Tile is a natural, prior and evergreen flooring choice for kitchen. Reason for this is the qualities i.e. hard, durable, water resistant and easy to clean and maintain. Tiles give an elegant and beautiful look to the area. It is available in a variety of colors, textures, shapes, designs and patterns.
Types of Kitchen Floor Tiles
To give your kitchen an aesthetically appealing look you have to choose to floor carefully. Tile is one of the best flooring materials for the kitchen. Once it is settled to choose tiles for your kitchen flooring, its time to look closely on the materials available. It is a difficult process to choose the tiles for your kitchen flooring because there are dozens and dozens of kitchen floor tile materials and options available in the market. The kitchen floor tiles must be strong and durable as it is a high traffic area of the house. Here are the most popular kitchen flooring tile materials:
- Ceramic Tiles:
Ceramic tiles are the most commonly used flooring material for the kitchen. They are popular because of their water and stain resistance property. Use glazed tiles for humidity resistance. They are the best option according to durability, as accidents like a dropped plate, pot or other things are common in kitchen, won’t cause any damage to the ceramic floor. Ceramic tiles are available in a variety of designs, textures and patterns so there are multiple design options available to create a unique and magnificent kitchen floor. These tiles, if unfortunately get damaged, then replace the specific tile rather than to change all the flooring of the kitchen which is more painful and long task. They are heavy and hard. This is the only drawback of these tiles as they are not always smart option for upper story kitchen. They are mid-range as far as the prices go.
- Porcelain Tiles:
Porcelain tiles are similar to ceramic tiles but they are a little bit of higher level when it comes to durability and water resistance. They are one of the most durable kitchen floor materials. They can also be used in commercial kitchens and other high stressed environments due to their strength. These tiles can stand up to heavy impacts. They require low maintenance. They will last for decades with regular care and maintenance. They are heavy in weight like ceramic tiles that’s why they are often too heavy for upstairs’ use and their DIY installation is also difficult because of their weight. They are more expensive than ceramic tiles and the difficult installation also means higher installation costs.
- Travertine Tiles:
Travertine tile is becoming popular for kitchen flooring. It has a natural charm that’s why it is becoming popular in a kitchen where rustic or dim color tones are used. It is most commonly available in earth tones like rust, beige, brown, tan etc. It is considered as a high-end luxury material because of its unique patterns within which make every tile unique and different. It is also eco-friendly. It requires regular care and maintenance. It will last a lifetime if handled with proper care.
- Slate Tiles:
Slate is gorgeous and beautiful natural tile. These tiles have beautiful patterns and designs that make each tile different from the other. They are strong and durable as they can stand up well to scratches, cracks and chips etc. They should be sealed on regular basis to increase its life. They add value to your house for resale as they are considered luxurious flooring material. Slate tiles are very expensive especially for kitchen flooring because top grade slate is required there.
- Marble Tiles:
Marble is an elegant flooring material. It is a beautiful natural stone which gives a magnificent and graceful look to the kitchen. It creates ultra-luxurious kitchens. It is available in a wide variety of colors and its polish enhances the appearance of the marble and makes it more dramatic and bright with shine. For the use in kitchen, marble has some cons as well. As it becomes slippery when wet due to its polish. It is also prone to stain and scratch. It is very expensive natural stone as well as its installation cost also vary according to different designs which may also become very expensive.
- Granite Tiles:
Granite tiles are also considered as luxury flooring material. It is available in a wide variety of colors. To brighten up the colors apply polish to granite. It has natural spotted patterns in it which create beautiful designs in these tiles. It is also durable as well as hardest natural stone, mostly used for flooring. It can also stand up well against heavy impacts. Be very careful when using granite in kitchen flooring because when it gets polished, it becomes slippery and it is also expensive flooring material.
- Onyx Tiles:
Onyx tile is also a type of natural stone which is great for kitchen flooring. It is also considered as a luxury material. It is rare than marble and granite and it gives a uniquely exotic look in the kitchen. It is also not a good choice for kitchen flooring because it can scratch or scrap easily. Proper care and maintenance is required for onyx flooring to extend its lifespan which includes regular cleaning with the special cleaner to prevent damage. It is also an expensive stone.
