Kitchen floor coverings have long been linked to purely practical concerns, such as whether a shattered glass dish damages the finish. But the design team is adamant that practical is not enough. In fact, we’d go so far as to suggest that dropping dishes and food may be a reaction to seeing an ugly kitchen floor. Practical does not have to mean ugly!
Just look at the newest trends toward bringing lovely natural materials and a feeling of nature into the kitchen.
Natural stones tiles, such as tumbled marble, and slate in earth colours are gorgeous, often with dramatic textures! Lasers, routers and water-jet technology allow the surfaces of stone tiles to be worn and worked to produce any number of effects, from a deeply scarred surface to a soft, natural time-worn effect.
One great look that we absolutely adore is the Mediterranean-style floor. For this look, use large tiles (24 by 24 in.) and set them close together so the grout lines are barely visible. For this look, choose soft-toned creamy, off-white marbles such as travertine or saturnia. These will look buffed, rather than shiny and polished. Coordinate the flooring with muted complementary tones throughout the rest of the kitchen. The end result will be elegant, clean, refined and timeless. For this authentic stone look, costs range from $10 to $30 per square foot.
Porcelain is a great choice for its looks, but also for its practicality. It’s virtually maintenance-free and, at $6 to $14 per square foot, is less expensive (and more durable) than natural stone. Nor does it require sealing, unlike natural stone such as limestone and some marbles.
Porcelain is perfect for kitchens if you’re looking for a more refined look; it also doesn’t show cracking or chipping the same way ceramic does, since it’s the same colour throughout.
If your kitchen is small, consider laying tiles on the diagonal, because it creates the illusion of a bigger space. If you have too much tile, include a visual break, such as a border of a different colour around a kitchen island.
Another trendy choice for kitchen flooring is long, wide planks of wood, especially darker woods such as cherry, mahogany, and Brazilian walnut. These give a lovely natural look, and the dark tones can provide a pleasing dramatic contrast between different elements in a kitchen, such as floor and countertops.
Because most woods are not resistant to moisture and water, they will need resealing every few years. A good quality factory-sealed finish is your best bet, and will stay beautiful for many years.
Bamboo flooring is also a hot trend because of its exotic appeal, blond colour and natural striations. It is more resistant to moisture than regular wood, and comes from a renewable source that grows faster than hardwood.
And finally, its price is attractive, at $7 to $10 per square foot.
With all these attractive and practical options for kitchen flooring, there is no need to hurl wineglasses or a bowl of beets onto the floor to prove a point!
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