Your Homyze Guide On The Best Kitchen Flooring Ideas
If you have read any of your Homyze’ other publications (e.g. our kitchen guide), you probably know how much we like kitchens (and by extension kitchen floors). I think this is mostly a function of how much we like food, but it is also related to how important the kitchen is to the functioning of a home … and a well-functioning home is what your Homyze are on a mission to deliver.
So, you have chosen cabinets and countertops (and maybe even cutlery .. just for alliterative purposes!). The next decision you might need to make is flooring. But what are the pros and cons of different types of floors? How much should you be prepared to spend and which types of flooring go with different types of kitchen?
Concrete Kitchen Flooring
Particularly for those of a minimalist mindset, concrete floors hold immediate appeal. For others, they are a little institutional. What your Homyze can say is that they are very functional and hard wearing and with the latest iterations of concrete floors, they can even bring warmth (literally and figuratively) to your kitchen.
The benefits of concrete floors are numerous. As mentioned, they are durable and more able to withstand things such as chipping, discolouration, staining and warping. So, is concrete the perfect flooring material? Well, inevitably, nothing is the perfect material so here are some of the things you will want to consider in deciding whether concrete can be the right one out of the 4 kitchen flooring ideas.
Concrete is Prone to Cracking
Many people are concerned about concrete’s potential for cracking, and that is an issue. How you deal with it depends on what you think of the outcome of this cracking. There are many people that highlight the cracking and appreciate the effect that it gives to their flooring. There are others that feel that what they want is the pristine uniformity of polished concrete.
Thankfully there are solutions to those of both persuasion. If you want to keep your concrete as smooth as the proverbial baby’s bottom, then there are microfilling top coats that will allow you to keep this effect. If cracking is the equivalent of your well-worn leather glove, then you can add some dye to these cracks to enhance the patina.
Concrete floors are cold
Yes, concrete floors are cold. If it is cold. They are stone after all. But they are no colder than ceramic tiles or natural stone floors. And on the plus side, they are actually excellent stores of heat and if you can embed them with wet or electric underfloor heating systems (inevitably another post on this to follow) then that heat is maintained within the floor for a long time. If this happens naturally as a result of sunlight streaming through windows or doors … even better!
Concrete floors can be hard on your feet
There is a definitely a reason why concrete floors are not the material of choice for gyms or dance floors. Concrete floors are hard. But then so are other natural stone floors and the aforementioned ceramic tiles. At the end of the day, most kitchen flooring materials are hard because they are therefore much more hard wearing. Again, to sing the virtues of concrete floors, they are generally smoother than a lot of the natural stone floors which means that they are slightly more comfortable on the feet. Again, it’s definitely a trade off. Of course, you can use rugs if you want something softer underfoot, but you know why they don’t use carpet in kitchens!
Concrete floors are not the cheapest option when it comes to kitchen flooring ideas
No, concrete floors are not the cheapest option. The cheapest option is the cheapest option, and that is unlikely to be anything that people hanker over. So, in comparison to many of the other materials on people’s kitchen wish lists, concrete can actually be surprisingly economical. Also, when you consider the cost as a function of the average life expectancy of a kitchen floor, concrete compares favourably to the cheaper options such as laminate and vinyl.
Concrete Flooring Price
When considering concrete flooring in your kitchen you should budget around £125 – 150 per square metre.
Laminate Wood Kitchen Flooring
When people think of laminate flooring, the first thing that comes to mind is cheap. And that is fair. Laminate floors are cheap. That is why they are used in rental flats, student housing and other such locations where the likelihood is higher of needing a major overhaul. There are others who will say that laminate flooring’s quality has increased immeasurably over the years, and we can’t really argue with that. Mostly because we don’t know how you would measure laminate flooring’s quality. Also, if laminate flooring’s quality had decreased over the years then we would have a problem on our hands. It’s not enough to just marginally improve and it hasn’t been enough to overcome the stigma that is still associated with laminate. I think the primary advancement has been in ‘click’ laminate flooring, and somehow that didn’t make the front pages.
But in any category of home improvement, one item has to be ‘the cheapest’ and on the whole, laminate flooring is the title winner when it comes to kitchen flooring ideas.
If you want your laminate flooring to feel a little nicer underfoot and to wear slightly better, you also might want to consider underlay. In fact, to be honest, you shouldn’t just consider it, you should definitely do it because you will probably be kicking yourself for your decision in a year or two’s time otherwise. And on the plus side, laminate does come in an inordinate number of finishes so it can go with pretty much any look.
Laminate floors are cheaper
I think you get the message by now. Laminate floors are cheaper than most other kitchen flooring options. Cheaper to buy the materials and cheaper to install.
You can get laminate to match any decor
Because laminate flooring is a synthetic build up of materials, manufacturers can insert a photographic applique layer underneath a clear protective layer such as resin. What am I saying? You can basically get any look you want in laminate, from synthetic wood to simulated stone.
Laminate doesn’t like liquid
Somewhat ironically for a kitchen, laminate and liquid are not firm friends. This is one reason why laminate often wears so badly – because spills are almost inevitable in a kitchen and since water finds its way into even the smallest openings, this can quickly compromise the look of your laminate.
Laminate floors are easy to install
Yes, laminate floors are easy to install. But like many household tasks, they may be quite easy to do, but they are not necessarily easy to do well. You will probably have seen many laminate floors which suffer from ‘peaking’ where two adjacent panels start to separate. This can happen with careless installation or inadequate preparation of the laying surface.
