In UK homes, the most popular floor covering is timber. It sells more than any other alternative, be it ceramic, stone, vinyl, porcelain, carpet or laminates. The largest rooms in the house are downstairs, and they’re the ones that tend to have natural wood flooring. But what’s the best flooring for kitchens and sun-rooms?
The Threats To Your Kitchen Floor:
Traffic, and lots of it. Outdoor footwear with grit and stones trapped in the tread. Pots and pans, tins of beans. Ironing boards, hoovers. Shopping dumped. Food preparation splashes. Children’s toys, bicycles. Dropped knives. A kitchen is very much lived in, and not simply a remote area to cook in. The heart of the home is very much that, and as a result, receives the most abuse.
The Flooring Options:
- Stone or natural marble is a good choice, provided it’s regularly maintained and not subjected to harsh cleaners / acids / detergents which can react with the minerals. Going for some of the harder ones, such as granite, rather than a travertine will help resist all life’s knocks and bumps.
- Laminates are much more susceptible to scratching. However, better quality surfaces are available these days in the top of the range models; they’re harder wearing than average. As in a bathroom, you’ll need the waterproof version if you intend to install them in and around the sink. They can also be dented from the impact of a hard object. Definitely an option, but by no means the best one, in our opinion.
- Vinyl tiles have similar surface characteristic to the laminates; however, they’re very difficult to dent, and we believe that in terms of endurance, they are a better choice in this situation.
- Timber floors will have a much greater propensity to dent and scratch under assault from hard and sharp object, plus they’re also susceptible to water damage. Obviously, there’s nothing to say that a distressed or rustic plank will not benefit from becoming more so, and that’s fine. But as a generalisation, factory finished smooth wood, either solid or engineered, will struggle to maintain its original finish for long under the sort of use expected. Timber is also more susceptible to extreme damage in the case of accidental spillages of cleaning products.
- Carpets. No. Just no.
Some of the above materials can have layers of UV protective substances applied to their surfaces during production. Note that this can break down over time through wear and tear, which can lead to discolouration when exposed to sunlight.
- Ceramic or porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are made for the working kitchen or utility room environment. Extremely resistant to scratching, fully waterproof, colourfast, resistant to chemicals - all the boxes are ticked. In fact, in every category, when it comes to practicality, the humble ceramic or porcelain floor tile is clearly the best flooring for a kitchen. For such a busy area, the simplicity of maintenance and extreme durability make it the obvious choice. Of course, we’re a little biased!