The Big Kitchen Flooring Guide

Posted on by Online Carpets

The kitchen can, quite often, be the hub of the home where people gather to cook, eat and discuss the activities of the day. Getting the right look and feel for this area is important in making a house a home but flooring can, oftentimes, be the most difficult aspect to change.

With our Big Kitchen Flooring Guide, we’ll provide you with practical tips, advice and kitchen flooring ideas to help you on your way to getting the right flooring for your needs.

What Type of Flooring is Best in a Kitchen?

Every type of flooring has pros and cons for each setting and kitchen flooring is no different. Finding the right fit for you takes careful consideration so understanding what each option offers you is imperative when it comes to choosing something that’s practical, hard-wearing and suits your aesthetic.

Popular choices often revolve around stone, ceramic or tiles because they’re water-resistant and easy to clean. However, these also have the negatives of being easy to scratch, scuff and even chip, and the grout can harbour dirt and bacteria, which is far from ideal in a cooking area. These unsightly chips can then become hard to clean, needing greater upkeep with expensive cleaning products to make sure they remain hygienic, and if they are sharp they could even need replacing. Being quite costly to put in, in the first place, further replacement then makes them even more cost-prohibitive for the budget-conscious consumer.

Tile and ceramic flooring can sometimes become very slippery when liquids are spilt causing a potential hazard for children and members of the family who aren’t necessarily stable on their feet. All Online Carpets Vinyl flooring has an R10 slip rating and above, making it suitable for all areas of the home.

Kitchen vinyl flooring can offer a hardwearing and more financially viable alternative to the above whilst still imitating the look and style of tiles or planks, as well as offering far more variety of styles and colours. Bolder aesthetics can be achieved with patterned or marble effects in an all-in-one roll so that you don’t have to worry about assembling them.

Bright colours like red, blue, and pink (as well as plenty of other choices) can also allow you to personalise your space with a more daring look should you wish to go with something a little more out of the norm.

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Flooring?

Before deciding on your kitchen flooring, you need to consider the space, your budget and how the area will be used. For example, if it’s a smaller space, you’ll want something that’s light and creates an atmosphere of spaciousness, nothing too busy or patterned that lends to a sense of being cluttered or crowded. Likewise, if it’s going to have heavy foot traffic, resilience will be key and absolute priority on your list.

Our wide selection of kitchen vinyl is scratch-resistant and easy to maintain, and even more ideal, it’s specifically designed to be stain-resistant for that extra hardwearing need. This keeps it practical and visually appealing for a long time.

Another option would be kitchen laminate wood flooring which gives the high-end aesthetic of hardwood flooring whilst combining a hard-wearing robustness resistant to scratches and scuffs. Perhaps less suited to areas with a lot of water, laminate wood flooring can easily mimic wood plank or contemporary stone looks with ease.

Should Kitchen Flooring be Lighter or Darker than Cabinets?

When choosing your kitchen décor style, there are no hard and fast rules, and you should go with what works for you. That being said, a general rule of thumb is to go with lighter cabinets than the kitchen flooring, this helps to break the space up by naturally balancing the appearance and aesthetic. Darker browns or wood hues can work well here, allowing for the eye to be drawn to white or light wood-coloured cabinets.

Grey flooring is a particularly good choice in these settings because it offers up a darker, more sophisticated tone without being too moody or making the room seem too small, which some darker tones may do. Grey vinyl flooring can lend to a dramatic appeal whilst still feeling comfortable, giving the essence of slate or stone but being warmer underfoot. Grey laminate flooring offers up looks like painted wood, with plank and herringbone styles giving a refined sense of luxury whilst still providing the same level of long-lasting robustness as other laminate products.

Lighter flooring is a simple way of making enclosed spaces feel roomier with beiges and creams coming into their own in such situations. Using two contrasting tones that are quite prominent, you can then accent these with a more minor tone to bring out certain features. If you have simplistic cabinet designs, we would then recommend patterned vinyl flooring which can add some bold ambience and a real pop of character.

What is The Hardest Wearing Flooring for a Kitchen?

