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When designing your kitchen, flooring is as important as the layout and storage. This is a place that receives heavy foot traffic on a daily basis. There is also a likelihood of spills, stains and scratches as well as moisture and heat. Your floor has to be durable, moisture and stain resistant while also being comfortable and resistant to scratches. You have to keep in mind a budget, and even factors like weather conditions to make the right decision – some materials are better suited for moderate climates, some fade over time in direct sunlight, some handle moisture and humidity better than others. If you are confused about what materials are available, read on for our 9 flooring options to boost your kitchen design.
Ceramic tiles are one of the most popular kitchen floor tiles used in India. They are made from natural clay mixed with materials like sand, quartz and chemical additives which are heated to very high temperatures, making them durable. They come in glossy, matte and semi-matte finishes as well as a whole host of colours and patterns. A fairly cost-effective and easily available option, they are also stain resistant – a definite benefit for areas like the kitchen.
Tip: Keep in mind that ceramic tiles with a glossy finish can get a little slippery, so look at a semi-glossy or matte finish tile for the floors.
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When looking for kitchen tile design ideas, porcelain tiles are certainly going to be on your radar. Essentially, porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tiles that are made from denser clay and baked at higher temperatures. These factors make porcelain tiles more durable and less porous than ceramic tiles. They are also very stain resistant, making them a wonderful option for high traffic areas.
Tip: Whether ceramic or porcelain, keep a few extra tiles stored away in case of any damage in the future that requires a tile to be replaced.
Similar to ceramic and porcelain tiles, vitrified kitchen floor tiles include silica and clay in the mix. What makes these tiles highly durable and strong is the process of vitrification where the silica and clay melt and blend to form a glass-like substance inside the tile. This process also allows the tiles to hold on to their sheen even after years of use. This process of vitrification makes the tiles a more expensive option, however, the benefits like scratch and impact resistance, durability as well as water and stain resistance are worth the cost in the long-term.
Tip: There are different types of vitrified tiles. Full body vitrified tiles have one uniform colour; double charged vitrified tiles are made with two colour pigments for a two-tone effect; glazed body vitrified tiles have a glazed finish; and soluble salt vitrified tiles come in various patterns on the tile.
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When talking about wood flooring, they are broadly divided into two types – hardwood and engineered wood. Hardwood flooring is solid timber flooring made completely of real wood like teak, oak, walnut or pine. It is a very expensive flooring option and even though it is very durable, it isn’t highly recommended for wet areas. Engineered wood, with a veneer of real wood glued to the top surface of materials like plywood, is a less expensive and better option out of the two for areas like the kitchen.
Tip: Hardwood floors can shrink or expand with varying temperatures so it is better suited for places with moderate climates. Engineered wood, however, is more moisture resistant and can be used in places with humid climates.
Laminate flooring comes in planks that are fitted together on-site. These planks are made by fusing multiple layers of synthetic materials like high-density fibreboard via the process of lamination. The top layer replicates the look of real wood while the bottom is usually backed with a moisture-resistant layer. These planks are hard to the touch and are finished with a clear, protective coating. While they imitate hardwood at a fraction of the cost, damage like scratches cannot be sanded or buffed out; the entire plank will need to be changed.
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Tip: Laminate flooring planks can be installed on top of most surfaces without being glued down.
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The beauty of natural stone is that it imparts a unique character and rustic touch to your spaces. Each stone displays the results of being shaped by nature. Some of the most common natural stone kitchen floor tiles include varieties of quartz, travertine, slate, granite, marble, sandstone and limestone. Keep in mind that marble, the most luxurious and expensive of the lot, can stain fairly easily as compared to the rest. Granite, quartz, sandstone, limestone and travertine stone tiles are very durable and moisture-resistant. Their natural grain also adds to the beauty of the floors. Slate is a porous stone but can be easily used for kitchen flooring though it does benefit from regular sealant application. Black limestone or cuddapah and Kota stone – two varieties of limestone flooring – are extremely popular in India.
Tip: To make your natural stone flooring last longer, apply a stone sealant every few years. Softer stones like slate, sandstone and limestone should be finished every 2-3 years while harder stones like granite, quartz and marble benefit from sealing every 4-5years.
CONCRETE FLOORING AND CEMENT TILES
Gaining immense popularity, concrete flooring is an ideal option for kitchen tile design. Concrete is made from cement, rocks, river stones and granite chips among other hardy materials, rendering it extremely durable. Concrete flooring and cement tiles can come in a host of colours, patterns and texture effects. The finishes can also range from a raw and gritty matte to a glossy, polished effect. The mix-and-match patterns of cement tiles make for some of the most interesting and stylish floors.
Tip: Highly resistant to scratches and damage, it is susceptible to heavy moisture, hence needs to be properly sealed.
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Vinyl flooring is gaining popularity for kitchen tile design because it can mimic the look of various materials like different kinds of wood and even a plethora of stones. Available in a host of colours and patterns, this cost-effective option comes with a protective coating and can be used in kitchens.
Tip: Luxury Vinyl Flooring, like laminate planks, is installed as a floating floor on almost any existing surface. Unlike laminate flooring, LVF has a hint of a bounce, making it softer to walk and stand on. Both LVF and laminate flooring will show wear and tear. Depending on maintenance and upkeep, both will need to be replaced after 10 or so years.
Terrazzo is made using chips of marble, granite, quartz and other stones – sometimes even Mother-of-Pearl or colourful glass – set within a resin or concrete base. A colour pigment can be added to the base for different effects. When polished, terrazzo showcases the beauty of each stone chip. Epoxy terrazzo flooring is highly durable, non-porous and chip and stain resistant.
Tip: Terrazzo flooring is available in a plethora of colours, patterns, chip sizes and chip materials, each with a unique character. It can also be used for the counters and/or backsplash to add character to the kitchen.
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