The vast majority of kitchens we create today are ‘Living Kitchens’. That is to say the kitchen is part of a larger space that includes dining and sometimes even a lounge seating area. So, when we consider choices for flooring for the kitchen, we also need to take the other uses of the space into account. Often underfloor heating (UFH) is a factor with new extensions and this too will have an influence on the type of floor.
The four most popular floor finishes for Living Kitchens with UFH are:
1: Engineered Timber
2: Porcelain/Ceramic/Stone Tiles
4: Polished Concrete
The first important decision to make is whether or not the floor is to be the same throughout the space or split into areas. Having the same finish throughout undoubtedly will look better. It will make the space feel larger, less busy and avoid potential complications with joint details and positions for joints.
Personally, I love the warmth and character of natural wood on the floor and would use an oiled engineered board throughout the space. Whilst it is arguably slightly less practical than tiles in the kitchen area, the thought of tiles running throughout leaves me feeling a bit cold – especially as we don’t live in Southern Europe!
The relaxing feeling of real wood throughout the space is hard to beat, particularly if a neutral pale shade is chosen. The effect can be uplifting and the neutrality of the backdrop is perfect for all kinds of furniture, wall colours – and of course the kitchen itself.
Conversely, larger spaces that are entirely tiles can also be a bit echoy and harsh. Having said that, rugs can be used in the dining and living areas to balance this issue (as long as the UFH isn’t compromised).
Laminates, don’t do it for me - I would rather have the real thing!
Polished concrete or self-coloured screeds are very cool – especially if you’re going for that ‘Industrial Look’. But beware of the whole scheme becoming too harsh and cold, especially if you’re lining up cooler colours and shades of grey.
…we also need to take the other uses of the space into account…
Personally, I love the warmth and character of natural wood…
Laminates, for me, don’t do it. I would rather have the real thing!
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