When it comes to buying flooring for your kitchen, you have massive options available. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices you have. In other rooms in your home, you typically have the choice of carpet or hardwood flooring, but your kitchen has other factors that come into play with the aesthetics.
Not only should the flooring enhance the space, but it should be able to withstand the rigors of everyday use with the threat of moisture, humidity, and water. This is why many people choose to go with kitchen floor tiles over other flooring types. You get a large range of textures, colors, and styles to consider, and it’s essential that you make everything blend to prevent yourself from ending up with a fragmented feel in your space.
For the sake of length, we’re going to outline the most popular kitchen floor tiles without diving into options like wood or carpet. The following 15 sturdy types of kitchen tile can all suit this space, but some will blend with your decor much better.
1. Cement Tile
First up is cement tile, and this is a more uncommon kitchen floor tile option that can look fantastic in the right design. It looks very beautiful in a minimalist, stark way, and there are a variety of color and design options to give you a lot of flexibility in how the finished product turns out. Cement flooring usually gets mixed with industrial and modern styles, and a little research will lead you to the cement tile type that will suit your space the best.
Cement kitchen floor tiles come with a few negatives, mainly that it’s porous. It’s also easy to stain and prone to scratching, and it’s more expensive to install due to the inconsistent sizing. Proper maintenance and care is key to getting this floor to last. You’ll have to reseal it regularly to help extend how long it lasts, but even regular sealing can’t prevent stains if you don’t wipe them up straight away. Hiring a contractor to perform the installation can also make it last longer.
Cement tile itself isn’t expensive, but it’s also not cheap. It’s a mid-priced kitchen floor tile that requires professional installation and routine maintenance to ensure that it looks nice for years.
2. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic is popular as a backsplash material, but it also translates well into kitchen floor tiles. The main reason why people love this material is that it has stain and water resistance, and you can get glazed options for more humidity resistance. Ceramic tiles are also very durable. In the kitchen, it’s common to have accidents, but a dropped plate, pot, or other object usually won’t cause damage to this type of kitchen floor tile. And if you do manage to damage it, replacing one or two damaged tiles instead of the whole floor is relatively inexpensive and easy.
Along with the functionality, ceramic tile is also loved for how good it looks, and there are several design options available to help you create a very unique floor. The downside to this kitchen floor tile is the weight and hardness. It’s not a very comfortable flooring material to stand on for hours at a time, and it’s so heavy that it’s not recommended to install in upper floor kitchens. As far as the price goes, ceramic is a mid-range option.
3. Cork Tile
You can’t deny that cork kitchen floor tiles are a beautiful choice for your kitchen. They offer a very unique look that you don’t see a lot. Along with how it looks, cork has a very nice feeling when you walk over it. It’s very soft on your feet, and this makes it a great choice for the elderly, children, and those who stand a lot. You can install your cork tiles over wooden floors, dry concrete, or even over old floors if you’re prepared them carefully. Any bumps or lumps will show through, so it has to be even. A second benefit of cork is that it has insulation properties, and it can keep the kitchen warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.
However, cork kitchen floor tiles aren’t the most durable option you could have. When you use them in the kitchen, they’re vulnerable to denting, scratching, and water damage. Ensuring that you seal them correctly is vital to preserving this flooring. Even with a top-quality seal, you can get water damage if you get a flood. This is a mid-range option when it comes to pricing.
4. Floating Wood Tile
Floating floors are a very unique kitchen floor tile option that is quickly catching on in every area of your home, including in the kitchen. You can have floating floors made out of several materials, and one of the most popular is engineered wood. Engineered wood floating floors come in a large variety range, including boards, planks, and tiles. This flooring option gets connected to one another rather than the sub-floor, and this enables you to install a new kitchen floor right over your existing one to help save time and money.
One interesting benefit of this kitchen floor tile is that it will contract and expand with different humidity levels. Moisture won’t damage this flooring time like it does a large range of other options, and this floor is relatively easy to install. Most people can DIY this project rather than hiring a professional. However, this floor is also more prone to damage. Since they offer more flexibility and give than normal flooring, they can wear out quicker. This is a relatively affordable option. What makes them even more budget-friendly is that you can install them without a professional, and this can save a nice chunk of change.
5. Glass Tile
Not everyone loves the look of natural stone as their kitchen floor tiles. Those that want something a little different should consider glass. You can add a dash of brightness and color to your kitchen by using glass tiles. They come in a huge range of finishes and colors, and you can install it in a range of designs and patterns. You can lay this tile to create an atmosphere that ranges from traditional and laidback to sleek and stylish. Other than looks, this tile is also known for being ocean. It’s currently one of the most hygienic options you can get, and it helps prevent stains and mildew, bacteria, and mold growth. It also looks dirty when it’s dirty, so this will give you a good indication that it’s time to clean.
