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When starting to think about a new kitchen project, you should take time and care over selecting the flooring that will underpin your new and often dramatically different look. 

Top 5 considerations

We asked Iain Farthing, Director and flooring expert at Luna Tile and Stone, to share some advice about choosing the right flooring for your desired look and family’s needs.

There are a number of considerations to be made in the selection process:

• Colour
• Shape
• Size
• Finish
• Material

Colour

“Start by thinking about where your palette sits. Is your preference for a white or a grey kitchen? This initial question will immediately narrow down the tile selection.

The flooring you choose should complement your kitchen furniture and surfaces. Think about whether you prefer a coordinating look by using a colour and texture that matches your worktops. Or perhaps your preference is to create contrast.

We always encourage customers to allow us to bring full-sized samples in different shades of a preferred colour to their home.

If this is not practical, for example if your home is in the process of being refurbished and access is restricted, we are happy to deliver samples to KCA. This allows you to see a selection of tiles alongside the doors and work surfaces within the same light. Your lighting at home will be different, but this initial look usually helps you narrow down your choices.”

Shape and size

“Is your kitchen a rectangle or square? Would you like a tile to emphasise the shape, or to create the illusion of something different? This could be part of the dramatic change that you are searching for.

A rectangular tile will make a room appear longer or wider dependent on which axis it’s laid. A square tile will slot into any room and cause the least fuss.

A smaller, wood effect tile in a herringbone pattern creates a striking feature and will lift a kitchen with doors of a single colour.

Square and rectangles are usually the easiest shapes to lay. Herringbone will not only take longer, but also create the most waste, so remember to factor this in when applying floor dimensions.

Be mindful that every tile has a small natural bow in it as part of the manufacturing process. This is why rectangles are laid in a 33/67 split rather than 50/50 to mitigate against this. The longer the tile, the more pronounced the bow, but your tiler should be able to install your tiles so you’ll never notice.

For all spaces, we recommend you select the largest tile that looks sensible. This is your new space and you are going to be really proud of your choices. You want visitors to comment on the tiles, not the grout.”

Surface and finish

“Porcelain is an extremely durable material, with semi-polished or matt being the most popular choices. There are four main surfaces that are available in porcelain; polished, semi-polished, matt and anti-slip. 

Polished tiles have a similar slip rating to a semi-polished tile, but the psychological effect of a small juice or yoghurt spillage can leave a parent having cold sweats! Not what you want in your stunning new kitchen.

If your kitchen will have bi-fold doors straight into the garden, you might like an “infinity” look where the kitchen’s internal tile has a matching external tile in a full anti-slip finish, creating a seamless blend between the two spaces.

60x60cm internal tiles are readily available with an external finish. But we have also sourced some ranges of 75x75cm internal and external tiles and one that can also be supplied in a stunning 90x90cm.

Finally, consider the minimal upkeep of porcelain. You can wash it with any normal cleaning fluid and a steam cleaner so maintenance is simple. Porcelain won’t absorb spillages like some other materials which could cause a stain. Although it is a very durable material all round, we suggest that you keep a few spare tiles tucked away just in case.”

Natural stone

“Natural stone is still very popular in some property types, but with the quality of porcelain copies using the latest digital imaging techniques, more and more people are turning away from the natural materials.

Natural stone is considerably more expensive per square metre initially. It then needs sealing at least three times before being laid to stop the grout bleeding into the material.

Once grouted, stone then needs another 2-3 seals before it can be stepped on, then resealing every 24 months at most and cleaning with a specialist cleaning fluid (no steam cleaners).

You need to be absolutely certain that the sample in front of you is recent, i.e. it has just come from the same part of the mountain that is currently being mined. It’s known that a sample could come from a quarry in a different country, so what turns up in crates on your driveway might not be exactly what you thought.

In summary, it’s expensive and high maintenance, but it will give a warmth, along with a depth of colour and tone that porcelain only aspires to.”

The best choice for you

“There really is no wrong answer when it comes to choosing your kitchen flooring. The end result will always be the right choice. What works for you will more than likely be different to what works for someone else. It’s not just the kitchen space itself, but what fills it: you, your family and pets and also crucially the light.

All of this combines to the point where we like to think that Luna Tile and Stone and Kitchen Connection Ascot go that extra mile for you, the customer.

I’d always recommend you choose a flooring expert who can work hand in hand with your selected kitchen company, to help deliver the very best result for you.”