As kitchens are areas where water on the floor is not uncommon, the best types of flooring are tiles and vinyl. The method is much the same as for other parts of the house but consideration should be taken for the positioning of the appliances.
For ease of removal of heavy washing machines etc it is wise to extend your flooring underneath the appliance, however it is not usually necessary to extend costly flooring underneath cabinets unless you have chosen free standing cabinets. If this is the case the flooring should be done before the cabinets are installed.
Before starting remove all appliances and plinths.
A smooth and even surface is essential to prevent any movement or cracking of tiles. Grout will soon begin to crack if the laying surface is anything but perfect. Ideally 12mm ply-wood should be laid down as a base unless your floor is concrete.
- Take time to decide where the tiles will lay so that they are pleasing to the eye. Avoid small sized tiles at edges. Mark the mid-point of the longest wall or length of cabinetry and make a 90 degree line from this. Do the same on an adjacent wall until they cross.
- Lay the tiles along these two lines adjusting to get the best fit possible and avoiding cutting tiles where possible. When you are happy with the positions it is time to start laying them.
- Spread the tile adhesive in one square metre sections at a time using a notched spreader to spread it evenly. Do not cover your lines until you have one whole length laid. Work from one corner.
- Place the tile on the adhesive, gently press down and wiggle into place. You may need spacers depending on the type of tile but for floor tiles it is usually possible to do this by eye.
- Work towards the middle of the room, still using your lines as guides.
- Regularly use a spirit level to ensure the tiles are flush with each other.
- Once you have placed as many full tiles as possible it is time to place the cut tiles around the edges. Use a tile cutter and measure these carefully.
- Use a sponge to work grout into the spaces between the tiles. Be thorough in doing this as any gaps will cause moisture to get under the tile.
- Run your finger along the grout line to ensure it is just slightly below the level of the tile.
- Wipe off all excess grout as soon as possible taking care not to wipe away the grout line between the tiles.
Once again preparation is everything. Vinyl will show any bumps under the surface and will wear through in raised spots. Lay hardboard underneath the vinyl or use a self levelling compound over a concrete floor.
- Lay out the sheet against the longest edge of the room leaving a 100mm overlap.
- If the vinyl is patterned you may need to adjust the position until it looks right.
- Press the vinyl into the corners and make cuts vertically from the floor upwards. Trim the edges to form a V shape
- Around the rest of the room cut the vinyl so that it almost fits but slightly overlaps the whole room.
- Using something with a strong straight edge such as a piece of metal or wood, push the edges of the vinyl against the wall and cut carefully ensuring at all times that the cut is in the correct place.
- Cut the vinyl so that is sits under the cabinets slightly. The plinths will then sit over this and give the impression of clean lines. Check the position of the plinths before cutting to make sure the edge is hidden.
- Once the vinyl is cut perfectly it is time to spread the adhesive around the edges. It should not be necessary to spread the adhesive over the entire floor.
- Push the vinyl down with a broom to avoid any air bubbles.