The Lucretia Team picks through the selection of styles available, and narrows down the best floor tiles for kitchens.
Stone Effect Tiles:
Recent changes in technology have made it possible to accurately replicate natural stone in high definition, including the texture of the surface. Broadly speaking, this includes the following categories of stone:
- Slate Effect comes in a selection of colours, ranging from oyster cream to dark black. It’s usually the choice for rustic kitchens, as it ties in well with old pine cabinets, exposed timbers and traditional farmhouse tables. Within a batch of slate, there’s usually a variety of colours from one slab to the next. This helps in bringing the room together – there’s often a shade in a batch that can be found elsewhere in the room.
Image: Slate Effect Tiles
- Limestone Effect is usually chosen for its neutral subdued mottling. Because it doesn’t present rich veins, the impact is subtle, with slight changes of shade between tiles. It’s excellent for minimalist areas, or for anyone looking to make a bold statement elsewhere in the room.
- Marble Effect is the best choices for kitchens. The real stone can be either polished or matt, effectively doubling the options available. From Crema Marfil to Carrara to Nero Marquinia, every imaginable colour is covered, with the veining the most obvious decorative feature. It’s usually the showpiece of a kitchen, around which the rest of the room is built. Like marble, granite can also be polished, but it has a more uniform look, and thus is not as popular for kitchen floors.
Image: Marble Effect Tiles
- Sandstone Effect Tiles often display dramatic patterns of sweeping sedimentary bands. These tiles are very much the focal point of the room, and are suitable in modern or traditional homes. They can be laid such that the bands run in opposite directions to each other, giving a randomness which adds to the authentic feel.
Image: Sandstone Effect Floor Tiles
Because stone flooring has been used for thousands of years, it follows that Stone Effect Tiles will follow suit and be ever popular.
Often referred to as encaustic, cement, vintage or Moroccan tiles, these tiles have been trending for a number of years, and continue to grow in popularity. They take inspiration from small handmade cement tiles, which are usually heavily ornate and feature bright colours, the type of material often seen on the floors of churches.
- For small areas, such as kitchen walls, it’s best to work with a variety of different colours and patterns, as there will never be so much on view as to be overbearing. Sizes as small as 15 x 15 cm can be used in these instances.
- For large areas, such as kitchen floors, it’s more common to choose one tile, usually in a 33 x 33 cm format, and the repetition of this one tile (one colour, one pattern) is enough to create the desired effect. Because the patterns can be busy, these tiles will be the showpiece of the kitchen, so this must be borne in mind when designing the rest of the room.
Image: Heritage Floor and Wall Tiles
- Alternatively, it’s common to install this type of tile in a specific area of the floor only, perhaps in the centre or under a table, with plain tiles used everywhere else. This makes a feature showpiece of the tile, but without it dominating the aesthetic of the entire kitchen. Patterned tiles are the best floor tiles to give a kitchen the wow factor.
Hidraulic Tiles are superb for kitchens, but in larger areas it's advisable to only use one tile pattern.
Wood Effect Tiles:
Timber is still Ireland's favourite floor covering, so it makes sense that this trend continues in the world of ceramics. As with Stone Effect tiles above, the level of detail that manufacturers can impart onto tiles is excellent. Thus, while natural wood products are not an ideal choice for the traffic, spillages, water and the daily wear and tear of a busy kitchen, the ceramic equivalent is perfectly at home in this area.
The variety of colours and designs is enormous, more so than in the world of timber, and different types of treatments, including staining, smoking, and distressing can all be replicated with ease. Futhermore, tiles can exceed 2 metres in length, so there is genuinely no compromise made in most cases.
Image: Madera Wood Effect Floor Tiles
The same reasons to choose wood in your living room also apply to the kitchen. Warmth and natural beauty, combined with the grain and finish of your choosing, make these a great tile for kitchens.
Wood effect tiles are a fabulous choice for those seeking the natural look of timber in a working environment.
Ceramic or porcelain tiles, with the style, size, colour and texture, that help create your dream home are the best floor tiles for your kitchen.