One of the biggest drawbacks of glass tile flooring is that it’s very prone to scratching. You’ll see scratches start to accumulate over time if you use glass in high traffic areas. However, replacing scratched tiles is an easy process, and you only have to replace the individual tiles instead of the whole floor. Glass kitchen floor tiles are relatively expensive, including the material cost and the cost to install them.
6. Granite Tile
Granite is popular in many different kitchen styles, and it has a reputation for being a luxury flooring material. You can complete a sophisticated design by adding a matching granite countertop to the kitchen. Granite kitchen floor tiles are available in a range of colors, and the material usually comes with a mottled, natural pattern. You can add polish to brighten all of the colors in your tile. Durability is a huge draw with granite kitchen floor tiles. It’s one of the hardest natural stone elements available, and it holds up well to heavy impacts and staining. It’s a nice choice for high-traffic kitchens that see a lot of wear and tear.
However, granite can also be very slippery, especially when you add polish. You should be very careful when you add granite tiles to the kitchen. Homes with eldery people or children may want to avoid using it altogether. It’s slightly more expensive than other mid-range options.
7. Marble Tile
If you want a modern, elegant kitchen, marble is the best kitchen floor tile material. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful option, and it’s long been a staple in very high-end designs where the overall functionality of the space and the chic style are both equally important. A few highlights of installing marble kitchen floor tiles include the huge range of colors you can choose from, and you also get a highly polished appearance that lets the individual colors shine dramatically and brightly in all light.
Unfortunately, marble does have several notable drawbacks to it, especially when you choose to install it as your kitchen floor. It is a waterproof material, but it gets extremely slippery when it’s wet. Some polished marble types are even slippery when they’re dry. Marble tile is also very prone to staining and scratching. You’ll have to periodically reseal it to ensure that you get a minimal amount of wear and tear. Marble is also one of the most expensive tile options. Along with the high cost of the raw material, you also have to factor in a higher installation cost, especially if you decide to go with a complex design.
8. Onyx Tile
Onyx is a type of natural stone that looks great when you install it as your kitchen floor tile. It’s considered to be a luxury flooring material, but it’s much more rare than marble or granite. You can use it in your kitchen to create an exotic look and feel. Despite onyx’s sheer beauty, it may not always be the best choice for this room. Onyx is quite soft, and this means that it can show scrapes and scratches with regular use.
Proper maintenance will help extend how long this kitchen floor tile lasts, but it requires a lot of work. You’ll have to seal it regularly, and you’ll also have to clean it often with a specialized cleaner to stop damage. This floor is also very expensive, and the material is right up there with granite and marble regarding the price, and the installation is also pricey.
9. Pebble Tile
If you want a high-end, hip look in your kitchen, you should consider pebble kitchen floor tiles. This is currently one of the most popular and trendiest options available, and the contemporary style is the highlight of this option. The popularity of this flooring will be determined on how much maintenance and care you have to put into it to keep it looking nice. Pebble tiles feature very small rocks in various sizes and colors with concrete or resin holding them together.
SInce the pebbles get mined naturally from stone, there are no two pebbles that will look exactly the same. So, your tiles will all vary in appearance. This kitchen floor tile isn’t usually smooth. Instead, each pebble will give you a textured feel, and it can also lower the chances of slipping as you walk on it. There will be a lot of grout required to keep this flooring held together and sealed. Preventing grout discoloration requires a lot of ongoing maintenance. This is slightly over the mid-price range compared to other kitchen floor tiles.
10. Porcelain Tile
Porcelain is very similar to more traditional ceramic kitchen floor tiles, but it takes the water resistance and durability up another level. This is one of the most durable kitchen floor tiles you can get, and it’s so strong that it’ll survive use in commercial-grade kitchen and high-stress environments. Not only can this material stand up to heavy impacts, but it’s even more water-resistance than ceramic is. The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency also requires any tiles made out of this material to have less than a 0.5% water absorption rate, and it’s a lower maintenance choice. Cleaning it usually requires routine sweeping and mopping it with a damp rag or steam cleaner.
If you take good care of this kitchen floor tile, it can easily last for several decades. Like ceramic, the biggest downside to this tile is the weight. They’re usually too heavy to use upstairs, and DIY installation can also be very tricky because of the weight. They’re more expensive than ceramic tiles, and the installation cost can be much higher.
11. Quartzite Tile
Quartzite kitchen floor tiles have a history of being a widely-admired option for your kitchen. It’s an attractive flooring material that has a very opulent, shiny look. The elegant charm of this option makes it very popular for modern kitchen decor. It’s notable because it has a non-porous structure to it, and very little water seeps in to help the material last longer. The non-porous nature also works to keep bacteria out, and this makes it a very hygienic flooring option.
