenance and Cleaning

Consider the ease of maintenance. What’s your lifestyle like? Do you need something you can just quickly mop, or are you okay with a bit more care and attention?

Some flooring options, like vinyl tiles (or luxury vinyl tiles) and laminate, are easy to clean and maintain, while others, such as natural stone, require sealing and specific cleaning products to maintain their appearance and durability.

Also, don’t forget about grout and grout lines!

Kitchen Flooring Samples Tiles

4. Comfort and Ergonomics

How important are comfort and ergonomics underfoot in your kitchen, and how will this influence your choice of flooring material?

Think about underfoot comfort. Standing for long periods can be hard on your feet and back.

Softer materials, such as vinyl (LVT/LVP), cork or cushioned mats over harder surfaces, can provide greater comfort.

Additionally, consider the temperature of the flooring; materials like wood and cork are warmer underfoot compared to tile and stone.

6. Budget

Factor in the cost, including installation.

The price range for kitchen flooring can vary widely, from cost-effective options like laminate and vinyl to more expensive choices like natural stone and solid hardwood.

Remember to include the cost of installation, which can vary depending on the complexity and the material chosen and whether it could potentially be a DIY job.

7. Installation Requirements

Are you prepared for the installation process of your chosen flooring, and how does this influence your selection?

Some flooring options might be suitable for a DIY project installation (e.g., click-lock vinyl planks or laminate flooring), while others, like natural stone tiles, typically require professional installation.

Some may also require additional prep work to the subfloor before the flooring can be put down. So, consider the time and cost involved in the installation process.

Kitchen Flooring Wood floor Samples

8. Environmental Considerations

Think about sustainability and indoor air quality. Do your environmental and health priorities influence your choice of kitchen flooring material?

If environmental impact and health are concerns, look for flooring materials with low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and those made from renewable resources.

Bamboo, cork, and certain types of wood and linoleum are considered more environmentally friendly choices.

Linoleum flooring is made from linseed oil, rather than PVC to make it more environmentally friendly. Bamboo flooring and cork flooring are made from fast-growing, natural and renewable materials.

9. Underfloor Heating Compatibility

Will your chosen flooring material work well with underfloor heating, if you’re considering it, and how does this affect your decision?

If you plan to install underfloor heating, ensure the flooring material is compatible.

Tile and concrete floors work well with underfloor heating, while solid hardwood is not recommended due to the potential for heat-induced expansion and contraction.

10. Property Style

This one comes under both material and design.

How does the style and era of your property influence your choice of kitchen flooring, and are you looking to complement or contrast with it?

Consider the architectural style and period of your property. Think whether the new flooring complements your home’s architectural heritage and overall aesthetic.

For homes with a distinct architectural style or historical significance, selecting flooring that is historically accurate or sympathetic to the property’s era can enhance its character and value.

However, there’s also a unique opportunity to create contrast and interest through well-thought-out juxtapositions.

Modern materials and designs can breathe new life into older properties, providing a contemporary twist that highlights the best of both worlds.

It’s important to strike a balance between honouring the property’s history and incorporating modern functionality and aesthetics.

Kitchen flooring choice in keeping with the period and style of the property
Image – deVOL

Kitchen Flooring Design Considerations

1. Kitchen Design Aesthetics

How will the flooring you choose enhance or transform the aesthetic of your kitchen design?

Ideally, the flooring should complement the overall design of your kitchen.

With the wide range of materials and finishes available, you can select a flooring option that aligns with your aesthetic preferences, whether you’re looking for a modern, rustic, or traditional look.

2. Contrast

Can contrast in your flooring choice elevate the design of your kitchen, and what level of contrast are you comfortable with?

Depending on the look you are going for you may want to utilise contrast to your advantage.

Utilizing contrasting colours or textures can define areas, highlight architectural features, or add an element of surprise.

For example, a dark slate floor against light cabinetry can draw the eye and make a bold statement.

When selecting flooring, consider how it will contrast with other elements in your kitchen to achieve a balanced yet captivating design.

3. Monochromatic Scheme

Or the opposite of a contrasting colour scheme…

Will a monochromatic scheme in your kitchen flooring achieve the design effect you desire, and how will it blend with the rest of your kitchen’s design elements?

A monochromatic flooring choice offers a sleek, cohesive look that can visually expand your kitchen space. Perfect for making a small kitchen look and feel bigger.

This approach focuses on using varying shades and textures of a single colour to create depth and interest without overwhelming the senses.

Whether it’s a soft, matte finish or a glossy, reflective surface, monochromatic flooring can set a sophisticated tone that complements any design aesthetic.

4. Continuity with Adjoining Rooms

Is it important for your kitchen flooring to create continuity with adjoining rooms?

Achieving continuity in flooring between your kitchen and adjoining rooms can enhance the flow and coherence of your living space.

Consistent flooring materials and colours create a seamless transition from one area to another, making the overall space feel larger and more integrated.

When planning your kitchen flooring, consider how it will align with the adjacent rooms to ensure a harmonious design throughout your home.

And if you’re lucky enough to have an outside area attached to your kitchen (patio doors) you could also consider the same flooring material for indoors and outdoors. This not only looks amazing (in my opinion) but also helps to expand the room and connect with nature.

5. Patterned Flooring

Do you want/plan to incorporate patterns in your flooring?

Incorporating patterns into your kitchen flooring can inject personality and movement into the space. From geometric tiles to patterned vinyl, the options are limitless.

Consider classic herringbone or chevron patterns in tile or wood flooring for a timeless appeal, or opt for bold, graphic patterns to make a contemporary statement.

The right pattern can turn your floor into a focal point, adding character and dynamism to your kitchen.

6. Plain Flooring

Opting for plain flooring can create a serene, uncluttered foundation for your kitchen design.

Simple, unadorned surfaces in neutral colours offer flexibility, allowing other elements in your kitchen, like cabinetry, backsplashes, and countertops, to take centre stage.

This approach to flooring is especially effective in minimalist or Scandinavian-inspired kitchens, where the focus is on simplicity and functionality.

7. Mixing Flooring Materials (Zoning/Transitions)

Mixing flooring materials can define different zones within your kitchen or create smooth transitions between areas.

Combining hardwood flooring and tile, for example, can delineate cooking areas from dining spaces or highlight a central island.

This strategy not only adds visual interest but also allows for practical solutions, such as waterproof and stain-resistant materials where spills are likely.

Thoughtful placement and transitions between materials can achieve both aesthetic and functional benefits.

Kitchen Tile To Wood Floor Transition Idea
Image – Blakes London

8. What do you love?

What do you truly love, how does this personal preference guide your choice of kitchen flooring?

Whether it’s the warmth and natural beauty of wood, the cool elegance of stone, or the vibrant patterns of ceramic tiles, choosing a material that speaks to you can make your kitchen truly feel like home.

Don’t be afraid to prioritize your personal taste and the elements that bring you joy, as these are what will make your kitchen uniquely yours.

Your kitchen flooring should ultimately reflect what you love. ❤️

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What Next?

If you haven’t done so already, I’d recommend reading my post on some of the most popular kitchen flooring options, in conjunction with this post to help even further.

Hopefully, by working through these questions and considerations it’s narrowed down your kitchen flooring options and led you to choose your perfect pick! 👍

Best of luck!

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.