Ultimate Guide To The Best Kitchen Floor That Isn’t Tacky

Hey Guys,

Many of you have said to me something like: “I don’t want to do a wood floor. We have a (fill in the blank) kind of house.”

What is the best kitchen floor? That is, a non-yucky kind of kitchen floor.

My first thought is…


I have no idea.


My second thought is…


I’m supposed to have an idea.


My third thought is…

Why DON’T you want to have a wood floor?

The end.



Merry Christmas! Hope Santa brings you everything you wished for.




Yes? I suppose you’re not happy with that answer? Fine. I’ll give you the answer.

This is the number one reason why you don’t want a hardwood floor in your kitchen.


And… the survey says…


Why don't you want to do a hardwood floor in your kitchen - best kitchen floor


That’s true; you don’t think that hardwood will make the best kitchen floor because it scratches.


At least, that’s what I keep hearing.

Okay, a hardwood floor can scratch; it’s wood, but I think we need a little review of hardwood flooring and WHAT to use on it and how to prevent things like scratching.


Because, I’m speaking from personal experience; we had a hardwood floor, not in our kitchen, but everywhere else on our main open-ish living/dining/den area and even with two dobermans (masquerading as little human boys) along with their monster trucks, the hardwood floor held up very nicely; for 17 years, until we sold the house.

The other thing is. If you have a truly open plan, I think it only makes sense to have the floor be one material.


So, let’s make this clear. If you really want a hardwood floor in your kitchen but the only reason you’re not doing it is because you don’t think it’ll hold up, I wouldn’t use that as an excuse.


Of course, it’s wood, so you do need to be mindful. Therefore, I recommend doing a few things to help protect your hardwood floors and make them even more beautiful as time goes on.


  • Get furniture protectors for the legs.
  • Keep your floors as dust-free as possible. Dirt and dust will wreck your hardwood floors.

Oh, stop groaning.

This isn’t as difficult as you might think.


First of all…


  • Take your shoes off when inside the house.
  • And then, instead of house slippers you put on swiffer socks.


Swiffer family - wear swiffer socks to keep floors clean


Oh, Laurel, you can’t be serious!


You’re right. I *can’t* be serious. ;]



Hey, they really do exist! And, that is how you keep your floors free of dust. Keep a few extra pairs on hand for your guests, too. ;]


Okay, I know that you’re busy, and you want to know the alternatives to a hardwood floor.

There are two main categories for the best kitchen floors



That means, if you drop a glass or dish which I do about six times a year, it’s going to break into a million pieces. Now, some of these are the most beautiful floors, but that is the trade-off. Of course, you could eat off of plastic and paper. That would solve the breakage problem. ;]


Here are the options for beautiful but hard kitchen floors:


Natural Stone – The English kitchens often use this material. You can see some beautiful examples here, here and here


deVOL_South_Downs_BootRoom_natural limestone - best kitchen floor

DeVOL Kitchens

This looks to be a limestone floor in this elegant mud room.


Ceramic or Porcelain Tile – These vary quite a bit from cheap and tacky to quite and a good substitute for natural stone. There are porcelain tiles the look shockingly like a hardwood floor. One advantage to this is that if you want a radiant heated floor, it is less expensive and more effective under tile.

This category covers so much ground it should be its own post, perhaps. Well, actually, any of these could be their own post.

I love the floor in this kitchen featured early this year. The tile is rectified meaning that the grout and tile are flush making for far easier cleaning.


Encaustic Cement tiles – We have discussed this beautiful flooring here and here.


Do you follow the instagram account @ihavethisthingwithfloors ? So many beautiful, inspiring images.



@ihavethisthingwithfloor on instagram - via @ezkibilici - encaustic cement floor

Like this one – @ihavethisthingwithfloors on instagram – via @ezkibilici -(it looks like the account is down) encaustic cement floor. If you hashtag your image of a beautiful floor with #ihavethisthingwithfloors, it might get published!


 Floor - Vintage Kitchen with cabinets in Benjamin Moore's Forest Green, open shelving, and cement tile floor

Beautiful retro-style kitchen by Studio McGee. Please check out this beautiful renovation. I think that they did a great job of updating this home. Cabinet color is Forest Green by Benjamin Moore. This kitchen is reminding me a lot of Melissa Tardiff’s beautiful kitchen with green cabinets.