Another benefit of this tile is the strength. The natural stone material holds up very well to heavy impacts and scratches, and cracking and chipping are very uncommon. It’s also cost-effective when you compare it to natural stone tiles. However, it does require a significant upfront investment with a luxurious appearance. Like other shiny, smooth types of kitchen floor tiles, it will get very slippery if it gets wet. You have to clean up spills very quickly with this option.
12. Rubber Tile
Rubber tile is catching on as the go-to kitchen floor tile where water and spills are a big deal, including in bathrooms and kitchens. In addition to having an extremely high water resistance, rubber tile also looks very unique. You can get it in a huge range of fun colors so you can tailor the style to your preferences. It’s also a comfortable surface to stand and walk on, and this makes it a top choice for busy kitchens.
As a bonus, rubber tiles are low-maintenance and durable. It won’t take much to keep them in top shape for years at a time. If your rubber tiles get damaged, you can easily replace a single tile. The biggest drawback is that this is an expensive option. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive flooring materials for quality kitchen floor tiles you can get.
13. Sandstone Tile
Sandstone tile is a popular paver material, and it’s also popular as kitchen floor tiles. It’s very notable for the natural look and feel you get with it, and it’s a stylish, classy material that doesn’t overwhelm the space with a luxurious look. It’s a nice mix of modern and rustic regarding the design, and most sandstone tile is the same color of natural sandstone. You’ll get brown, red, or gold tiles that have mixtures of this color combination, and the texture is another very interesting design element. Unlike most natural stone options that have a smooth polish on them, this is left naturally rugged.
Sandstone does get smoothed out enough that it doesn’t hurt your feet, but you get enough texture to prevent slipping. Aside from the natural beauty, sandstone is a nice flooring material because it’s rock-hard. It doesn’t scratch easily, and it’s ultra-durable. It also won’t chip, crack, or stain, and it’s an eco-friendly flooring choice. You should buy from a reputable company to get a recyclable, biodegradable, and all-natural product. The porousness is a big downside to this product, and it will absorb much more water than natural stone.
The absorption rate for this kitchen floor tile is between 1% and 6%, and you should pick the tile with the lowest absorption rate you possibly can if you want to use it in the kitchen area. Tiles with a higher percentage for the absorption rate can warm and become more prone to damage from mold or liquid. You also have to know how sandstone ages, so it’s not going to look like it did when it was freshly laid in 5 to 10 years. This is a mid-range price pick for kitchen flooring.
14. Slate Tile
If you want to get a contemporary look in your kitchen that reminds you how natural materials look, this is the kitchen floor tile to choose. Slate flooring has a high appeal level because each tile will look a little different. A fully-tiled slate floor doesn’t look like anything else in the world. In addition to the style and looks, slate will score very high in the functionality department. It’s durable and strong, and it can stand up to scratches, cracks, chips, and other common issues.
Although slate tiles resist water damage and staining, you’ll want to seal it regularly to give it the longest lifespan possible. You can use this tile for your kitchen to boost your home’s resale value. It’s widely considered to be a high-end luxury product that can add to your home’s value. The biggest con of this flooring is the price tag. Slate is very expensive, especially when you purchase top-tier things. Installation is also very demanding, and this can drive the price up.
15. Travertine Tile
The final kitchen floor tile on the list is travertine. This is becoming increasingly popular in kitchens, and it’s a type of limestone. You’ll get a natural charm that adds to the popularity in any space where you want to get a rustic, subdued look. It’s most commonly available in earthy tones like rust, brown, or tan. It’s also considered to be a higher-end luxury material, and there are patterns in each time to make them unique.
You will need to perform routine maintenance and take care of this floor, but it can reward you by lasting for decades. If you spend the time required to care for it, it can last a lifetime. It’s also a very eco-friendly option, and it’s 100% biodegradable, completely recyclable, and used in the natural form.
The downside to this flooring is the maintenance required to make it last. When you use it in the kitchen with a lot of moisture surrounding it, you’ll need to regularly apply a penetrating sealer and a surface sealer barrier. It’s a mid-range flooring option as far as the price goes, and it usually falls between porcelain and ceramic, depending on the variety you pick out.
DIY or Professional Installation?
How difficult it is to install your kitchen floor tiles depends on the type of material you pick out. Certain materials almost always need a professional to install them, and marble and granite are two great examples. Materials that have a complex installation process also require professional help. Due to the smaller size, glass tiles are very difficult to DIY. However, other materials can easily be installed by a typical company.
We’ve outlined 15 study types of kitchen floor tiles for you to consider when you’re going to upgrade your kitchen. Some are more expensive than others, but they bring a lot to the table in terms of durability and looks. Take your time, set a budget, compare your options, and get a floor that you love to look at.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.