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Best kitchen flooring 2022: The toughest and most stylish kitchen flooring in wood, laminate tile and more

Rachel Ogden Sarah Matthews
30 Jul 2021
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Whatever your budget, whatever your style, find a practical kitchen flooring that looks great and lasts for years

Kitchen floors have to withstand all sorts, which is why we've worked hard to find some of the best kitchen flooring out there. Not only does your flooring need to be easy to clean, but also stain-resistant, stylish and comfortable to walk on. Some need to work with different surfaces or floor constructions, while others need to be compatible with underfloor heating (UFH), too. All need to last for many years, as replacing a floor is never cheap or fun.

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Thankfully, there’s a huge choice of materials on offer, with advanced printing techniques enabling the look of timber or stone with the affordability of laminate or the durability of porcelain. If you’re keen to keep maintenance to a minimum, easily moppable luxury vinyl tiles (LVTs) are a good fit. Similarly, if you have time to clean regularly and want flooring with more character, a natural material that requires some sealing or waxing may be the best choice for you.

To help you make your decision and find the best kitchen flooring whatever your needs, we've picked out a varied choice of fantastic flooring to keep your feet and home happy.

Read on for our guide to buying the best kitchen flooring or scroll further to see our top picks.

Best kitchen flooring: At a glance

  • Best kitchen flooring on a budget: Topps Tiles Woodeves Grey tiles | Buy now
  • Best for family kitchens: Karndean Da Vinci CER13 Eisen | Buy now
  • Best for speedy installation: Aqualock 12mm Laminate Flooring | Buy now
  • Longest-lasting floor: Beswick Stone Keynes Mix Limestone | Buy now
  • Best flooring for a classic kitchen: The Natural Wood Floor Company Oak Aged Parquet Oiled | Buy now

How to buy the best kitchen flooring for you

What types of kitchen flooring can you buy?

Natural stone

This includes limestone, travertine, granite and slate, is a popular choice thanks to its unique veining and available colours. Finishes can be tumbled, for a more aged, antique look, honed, for a modern matt surface or polished for a light-reflecting shine. Some stones will be more hardwearing than others.

Limestone, for example, can be etched by acids, such as fizzy drinks and descaler, so it’s a good idea to seal it initially then reseal it regularly to protect the surface. On the plus side, it’s durable, easy to clean and is UFH-compatible. However, if you’re standing for any length of time, it can make your legs ache. It’ll be cold in the winter without UFH, while softer stones may scratch and textured surfaces harbour dirt.

Timber

It’s best to avoid using solid wood in the working areas of a kitchen as the boards can shift and warp with humidity and UFH. Blocks, such as parquet, are more stable but should still be cleaned with a damp, rather than wet, mop. A better option is engineered boards – made with a core of HDF or plywood with a layer of real wood on top. These are more stable structurally and usually UFH-compatible as well.

Other options include naturally bacteria-resistant and eco-friendly cork and bamboo, but like all such woods, they’re easily dented. In most cases, wood can be repaired with gentle sanding and refinishing. Check if your boards come prefinished or if they have to be oiled or waxed on a regular basis.

Vinyl

Vinyl has come a long way since it first appeared in the kitchen and its new-gen hard incarnation, LVT (as opposed to sheet vinyl on a roll), is easy to clean, water-resistant and comfy underfoot. In some cases, it can even be laid straight over an existing floor. Most tiles and planks replicate wood or stone with a digital print and faux grout lines but you can also find coloured and patterned tiles. Choose a good-quality version and it’ll have a thick wear layer so it protects against damage and scratches. Many are UFH-compatible but check with the supplier.

Laying it properly is key to its longevity – the sub-floor will need to be even and you may have to fit underlay first or glue it in place, depending on the system. Be sure to add pads to stool or chair legs to prevent damage over time.

Laminate

If you’re choosing laminate, it pays to invest. While there are several budget options, they may not be especially hardwearing or water-resistant. Good-quality versions, however, come with realistic-looking designs and planks that can survive the odd spill. Laminate is made from a melamine back, an HDF core and a high-resolution image of wood, stone or tiles protected by a transparent wear layer. This makes it resistant to scuffs and scratches, although damage can’t be repaired.

Laminate can also sometimes feature a textured finish for extra realism. Even at the top end, it’s still a relatively affordable flooring option that won’t stain and won’t need sealing. Check its UFH-compatibility though, as not all of them will suit dry systems, and some require underlay.

