On this page we offer practical advice on kitchen floors to help you choose the right one. We review a selection of options using examples from our experience of over 14 years of designing and installing kitchens.
Kitchen floors have a large visual presence, so you need to be sure that they fit with your overall scheme. You might love the idea of an oak kitchen, but this wouldn’t work with an oak floor. When we design a kitchen, we bring together samples of all finishes to make sure they complement each other.
It is also important that kitchen floors are prepared correctly. If you have a suspended floor, for example, and want to fit stone tiles, the sub-floor needs to be rigid. Existing boards may need to be removed and replaced with at least 18mm ply. You should also fit anti-fracture matting to protect against small movements which may crack the grout lines or even the tiles themselves.
Vinyl Floor Kitchen Tiles
Vinyl floor tiles (or planks as below) offer a quality surface in a many finishes and sizes: stone effect, wood effect, even psychadelic images. Check that the floor has no lumps and bumps. You should fit a 5mm ply layer and pour and dress this with levelling compound to provide a flat and level surface. Your fitter will advise how much preparation to carry out. With vinyl tiles, you can achieve the look of stone without any worry of fracture. Good quality vinyl tiles are slightly bevelled at the edges and you can choose a feature strip to give the look of a grout line, presenting an authentic stone appearance.
If you intend to fit underfloor heating, make sure your fitter knows to use the correctly rated adhesive.
Timber Kitchen Floor
Available in many finishes, from plain pine to white scandi to pre-aged oak, floorboards are an attractive choice but require maintenance, re-sealing periodically with hard wax oil. They also scratch (or gain a natural patina!) so if you are precious about your floor, this may not be for you. Our suppliers have recently been introduced to a hard wearing matt varnish which appears to be very resilient to wear and tear.
Timber floors do give warmth to a scheme and we have fitted several engineered oak floors in kitchens. Having a substrate of rigid ply, they are more stable than standard oak, and are suitable for underfloor heating installations.
Polished Concrete Kitchen Floor
Concrete is absorbent so will need to be sealed. Specialist suppliers will lay and polish the floor – you can choose coloured chippings for the top layer which show through when polished for a terrazzo finish.
Whilst it is conceivable to float concrete yourself and add your own chippings, our advice is to ask a specialist to do it. Concrete can crack if you don’t lay it correctly, particularly with underfloor heating; we would spend the extra on peace of mind.
Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tiles.
Kitchen floors using ceramic tiles are generally fine but cold without some form of heating. You need a rigid base and should fit an anti-fracture matting to prevent cracking. Ceramic floor tiles are being quickly overtaken by ranges of porcelain floor tiles, which is what we recommend if tiles are your thing.
Porcelain Kitchen Floor Tiles
Stronger than ceramic, porcelain floor tiles are very widely available in a multitude of finishes, sizes and designs. A rigid base and anti-fracture matting are still required, but the tiles are virtually impermeable, and easy to clean. We have a porcelain floor and our visitors think it is natural stone. A good choice.
At the cheaper end of the market, a vinyl sheet is generally robust to wear and tear but can be torn or cut if you drop a knife on it. It will also scorch if parts of an exploding plate drop on it having sat inadvertently on the hob for 2 minutes (I remember the burning!) If the floor is uneven before fitting, apply levelling compound to take out lumps and bumps or these will show through. A good choice if on a budget.
Kitchen floors come in a range of types and finishes. We hope we’ve given you some ideas for when you visit your flooring supplier. We’ve been designing and installing kitchens for over 12 years and have fitted most alternatives. If you’re interested in more general guidance on kitchen design you may care to read our guide to kitchen renovations.
Our company undertakes complete home renovation from concept to completion so if you think we may be able to help with your kitchen refurbishment or any other project in Bath or Bristol, we’d like to invite you to read more about our kitchen design service.
From our previous projects we also share indicative prices for kitchen flooring.Back to blog