Do kitchen tiles make you smile or is wood good?

Do kitchen tiles make you smile or is wood good?

The right flooring is the key to bringing your home’s interior design together. It must be easy to live with as well as looking just right. But different parts of your home expect different things from what’s underfoot, and what’s right for the lounge room might not do for the kitchen, and vice versa.

The kitchen has very specific requirements in flooring. It needs to be durable and relatively easy to clean. It should be hard wearing, but look good, too. Your kitchen floor is the denim jeans of your home.

So what are the top options for the kitchen floor? Mostly, householders fall into two camps; wood, or tiles. Let’s look at both.

Timber floors in the kitchen have been around almost as long as constructed dwellings have existed. It was the main option for the kitchen floor for generations until tiles came roaring into style with modern appliances, and vinyl also had its place in the sun. Today, wood is very much back in vogue, particularly in the kitchen, where it can accent country-style décor as effectively as a heritage or contemporary theme.

Most people agree that timber floors look beautiful and, treated properly, they can be ageless. They can be rejuvenated by sanding and refinishing, and they bring warmth to the space regardless of the style. Importantly, a timber floor will also suit the living areas for a consistent flow in the décor theme, an element that’s particularly desirable in open plan homes.

While a wooden floor can accommodate some movement throughout its life, it could develop some squeaks and groans in particular places. They will need to be carefully laid and sealed to minimise the likelihood of movement between the boards. Take care to ensure the timber in your boards has been sustainably harvested, or choose recycled timber wherever possible.

Because the kitchen is a high traffic area prone to spills, a timber floor will require some extra care. It will need specific cleaning products to ensure the finish is not damaged, and over time it will show scratches and dents. Also, timber floors don’t do well with excess moisture, so any leaking plumbing will cause damage if the boards are frequently wet.

Also, a nice timber floor is expensive. Tiles are generally a cheaper option than wood, and there are many shape and colour configurations to match to your décor. There is a reason commercial kitchens tend to have tile floors. Tiles are harder wearing and will put up with more foot traffic, spills, moisture, and general kitchen punishment than wood. They moderate temperature better than a timber floor and quality tiles will tolerate extremes better.

However, tiles have their downside as a kitchen floor. They can be noisy and they are very unforgiving on anything you drop. You may not notice how often you drop crockery or glassware until you have a tiled kitchen floor. They can be slippery when they are wet and cleaning is not as straightforward as it might seem. Some tile finishes stain, grout traps grime, and tiles do tend to show every drop and spill, particularly if they are high gloss or heavily textured.

Your choice of flooring for your kitchen comes down to personal preference, so shop around and talk to reputable suppliers to work out what will be meet your needs.

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