Tiles

Ceramic, porcelain or terracotta tiles are another popular option. Porcelain is a harder version of ceramic, meaning that it’s low maintenance, hygienic, easy to clean and incredibly durable. It’s also UFH-compatible and is often available in covetable marble or reclaimed timber effects. Porcelain tiles are usually more expensive than ceramic. They’re cold without heating and can be uncomfortable for long periods of standing.

More affordable ceramic and terracotta tiles have many of the same qualities but can crack and chip more than porcelain. This is worse for ceramic tiles, as any chips will reveal the white base - terracotta is, at least, solid-bodied.

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Lino or rubber

Lino – or under its brand name, Marmoleum, is a mix of linseed oil, cork, wood and resin as waterproof sheets or tiles. It’s durable, warm underfoot and hygienic but needs to be sealed once it’s laid. On the plus side, it’s easy to clean and UFH-compatible. On the negative? It can fade over time or develop a yellowish tinge.

Rubber tiles or sheets are equally comfy underfoot, and have the bonus of being water-resistant and robust. It can even be designed with studs for extra grip. On the downside, it can dent over time, and smooth finishes can be slippery. Rubber tiles need a smooth subfloor and you’ll need to check if your version is UFH-compatible.

Concrete and resin

Poured floors are ideal for creating a seamless finish but require more complex, and often costly, installation. Concrete needs sealing once it’s set to be water and stain-resistant, but it’s otherwise easy to clean and UFH-compatible. It’s resistant to chips and cracks. Resin is warm underfoot, waterproof, easy to clean and UFH-compatible but again, will need to be sealed to help protect it from scratches and stains. However, it can be refreshed with sanding and resealed if damaged.

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The best kitchen flooring to buy

1. Aqualock 12mm Laminate Flooring French Grey Oak: The best flooring for speedy installation

Price: £27 per sq m | Buy now from UK Flooring Direct

If you’re fitting your flooring yourself or are simply pressed for time, then these laminate floorboards from Aqualock come with a DIY friendly click-in system that makes them super simple to fit. They’re guaranteed for 35 years and remain water-resistant for up to 48 hours, so you won’t have to worry if you’ve got leaks (at least, not about your flooring).

Another appeal of this flooring is its mixing of different tones of grey; this creates a dynamic look, unlike the flat, repetitive uniformity of other laminate floorboards. This colour mixing makes it easy to match with any kitchen colour palette and there’s also a UV-resistant coating that helps to prevent colour fading. The floor’s scratch resistant textured surface follows the ‘grain’ of the planks meaning that you can drop pretty much anything on this floor and it won’t get damaged, or lose its realistic appearance.

Key specs – Size: 138 x 19.1 x 1.2cm (HWD); Type: laminate; Features: 48 hour water resistance, UV resistance, scratch-resistant, textured surface, 35-year warranty; UFH-compatible: Yes (water only)

Buy now from UK Flooring Direct


2. Karndean Da Vinci CER13 Eisen: The best for family kitchens

Price: From £38 per sq m | Buy now from Flooring Hut

Inspired by weathered steel, Eisen LVT flooring doesn’t just tick the box for style credentials, it’s also perfect for a family kitchen. It’s super low maintenance, requiring a simple sweep and mop to stay spotless, plus it’s waterproof so there’s no need to worry about spills; just wipe and go. Should any part become damaged, individual tiles can be replaced, while its K-Guard+ PU coating creates a non-porous surface that gives germs, dirt or bacteria nowhere to hide.

Meanwhile, the blend of dark tones and subtle patterns ensures that it’ll complement a range of kitchen styles. You can personalise it with borders or light or dark grout strips, or have it laid in a staggered pattern. It’s pricier than some LVT, however, so if you’re covering a large space, you may want to opt for it in just in the working area.

Key specs – Size: 30.5 x 45.7 x 0.3cm (HWD); Type: LVT; Features: 0.7mm wear layer, bevelled edge, lifetime guarantee; UFH-compatible: Yes (if insulated)

Buy now from Flooring Hut


3. Topps Tiles Woodeves Grey tiles: The best kitchen flooring on a budget

Price: £20 per sq m | Buy now from Topps Tiles

Embodying all that’s great about modern ceramic flooring, the Woodeves range of timber-effect tiles comes with a tactile surface and a realistic grain pattern, giving it a premium look far beyond its price tag. This mellow grey colourway is ideal for mixing and matching with encaustic-style tiles or co-ordinating with a simple Shaker kitchen in a deeper tone.

The tiles need very little maintenance once installed, and aside from not using highly alkaline or acidic cleaners, can be kept spotless with a simple sweep and mop.