Being a central area to the home, the kitchen and kitchen flooring are likely to see ample wear and tear just from usage alone. As such, resilient, long-lasting flooring is best for a cost-effective flooring solution, but you’ll still want it to look good and work well.

Laminate wood flooring is a versatile option that is easy to wipe clean and has the visual quality of high-end flooring. You can get luxurious wood effects such as oak, beech and walnut but without the cost and with the added reassurance of being highly resistant to stains, spills, and scratches. A popular choice for the country kitchen aesthetic is to use a Herringbone wood laminate effect which has the appearance of natural wood but at a much more affordable price.

Kitchen vinyl flooring is also designed to deal with a high level of activity whilst still creating a warm and welcoming culinary atmosphere. A durable and moisture-resistant choice that’s perfect for homes with pets and young children, it’s easy to maintain and has a warmth underfoot for added comfort. Where traditional tiled flooring can be cold in the winter or expensive to heat with underfloor heating, vinyl flooring offers a naturally warmer and more energy-efficient option to keep toes cosy in those frosty months.

With an extensive range of kitchen vinyl and laminate flooring, you can find a style that suits you at a cost that meets your budget from Online Carpets.

How Easy is it to Install Kitchen Flooring?

Installing kitchen flooring may sound like a daunting task but, depending on what material it is, it may be easier than you think.

How to Install Vinyl Flooring

  1. Prepare the Subfloor: Once you’ve lifted the original flooring, prepare the subfloor on which your vinyl is going to be laid on, make sure it is clean and even, as bumps will come through on a soft vinyl. Make sure it’s level, using a levelling product if necessary, and acclimatise your vinyl by unpacking it and leaving it in the room for 24 hours. Ensure the floor is dry and clean before fitting.
  2. Measure and Fit: Unfurl your vinyl roll and measure and cut to size to fit your room. Once you’re happy with this, follow the direction of the main source of light in the room to fit, unless it’s a particularly narrow space, then you may want to follow the length of the room. Make sure there are no air bubbles or unevenness as you go. Smaller rooms may not need adhesive to secure the vinyl while rooms between 12m² - 15m² will need, at least double-sided adhesive tape. Rooms larger than this will need adhesive glue to stick the vinyl down.
  3. Add Skirting: Complete the look with skirting or beading, This will give a neat finish and stop the vinyl from curling or fraying at the edges.

How To Install Laminate Flooring

  1. Test Fit: Layout the first row of laminate planks against one edge of the room to see how they will fit. Don’t lock them in place and, once you’re happy with the look, move out of the way to lay the underlayment. Some types of laminate may come with this attached, but if not you’ll have to roll it out and secure the seams with tape.
  2. Lay The First Row. Trim off the tongues of the first row of planks that you are going to lay against the longest wall. Keep a space of about ¼ inch from the wall and cut end pieces to size.
  3. Lay The Other Rows: User the tongue grooves to fit the adjoining rows of planks, making sure they lock in place. Lay the rows in a staggered fashion so that the seams do not line up adjacently. Fit the final row in the same fashion but you may need to cut planks to fit in place. Then remove any spacers, if you’ve used them and install a baseboard moulding to hide any gaps.

In short, there is no definitive answer for what flooring is best in the kitchen, but rather it is what best works for you. The variety of stylings and hardwearing nature of both vinyl and laminate flooring make them particularly strong choices in the kitchen and across the household.

As such, choosing the correct fit for you depends on what ambience you are going for, with lighter tones giving you greater airiness and a feeling of space or darker tones creating more drama and warmth. Experimenting with contrast may lead to the best effect with more complex interplays between light and dark allowing for greater sophistication in any setting. Of course, if you were to go big and bold, bright colours and patterns are also readily available and will bring a touch of panache and personality. Lighter kitchen cabinets can help break up that space more readily by drawing the eye to them.

Once you’re happy with your choice, make sure you thoroughly research how to install your floor to not waste time and money. It’s always recommended to get a professional fitter where possible but both vinyl and laminate flooring are relatively easy to do yourself.

You can find a comprehensive range of vinyl flooring and laminate flooring, suitable across the household at Online Carpets.