Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? The best place to start is with your floors. With so many types and styles of kitchen flooring available, you might be wondering which option fits your home the best. Picking new kitchen flooring requires more than going with whatever fits your cabinetry color. This room goes through rough wear and tear daily and is exposed to moisture, so having a durable floors is key for longevity in your investment. It can feel challenging to juggle finding a kitchen flooring option that checks off all the boxes in terms of durability, your budget, and style, but we spoke with two experts to help break down the selection process.
How To Choose The Right Kitchen Flooring
Choosing the right type of flooring for your kitchen requires more than picking what looks pretty. According to our experts, there are several practical considerations that lead you to choosing the right type of kitchen flooring for your home other than aesthetics. “We discuss how the client works in the kitchen,” says Griffin. “We ask ‘how is the flow’ [to the rest of the home]? Are there multiple cooks? Do they even cook at all?” Similarly, Carson takes into consideration the roughness of daily wear and tear and who all is exposed to the room. “The right type of flooring depends on if you have dogs or kids in the home since they can be rougher on the floor,” she says.
If your home does include animals or small children, Carson says engineered flooring might not be the best choice. “Engineered flooring scratches easily. Your next best alternative is tile.” For homes that are free from harshness and want to lay down engineered flooring or solid hardwood, Griffin suggests placing felt pads on the bottom of your chairs or stools to prevent scratches on these surfaces.
Floors are an investment to make with longevity in mind. With that said, another factor to consider is the style. To avoid laying down flooring you want to change in a few years, timeless shades and colors of tile go a long way.
Types Of Kitchen Flooring
It’s true that hardwood has been known to swell from consistent water exposure, but this isn’t typically a problem in the kitchen. Griffin notes that hardwood flooring is a classic choice for the room and Carson echoes with hardwood being one of two the best kitchen flooring options. Though she says you shouldn’t see a problem with the minimal cooking oil or water splatters, she does say that hardwood flooring is better when the rest of the home is covered in the same material and flows into the kitchen nicely.
In the past, engineered wood used to be the next best option budget wise to have hardwood-like floors without the hardwood cost. “Engineered floors used to be a better price point but nowadays the setting materials you need have gone up and are now the same price as solid hardwood,” says Carson. So what makes this a better choice than the real thing now? The main difference is water-resistance. Engineered floors are more water-resistant than hardwood floors, which can make them last longer in this room.
If you want to have fun with your kitchen flooring, tile is the way to go. With hardwood being Carson’s first best option, she says tile is a close second. This material is ultra durable and withstands strong force from kids, pets, or daily wear and tear while also being water-resistant. Not to mention, compared to hardwood and engineered options, tile isn’t absorbent. When it comes to tile in the kitchen, Griffin only has one caveat: “While tile is an easy option for wipes and cleaning, grout can still stain and be a pain to keep clean.”
With engineered floors easily scratching, homes with children or pets that want to see a wood-grain flooring can benefit from luxury vinyl planks (LVP). Luxury vinyl is one of the more affordable options and comes in a variety of styles not just limited to wood. You can find LVP styles in tile or marble options to up the drama in your room and add another design element. Plus, it’s waterproof.
For houses that do not have small children and want a more contemporary take on the kitchen floors, Griffin says to have fun with terrazzo flooring. This flooring type produces a speckled visual with the combination of marble chips and cement. Terrazzo floors offer the highest durability since they are completely waterproof and not susceptible to scratches or breaks. The only downside is that they can become slippery very easily, which is why they are best in homes without small children or older adults.
10 Best Kitchen Flooring Ideas
Keep It Simple
For a traditionally inspired kitchen with flooring that isn’t overpowering, opt for a medium wood tone similar to the one in the picture above. This makes for an easy kitchen design flow, and the tone matches nicely with a variety of wall or kitchen cabinetry shades.
Go For a Darker Shade
Most homes keep their kitchen flooring simple by showcasing wood grain, but we love the idea of going dark. Paint the wood floors in your kitchen a dark gray shade like the ones in the above picture to make a statement that doesn’t overtake the room and complement any dark fixtures or hardware the room has.
Elevate the Farmhouse Charm
Southern farmhouse kitchens love to include wood in its untreated form. This kitchen invites natural lighting in to reflect off the bright cabinetry and intricate seating that’s anchored with a wooden table on top of natural hardwood floors.
Choose Stone Tiles
Tiles for kitchen flooring don’t have to sport a whimsical pattern and wood isn’t the only natural material that can be used in this space. Bring in another natural element–stone–to your tiles for a calming design. Stone is another material that holds up well to the kitchen atmosphere and it also adds a softness to the room with its light neutral shades.
White Wash Your Boards
If dark-painted floors aren’t your cup of sweet tea, go the opposite direction by white washing your floors. This design is reminiscent of shiplap and makes the room brighter. If your kitchen doesn’t have a lot of windows to bring in natural lighting, painting your floors white is a great substitute to make the room feel light and airy.
Go Light & Dark
This kitchen gives us all the feel of a rustic lodge with the wooden walls that are complemented with the flooring that’s a stone-terrazzo hybrid. The stone chips mix and match light and dark tiles in various tile sizes to create an outdoorsy feel and add interest to the room.
Make It Classic
White and black checkered flooring is a timeless kitchen design welcome in any Southern home. If you have white cabinetry, the black in the flooring pattern provides necessary relief to break up the brightness and tie together with black backsplash like in the picture above.
The mid-century modern aesthetic still has its place in Southern kitchens with terrazzo flooring. The speckles of the playful marble chips add a nice pop of color and interest for a vintage feel that’s easy to mesh with other lighter neutrals you may have in the room.
Match Your Walls
Whether you’re looking to remodel a mountain vacation home or want to evoke those senses in your residential house, elevate the natural presence with kitchen flooring that matches your walls. This unison design still makes the room feel elegant and sleek with the addition of black countertops.
Rest In Rustic Living
Pretend you’re in a cozy cabin with natural wood flooring that looks weathered and old but still provides the room with durability. Mixed with the wooden ceiling, cabinetry, dark countertops, and backsplash, this kitchen feels warm and cozy, making it the ultimate place to share meals and memories with the family.