What kind of flooring should I go for in my kitchen?

26th February 2020

By Jemima Smith

When it comes to picking a floor for your kitchen, there are so many options to choose from: wood or limestone, natural or man-made… it’s always a tricky one! There are no rules when it comes to flooring; it all comes down to personal preference and whether you are the type of person that would prefer a more hardwearing, durable floor that you don’t have to worry too much about, or are happy to live with the nuances that come with owning a beautiful, natural floor. Our sister company, Floors of Stone, offer a range of really lovely flooring at very competitive prices… so, I’ve enlisted an expert and spoken to Charlie from Floors of Stone for a few tidbits of advice for this flooring blog!

 

WOODEN FLOORS 

Wooden floors have been laid in homes for hundreds of years; they give so much warmth and character to both traditional and modern homes. One of my favourite things about wood is that it just keeps getting more beautiful with time.

I just love this solid oak parquet floor by Floors of Stone in the Crystal Palace Kitchen! This is the Chatsworth Oak Parquet, but they also have a few different options in their collection. The oak has been treated with an ageing oil to give it that lovely golden tone and the slightly distressed edges mean it looks super authentic, perfect for this grand old house in South London!

The Crystal Palace Kitchen: Solid oak parquet floor by Floors of Stone.

The owners of the Bloomsbury Kitchen opted for a slightly darker look to complement our gorgeous Shaker cupboards that were painted in Flint. These warm brown oak floorboards are from Solid Floor and just ooze character, comfort and elegance!

The Bloomsbury Kitchen: Oak floorboards from Solid Floor.

There are so many different looks you can get with wooden flooring; it can be warm and rich, or pale and crisp, like in the Coach House kitchen:

The Coach House Kitchen: Limed Parquet by Fired Earth.

You could even paint your wooden flooring for a completely different look, like the owners of the South Wing Kitchen did:

The South Wing Kitchen: Original floorboards painted in ‘Cornforth White’ by Farrow & Ball.

Ideally, you should use floor paints for a long-lasting finish, but most good quality paints suitable for woodwork will give you a surprisingly tough floor! The floor will need to be sanded down, primed and then painted. Light colours reflect more light and will make a room feel larger, and dark colours will make a room feel cosier.

If you’re lucky enough to have original wooden floors, cherish them!! They’re such a beautiful original feature to have, and they add so much character it hardly seems fair!

The York Townhouse: Restored original floors.

 

RECLAIMED WOOD 

If you want something original, authentic, with heaps of character, reclaimed wood might be your best bet! How does it differ from normal wood? Well, reclaimed wood is basically just high-quality “upcycled” wood that’s been taken from various places like factories, old barns, retired ships, stock farms or warehouses.

At some point, many structures constructed from virgin wood are either removed or demolished. When this happens, there is a huge amount of air-dried wood left behind. This highly sought-after timber is ready to be recycled by a reclaimed wood flooring company and to be used again in various ways. There is a real charm to this type of wood because it contains a lot of history. Reclaimed wood provides whispers and echoes of the past and looks beautifully aged and unique. It’s also more environmentally-friendly than other flooring types, and gives life to old wood that would otherwise be thrown away!!

The owners of this kitchen in St Albans decided on this dreamy golden reclaimed wood from The Reclaimed Flooring Company in Clerkenwell. It adds so much warmth and charm to this bright and clean Trinity Blue kitchen.

St Albans Kitchen: Reclaimed wood from The Reclaimed Flooring Company

The Cardiff Kitchen: Reclaimed flooring from a salvage yard.

Things to note: It’s important to clean up spillages pretty quickly when it comes to wood to avoid marking, and all wooden flooring should also be sealed to give maximum protection! You can also use different oils to get different looks, for example, some of the wooden flooring options that Floors of Stone offer have been brushed and burned to give the illusion of age, whilst others have a natural or whitewashed finish for a more contemporary look.

