When choosing a kitchen flooring option it is essential that you consider all of the types of flooring available and their advantages and disadvantages, this will undoubtedly help rule out some flooring and when faced with such an array this can only be useful. An understanding of the requirements of the flooring will help with this decision. For example, is the kitchen used daily by the whole family and associated pets? And does it open directly onto an outside area, meaning that the amount of dirt and debris is likely to be high? Does the kitchen have plenty of natural light or does it require a light coloured floor covering with a reflective quality?
Of course the type of house can also dictate the type of flooring required, a country style farmhouse would benefit from traditional flag stone flooring, whereas a modern apartment can lend itself to the more modern and contemporary floor finishes. Most importantly though the type of flooring chosen needs to be able to withstand spills, stains, scratches and knocks and anything else that everyday life can throw at it. The finished kitchen design will be greatly enhanced if the correct flooring option is chosen.
Stone Flooring comes in many different finishes and colours, and ranges from rough and rustic flag stones to highly polished marble and porcelain. There are several different types of finish available; honed and filled, tumbled, brushed, polished to name a few. The rough, untreated variant tends not to have a uniform finish, the colours differ and some stone even has fossilised leaves and other imperfections present. All stone floors ideally require sealing to ensure that stains and dirt can be easily removed.
Polished marble is easily cleaned and can reflect light lending itself to being used in small or poorly lit kitchen. Slate flooring is becoming more popular as more variants and better quality slate come onto the market, however this should only be used in a well-lit area as the slate is naturally quite dark. However, the rougher finish is harder to keep clean and requires regular cleaning with the occasional professional clean. Stone flooring is inherently cold to the touch but can benefit from under floor heating.
Solid wood, engineered wood or laminate flooring can give a warmer feel to a kitchen. Laminate is more practical in terms of cleaning and spills as it will not react in the same way that solid wood flooring may do and laminate flooring is a more cost effective option. However, hardwoods such as Oak are strong and can cope with a high amount of traffic. One of the main considerations to take into account is heat and humidity fluctuations within the kitchen. When compared to solid wood engineered wood is more durable and resistant to these fluctuations. Wood can be used to create both a modern and a traditional look to suit the style of the house and kitchen, it can also be colour matched with kitchen units to create a harmonious flow in design. Although not as cold underfoot as stone flooring, wood flooring can still be cold, but yet again this can be alleviated with the installation of under floor heating.
Porcelain tiles are the most practical option in terms of durability and cleaning. In terms of value for money tiles are also much more durable than wood or stone flooring. Tiles can be quickly and easily cleaned with no requirement for sealing or varnishing the floor beforehand. These tiles can be used both inside and outside the home, making continuous flooring from kitchen to patio possible. Porcelain tiles come in a wide range of colours and finishes. And if you want the best of both worlds you could always chose ceramic tiles that are designed to look like wooden planks.
Of course, there is always the option of linoleum or vinyl flooring, both of which have come a long way in terms of quality, design and technological advances. Vinyl can be produced with the look and feel of any other flooring. Vinyl is a very hard wearing covering which also has the advantage of being warmer and quieter underfoot than many other flooring options.
Take advantage of samples as these can help you decide as you will have something tactile to look at. Whatever decision you make ensure that it’s the right decision, once the floor has been laid it can be costly to change your mind.
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