Look Down: Fabulous Floor Ideas

The humble kitchen floor is normally overlooked when it comes to designing your perfect layout, however, it can really pull a design together. There are all kinds of different options for hardwearing, attractive kitchen flooring; here are a few to consider with their good and bad points.

Tiles

Tiles are the final word in versatility. Choose from ceramic, porcelain or even vinyl to add a splash of colour to the room. Patterns are pretty much endless in their choice as well, from traditional black and white checks to wilder, vibrant designs that can be custom-made to match your personality. Tiles are hard-wearing, easy to clean and normally an affordable option. Watch out when there is any moisture on the floor, however, as tiles are prone to becoming slippery when wet.

Brick and stone

Stone floors date back centuries, yet their durability and organic, natural feel have allowed them to remain in fashion. Like tiles, stone offers versatility, and you can choose from smooth slate, limestone or granite, or opt for a more textured brick finish. These floors look great in almost any style of kitchen, adding a touch of elegance and depth to the room. Stone finishes can be cold underfoot, however, and need careful maintenance to avoid cracks appearing or dirt becoming ingrained.

Wood

Wood adds a touch of luxury to a kitchen floor, not to mention pleasing warmth underfoot. Different woods create different vibes, from the warm rich hues of oak to the clean feel of pine and the pale tones of maple. Wood develops a pleasing patina over time and will stand up to the wear and tear of daily life. Solid wood flooring can be expensive to install, but there is a wide range of laminate alternatives out there that will create a very similar effect. Watch out for spills though, as they can quickly seep into wood, leaving indelible stains. Water can also affect the appearance of a wooden floor, so place mats next to sinks and dishwashers and by the back door.

Vinyl and linoleum (lino)

Considered the cheaper flooring option, this is a great find for budget renovations. Designs are more sophisticated than ever, and sheets of vinyl and lino are easy to install, clean and maintain. Both materials are warm and comfortable underfoot. Watch out for sharp objects falling onto them, though, as vinyl and lino can be easily damaged. Dirt and scratches can also dull the finish, and the colours can fade in strong sunlight.

Cork

Not for everyone, cork flooring offers a distinctive look with bold patterns and texture. It is comfortable underfoot and very resilient, with natural shock absorption hopefully saving the lives of at least some accidentally dropped cups, plates and glasses. It also offers sound absorption, which could be handy in a busy kitchen. Cork needs careful treatment, as too many drops and dings will cause damage over time., It can also fade like vinyl or lino, so it is well worth investing in some professional maintenance.