Exploring flooring options for my thrifty ’50s kitchen makeover

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If you’ve been following along with my home renovation journey, you’ll know that my kitchen makeover is almost complete. We haven’t splashed out on a new kitchen – instead we have given the existing units an overhaul to freshen them up and have installed some new worktops and plumbing. There’s just a few frugal finishes to add and then I’ll be sharing the finished room with you.

One of the final things I’m considering is new flooring in the kitchen. I initially thought it would be okay to keep the vinyl tiles as they are in good condition and haven’t lifted at all. However, compared to our fresh new cabinets and worktops, they’re starting to look a little tired. In fact, they’re probably the only thing that’s letting down the finish of the room now. So, I’ve researched a few flooring options for kitchens and would love to hear what you think…

WOOD FLOORING

Throughout the rest of the house we have wood flooring and no carpets at all. Our wooden floors are in the form of original solid wood floorboards, and engineered wood flooring. I’m thinking that it might make sense to have wooden flooring in the kitchen too, as this will create a lovely flow throughout the ground floor of our home. I would therefore need to choose a warm oak colour to match the living room and would just LOVE to have parquet flooring. But, seeing as this is a temporary makeover until we renovate the kitchen in about 5 years time, I’m not sure about making the investment because we might change the layout – and would the warm oak colour work with the fresh white worktops and turquoise units?

VINYL FLOORING

I thought about having vinyl flooring in my hallway, seeing as it is such a high traffic area. Likewise, it would make it really easy to clean the kitchen if we laid sheet vinyl flooring. The only thing is that I’ve never fitted vinyl flooring before and I’m not sure I’d get a good, smooth finish. I DO already like the checkerboard look of the old vinyl tiles in the kitchen, so should I really replace them with something that’s almost the same? Especially considering that we might switch over to wood flooring when the full kitchen renovation occurs in a few years time.

AREA RUGS

Seeing as the existing vinyl tiles are still technically in good condition, with none of them lifting up at the edges or broken at all, I’m also considering sticking with them. It’s the thrifty AND eco-friendly thing to do, right? Keep using something until it’s completely worn out and unfit for purpose? I suppose so. But I’d like to freshen up the flooring so that it doesn’t look quite so grim, which is why I’m considering getting area rugs to cover up some of the worst areas.

We had a rug in the kitchen of our previous home (above) and it was exactly the right size and shape to completely cover the horrible, stained, cream vinyl flooring. I was pleased with how it looked and even our cats preferred having a lovely woven texture underfoot rather than skidding across the cold vinyl floor. The key to using rugs in a kitchen is to choose anti-microbial and fire resistant products so that they’re a safe addition. Also, go for a durable, water-resistant rug if it’s likely that you’re going to spill food and drinks on it or need to spot-clean it!

LAMINATE FLOORING

I found it really easy to install laminate floorboards in my bedroom and living room so it wouldn’t be a difficult DIY task for us to refresh the kitchen floor with laminate planks. My only concern is about moisture getting into the laminated wood and blowing it apart, although I have heard that it IS possible to get water resistant laminate specifically for kitchens and bathrooms. I will definitely have to do some more research into this. At least I could have insulation beneath the flooring to make it cosier in the kitchen this way.

TILES

I don’t like grouting. I remember spending hours grouting our bathroom (and almost crying when I couldn’t get it right!), which really put me off tiling. When it came to tiling a splashback in the kitchen we chose the biggest tiles we could find for the lowest price because we could cover the walls without having to do lots of grouting. Just a handful of upright grout lines and we were done. So I really don’t want to tile the kitchen floor. Plus, it’ll feel cold underfoot, which is another reason not to tile the floor. Decision made.

What type of flooring do you have in your kitchen? What would you recommend for a temporary makeover before the big renovation happens in a few years time? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to get your advice 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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