Laminate flooring price
When considering wooden laminate flooring in your kitchen you should budget around £30 – 50 per square metre
Stone Kitchen Flooring
Stone is one of the most common flooring materials used. It is hugely versatile, can be tailored to suit most budgets (even comparing with laminate) and is a durable material that will withstand many of the punishment dished out in a kitchen.
At the cheaper end of the price spectrum (below) you have things like sandstone and travertine, which pair very well with more rustic kitchen choices (and of course more rural homes). From there, we can take a step up to slate and limestone (and likely move further toward the city centre). The most expensive stone finishes are marble and granite. There are likely to be your zone 1, prime central neighbourhood materials of choice. These are only rules of thumb – even within these brackets, there is considerable variation in the cost of the materials.
To a greater degree than the other flooring choices, you have the option of different laying patterns with stone floors. You can opt for a pattern or go for the tried and tested linear style (length or width wise in straight lines). This may or may not be a good thing … the option is there for you to experiment, but definitely don’t feel obliged to do so. Sometimes simple is best!
Stone floors also require a degree of consideration for what is going on beneath the surface. You will want to ensure that the underlying surface can accommodate the flooring and that the floors will survive the test of time. Deciding on the thickness of your screed and to use a decoupling membrane and perhaps additional plywood layer on, for example, timber suspended floors (which are prone to more movement) is something you should do. All these things affect the floor buildup (the height of the floors) and you want to make sure that things sit at the correct height, particularly where the kitchen flows into another room. Last, don’t look to save money on the adhesive. The price might seem higher (particularly the flexible adhesive) than you expect but it’s essential to ensure that you will be happy with the floor for years to come.
So, is stone flooring your finish of choice? Just remember these things when making a final decision when you choose your kitchen flooring.
Stone is sturdy
As above, one of the major benefits of stone is that it can last forever (well, we will see about that ..). You know all those temples and pyramids etc.? Chances are that they were made of stone. Because it lasts. But because it is such a sturdy material, it is much less sympathetic to having things such as dishes and glasses dropped onto it.
Natural stone is cool. Naturally
Natural stone does feel cold to the touch. In cold climates, that’s not great, but like with concrete floors, this can be overcome with underfloor heating. And again, like concrete, stone is an excellent conductor of heat, so it is relatively efficient to keep it warm in winter.
Stone is (easy to) clean
One of the great things about stone is that most varieties are easy to clean. For domestic usage, a broom and a mop are usually all you will need to keep your floor looking good. And because it doesn’t easily absorb things such as stains and germs it is also a good choice for those with concerns about allergens.
Stone is heavy
Put this in the ‘duh’ category, but stone is heavy. If you have concerns about the substrate or foundations of your building, you probably should think twice before plonking down a mass of rock on top.
Stone flooring price
As stated above, there is a huge variety of costs within stone floors. The range is from around £30 – £180 per square metre but in considering this you should realistically expect to pay £60 – 80 per square metre.
Wooden Kitchen Flooring
The last but not the least on our list of kitchen flooring ideas is wooden flooring, another extremely popular choice for kitchens. Again, there are plenty of finishes and colours available to pair with any aesthetic. Similarly to stone, you can also consider laying styles, so this is your chance to get your parquet on!
People used to have an inferiority complex about engineered (versus solid) wood floors. In most kitchen situations, however, engineered boards are the way to go. Engineered floors typically have a 5 or 6 mm layer of natural wood on the surface, with a substrate made from something sturdy like blockboard. This gives much greater strength and stability to your flooring. Where it is prone to heat (as for example maybe the case with an Aga or range cooker), it reduces the risk of the flooring, warping, twisting or curling. It also means you can use underfloor heating which is always a nice little luxury. Most engineered boards are sealed at the factory so they just need to be laid, whereas solid timber floors are finished on site once they have been laid.
No matter whether you go for engineered or solid wood floors, be sure to have an expansion gap factored into your floors (a ‘perimeter expansion facility’) as the boards can expand and contract as a result of heat and humidity by as much as 2%.
So, given all the above, here are a few things to think about in the wooden kitchen flooring department.
Wooden floors require a little more care
“You’re so high maintenance”. One of the things to consider in opting for a wood floor in your kitchen is that you are making an ongoing commitment. Water and wood do not mix. Neither do other liquids. It can lead to staining, warping and swelling. You can minimise the chances of this kind of damage but it doesn’t eliminate it like with stone floors.
Although natural stone (and tile) floors can be had at low cost (for better or worse) the entry point for wood is higher. Having said that, it is fairly universally appreciated, so you should think of it as a worthwhile investment (less so the ‘glitter tiles’).
Wooden floors are warmer
It is rare that people complain that things are ‘too hot’ in places like the UK and so using warmer materials such as wood in the kitchen can alleviate some of these concerns. But as above, you cannot usually have underfloor heating with solid wood flooring so this is a compromise.
Wooden floors are more adaptable
You can change. One advantage of wood floors is that they can be adapted or changed to suit. By sanding back the top layer and choosing another finish or stain you can basically give your kitchen a complete makeover. Not so easy with a marble slab.
Wooden flooring price
The pricing of wooden flooring is comparable to that of stone flooring. Again, there is a considerable range from around £50 – £180 per square metre (installed) but most will be in the region of £60 – 80 per square metre
There are many different options for kitchen floors. Which one you go for can be influenced by the aesthetics of your home, your budget and your willingness to maintain. If you want more information, or to book a Homyze Professional to help you with this or any other home work, contact us here or make a booking straight from our app (App Store/Google Play).