Key specs – Size: 57 x 19 x 0.9cm (HWD); Type: ceramic; Features: also available in Oak; UFH-compatible: Yes

Buy now from Topps Tiles


4. The Natural Wood Floor Company Oak Aged Parquet Oiled: The best flooring for a classic kitchen

Price: £63 per sq m | Buy now from the Natural Wood Floor Company

Parquet wood flooring is a great way to introduce subtle pattern, but while solid blocks will be less prone to warping than planks, they’re still not recommended for use with underfloor heating. This engineered parquet floor is UFH-compatible, however, thanks to a ply backing with an oak veneer glued on top – giving the appearance of a solid wood floor but with greater stability.

Tumbled edges and a reclaimed appearance means it’ll look like it’s been part of the fabric of your home for decades, while its pre-oiled finish enhances the natural beauty and knots of the wood, and it can be stuck down to a concrete screed or ply subfloor. This one will take a little maintenance - It’s a good idea to re-oil it regularly in high traffic areas, and the kitchen always qualifies.

Key specs – Size: 40 x 10 x 1.9cm (HWD); Type: engineered wood; Features: tongue and groove profile; UFH-compatible: Yes

Buy now from the Natural Wood Floor Company


5. Beswick Stone Keynes Mix Limestone: The longest-lasting floor

Price: £41 per sq m | Buy now from Beswick Stone

While kitchen floors tend to become worn and fade with age, a hard-wearing stone floor simply improves to last a lifetime, making it the best value for money buy. This Keynes Mix limestone is a great example, featuring tiles in two neutral shades – a warm honey beige and soft grey – for a unique multi-toned floor that blends well with different kitchen styles and colours.

It’s available in 40cm widths and random lengths as well as an opus pattern that comprises four different sizes for an interesting layout. However, it’s worth noting that the tumbled edges can mean thicker grout lines that attract dirt. It’s essential to seal this floor and use a cleaner designed for natural stone products. You might also want to pair it with UFH for comfort, as limestone can be very cool to the touch.

Key specs – Size: [four tile sizes for opus pattern] 60 x 40 x 1.5cm, 40 x 40 x 1.5cm, 40 x 20 x 1.5cm, 19.7 x 19.7 x 1.5cm (all HWD); Type: natural stone; Features: chalky matte finish; UFH-compatible: Yes

Buy now from Beswick Stone


6. CRL Stone Ceralsio Calacatta Gris Polished tiles: The best low-maintenance floor

Price: From £67 per sq m | Buy now from Ceralsio

For those who love the look of marble but not the sealing and care that comes with stone, there are Ceralsio porcelain tiles. Sintered at a temperature of more than 1,200°C, these are hard-wearing, non-porous, scratch and stain-resistant and even UV stable, meaning you can continue your floor onto a patio for an inside-outside living feel.

What really sets these tiles apart, however, is the surface. It’s printed using a ‘Full Digital’ system, which means the pattern is unique and unrepeatable from tile to tile. This sets it apart from other marble look-a-like tiles, which can appear suspiciously similar to each other when viewed en-masse on the kitchen floor. You might need to budget a bit more for this class of flooring, but given its easy cleaning credentials and general imperviousness to everything, it’ll save you plenty of time in return.

Key specs – Size: from 150 x 150 x 0.6cm (HWD); Type: porcelain; Features: natural or polished finish, impact-resistant; UFH-compatible: Yes

Buy now from Ceralsio


7. Kahrs European Naturals Collection, Oak Hampshire at John Lewis: The best flooring for natural character

Price: £67 per sq m | Buy now from John Lewis

Despite a slew of lookalikes, real wood is the only choice for some. Warm, comfy underfoot and with a wear layer that’s sliced from a single piece of oak, these matt lacquered engineered boards have a soft-polished sheen that’s designed to make the most of the grain, knots and cracks, not to mention the lovely light to dark brown colour variations. However, these boards give you more than just a clever construction – each has been specially shaped so it locks into the next, allowing it to be installed quickly with strong, glue-free joints.

This floor will need a bit more maintenance than some floors, requiring oiling once in place and spills wiped-up straight away. It also needs a well-wrung mop rather than a wet-cleaning, along with an annual re-oil. The effect is worth it, though, when you see how good these look.

Key specs – Size: 242 x 18.7 x 1.5cm (HWD); Type: engineered wood; Features: 3.5mm wear layer, 30-year warranty; UFH-compatible: Yes (with moisture barrier)

Buy now from John Lewis


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