Wood, cement, and stone looks, together with larger formats, have been trending in the floor tile world for quite a while. Yet, despite all the options homeowners now have at their disposal, innovations in kitchen floor tile continue to emerge, making it possible to design flooring for your home’s kitchen remodel that is bound only by your imagination.
If you want a great-looking, highly durable flooring solution that’s easy to maintain, kitchen floor tiles are the way to go. Because tiles can range anywhere from $2 to $100 and more per square foot, it pays to spend some time figuring out which style tile you like best and can afford. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Natural stone tiles made of marble, travertine, and slate are classic choices that look great and give a sense of richness to the kitchen. Marble and travertine tiles are delicately veined while slate is a warm-toned material that has a more rugged look and feel. Stone tiles work in just about any style kitchen, including farmhouse and contemporary. It’s now possible to get them with a matte or high-gloss finish and there are some beautiful colorful slates that add unique visual interest.
Block Color Tiles
If you like a clean and simple look, a simple solid block of color as your floor tile is a great option. Going with a greige or all-white palette? Dark grey matte tiles are a nice choice and look fabulous in an open-plan kitchen.
There are hundreds of porcelain and ceramic floor styles to choose from. While they’re part of the same family of ceramic, there are some small differences between the two and one big one: porcelain is more expensive.
- Porcelain has a slightly lower water absorption rate and has fewer impurities than ceramic.
- To earn the designation “porcelain” the tiles must be certified by The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency – yes, that’s a real agency!
- While the pros don’t recommend using either tile outdoors, ceramic is not durable enough because it readily absorbs water and easily cracks in freezing temperatures. There are porcelains designated for outdoor use.
- Porcelain wins the durability contest. It’s denser and has a higher feldspar content, making it better suited to heavy usage.
- Ceramic is easier to cut than porcelain which is more brittle.
The main difference in the two materials is that porcelain has sand added to the clay mixture and is made with heat and pressure.
Wood Look Tiles
If you like the practicality of a tile floor, but love the look for a hardwood floor, there’s a tile for that! Thanks to 3D technology, wood-look ceramic tiles are more realistic than ever. You can get ones that look textured, hand-scraped, or distressed, and ones that mimic wide planks, weathered boards, and parquet. And wood-look tiles work equally well in a traditional or contemporary kitchen.
Water resistant, beautiful, and durable, Armstrong’s Alterna line of kitchen floor tile is gaining popularity. It’s warmer to the touch, easy to install and works anywhere you’d install a ceramic or porcelain tile floor. Cost-wise it comes in between ceramic and porcelain. It’s available in a range of looks, including wood. Limitations include tile size and less variety. But you can still do fun tile patterns like offset, herringbone, and diagonal.
Other interesting design choices people are making include patterned tiles that look like cement, hand-painted tiles, and cement tiles that come in a variety of colors and patterns. Companies like Fireclay make interesting handmade recycled tiles (left photo) and the Cement Tile Stop, which carries a line of encaustic cement tiles that are perfect for showing off your personality and style.
Ultimately, you’ll want kitchen floor tile that compliments the overall design scheme of your kitchen, is easy to clean and maintain, and works with your family’s lifestyle. If you’d like to learn more about the latest innovations in kitchen floor tile, talk to one of our designers today. We look forward to showing you all the exciting possibilities!