When it comes to combining durability, good looks and easiness to clean in a kitchen floor covering, it's hard to beat traditional kitchen tiles. However, if you suffer from chronic pain in your back or joints as a result of chronic illness, injury or simple old age, traditional tiled floors may be too hard and unforgiving to walk and stand on comfortably. Similarly, if you have sensitive or easily damaged feet, stand on cold, hard tiles for long periods while cooking can cause pain and discomfort.
However, if hard tiled floors are too hard on your body, you don't have to abandon tiled floors altogether. A range of tile materials can offer the same aesthetic value and durability as traditional stone or ceramic tiles, while providing valuable cushioning to make moving around your kitchen a much more comfortable endeavour.
You might be used to seeing drab slabs of rubber flooring gracing the floors of hospitals and work place kitchens, but rubber tiles can be much more aesthetically pleasing. Available in a wide variety of shades and colours to match any kitchen colour scheme, rubber tiles are quick and easy to fit, and provide a soft, cushioned surface that can provide great relief to strained feet and joints. Rubber tiles are also easy to clean, and are among the least expensive choices of kitchen floor tiles.
However, rubber tiles are also scratched and scuffed with relative ease, and may not be suitable for high-traffic kitchens or kitchens in dog or cat-owning homes. To avoid your rubber tiles becoming marred, they can be sealed with a conventional rubber floor sealant -- these are fairly simple to apply, but must be reapplied on a regular basis as the protective coating they leave behind wears away.
An unusual and eye-catching choice that looks right at home in rustic and traditionally styled kitchens, cork tiles have a soft, springy surface that is immensely comfortable to walk on. Cork is even comfortable when walking in bare feet, as the porous bark surface holds heat well and does not feel cold to the touch like porcelain or stone. They are also light and easy to lay.
Unfortunately, cork is relatively easily damaged compared to traditional floor tiles, and can dent and crack when heavy objects are dropped on it. It is also vulnerable to scrapes and scratches, and are not waterproof (although spilled fluids generally evaporate quickly). To avoid unnecessary damage, cork tiles can be treated with a wax or polyurethane sealant to provide protection against damage and moisture. Be aware, however, that these sealants can harden the cork and reduce its cushioning benefits. Cork is also likely to be more expensive than rubber or vinyl tiles, and may be more difficult to find.
Another budget-friendly option, vinyl tiles are not quite as soft and comfortable as rubber, but make up for it with much more versatility. The popularity of vinyl tiles means that they are available in a dizzying variety of colours, shapes and styles, including convincing stone and porcelain effects. They are also waterproof, and do not stain or discolour easily. Vinyl tiles also have the advantage of being tremendously easy to fit, especially snap-together tiles with grooved sides that eliminate the need for grouting.
Vinyl tiles are not the most durable of materials, however, and can be dented and scratched easily under heavy conditions (Their low price and ease of fitting does allow you to replace damaged tiles without tearing up the whole floor, however). They can also perish under intense sunlight, and may not last for too long in windowed, north-facing kitchens. For more information on tiles to install in your kitchen, talk to a professional.Share
19 May 2016
The kitchen is the most used room in my home, and in the past, I found it could get messy and chaotic very quickly. Trying to cook dinner when you can't find an essential appliance or see past the clutter on the counter is no fun. I realised I enjoyed my time in the kitchen more and was more productive when my kitchen was organised and laid out in a way that optimised functionality. I changed my kitchen cleaning and organising routine, decluttered, got rid of appliances I don't use and moved things around to ensure frequently used items were easy to reach. I started this blog to share my tips for creating a kitchen that's enjoyable to use, and I post about ways you can optimise the space you have. I hope you find my posts useful.