How to select flooring for your kitchen?
The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in your home and sees a lot of traffic throughout the day. Other than the enormous amount of traffic, it also sees some accidents in the form of spills and other similar events. Considering all the factors, the kitchen floor must be strong, robust, stylish and should be easier to clean and maintain. Furthermore, the flooring should be of such a material that it is easier to maintain its fresh look and appearance. With so many factors to consider, it can become difficult to decide which type of flooring to install in your kitchen. Along with so many considerations, the numerous options available; ranging from classic stone and wood to porcelain and concrete, make it even more difficult to choose the right or perfect flooring for your kitchen.
You need to identify your particular requirements before undergoing any decision for the flooring. You need to consider your budget and also how many kids you have and whether or not you own a pet. It also depends upon what are you looking for to keep as the style. Do you want something polished or slick or do you want something of a flawed character? It all depends upon your own preferences and choices and of course, your budget. This particular piece of writing is focused on providing you the best advice on choosing the perfect flooring for your kitchen. With so many difficulties in deciding the flooring, this is your guide to decide which flooring to use in your kitchen.
Read the complete article to learn and plan the perfect flooring for your kitchen!
Professional advice from:
- Andrew Petherick of Artichoke
- Jamie Blake of Blakes London
- Paul Hutton of Seamless Resin Flooring
- Federica Vasetti of DHV Architects
- Jeremy Friendship of Studio 3 Kitchens
- Gurjeet Hunjan of Boscolo Interior Design
Covering everything from limestone (pictured) and travertine to granite and slate, classic stone is an unsurprisingly popular flooring choice. The beauty of stone is in its natural, unique variations – no two slabs are completely alike and the subtle shifts in tone add depth.
Be aware that more irregular stones are harder to slot together neatly. ‘If you choose more rustic tiles that don’t have smooth edges, the grout lines will be thicker and these can get dirty,’ says Andrew Petherick. A honed, matt surface will give you a more modern look.
Slate has a reputation for being soft, but it’s possible to find more hard-wearing varieties. ‘Slate varies in its toughness,’ says Andrew. ‘Cumbrian slate, for instance, acts like granite.’
Pros High wow factor – stone is beautiful, timeless and classy. It’s robust, long-lasting and easy to care for. It works with underfloor heating and is a good heat conductor. ‘Stone catches heat and holds onto it for about an hour,’ says Andrew.
Cons ‘Stone is not very forgiving to your feet if you’re likely to be standing on it for long periods,’ says Andrew. It’s also pretty unforgiving where any dropped crockery is concerned. It’s cold without underfloor heating and can scratch. More irregular surfaces can harbour dirt. ‘Darker floors show the wear more, and will reveal the more well-trodden paths,’ says Andrew. It needs a strong, rigid and level base – it can’t be laid on a floating floor.
If it’s an edgy aesthetic you’re after, you can’t beat concrete. Whether you go for a full-on industrial look, or just want to sharpen a simple scheme, this surface does the job.
‘Don’t lay it on the cheap, as it’s easy to mess up,’ warns Jamie Blake. ‘It needs to be vibrated enough to get the bubbles out or it will crumble. Call in the professionals and make sure you get a guarantee.’
Pros It’s hard-wearing and, if looked after, will last indefinitely – it actually gets tougher with age. It has great thermal qualities, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. It can be poured onto an existing floor, which doesn’t have to be totally level. It comes in a range of colours and is great for in/out flooring. It’s easy to clean, won’t harbour pests and is happy with underfloor heating.
Cons Concrete can be chipped or cracked, although you’d have to make a real effort. It’s not very forgiving to dropped crockery or tumbling tots, or to feet if you’re standing on it for long periods. ‘It can be slippery,’ adds Jamie, ‘but a matt sealer can alleviate that.’ If it does chip or crack, it can be repaired, but not seamlessly. ‘It will never look the same again,’ says Jamie.
Ceramic tiles are usually made from clay with a glaze on top. They come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, textures and colours, and even mimic other materials such as wood.
Jeremy Friendship recommends you look for tiles with ‘rectified edges’. ‘These are tiles that have been cut after they have been in the kiln, so the edges are smooth and even,’ he says. If the edges aren’t straight, it can lead to thicker grout lines, which will harbour dirt. ‘And don’t even consider white grout,’ Jeremy adds.
Pros Ceramic tiles are typically cheaper than porcelain, as well as being hygienic and easy to clean. The range of designs mean it’s easy to get the look you’re after on a budget. They’re also suitable for underfloor heating.
Cons They’re not as hard-wearing as porcelain and they can crack, so it’s important they’re laid on a very solid, flat floor. If they chip, it’s more obvious, as the colour doesn’t go all the way through. They’re cold to the touch and hard on feet and dropped crockery.
Made from two lengths of wood veneer (typically 5mm thick) sandwiching a layer of birch ply, engineered boards straddle the gap between laminate and solid wood. They also come in wide measures. ‘Twelve-inch-wide boards look great in a big room,’ says Andrew Petherick.
‘Many people are moving to engineered boards as they have the look of real wood but are stable,’ adds Jeremy Friendship.
Pros ‘Engineered boards are flat, don’t expand or contract, and can take underfloor heating,’ says Andrew. ‘They’re also well sealed, so you can happily mop them.’ As the veneer is quite thick, they can be sanded to refresh them, and are a green choice as they contain less hardwood.
Cons They lack some of the character of the real thing. Lacquered boards are sealed, so are robust, but the most authentic finish is raw, and these can get scratched and stained as with solid wood. They can be noisy.
Resin is an increasingly popular choice for kitchens. ‘The trend is for whites or mid greys,’ says Paul Hutton. Resin can be poured over the whole kitchen floor, so it’s a seamless finish.
The floor can easily be revived. ‘You can simply sand it then apply a couple of coats of sealer and it’s like new,’ says Paul, ‘and if you fancy a new colour, you can simply choose a different sealant.’
It’s available in gloss, silk or matt finishes, but Paul recommends matt. ‘Gloss floors, especially pale ones, show every mark, whereas matt ones hide the scratches.’
Pros Resin is warm underfoot, hypoallergenic, waterproof, tough and easy to clean with warm soapy water. It’s available in any RAL colour, and can be customised with patterns. It can be poured over a concrete or timber substrate and is happy with underfloor heating.
Cons It doesn’t have the depth or character of something like wood or stone, and it will scratch. ‘It can be repaired by filling in scratches, but the whole floor would need to be sanded and resealed or the repair would stand out like a sore thumb,’ warns Paul. Spills need to be wiped up or they can stain the resin.
Author: Sarah Alcroft
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