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CREATING FABULOUS LIVING KITCHENS: Insight #4 Choosing Floors for Your Kitchen Project

By Tomas P Hinton, Founder and Head Designer of Tomas Kitchen Living

When it comes to choosing colours and finishes for your kitchen, you may find that a less is more approach could be way to go.


Unless you’re intentionally out to get a super vibrant and busy look, it definitely pays to go easy on the striking colours – after all by the time you add people, plants, food and fun into the mix you’ll find that vibrancy comes as standard!


There are a lot of decisions to be made, so let’s break it all down into some bite-size chunks…


  1. Floor Finish

  2. Walls, Ceiling, Woodwork

  3. Kitchen Cabinets

  4. Countertops

  5. Lighting

  6. Soft Furnishings

  7. Freestanding Furniture



FLOOR FINISH


The floor is a logical place to start and before the colour can be considered we need to decide what type of flooring best suits our needs. There are three obvious ways to roll this out:


TILES


Tiles are super practical, hardwearing and arguably the perfect thing for the kitchen. I would only consider high quality rectified porcelain and would go for matte or satin finish. Larger format tiles do look the business – even in small kitchens. Choose between a natural or concrete look.. natural will have veining (like stone) and concrete will be mottled/speckled. From here make a short list and then circle back when you have chosen other colours for the kitchen space.


Large open plan spaces look great when the floor continues throughout the different zones, so one of the downsides to tiles is that it can sometimes get a bit too much – without rugs and soft furnishing things can get echoey and the ‘feel’ of the space can seem a little harsh. Another consideration is that if there are different substrates there can be issues with movement. For example and extension may have a solid concrete screed and the original part of the space may have a timber floor on joists. There are ways to overcome this, but it can be problematic.


NATURAL WOOD ENGINEERED


We have created numerous living kitchen with wood floors, and whilst it is not as practical as tiles, oiled engineered wood floors are not ‘impractical’. For many, the overall character, warmth and beauty that a wood floor brings will easily outweigh the practicality of tiles – especially when it runs continuously into living areas, hallways etc.


The thing about oiled floors is that, with a little tlc, they get better with age. A dink and a scratch here and there is to be expected and will ultimately become part of character. A lacquered floor is fine too, but ultimately this will deteriorate over a number years – and damage will look like damage!


VINYL


Super practical, but it will always feel plasticy compared to the real thing… mainly due to the fact that it is plastic. If you’re going to go that route, make sure there aren’t any real floors nearby and it won’t look too bad! Consider also that, a plain finish may be better that fake wood or stone. Honesty in materials is always a good thing in my opinion – for example, tiles that look like wood isn’t where it’s at for me… but that is just a point-of-view!


In the next Design Insight we’ll be looking at colours for walls, ceilings, woodwork and of course the kitchen cabinets!




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