Over and over, I have noticed recently that a home’s kitchen floor is often the same material that is used throughout the rest of the house. However, with so many wonderful options for the kitchen, I suggest that you take the time to look beyond the obvious.

In my own home, I have had tumbled limestone floors in the kitchen for at least 30 years. I love the slightly worn look of the material, its color range, and the fact that after all this time, the floor still looks fabulous. Even better, it is really easy to keep clean. At the time I installed my floor, this worn look was only available in 6-inch tiles. But today there are chiseled edges, flamed, raked, sandblasted, or honed tiles in a myriad of sizes and colors to suit every imaginable style.

Here are some of my favorites worth a second look:

CEMENT: I love cement tile in both solid and patterns (both ancient reproductions or modern graphics), in subdued or bright colors. Cement has been used for centuries throughout the world. It is made by hand, one by one, using mineral pigments, cement, a mold and a hydraulic press. They are air dried and while completely durable, need to be installed correctly with the proper setting materials and sealed for protection. The tiles have slight imperfections, which give them character.

STONE: There are so many types of stone, most indestructible, that are great for kitchen floors. From light to dark, figured surface to nearly plain, polished or honed, the choices are daunting: limestone, marble, granite, slate, lava, basalt and many others. The demands of your family, the location of the house, the relationship of the kitchen to other rooms, your propensity for cooking and making a mess, indoor/outdoor traffic patterns, and personal preference all determine your choice of stone (and all other materials as well). Dark floors are so easy to maintain and are a great complement to white or neutral kitchens. Light-colored floors can blend well with wood tones. I suggest very narrow grout lines and grout darker than the stone to keep the floor looking its best.

PORCELAIN: New to the lexicon of flooring materials is porcelain tile. In its newest incarnation, the tiles tend to be large, textured or look like something else. Indeed, they are practical, easy to install and maintain. Additionally, for the most part the material is not expensive. I suggest that you select a porcelain that looks like it has some texture and does not imitate marble, wood or some other natural material. (no images available)

Keep an open mind when deciding on your new kitchen floor. There are so many great options. Before making your final decision, consider the design style and decoration of the rest of the house.



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