Tile is a great choice for kitchen flooring. Kitchen floor tiles are durable, water-proof, and resistant to stains.
The amazing range of kitchen floor tile designs means that you can find the kitchen tile that looks best in your kitchen.
There are as many colors, shapes, styles, and patterns of kitchen floor tile, so you can easily find the perfect look.
Pricing is pretty diverse as well for kitchen floor tiles. There are three types of tile: porcelain, ceramic, and stone.
The prices of each type can run from $2 to $100 per square foot, depending on multiple factors such as shape and design.
With all these options, where do you start with your kitchen flooring design? Here are some tips and tricks to help with your kitchen flooring ideas.
What Are the Types of Kitchen Floor Tile?
Image source: Guidi Homes
Both ceramic and porcelain tiling are fairly similar. They are both made from clay mixtures that are fired at high temperatures in order to create a hard and very durable kind of tile.
You can get both of them either unglazed or glazed. Still, there are some major differences that you should note when creating your kitchen flooring tiles design.
Image source: Astro Design Centre
Porcelain is created by adding sand to the clay mixture and fired under pressure. This is a very dense, hard tile that is less porous than ceramic tiling.
It is a very tough kind of tile, and a lot of kitchen flooring designs use it in high-traffic areas.
It makes for good bathroom tile as well as being great for your kitchen. You can also use it for flooring for outdoor kitchen floors, as it is tough enough to work in any climate.
You should also note the difference between glazed and unglazed porcelain as you crate your kitchen flooring tile designs. Glazed porcelain tile has been coated with a glass-like glaze that is applied during firing so it has a colored surface.
Unglazed porcelain tile has had color added to the clay mixture, with the result being that the color and pattern are carried all the way through the tile. If this kind of tile gets scratched or worn, it won’t show as easily as it would on glazed porcelain tile.
Porcelain tiling can be quite difficult to install on your kitchen floor. It requires the use of special tools, which makes installation a bit harder to do yourself.
This tile is sometimes called “non-porcelain” so it is easier to distinguish from porcelain tile. It is notable softer than porcelain tile.
It is glazed so that it has a durable surface that can take a lot of wear and tear, and it can be glazed with any pattern or color imaginable.
If you are thinking of using regular ceramic tiles for your kitchen flooring designs, you should note that it is a lot easier to install on your own than porcelain tile.
It is much softer and easier to cut, requiring less specialized tools.
While part of the reason for that is that ceramic is more porous, the glazing on the surface means that it still holds up well to all the splashes, spills, and stains you find in a kitchen.
Image source: Darci Goodman Design
Stone tiles offer a different look that you should think about while brainstorming your kitchen floor tile ideas. They are made from natural stone rather than any kind of manufactured ceramic mix.
Materials include granite, limestone, slate, travertine, and marble.
Stone tile tends to be porous and should be refinished with high quality stone sealer every two to three years so it can stand up to normal use in your kitchen.
Stone tile has more options than just what kind of stone it is made from. It can be either polished or honed. Polished stone tile tends to be very slippery when it gets wet, though it really brings out the beauty of the material.
Honed stone tile offers more traction at the cost of a more vibrant look.
Kitchen Floor Tiling Drawbacks and Issues
Image source: Noel Dempsey Design
Tiling can look great on your kitchen floor, but as you sort through your kitchen floor ideas, you should remember that it has its own set of drawbacks. Tile is very hard and absolutely unforgiving.
Any dishes or glasses you drop will not survive. If you spend several hours standing to prepare food, your feet, legs, and back may feel more severe fatigue. Also remember that tile reflects sound and may cause your home to seem noisy.
Some good solutions for some of these issues are anti-fatigue mats and area rugs.
Tile also needs to be maintained. Ceramic tile is very tough, but the grout between individual tiles can get very dirty with age and use. Make sure to apply a grout sealer regularly in order to keep the flooring looking good.
As you may have experienced a few times, tile can get very slippery when it gets wet. If you’re worried about traction for everyone, you can get tiles that have been certified as slip-resistant by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Ada certification can be easily found on packing boxes, as well as in any product literature and fliers.
Some Ideas for Using Tile in Your Kitchen
With those basic ideas, you can now see how tile might be a smart choice for flooring ideas for kitchens. There a lot of options in the different tile types, so don’t feel bound by a more traditional look in your flooring ideas.