- Quartzite Tiles:
It is widely admired tile option for kitchen floors. It is well known for its luxurious, shiny and magnificent look. In modern kitchens, it is also a popular tile option because of its grace and elegance. It is a hygienic kitchen flooring option because it is a non-porous stone which helps to keep bacteria out. It is also a strong and durable stone. It can stand up to heavy impacts and scratches. Chipping and cracking are uncommon among quartzite tiles. It gives a luxurious look and it is cost effective as compared to other natural stone tiles. It also gets slippery when wet. So clean up spills immediately if you have installed quartzite tiles as kitchen flooring.
- Sandstone Tiles:
Sandstone tiles are one of the most classy and stylish flooring materials. They are notable for their natural looks as they are a mixture of rustic and modern designs. Sandstone tiles come in gold, red or brown colors. Their texture makes them more popular and interesting design element. Rather than polished or smooth surfaces or textures like other natural stones, they are left naturally rough and sturdy. Its also smooth enough so that they don’t hurt the feet but still left with enough texture to prevent slipping accidents. Its rock hard, ultra-durable and eco-friendly as well as it doesn’t get stained, cracked, chipped or scratched. It is also a porous stone that absorbs more water than other tiles. Its also a mid-range choice for kitchen flooring when it comes to price.
- Cement Tiles:
Cement tile is relatively an uncommon kitchen flooring material that looks great in the right kitchen. It looks beautiful in a minimalist designed kitchen. A variety of color and design options are available in cement tiles which give flexibility in the finished product look. This flooring type is a mixture of modern and industrial style. It can also be used in a traditional styled kitchen. It is also porous, easily stained and can get scratches. Proper care and maintenance is required for this tile. These tiles must be sealed regularly to extend their lifespan. It is also not the most durable material, it requires a professional touch when installing. Its neither expensive nor cheap.
- Pebble Tiles:
These tiles are becoming one of the trendiest available options. They are popular for a long time and looks great in a contemporary style. They are made up of small pebbles of various colors and sizes held together by concrete. No two pebble tiles look alike in design as pebbles are mined naturally from stone. It creates a textured finish rather than smooth. It also needs a lot of grout for sealing and holding together and a lot of maintenance is required. It is also available in a mid-range for price.
- Glass Tiles:
For those people who want different flooring material rather than natural stone floor tiles, they should prefer glass tiles for kitchen flooring. They are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, designs and finishes. It is notable for its cleaning as it is one of the most hygienic flooring materials available. It is also prone to scratches which is its biggest drawback. But the replacement of the specific cracked or scratched tile is easy rather than replacing the entire flooring. The tile and its installation process, both are little bit expensive.
- Floating Wood Tiles:
Floating wood floor tiles are becoming popular in any area of the house including kitchen. It is a unique style. They are available in many varieties like boards, planks and tiles. These tiles have the property to expand and contract with different humidity levels which helps to prevent the tiles to damage due to moisture absorption. Their installation is easy. They are relatively affordable and cost effective but are prone to damage than normal flooring materials.
- Cork Tiles:
It is a beautiful and unique kitchen choice. It is comfortable that’s why it is soft on the feet. It has insulation properties. It can keep the kitchen cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It is not the most durable flooring material as it is vulnerable to denting, scratching and water damage. Top quality and proper seal is required for cork tiles but still water damage is possible in the event of a flood. It is a mid-ranged choice for kitchen flooring in respect to price.
- Rubber Tiles:
Rubber tiles are best for the areas where water is common including bathrooms and kitchens. Rubber tile flooring looks unique and is one of the best water resistant flooring types. These are available in a variety of fun colors so you can choose them according to your preferences. They are durable and low maintenance is required for them. It is also one of the most expensive flooring materials for quality tiles.
Kitchen Floor Tile Design Ideas
The availability of kitchen floor tiles in a vast variety of colors, textures, shapes, designs and patterns will help the person to create different and unique design ideas. Here are some design options for kitchen tile flooring to consider:
The dimensions of the kitchen floor tiles dictate its looks as well as functionality. The first step is to choose thickness of the tile which is in between ½ to 1 inch. Now comes the length and width of the tile which usually is somewhere between 3 x 3 inches to 24 x 24 inches. The custom flooring tiles are available in any dimension. More options include non-square shapes like octagons, rectangles and hexagons.
