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Real wooden floorboards and their laminate cousins will add warmth, texture and style to your kitchen space – and with endless colours and tones on the market, you can easily choose a style that suits your kitchen units, whatever budget you’re working to.
Pairing wood flooring with natural wood cabinetry or worktops often poses a dilemma: how much is too much? The trick is to think of the kitchen having three main surfaces: the units, the worktop and the flooring – wood is fine for one or two, three is usually overkill. And you don’t want to be too matchy matchy.
For a classic kitchen on a budget, choose an oak-look laminate such as this design from UK Flooring Direct. Formed of compressed fibreboard planks and covered by a photographic image of wood and a protective overlay, laminate is also easier to clean and maintain than real timber.
Harvest Oak V Groove laminate, from £13.50sq m, UK Flooring Direct
Comprising several layers of timber that are joined together, engineered wood is more durable in a kitchen than solid wood and is less likely to expand and contract as humidity fluctuates. A two-tone striped design running from end-to-end will accentuate the length of the room.
Ash Sandvig flooring, from £74sq m, the Sand Collection by Kährs
Practical, durable, waterproof and resistant to damage and scratching, vinyl is available in a range of styles and prices to suit any budget and
is easy to fit yourself. Add a unique touch to your kitchen with an interesting printed design.
Memphis vinyl flooring, £19.99sq m, the Natural Woods range, Avenue Floors
Available in many species, shades and colours, engineered wood also comes in a choice of finishes. Here, high quality European oak has been fired to change its colour to a deep black with a slight reddish undertone, providing a striking look against clean white kitchen units.
Dark Thermo Engineered Oak Flooring, £152.12sq m, Urbane Living
For a luxury, high-end floor that retains the practicality of vinyl, try this natural oak design from Harvey Maria. The detailed graining and texture means that the floor looks and feels like real oak, but will not need the regular maintenance - perfect for adding warmth to a contemporary white kitchen.
Natural Oak vinyl flooring, from £29.90sq m, Harvey Maria
Available in a variety of grades, thicknesses and wood imitations, laminate click-fit boards are easy to install yourself, just ensure that the sub-floor is even and acclimatise the boards in the kitchen prior to fitting. This ship deck design evokes a nautical feel and adds character to a simple space.
Quick-Step Lagune Natural Varnished Oak Shipdeck flooring, £37.50sq m, Topps Tiles.
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If you are worried about wood in wet areas of the kitchen, consider mixing wood with tiles. This can be highly effective, and can be a real design feature if you take a creative approach. Here, tiles highlight the island, but you may want to have wood for the dining area and tiles in the working part of the kitchen. Think about how the two surfaces meet. It can be a functional join or you can add interest with a curved or diagonal boundary.
Wooden flooring makes a great match for a painted kitchen, adding extra depth to the scheme. Choose engineered flooring for a kitchen where heat and moisture levels fluctuate, which can cause wood to warp. Engineered flooring is built up of several layers of ply and board with a substantial layer of real wood on the top. This creates a very stable surface that won?t shrink or shift.
Pristine pale schemes will benefit from a whitewashed finish. The benefit of a wash is that it adds colour without covering up the beauty of the grain. Here, it?s shown on a chevron parquet floor, with the pronounced grain of oak. Whitewash has a lovely soft appeal for a country kitchen but this would work equally beautifully with modern units, shades of grey or natural wood units.
If you are looking for instant character, reclaimed flooring is an increasingly popular choice as it has that wonderful worn patina of age that is hard to replicate. Always use a trusted salvage yard ? you can find one at Salvo Web. Most will remove nails and prepare blocks and boards, but don?t be alarmed by a less than pristine finish. This type of floor will need proper finishing in situ.
Dark floors are making a welcome return and the rich hues of walnut and black oak work especially well with grey, pale blue and sage green kitchens all popular shades for both modern and classic cabinetry. Choose a tough lacquered finish that can withstand the demands of a busy kitchen and is easy to keep clean.