Modern technology and creativity has offered far more tile choices than you saw in your mother’s kitchen. Here is a small sampling of the tiling you can buy for your kitchen floor.
Image source: House of L Interior Design
Often seen in newer homes and one of the more popular kitchen flooring trends, engineered wood offers all the warm look of wood with the durability and price of tile.
It can go anywhere at all in your home and handles water very well, especially considering the vulnerability of real wood floors to water and moisture damage. It is not subject to the shrinking and expanding of solid wood flooring.
Image source: Attard’s Kitchens & Cabinetry Pty Ltd
Travertine is a tough and beautiful stone. It is also quite easy to care for, simply requiring an annual sealing, monthly mopping, and some sweeping a few times a week.
It is nearly stain-resistant and looks absolutely amazing when polished. It is a good choice for highly trafficked areas.
Image source: Bay Area Design Build, Inc.
If you want to have a warmer looking kitchen, you can also try real wood floors. A classic and favorite among flooring ideas, wood flooring gives a room a unique character.
If you opt to choose wood for your flooring, make sure you add in rugs in areas where you are doing food preparation and clean up, as wood is vulnerable to damage and warping from moisture.
There are a number of different kind of woods to choose from, each with its own character and feel. Dark-stained oak can look very elegant, especially if paired with lighter colored cabinets and appliances.
Cherry wood flooring adds a light and airy feel, and as a hard wood is very durable. Regardless of the kind of wood you decide to use for your flooring, make sure you only use wood cleaner on it, or a barely damp mop, and wipe up any spills immediately.
You want to avoid having the wood warp.
Slate with Style
Image source: M.Teixeira Soapstone
Using large slate tiles can offer you a durable and stylish floor. The dark color works well in a kitchen that sees a lot of traffic, as it can hide pet hair, dirt, and all manner of stains.
It is also very easy to maintain, as it only requires normal sweeping and mopping in addition to matte-finish product application once a year.
Image source: Drury Design
What kind of stone you opt for and where it is will determine whether or not you have to seal it and how often if you do. There are different sealants and cleaners for different kinds of stone.
Make sure you check with a retailer or manufacturer before you buy these chemicals, as using the wrong one can make your stone tile look bad or even damage it.
Resolution: 4 Architecture
Bamboo plank flooring comes in a number of patterns and plank sizes, meaning it can be used for a number of different flooring ideas and styles.
As renewable material, bamboo planks are a very environmentally conscious choice for kitchen flooring.
It can be stained in any number of colors. All you need to do to remain environmentally friendly is ensure the stain is water-based and the top coats are low-VOC emission products.
Bamboo is actually a grass, though it looks like wood. Despite that, it is a very durable material when used for flooring. Since it is so dense, it can hold up to the wear and tear of busy rooms and active people.
It has become very trendy recently not just for its durability but also for its relative affordability (especially compared to hardwood flooring) and its subtly variegated appearance.
Bamboo is a very sustainable material, as it grows very quickly, and is great for anyone who wants to stay green with their building materials. It is very low maintenance with no special care requirements.
Bamboo is much better underfoot than wood. It brings a very worldly look to your kitchen and is much more budget friendly than tropical or exotic hardwood flooring.
Be Original with Brick
Image source: Morning Star Builders LTD
Brick flooring, while rather old fashioned and quaint, can be made modern when in the right kitchen. Try painting the cabinets a bold color that complements the earthy colors of a brick floor.
This kind of flooring gives a kitchen a homey sort of character, but does not necessarily need to seem out of date. The contrast of antique brick can really add needed warmth to a modernistic kitchen style.
Image source: Ethelind Coblin Architect P.C
For an urban and stylish look, lay your kitchen floor our in a classical checkboard style. This simple black and white pattern can give your fairly neutral kitchen a bit of graphic and modernist edge.
Any kind of tile can be used in this pattern, but you will often see vinyl in more modern designs, as it is both cost effective and sleek looking.
Sometimes, the flooring you already have might surprise you after a bit of tender loving care. Take a look at your existing floor and see if you need to restore it to get a sense of its original beauty.
This project can have a wide range in price, as on occasion you are able to do it yourself, while at other times you may need to hire a professional.
Creatively Mixing Materials
Consider using different kinds of flooring materials together. Ceramic tile and wooden planks can create an interesting and stylish kitchen floor.
