It is still true that kitchen floors must be practical, i.e. easy to clean and durable. The fact that they can look good at the same time is new.
Kitchen floors: endless possibilities
Tiles, natural stone, parquet, cork, laminate, micro-concrete or good old linoleum? Anything is possible. Even a mix of materials and designs – provided your kitchen is big enough. This does not make choosing your perfect kitchen floor any easier.
Tiles are the classic kitchen flooring material. Tiles are made of ceramic or porcelain stoneware. The advantages of a tiled floor are that it is robust and easy to clean, either when wet or with a steam cleaner – and is therefore very hygienic. Tiles and underfloor heating also go well together. One disadvantage, however, is the hardness of tiles: if crockery is dropped, the chances of breaking a plate or cup are high. Designs abound – and there are now alternatives to the white joints that seem to attract dirt. A tiled floor can be quite affordable, depending on the choice of tiles, and has a service life of two to four decades.
Stone is hard-wearing, robust and easy to clean. It goes well with underfloor heating systems and gives the kitchen a natural look – especially if you choose the unpolished version. Stone slabs are rather expensive – so it is better to let a professional take care of laying them. But a stone floor in the kitchen lasts around 50 years. Care should be taken with softer stone such as marble, which is sensitive to limestone: if you live in a place with very hard water, you should always wipe up splashes immediately.
Laminate is also an extremely popular material for kitchen floors – it's easy to clean and practically abrasion-free. And there are numerous design possibilities: will you opt for wood, stone, marble, slate, a concrete look or a mosaic pattern? A laminate floor has a service life of around 20 years and is considerably cheaper than a wood or stone floor. However, it prefers to be only mist-moist and not completely wet. Since it is rather soft, laminate is only recommended for dog owners under certain circumstances: if Fido scratches the floor, laminate cannot be sanded down, unlike wood or stone. In this case, you can install click laminate yourself without much specialist expertise. Attention: certain laminates of inferior quality are not suitable if you have underfloor heating.
A parquet floor can last for generations – a little patina will make it even more attractive. With a wear layer of at least five millimeters, it can be sanded down several times if necessary. Parquet is extremely foot-friendly, but not quite as scratch-resistant as stone or tile. With good moisture protection, water splashes are no problem. The appearance of a parquet floor, as well as its robustness, will depend on the wood used – and the price. Oak, beech, ash, walnut and maple are among the harder woods that are suitable for the kitchen.
Cork floors are very elastic and ideal for people who like to walk barefoot in their homes because they always feel warm underfoot. However, cork is not very resistant to abrasion: after a relatively short period of time, “trampling paths” are formed – making the floor less suitable for eat-in kitchens or kitchens that are used extensively several times a day. It is also only waterproof to a limited extent.
Linoleum is a sustainable and biodegradable natural product made from linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour and resin. It is non-slip and very elastic, and is therefore well suited for spending long periods of time standing in the kitchen. Linoleum is also ideal for allergy sufferers, is antibacterial, antistatic and fire-retardant. Linoleum is available by the meter or in a practical click design.
Micro-cement is THE kitchen floor for the industrial, modern look. It is durable, easy to clean and available in a variety of finishes (matt, satin or gloss). The material has no joints and can also be used for walls, which can be a visual advantage, especially in small kitchens.