How to choose the best floor for kitchens

Choosing the best flooring for kitchens is an important decision in the design of your space. After all, a kitchen floor is probably the busiest floor in the household and needs to withstand regular stains (and therefore a lot of cleaning), water spills, and temperature changes.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that kitchen floors can’t be beautiful too. With beautiful patterns and finishes available regardless of the material you choose, there’s no excuse that your kitchen floor isn’t an essential feature of the room.

To help you find the best kitchen flooring, we’ve put together a guide to walk you through all of the options and show you how to make your choice the way it is best.

For more inspiration? Also check out our kitchen ideas page.

Choose easy-care kitchen tiles

dutch farmhouse country kitchen floor tiles

(Photo credit: Ton Bouwer /

For durability and a range of visual effects, nothing beats floor tiles as one of the best floor coverings for kitchens.

Floor tiles are available in various natural and artificial materials and designs, from structured to matt to high-gloss. Some tiles are more porous than others – something to look out for in a room where moisture levels tend to be high. If you’ve fallen in love with a tile like terracotta that is porous, make sure it’s well sealed and resealed regularly.

Choose: Do you want real stone? Opt for slate or granite. For man-made materials, porcelain or ceramic tiles are a proven flooring option for kitchens. What is the difference? Real stone has a lot of character; artificial materials less so, although they are generally cheaper and can convincingly imitate other materials such as wood.

Avoid: Limestone, which is prone to scratching, and travertine, which is porous.

Design know-how: Use larger and / or light colored and / or high gloss tiles to make a small room feel bigger. Lay the tiles on the wall diagonally rather than square to further enhance the effect. Tiles with a pitted surface are much more difficult to keep clean than tiles with a smooth surface.

Lay floor tiles: Is perfectly do-it-yourself unless your floor tiles are particularly heavy and expensive, or difficult to cut (which some natural stones are). In this case, you should invest in the services of a professional. For information on tiling, see our guide.

Clean floor tiles: To clean your tiled kitchen floor, use warm water only on natural stone and a mild detergent on ceramic and porcelain.

Opt for the warmth of wooden kitchen floors

Kitchen extension with a large kitchen island and herringbone wood floor

(Photo credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Wood floors bring warmth and texture to a kitchen, especially in an old home, but especially in a modern home where cabinets can be sleek and contemporary. However, any kitchen is always exposed to a lot of moisture, which means you need to be careful when choosing a wood floor.

Choose: Wood floors that work much better in a kitchen – with a durable top layer, it is much more resistant to warping and movement than solid wood.

Avoid: Expensive solid wood floor that can warp when exposed to water.

Design know-how: For a trendy, expensive finish, parquet floors should be laid in a herringbone pattern. Lighter wood colors make your kitchen feel more spacious, but show dirt more quickly. White or pale furniture can look stunning as opposed to dark hardwood floors, which are more effective at hiding markings. Wider boards look more contemporary than narrower ones.

Laying wooden floors: Professional installation is often recommended for a perfect finish. Since most of the ranges are now offered as a floating floor with a click-lock system, skilled do-it-yourselfers can lay wooden floors themselves.

Cleaning wooden floors: Clean your wooden floor with a damp mop and avoid saturating the surface with water.

Choose laminate for an inexpensive kitchen floor

Impressive laminate from Quick Step

(Image credit: Quick Step)

Laminate floors have long been a firm favorite for kitchens. The main advantage over tile and wood floors is cost effectiveness, although high quality and more expensive options are available. Stain and scratch resistant, is a great option for busy kitchens. However, before buying, make sure you can cope with the steamy conditions of the room.

Choose: High-quality laminate that can have a very convincing wood or tile effect with grain, embossing, beveled edges and a stone look.

Avoid: The cheapest laminate that is prone to staining, warping and peeling. Laminate gives you what you pay for, with cheaper options often having an overly shiny and unrealistic effect.

Design know-how: Choose a low gloss finish and pay attention to the details above, such as: B. Beveled edges for a really convincing look. Protect your laminate floor from damage by heavy kitchen appliances with an underlay.

Assembly of laminate floors: It is possible to install most laminate floors yourself as most manufacturers have updated their laminate with easy to assemble locking systems.

Cleaning of laminate floors: Use a damp cloth to clean your laminate floor, but never a soaking wet mop, as water can get under the laminate floor and ruin it.

Discover alternative materials for your kitchen floor

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has a mid-century monochrome style

(Photo credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

Alternative materials such as vinyl, rubber, or even bamboo for kitchen floors have grown in popularity in recent years: they can be hard-wearing, water-resistant, and are less expensive than traditional options.

Choose: Bamboo, which is tough, easy to care for and more water-resistant than hardwood. Cork is another suitable option for kitchens, but is not compatible with underfloor heating. Concrete and resin floors are an option for downstairs kitchens, but are not suitable for upstairs kitchens. Rubber can be used in kitchens but is easily scratched. You should therefore avoid damage from kitchen appliances by placing a hardboard between the appliance and the floor.

Avoid: Leather and reclaimed wood, beautiful but expensive and easy-care materials that do not respond well to the wear and tear that is part of everyday kitchen use.

Design know-how: Cast concrete looks great as part of a modern open space. It can also be used outdoors, making it the perfect opportunity to share the same flooring and connect the garden to the rest of the house. Create a similar effect with floor tiles, from modern to traditional.

Laying alternative floors: Bamboo can be fitted with glue or as a free-floating floor and is compatible with underfloor heating (however, for temperature limits you will need to contact your manufacturer). Polished concrete tile, rubber tile, and vinyl tile can be installed by a skilled handyman, but cast concrete, cast resin, and rubber and vinyl kitchen floors should be left to professionals.

Clean alternative floor coverings: Concrete, rubber, vinyl, resin and bamboo are generally very low maintenance and should be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

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