Make sure you combine materials of similar durability and with similar maintenance requirements so that the floor is easier to care for and wears at a consistent rate all the way across.
Image source: The Cabinet Connection
Natural cork is a durable and quiet material to use for flooring. It is also very cushiony underfoot, which will minimize the strain you feel if you are going to be standing while preparing floor or cleaning up after a meal.
This is a very sustainable material that costs about as much as a hardwood floor. Cork trees require only nine years to regrow, while many other kinds of trees can take at least 30 years.
Cork is sustainably harvested and completely natural, two factors which have helped it grow in popularity recently.
It has a very distinctive look that might not suit a lot of people, but those who use it enjoy its patterns, texture, warm look, and environmental friendliness.
Cork is very resilient and flexible. It is very comfortable underfoot. If you drop a plate or glass, it is less likely to break, as cork absorbs the shock.
It retains both sound and warmth, which can create a cozy feel. As it is rich with suberin, it is naturally guarded against pests, mold, mildew, and rot.
Bring New Life with Paint
If you current floor is largely good but is just looking out of date, try painting it. A new coat of paint can revive the look of your old kitchen floor.
This is a much cheaper option than replacing the entire floor, though be sure to pick a durable paint. This can be a great way to start your kitchen renovation on a budget.
Use Causal Finishes
Honed or matte finishes work very well with limestone tile kitchen flooring. With their earthy colors and texture, they can work very well for a farmhouse style kitchen. This kinds of finishes are very casual and relaxed.
They hide scratches well and need very little maintenance. In addition to all this, these finishes ensure you tile provides very good traction when they get wet.
Concrete flooring fits a modern and contemporary kitchen very well. Concrete can be stained in a variety of ways, and there are a lot of sculpting and scoring options that can make it look like all sorts of tiles.
You can get any number of different patterns, colors, shading, and sheens on a concrete floor. It can even be made to look like different sorts of stone.
All in all, concrete is a very affordable flooring option with a lot potential for creativity and style, though you should remember that it will require periodic sealing to look good over the years.
You probably think of concrete flooring as something found in basements or hidden away under your carpeting. Not anymore.
Its industrial chic look and edginess has made it a major flooring trend. Concrete does not have to be a large gray swath. You can now get it stamped, stained, scored, or acid etched to give it life and style.
Concrete is a great choice for a warm climate, because it will stay cool even in the hottest part of summer. It is extremely durable and nearly impossible to break or crack, no matter what gets dragged or spilled on it.
If you do get tired of the look, it’s easy to make it into the subfloor for tile, carpeting, or any other kind of flooring material you choose.
Vinyl is a cheap and easily maintained kind of flooring. The tiles comes in a vast variety of colors and patterns. You will not be spending a fortune on it, so you will have more of a budget for other additions to your kitchen.
Vinyl tile flooring should be sealed to protect it from stains, since stains on vinyl are nearly impossible to remove. Besides that sealing, all you’ll need to do is wash it with soap and water to make sure it looks new over time.
Vinyl is the flooring material that is best known for being cheap, both in price and appearance. While the former is still true, the latter is not necessarily the case.
Modern vinyl can be found in a wide range of finishes and designs, many of them quite sophisticated. You can find both sheets and tiles that look like wood, stone, ceramic tile, and much more. The embossed textures can look and feel very realistic.
Vinyl is easy on your budget, probably the least expensive flooring options you can find. It can give the look of much more expensive materials at a much smaller cost. It is very easy to clean.
If there is a damaged spot, it can be easily patched as well. The give of vinyl flooring is very comfortable underfoot. On top of all this, you can install it on your own without too much hassle, so no need to hire someone to do it for you.
Ceramic tile can fit any kitchen style and budget. There are limitless options, so you can fit ceramic tile flooring into any style, from countryside kitchen to sleek modernist to Old World traditionalism.
The wide price range means that there is almost certainly suitable tile pattern that can fit your flooring budget.
Ceramic tile is very durable, able to take years and years of wear and tear. Muddy shoes (or paws) and spills don’t make much impact and are very easy to clean up as if they had never been there.
You can easily fit it into your budget, as there are an immense number of low-priced options for ceramic tile. Since ceramic tile is very modular, you can create your own custom pattern without too much hassle, even if you have a small budget.
