How can you select and choose the perfect flooring for the kitchen in your home?
Kitchen is probably the busiest room in the whole house. It sees a lot of traffic daily, throughout the year and its lifecycle. It is also the place which is prone to many accidents and spills, since it is primarily used for food, cooking and similar activities. Sometimes, the kitchen has to handle muddy shoes and paws, sometimes it has to suffer milk or juice spills and sometimes there may be some food spills too. So, it is indeed very important to select such a flooring for the kitchen which can handle all these accidents and other kinds of wear and tear. The selection of the flooring should not just be looks but also quality, robustness, durability and strength. The trick to select the flooring for the kitchen lies in your character and personality. What do you prefer? Do you want something flashy and slick or do you want something of a flawed character? Do you want to take care of your floor on a regular basis, with efforts for the maintenance or do you want something that is just easier to clean and maintain and does not require much time and effort? This article provides explanation and ideas for you to select the perfect flooring for your kitchen.
Read the complete article to learn these awesome ideas about kitchen flooring!
Professional advice from:
Andrew Petherick of Artichoke
Jamie Blake of Blakes London
Paul Hutton of Seamless Resin Flooring
Federica Vasetti of DHV Architects
Jeremy Friendship of Studio 3 Kitchens
Gurjeet Hunjan of Boscolo Interior Design
Covering everything from limestone (pictured) and travertine to granite and slate, classic stone is an unsurprisingly popular flooring choice. The beauty of stone is in its natural, unique variations – no two slabs are completely alike and the subtle shifts in tone add depth.
Be aware that more irregular stones are harder to slot together neatly. ‘If you choose more rustic tiles that don’t have smooth edges, the grout lines will be thicker and these can get dirty,’ says Andrew Petherick. A honed, matt surface will give you a more modern look.
Slate has a reputation for being soft, but it’s possible to find more hard-wearing varieties. ‘Slate varies in its toughness,’ says Andrew. ‘Cumbrian slate, for instance, acts like granite.’
Pros High wow factor – stone is beautiful, timeless and classy. It’s robust, long-lasting and easy to care for. It works with underfloor heating and is a good heat conductor. ‘Stone catches heat and holds onto it for about an hour,’ says Andrew.
Cons ‘Stone is not very forgiving to your feet if you’re likely to be standing on it for long periods,’ says Andrew. It’s also pretty unforgiving where any dropped crockery is concerned. It’s cold without underfloor heating and can scratch. More irregular surfaces can harbour dirt. ‘Darker floors show the wear more, and will reveal the more well-trodden paths,’ says Andrew. It needs a strong, rigid and level base – it can’t be laid on a floating floor.
If it’s an edgy aesthetic you’re after, you can’t beat concrete. Whether you go for a full-on industrial look, or just want to sharpen a simple scheme, this surface does the job.
‘Don’t lay it on the cheap, as it’s easy to mess up,’ warns Jamie Blake. ‘It needs to be vibrated enough to get the bubbles out or it will crumble. Call in the professionals and make sure you get a guarantee.’
Pros It’s hard-wearing and, if looked after, will last indefinitely – it actually gets tougher with age. It has great thermal qualities, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. It can be poured onto an existing floor, which doesn’t have to be totally level. It comes in a range of colours and is great for in/out flooring. It’s easy to clean, won’t harbour pests and is happy with underfloor heating.
Cons Concrete can be chipped or cracked, although you’d have to make a real effort. It’s not very forgiving to dropped crockery or tumbling tots, or to feet if you’re standing on it for long periods. ‘It can be slippery,’ adds Jamie, ‘but a matt sealer can alleviate that.’ If it does chip or crack, it can be repaired, but not seamlessly. ‘It will never look the same again,’ says Jamie.
All the clever copies in the world can’t really match the beauty of real wood. It comes in a huge range of shades and grains, works in any setting from ultra modern to country cottage, and is pretty unlikely ever to go out of fashion. A uniform grain looks modern, while knots and irregularities fit in nicely with a trad scheme.
Reclaimed boards have an incomparable patina. ‘But they are more pricey as they’re harder to lay, being of different sizes and thicknesses,’ warns Jamie Blake.
‘Parquet wears well as it doesn’t expand as much as boards,’ adds Andrew Petherick. As for finishes: ‘Choose oil or wax rather than lacquer for a natural look, and clean with a damp rather than a wet mop,’ advises Andrew.
Pros Wood is quite forgiving on your feet, as it has some give and is warm to the touch. It’s renewable, recyclable, good-looking, sturdy and long-lasting. It can be sanded to look like new and stained in a huge number of colours.
Cons ‘Solid wood boards will move, especially in an environment where there’s lots of moisture and mopping,’ says Jamie. They need a subfloor, which can make installation pricey. They can be noisy, so not one for flats unless you’re planning to lay a rug. They will stain and scratch, and can show up wear in high-traffic areas, such as by the hob and sink. ‘A wooden floor can be re-sanded, but it’s a pretty dirty process,’ says Andrew. ‘Underfloor heating is a no-no with real wood,’ adds Jeremy Friendship.
Here is a material that not only doesn’t harm the environment, it actively helps it. Removing the bark from cork oak trees means they live longer.
‘Cork is warm and it has a bounce to it, so it’s comfortable and it absorbs sound,’ says Gurjeet Hunjan. And gone are the days when tan was your only option. ‘Traditional, exposed cork is still available, but there are now many designs coated with vinyl, which gives you more choice of finishes,’ adds Gurjeet.
Pros Cork is naturally antibacterial, so resistant to mould and mildew, non-slip, fire-retardant and insulating (as it’s filled with lots of tiny air pockets). It’s easy to clean with a damp mop, and exposed cork can be sanded and resealed to revive it.
Cons Heavy furniture can leave an imprint, it can fade in strong sunlight and it’s easily scratched. It can handle spills as long as they’re mopped up, but if liquid is left on the floor it will damage it.
The trick with laminate is to go for good-quality boards, which are tough and resistant to wear, stains and fading. You don’t have to choose a wood look – some laminates imitate ceramic tiles or slate. They’re covered in a transparent ‘wear’ layer that’s pretty tough, so are scratch resistant. Beneath the wear layer is a high-definition image, which can be of anything from wood to marble.
‘You can now also buy laminate boards that have a thin veneer of wood on top for a more realistic look,’ says Jeremy Friendship, though these will scratch and can’t be sanded as the veneer isn’t deep enough. ‘The top ranges have V grooves for a natural plank look,’ he adds.
Pros There are some very realistic, textured designs available. Laminate tends to be reasonably priced, is low maintenance, moisture resistant and can be installed over an existing floor. ‘It doesn’t need sealing and it doesn’t stain,’ adds Jeremy.
Cons It needs an under-layer, which is sometimes attached to the laminate and sometimes not – ask before you buy. If it’s scratched, it’s unrepairable. Not all laminates are suitable for electric underfloor heating, although all can be laid over wet systems.
Author: Sarah Alcroft
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