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What you need to know when choosing kitchen flooring

A new kitchen is possibly the most fun home improvement to plan as there’s such a broad range of things to consider — the counter materials, lighting, layout, what brands of appliance are you going to go for? Then of course there’s the flooring.

Choosing the perfect flooring for your new kitchen is really the icing on the cake that finishes the whole project off. However, it’s not always the easiest decision to make. It’s not just about aesthetics, you need to evaluate how robust your flooring needs to be — kitchen floors can be subject to muddy shoes, red wine spills and for the clumsier chefs out there occasionally being scorched by boiling pasta water.

So just what are the best types of flooring for the kitchen and what are there pros and cons? Here’s our rundown of some of the most popular choices.

Stone

Granite, slate and limestone are all popular choices. Granite screams luxury and glamor, it’s really robust and will last a long time with little maintenance. However, its high-end aesthetic is not to everyone’s taste, with some finding it a little too showy, despite its numerous practical merits. Slate and limestone then are other options for those who want to go with stone but want something a little more understated.

While stone flooring has a lot of pros, so it’s easy to see why it is one of the most popular types of flooring for the kitchen there are a few areas. It’s not particularly kind underfoot, and any dropped pots, pans and plates are unlikely to survive the fall unharmed. Granite can become slippery when wet, so is perhaps not the best choice for those with very young children and limestone if not sealed as needed can become prone to staining. Also, it can be particularly difficult and costly to repair a damaged stone tile.

Hardwood

Nothing quite beats the charm and grace of real wood. Somehow it can seem both traditional and modern, suiting any kitchen. There’s a huge range of options, it’s warm underfoot, sustainable and long lasting.

However, it can scratch, crack and warp. Wood flooring can also not be installed with underfloor heating, which could be a major turn-off of the material if that’s something you are planning to have in your new kitchen.

Engineered wood

Engineered wood flooring, is made of a composite material. Timber boards are stuck with a plywood base, and hardwood veneer with strong adhesives. This type of flooring comes in uniform sizes, so is easier and faster to install. But simply put, it’s just not the real thing. While it can look fantastic in its own way it’s not entirely convincing compared to real hardwood flooring.

Photo by David Sacks/Photodisc / Getty Images

Tiling

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the two most popular varieties commonly installed in kitchens. Both come in a wide range of styles and patterns so can suit just about any kitchen, whether you want a traditional white and black chessboard flooring or something more contemporary.

Porcelain tiles are a bit pricier than ceramic but are more long lasting. Both are hygienic, require next to no maintenance other than the occasional mop and easy to install.

The downside of going for tile is that it is cold underfoot, and hard on the feet. Similarly to stone dropped plates, cups and glasses are unlikely to be left unbroken.

Linoleum

If we look back over the last few decades linoleum, perhaps due to how cost-effective it is, has been a hugely popular choice to put in new build kitchens. It’s got a lot going for it — it comes in a huge array of styles and colours, low cost, super easy to clean and its kind underfoot and often forgiving to falling objects.

However, all these advantages do of course come at a cost, it’s not so good at resisting sharp objects and does not age well.

Concrete

Now, the idea of a polished concrete floor might just have you thinking about your local supermarket. But, polished concrete has become a super trendy flooring choice for chic modern kitchens. It’s relatively cheap, extremely hard wearing and can look absolutely stunning in the right environment. Perhaps the best thing with concrete is there’s no real maintenance to worry about, it actually gets tougher with age!

Its strength then is perhaps its only real weakness. It can be slippery so is not the best choice for those with young children and any dropped objects are likely to be damaged.

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