So, 2020 is well underway and you’ve started getting lots of ideas for your new kitchen! Exciting times ahead and one of the key decisions you will need to make is around your choice of flooring!
It is definitely one of the “building blocks” of your kitchen design and is after all the largest surface area in the room so getting it right is critical. Your floor will need to perform on many levels. Things like durability, resistance to stains and ease of cleaning are important and of course floor safety is a paramount consideration. Let’s add to that floors that work with underfloor heating to take the chill off those cold winter mornings as well as colour, pattern and texture. There are lots of things to think about and consider!
Your floor choice is key to creating the right canvas not only for your kitchen, but also with today’s open plan living there is a good possibility your design will flow into other areas of your home so the same flooring may run across kitchen, dining and possibly utility areas or even across entire ground floors.
Arena Grey – a beautiful canvas running across living, dining and ground floor.
And why stop there? With inside, outside living a trend that looks set to stay, kitchen design can also extend beyond the internal area. Running the same flooring material from inside to out gives a wonderful feeling of continuity and opens up spaces brilliantly, linking inside and outside areas and creating amazing spaces.
Land Bone large format tiles seamlessly flowing from living to patio areas.
Taking all things into consideration, Porcelain is the perfect material. To start with it is undisputed in terms of durability – a Porcelain floor should last you 15 – 20 years. That’s because the tiles are heated at extreme temperatures making them extremely durable and stain resistant as well as impenetrable to moisture so they can withstand cold, rain and frost meaning they can be installed in the harshest of conditions. Porcelain is also about as easy as you will get from a maintenance perspective. It really doesn’t require much looking after at all. Unlike natural stone, it doesn’t need sealing so there is no ongoing maintenance to keep it in tip top condition. Most porcelains can be used with underfloor heating – always worth checking with your supplier – and tiles come in a range of finishes and therefore slip ratings which help you pick the perfect tile for you and your home and your individual rooms
Heritage Cognac: a stunning wood effect tile in 90 x 90 format
Porcelain is also fade resistant and some Porcelain collections will also offer the same tile in 2 or 3 finishes from a polished to a matt and perhaps even an anti-slip version.
It is worth thinking carefully about the finish on your tiles. Polished porcelains can dull over time with wear and tear and of course, can be very slippery when wet. Looking for a collection that is available in different finishes and therefore slip ratings ie polished, natural, bushhammered, soft, antislip etc gives brilliant flexibility particularly where you might want to run the same tile inside and out. So for example you might have an R10 slip rated tile internally – that is a tile that is has a more matt finish and an R12 externally – that is a tile that is a lot rougher in texture. To the naked eye, the tiles will look the same, but get up close and feel the texture and you can tell the difference. It is worth considering the maintenance of tiles with higher slip ratings. By their very nature, the surface on an R12 tile is rougher than an R10 or an R11 tile and that can make it quicker to clean. But for outside areas, a quick wash down with a hose or jet wash should keep your patio in pristine condition.
Outside Floor: Terrain Silver Antislip 600 x 1200
Inside Floor: Terrain Silver Soft 600 x 1200
Inside Wall: Terrain Silver Soft 600 x 300
And many Porcelains are available in different thicknesses. There are ranges where the same thickness of tile can run inside and out in say a 9mm or 10mm or you can opt for the same tile in say a 10mm thickness inside and 20mm thickness outside. It is worth bearing in mind that opting for a thinner Porcelain tile outside means laying the tiles on a concrete bed but this should be weighed up against the cost of the tiles themselves – 20mm tiles can prove quite expensive. If you are looking to go large format as well, then you will find that your outside tile will be thinner – having a 900 x 900 tile in 20mm thickness would be very heavy!
All that means that Wood, which is, of course, such a brilliant canvas for pretty much anything and can transform a space can now be used inside and out in the form of Porcelain. With technology continuously improving, products such as porcelain can echo natural timber to startling effect and have all the added benefits of use inside and out without any maintenance or sealing.
The Woodland Collection of Inside and Outside Porcelains
There are also some incredibly clever Porcelains in one slip rating that can run inside and out with a gorgeous soft anti-slip feel that feel great underfoot and look beautiful. Now that really is seamless as there is no change of surface finish needed so exactly the same tile running across the entire area making your kitchen area simply flow!
The other beauty of Porcelain is that with Rectified Porcelain tiles – that means the edges are perfectly and totally straight –there is the added advantage of minimal grout lines ie 2 or 3mm which is great if you are looking to create as seamless flow as possible. Not only is grout at a minimum between tiles but with larger format ie 900 x 900, 1200 x 600 or even 1200 x 1200 tiles the amount of grout overall is at a minimum. Rectified tiles are the perfect choice for contemporary and modern living and brilliant for large spaces.
One White 1510 x 750 extra large format floor tiles
Now when pitched against the other options of laminate, natural stone etc Porcelain wins hands down for durability, effectiveness and lack of maintenance and with colour echoing everything from wood to concrete, cements, marbles and metals whatever your choice there is something for you. The trend to larger and larger format tiles continues and there is nothing better than seeing a stunning large format 900 x 900 or larger tile across a wide and open plan area. Continuity opens up space like never before and with bifold doors systems a seamless flow is absolutely achievable. Of course, as with any product, there are great quality porcelains and porcelain tiles that are poorer quality so it is worth making sure that what you are buying is great quality!
Tilehaus specialise in the supply of exquisite Porcelain floor and wall tiles. Our showroom is housed in the Old Print Works in Kettering, Northamptonshire, a gorgeous example of Victorian architecture, set across 3 floors. Our entire tile collection is on display and we offer a fast turnaround sample service via our website. We specialize in large format Porcelain tiles, Porcelain tiles for outside and inside and Porcelain slabs. The Tilehaus Team are available to chat to for any advice! www.tilehaus.co.uk