 

LIMESTONE TILES 

We love the versatility of limestone; it comes in so many varying shades and finishes, and can be used both inside and outside your house. So, if it’s used outside that must mean it’s pretty hardy right? Well, kind of. Limestone can be quite porous and some of the lighter materials are more prone to staining but Charlie assured us that once it’s sealed you needn’t worry about this too much!

Limestone has actually been used for thousands of years. It can be traced back to modern Israel as far back as 7000 BCE. The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed of around 2.3 million blocks of limestone! It’s still used a lot today in modern industries and architecture and has a great household reputation for being durable, beautiful, functional, and easy to maintain.

You can achieve lots of different looks with limestone:

The Bond Street Shaker Showroom: ‘Brushed Charcoal‘ by Floors of Stone.

The Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods; Worn Grey Limestone by Floors of Stone.

The West Sussex Kitchen: For a similar look, we recommend Vintage Bronze Tumbled Limestone by Floors of Stone.

The Hampton Court Kitchen: Umbrian Limestone by Floors of Stone.

Things to note: Limestone needs to be sealed every 3-4 years to protect it from stains and help to maintain its natural beauty! Floors of Stone recommend SEALAStone Sealer for this!

 

TERRACOTTA TILES 

Ugh, I just love the cool Mediterranean look of terracotta tiles; they’re rustic and earthy and so lovely. Terracotta has been used for centuries as a building material due to its hard-wearing and durable nature, and it also looks fabulous. I love how versatile these tiles are – they look perfectly at home in a country kitchen or a Mediterranean-inspired home, and are great for adding a bit of warmth to a white or neutral colour scheme.

Terracotta is Italian for “cooked earth”, and I can so see why! We wanted our Classic Millhouse Kitchen to feel homely and cosy and as though you could imagine yourself cooking a delicious family dinner for everyone here, so Terracotta Tiles by Floors of Stone seemed like the only choice!! Charlie points out that you should hopefully only have to seal them once, providing you use LTD Wax Wash which reapplies wax as it cleans and is super effective!

The Classic Millhouse Kitchen: Rustic handmade terracotta tiles by Floors of Stone.

Things to note: Terracotta is quite porous and needs to be properly sealed before being used around water. Floors of Stone recommend applying 2-3 coats of boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) with a paint brush, removing any excess that has not absorbed after 30 minutes. The following day, apply a coat of LTP Antique or Clear Wax with a microfibre cloth and leave for 15 minutes. To maintain the tiles, Floors of Stone recommend LTP Waxwash.

 

CONCRETE 

I’ve seen concrete floors being used in kitchens a lot more over the last few years and I absolutely love it. Cool, contemporary and super-stylish, I’m so happy that it’s not just being used for basements and garages anymore. There’s lots of different finishes to choose from too, you can have it polished, etched, brushed, raked, and even stained for a slightly different style. For a softer, more glamorous look, I’d choose a glossy, polished finish, as it will look more like a stone tile. The pale colour of concrete means that it will reflect light, so including it in a kitchen extension with lots of windows will create a naturally bright room.

One of the main benefits of concrete is its resilience and durability; you don’t need to worry about high heels, furniture legs and pet claws and it also requires minimal maintenance, it’s really long-lasting and easy to clean, so it’s great for busy families! You can also choose from poured concrete or concrete tiles; poured concrete tends to be more expensive than tiles, but they both have to be finished and sealed in the same way.

Owned by a fashionista and a chef, it made total sense for a concrete floor to be the thing that ties the industrial and effortlessly chic Bath Larkhall Kitchen together. Our Sebastian Cox cupboards look even cooler with the concrete, the perfect combination of modern and rustic.

The Bath Larkhall Kitchen: Concrete Flooring. In London and Essex, try The Concrete Flooring Contractors. In the south of England, contact Contemporary Concrete Floors. If you are in the north of England, try Resin Flooring North East.

The Cattle Shed: Polished Concrete, sourced from a local supplier in Norfolk.

