Like all other kitchen surfaces, kitchen flooring should be chosen first and foremost on the basis of practicality. How easy is the floor to keep clean? Does the floor need to be sealed before use? How often do seals need to be renewed?
Standing for long periods on hard floors such as stone can be tiring. Floors with more ‘give’, such as those made of wood, are much more comfortable underfoot. Very smooth or glossy floors are slippery and increase the risk of accidents.
Hard floors can amplify noise uncomfortably in an open-plan space. Massive materials such as stone and tile warm up slowly and lose heat slowly, which can be an asset in homes designed with passive solar strategies in mind.
Consider the durability of the material. How long can you expect the floor to last given reasonable maintenance? Some types of flooring, including linoleum, hypo-allergenic, which can be an advantage in households with young children. Another advantage would be if you have a good robot vacuum whether it can navigate around the floor and how easy it is not to get stuck around.
Most types of floor require professional installation. In some cases, this must be done before cabinetry is installed because the floor level will be raised. All flooring must be laid over a dry, even subfloor. Heavy materials, such as stone, should be laid-over concrete or a strengthened wooden floor.
There is a huge range of species and formats of wood to choose from: hardwood is the most expensive, softwood less so; thick veneered boards are cheaper than solid timber; the least costly is wood laminate. New timber flooring needs to be acclimatized for 48 hours prior to installation.
Types of tile include porcelain, ceramic, and terracotta. Color, pattern, size and format vary widely. Unglazed tiles need to be sealed to prevent staining.
A high-quality natural product, linoleum, is available in sheet or tile form, and in many colors and patterns. It is durable, warm, quiet, anti-bacterial and resistant to acids, oils, and grease.
This is a kind of synthetic flooring available in a vast range of colors, patterns, and textures, and comes in both sheet and tile. High-quality vinyl flooring can be expensive, but most types are in the mid- to the low-price range. Vinyl flooring is thin, so will not raise the floor level.
The natural flooring, cork is generally available as tiles. It has a limited color range and must be sealed properly, but is warm, comfortable and quiet. Can be cleaner well if needed with a regular vacuum cleaner as well.
There are both synthetic and natural types of rubber and it is available in a huge range of vibrant colors, textures and patterns. It will take any amount of punishment.