Terrazzo tiles. An aggregate of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a binding agent to form a tile. I did a terrazzo tile in a kitchen once. Gosh that was 20 years ago. But, it was stunning– and quite expensive.


marsh hill dining area - terrazzo floor - best kitchen floor

Terrazzo kitchen floor in a modern kitchen – via Architect’s Journal


Poured Concrete FloorsThis lovely client many years ago put this in with radiant heat in her mudroom area. She handled it with her architect, but ran it by me. It’s a very cool contemporary look, but expensive.


Michael Graves concrete floor - best kitchen floor-photo John Bessler - via Traditional Home

via Traditional Home – photo: John Bessler


Oh man. This is one of those floors that I filed away (in my head) about 25 years ago– at least. It’s belongs to the architect Michael Graves. Poured concrete, but scored in over-scale diamonds. I adored it to bits the second I saw it, and still do.


What is the difference between cement and concrete?


Thank you for asking. :] Cement is an ingredient in concrete, but the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.


Two) SOFTER FLOORING to some degree or another.(from hardest to softest)


The aforementioned hardwood floor does have a little give, but it is not the softest floor. Hardwood flooring can include any wood used for flooring including bamboo. The softest is probably pine.


Linoleum Tiles. This is sometimes confused with vinyl. Both come in sheets and tiles. However, linoleum, a natural product made from linseed oil, pine rosin, limestone, cork flour, wood flour, jute as the backing, and coloring pigments.

Vinyl is vinyl.:] We had a black and white checkerboard vinyl tile in our old home which you can see here.

It actually is a nice, crisp look and it feels very nice underfoot. And, it’s easy to clean, which is not the same as easy to get clean. That is because it scuffs very easily and that is not easy to get up.


Eclectic mystic home - linoleum kitchen floor - best kitchen floor - Apartment Therapy photo - Bethany Nauert

Cool retro kitchen with a linoleum kitchen floor – Apartment Therapy photo – Bethany Nauert


Our 50s ranch in Indiana had a linoleum floor in the kitchen and basement. Our basement was always wet and believe me, my folks did everything in their power to fix it, but alas it was not to be. Well, the poor linoleum floor started to crack and come up. It was a big bloody mess. I don’t remember what my mother did.


The kitchen floor eventually got replaced in the late 60s with a sheet vinyl that was supposed to resemble pebbles.


Armstrong-Pebblette 1960s vinyl floor


I think that this is it. Armstrong – Pebblette. Uhhhh… At the time, I thought it was very cool in a Jetsons sort of way. haha Now, looking back, I’m pretty horrified.


Vinyl Flooring. It comes either in sheets or in tiles. Here, is where it can be very nice, or super tacky.


Shark Tails - cool vinyl tile bathroom - best kitchen floor - best bathroom floor

More stone? No. It’s actually vinyl tile and Allison from Shark Tails blog did it herself. I admire people who not only have the patience to do tedious work, but break their backs in the process without so much as a whimper.


Cork Tiles. Cork is probably the softest of all of these materials, so it’s definitely a contender if you require a floor that has a good amount of give underfoot.


Lauren Liess - cork floor - best kitchen floor - image Helen Norman

Love this large checkerboard floor by Lauren Liess and photographed by Helen Norman


My mom had a cork floor that she put in her contemporary-style home in Wisconsin in about 1980.


I hated it. It was a weird, yellowy-orange, speckle-y in a not very good way and it buckled. Eventually, she got sick of it and put in an engineered hardwood floor, but only in the kitchen. At least, it was a big improvement.

I have seen some lovely cork products since then, but another client put it in her kitchen and I wasn’t crazy about it because it clashed with the hardwood floor. I didn’t say anything because the kitchen wasn’t my design and she LOVED the floor. So, that is something to heed if you’re doing a different floor in the kitchen than in the rest of the home.


Okay, we’ve pretty much gone over everything I can think of except for a dirt floor.


Which one is the best kitchen floor, Laurel?


Well, in the right situation, they all are. It just depends on the style of your home, furnishings, budget and the look you’re going for.


What if I have an old linoleum or vinyl floor and I hate it and don’t have a lot of money?


That is a very reasonable question.

Paint it.

Remember young, insanely talented William McLure? Remember what he did to one of his kitchen floors? I say “one of them,” because apparently, he doesn’t live in any residence longer than six months. But, they are all fabulous!

I will probably see you on Christmas Day, but if I don’t, please have a blessed holiday!



Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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