Things to note: Wear slippers! Concrete can be very chilly, or better yet, opt for underfloor heating. Concrete floor tiles are a cheaper alternative to poured concrete and can also be more practical (if you need to lift the flooring to fix underfloor heating or if a section of flooring is damaged, for example!). Concrete is super durable, but will still need to be sealed to prevent damage after being laid, and then every 2-5 years after that.

 

PORCELAIN TILES

If you love the look of stone, wood or concrete but want something super easy with minimal upkeep then porcelain tiles may be the one for you! Porcelain is denser and less porous than lots of other natural materials, meaning you don’t have to really think about water or stains. In terms of durability, porcelain tiles are pretty hard to beat, so are a great choice for busy family homes, especially kitchens, bathrooms and hallways, but they can technically be used anywhere, even outdoors. For a super sleek look, you could have porcelain tiles continuing outdoors to create a really seamless transition.

There are so many different options too; they can mimic the look of old Italian stone or wooden planks or even concrete. They’re not quite the real deal, but it’s fascinating to see how well they can replicate these materials, you can check out samples at our Cotes Mill or Tysoe Street showroom, or order a free sample directly from Floors of Stone. Oh, and Charlie pointed out that you can have underfloor heating with porcelain tiles too, so there’s no need to worry about keeping your feet warm in these cold wintery months!

Aged Oak Wood Effect Porcelain Tiles‘ By Floors of Stone.

Things to note: You don’t get quite as much character with porcelain tiles as you would with the real deal, but if this doesn’t bother you then porcelain is a really wonderful choice! In general, you’ll pay more for porcelain than for standard tiles but I think it’s definitely a worthwhile investment given their durability and practicality. The great thing about porcelain tiles is that they do not require sealing once they’ve been installed, meaning that you’re good to go once your adhesive has set and they’ve been grouted. Floors of Stone do recommend applying a good sealer to the grout every few years, to keep the tiles looking fresh, and LTP Waxwash is great for keeping your tiles looking good as new!

 

STATEMENT TILES 

I couldn’t write this blog without including one of the most fabulous floors we’ve ever seen in a deVOL Kitchen. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, why not choose a wacky and wonderful flooring?! The owners of the Marlow Kitchen went for this very fun and bold geometric cement flooring from Terrazzo Tiles. We love nothing more than to see people being bold and daring with their interiors, going with something purely because they’ve seen it and fallen in love with it… besides, you’re always more likely to create a ‘wow’ kind of room if you go all out, rather than just being a dip-your-toe-in type!

The Marlow Kitchen: Nadia Aubergine Grey Encaustic Cement Tile by Terrazzo Tiles.

Oooh and that just reminded me of a fabulous old floral patterned floor in our Lidham Hill Farm project, it has a slight Mediterranean vibe and whenever we post this photo on Instagram, the floor is always the part people pick up on and love. A little more understated than the geometric design above, if you’re wanting a unique floor but aren’t feeling quite brave enough to super bold, go a little more understated or lay it in your utility room just like this family did.

The Lidham Hill Farm Utility Room: A gorgeous and very old floral tiled floor. 

The good news is cement tiles and most other patterned floor tiles are extremely durable and very hard-wearing, not to mention really easy to clean, making them a great choice for a busy family kitchen. You can also find a pattern or style perfect for pretty much any taste and any space, the possibilities are endless. What a fantastic way to add a little something different to your new kitchen or scullery or boot room.

Things to note: I suppose the only thing to say about going for a statement floor is the fear of getting bored of it and not being able to easily change it – not something to put you off but just something to bear in mind!

 

So there you have it! A little overview of a few of our favourite flooring options – there are so many more to choose from but we’d be here forever! We hope this was helpful for anyone pondering over what flooring to choose. Floors of Stone are always more than happy to chat and advise and send out free samples!

– You can check out the Floors of Stone website here

– Telephone: 01509 234000

– Email: enquiries@floorsofstone.co.uk

Need any help?

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Tysoe Street
020 3837 5900

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Need any help? Please email:
enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk


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St. John's Square 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street 020 3837 5900

 

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usa.enquiries@devolkitchens.com

New York  +1 212 210 6269

  UK & Rest of World

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