Four Kitchen Floor Ideas: Design Meets Durability

Answer these easy questions when considering different kitchen flooring ideas in materials like vinyl or tile.

Do You Have an Island Countertop?

If you do, you can eliminate solid surface vinyl quickly. No matter what they use to seal the seams of the sheets of vinyl, it will peel up with exposure to water. Tile would be a much better solution to this floor. Setting the floor tile at an angle of 45 degrees from the wall produces a diamond pattern that can maximize a space quickly. However, this will impact your cost per foot, as you will have more waste. One fantastic option is to do what is known as a Spanish floor, which involves small decorative tiles installed at the ends of the angled main floor tiles. These can be color matched to your current kitchen.

Do You Have a Small Kitchen Space?  

In this case, sheet vinyl might be your best bet. Many of the new vinyl goods come in wide rolls that can provide one continuous, completely waterproof surface. If the vinyl is to be set at an angle, make sure that your sheet goods will cover the entire area.

Many of the newer vinyl sheet styles have the same 'dot' pattern built right into them, and you can replicate the look of a fancy tile job at a fraction of the cost with this type of solid surface product.

How Much Traffic Will Your Kitchen Have?  

If you have children or pets or if you entertain often, avoid the soft sheet vinyl for a more durable 'hard surface' vinyl. The only downside to this sheet product is that the design styles are fairly limited and can cost more to install. Tile can chip, and since the glaze on the top of it is nothing but a thin veneer of glass, it can become a hazard with rough use.

How Many Appliances Will You Have?

Large refrigerators and freezers can easily damage flooring if they are moved about too much, especially on thin vinyl. Tile works the best to support heavy appliances, but if you have a dishwasher, you may have to install a new countertop, too. Luckily, countertops are fairly easy to put in after your brand new floor has been installed. Remember: Always work from the bottom up!


Tiles, whether ceramic or natural stone, have probably the best bet for the dollar when it comes to kitchen flooring. They reflect more light, and are easier to keep clean than just about any other floor where you are preparing and storing food. On the downside, some can easily be cracked, so make sure you have a few extras for quick and easy replacement.