Kitchen floors probably suffer the most wear and tear of any spot in the house, so they deserve careful attention. Shannon looks at the four main flooring options:
- Concrete floors are low-maintenance, economical, dust-free and ultra hardwearing.
- They're great for the industrial look, and you can have loads of fun playing with colours and textures.
- Ideally, a concrete floor is produced during construction so the entire floor can be poured in one hit while no walls are present.
- Costs vary greatly according to the type, size and colour of concrete slab. A standard grey concrete slab will cost anywhere between $40 to 60 per square metre. Integral colouring will add $5 to $10 per square metre, while grinding, polishing and sealing will add around another $35 to $80 per square metre.
- Wooden floors add warmth to a room and are perfect for a rustic country look or the modern, minimalist look. Avoid skirting if you choose to go for the more modern effect.
- Floorboards are easy to clean – just give them a brush and use a damp mop. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners.
- On the downside, they can split, warp and crack and be very noisy both in your house and the neighbours'. They also tend to show up dirt and footprints.
- Timber floating floors are engineered pieces of wood that fit together in a tongue and groove fashion. The wood is three-ply and very thick, and its weight means it doesn't need to be glued or attached to the concrete below. Instead, it 'floats' there and can be removed if you move house. It's quick to assemble and prices start at around $70 per square metre (supply and installation).
- Laminate floating floors can be laid on any flat surface. Again, it's very quick to assemble as the pieces just click together, although some of the cheaper versions are glued together. There's no treatment or coating required. Prices start at around $70 per square metre (supply and installation).
- Made to look like wood, stone, marble, tiles or metals, these resilient new floorings are actually made from good old plastic. They are tough, resilient products that come in a huge range of colours, textures and tones.
- Vinyl floors are easy to clean, durable and much quieter than wood or stone. Heat and stain resistant, they are also warm and waterproof.
- These new vinyls may look authentic but at roughly $120 per square metre, these imposters don't come any cheaper than the real thing. You're paying for the ease of care and cleaning.
- Ceramic and stone tile floors are very popular for kitchen floors. Ceramic tiles (not quite as durable as stone, but fired to extreme temperatures to produce a non-porous, smooth tile) can be finished to look like natural stone.
- Well-suited to warmer climates, they are cool underfoot as well as incredibly durable. They also suit the present trend of blending the inside with the outside, as you can lay the same, or similar, tiles in your kitchen as in the garden or on the patio.
- Pale-coloured, porous tiles will stain easily, high-gloss tiles will be slippy and hard stone will mean a high-risk of breakage, should you drop one of your favourite glasses.
- Vitrified tiles have terrific depth of colour as the colour is baked into the tile, and can look very like natural stone. With prices starting at around $45 per square metre, they're considerably cheaper than natural stone which costs between $70 and $150 per square metre, depending on the finish.
- Pale tiles will make a smaller space look bigger, as will larger tiles.
Things to consider
Equipment and Suppliers
2 Moncur Street
Woollahra NSW 2025
Ph: (02) 9326 2444
Premium Cork and Timber
|Cement & Concrete Association of Australia|
Level 6, 504 Pacific Highway
St Leonards NSW 2065
(02) 9437 9711