Image source: Chantry Kitchens
Natural stone flooring has a lot of variation, whether it is limestone, granite, or travertine. No two pieces of stone are exactly alike. Their pattern, color, and texture are all different.
This creates a kind of visual depth you can’t replicate with any other material. It creates an elegant sort of style and will make your kitchen seem much more upscale as soon as it is installed.
Stone floors have the most classical look of all flooring, as they’ve been around for millennia. Ancient castles and temples all have stone flooring.
They can be a very cool option to use in warm climates, much like concrete and tile.
They are one of the most durable flooring options available. Beyond regular cleaning, they require very little day to day maintenance. Their natural beauty, of course, is a very major selling point.
Stone is quite expensive, both to buy and install, as it is not something you likely want to install yourself. Small crannies in the surface of your stone tile can catch dirt easily.
Softer stone can crack and chip, a problem you’ll find in travertine tiles. Slate tends to peel over time as it has multiple layers. Any kind of porous stone will need to be protectively sealed regularly.
Wood flooring has a natural charm and warmth you cannot find in any other kind of material.
Wood can be very durable and last indefinitely is it is cared for, even in areas with a lot of foot traffic and moisture. Over time and with use, it will develop a rich patina.
Wood flooring has a wide variety, from thin pale maple strips to wide planks of pine.
Wood floors have a timeless look and will never seem out of style, so you will not feel the need to update it as you change your home.
To keep it looking good, all you have to do is clean, sand, and refinish it.
Spills and splashes can damage wood if not cleaned up right away. Wood can be easily dented and scratched. Refinishing periodically is a must if you don’t want your wood floor to look beaten and worn out.
It is more comfortable on the feet than tile and concrete, but cork and vinyl have more give and will feel better on your feet.
Image source: Three Week Kitchens TM
Linoleum is frequently confused with vinyl, but it is in fact with different material entirely. Linoleum is an all-natural material made from linseed oil, wood flour, resins, and other natural materials.
It was a staple of the first half of the 21st century, but fell out of fashion when synthetic flooring came along. It has become more fashionable lately, as it is a green material and has a certain sort of retro-cool look, which appeals to the environmentally and style conscious.
It works very well in midcentury interior designs and old-fashioned cottages.
Linoleum is a very diverse kind of flooring material. You can find it in just about every color imaginable, as bold or subtle as you would like.
It is easy to cut into unique patterns, including circular motifs. It is a very affordable material with a lot more durability than you might think.
It is also very easy to maintain.
Image source: risa boyer architecture
Laminate flooring is made by sandwiching multiple layers of engineered material together. It is usually made to look like wood or tile. It handles scuffs and scratches very well since it has an internal “wear layer”.
If your kitchen is frequented by pets, children, or just plain heavy use, laminate might be the best option or your kitchen floor.
Laminate is very easy to maintain. All you need to do is mop and sweep it. You can find do-it-yourself “floating” or glueless versions of laminate so you can install it on your own without having to hire anyone.
It usually has a fairly moderate cost.
Even if it is designed to look like tile or wood, laminate will not have the same depth and texture as the real thing. The illusion will hold up from a distance, but not up close. Laminate can’t be refinished. Once it starts showing age and war, you will have to completely replace it.
Six Tips for Choosing the Best Kitchen Tile
Decide where it will be installed
. You can have it not only on the floor, but also use it on your backsplash or countertops.
Figure out the difference between different kinds of tiles
. As you’ve read, there are a wide variety of flooring options that fall under ‘tile’, so figure out what the pros and cons of each type are.
Decide on your budget before making up your mind
. Falling in love with a certain style, make sure you can afford it.
Take into account your household’s lifestyle.
Figure out just how much upkeep you will need considering what you use your kitchen for and what kind of traffic it sees.
Choose a tile that can endure your family’s habits.
Make sure your tile can deal with your family’s regular activities.
Be creative with a tile backsplash.
A tile backsplash does not have the same durability requirements as your floor. Take the opportunity to be creative with its design.
Image source: HartmanBaldwin Design/Build
As you can see, there are a lot of option available for your kitchen flooring options. Look at all these considerations and your budget to see what can work for you.
Tile is such a versatile material in material, design, and price, that you will no doubt be able to find something that works for your kitchen floor.