Giving your kitchen a makeover is a great way to really make a difference in your home.

Today, our kitchens are as much about sharing experiences as they are about preparing food and that means any redecoration efforts must consider the kitchen being an area for entertaining guests.

You don’t need to splash out on new appliances or increased storage capacity to have a striking impact on your kitchen though – a few practical flooring options can be just as effective and transform this room into a whole new environment.

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KITCHEN FLOORING

The type of floor you have in your kitchen has to take into consideration how much foot traffic it will deal with and also how practical it is for dealing with spills and other cooking mishaps. This means that fitted carpet is a poor choice and rugs can be tripping hazards and are best avoided.

Instead, your kitchen flooring should utilise easy-clean, practical materials such as vinyl or laminate. These options cope with daily wear and tear well and come in an array of styles to give you the perfect result. But what tips and tricks should you know when adding them to your home?

VINYL: ROLL OR TILE?

There are two ways to use vinyl flooring in your kitchen as it comes in traditional ‘lino’ rolls or can be laid as separate tiles. There are advantages to both methods, mainly due to the practicalities of fitting it in different shaped kitchens.

Either choice still gives you a full spectrum of classic designs and colours to choose from, and most vinyl floors come with a 5 year warranty for added peace of mind.

When fitting vinyl tiles, the following tips should be followed:

  • Measure the room to calculate how many tiles you need (always buy an extra pack or two to allow you to match up patterns etc)
  • Prepare the floor by making it dry and level and remove old tiles
  • Acclimatise new tiles to the room they will be laid in by stacking them in there before you fit them
  • Locate the centre point of the floor and start laying your tiles from here
  • Lay dry tiles on the floor to get an idea of how they will fit and decide how you will line up patterns and what directions any lines will run in (you can arrange them to create the illusion of space in narrow rooms)
  • Begin laying the tiles systematically from the centre point – if you have self-adhesive vinyl tiles then simply remove the backing and place them securely on the ground, if you have non-adhesive tiles then you’ll need to apply tile adhesive to the floor with a notched spreader first

Cut tiles to shape at edges and around obstacles, making sure to match patterns as you go

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When fitting vinyl flooring from a roll, the process is largely the same. You’ll need to prepare the floor and measure the space in the same way but fitting the flooring will be slightly different.

  • When measuring the room, add 50-100mm around the edge to make sure you have enough
  • Place the roll in the room it will be laid in for at least 48hours before fitting to allow it to acclimatise
  • Unroll the vinyl slowly with the longer side of the sheet kept parallel to the longest wall and starting around 25mm from the skirting board
  • Cut a triangular shape into the corner of the vinyl to make it lie flat in corners
  • Lay and cut the vinyl to shape before fixing it in place with adhesive
  • Use spray adhesive to fix the flooring into place, working your way systemically through the room

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LAMINATE: DIRECTION AND STYLE

Laminate flooring can also be used in your kitchens and can create a harmonious look if it corresponds with laminate flooring you have in other areas of your home. As well as traditional wood-effect options, stone-effect laminate can also provide a sturdy and luxurious look that’s perfect for kitchens.

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Tips and tricks to follow when fitting this type of flooring in the kitchen include:

  • Ensure your choice of laminate matches the room and other styles of laminate in the home
  • If you have laminate flooring in an adjoining room then make sure the boards or pattern go in the same direction otherwise, lay boards in the same direction as the longest wall (in large rooms) or in the direction of incoming light (in square rooms)
  • Using specialist borders to provide a frame round the edge of the room and at doorways or entrance points
  • Slot planks or boards into place securely and ensure you start from a corner of the room, laying the first row of planks along the longest wall

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