Tile rating relates to the hardness of the material which is used. Different rooms require different tile ratings. In kitchen, you should use tiles that are rated for moisture and slip resistant. Kitchen tiles should also be designed for heavy use.
Porosity is an important measure to consider in kitchen flooring tiles. It is related to water absorption amount of the tiles. In kitchen always use low porosity tiles that absorb minimum water because kitchen is a place where water is prevalent.
- Color, Finish and Texture:
The selection of color, texture and finish is an important and fun part in designing a kitchen floor. The specific materials you choose depicts your options and ideas. Many materials have a variety of colors and finishes available that you can choose from to match the overall look and style of your kitchen. Try to choose textured tiles for kitchen flooring to make the floor slip resistant when wet.
Some examples for Kitchen tiles design Ideas are highlighted below:
- On the kitchen floor, use two different tiles with both patterns and solid colors in alternate arrangement i.e. one tile is plain and the other is patterned. Now lay the patterned tiles in a diamond shape surrounded by plain solid colored tiles as well as you can make border design with this combination. This will make it gorgeous and beautiful.
- Use tiles with geometric shapes like hexagon or octagon. They add interest because their shape is different from traditional square and rectangular tiles. Their effect is minimum but meaningful. They would look great in a small kitchen.
- Use contrasting colors for the kitchen floor tiles for example gold and faded turquoise. Install the tiles in a diamond pattern with alternate colors. This will add a new meaning to tile flooring. It will also bring a rustic look to your kitchen.
- If the full color across your floor is too intimidating then consider picking up tiles with white space and decorative border. This minimalist look would pair well with real wood cabinets in the kitchen.
- If you want to give a natural look to your kitchen with natural elements then go for a neutral colored porcelain tiles. The orange color of these tiles give a brick like appearance to the kitchen floor at first look.
- If you want color then consider the zigzag pattern. You can choose neutral colors like tans and grays or you can also choose the colors according to your kitchen accessories.
- If you think the bright and bold colors are too much for your kitchen then opt for the neutral color tones. There is nothing wrong to play with neutral colors in geometric patterns.
- Creating a mismatched tile floor isn’t too difficult as long as you stick to the color tone rule that is to choose tints and shades of the same type of color for example opaque, bold or pastel etc.
- If you are feeling adventurous then you can build your own pattern using small geometric hexagon or octagon tiles in different shades. Its important to make a map for your design before you start this DIY, rather than to end up with a mess on the floor.
Pros & Cons of Kitchen Floor Tiles
Tile is a beautiful flooring choice, it not only just look clean and elegant but is durable and easy to maintain. It is better to consider the pros and cons of the tile flooring in the kitchen before installation.
Tile flooring will significantly increase a house’s resale value. If it is maintained properly then the beauty of tiles will last a lifetime. It also has a timeless appeal especially when neutral tones are used. It is also one of the best surfaces to install a radiant floor heating system. If the tile is glazed or polished, its beauty will last for years with little maintenance. It can withstand water if properly sealed. Tile floors are also non-toxic and are excellent for people who are suffering from allergies. As they are available in a variety of different types and designs, a homeowner can easily find flooring solution according to his needs and budget.
Tile flooring is a popular choice in kitchens but it is not for everyone. For example, tile which is installed on a radiant floor heating system offers a cold hard walking surface. In cold weather climate, one who doesn’t have radiant floor heat, he has to wear slippers on cold winter mornings. Tile floor installation is also a difficult task when it comes to DIY because special saws and equipment is required to cut the tiles as well as it is hard to control the mortar once it starts to dry. So a skilled hand is needed to make the floor look absolute best. Tile has no insulation properties as compared to carpet or cork flooring. The glazed and polished tiles are no matter easy to maintain but can become slippery when they get wet. Tiles can bear heavy foot traffic but they can be easily chipped or cracked if something heavy is dropped on them and the repair is not that simple for an average homeowner.