Flooring for the kitchen–a diy dilemma

Our DIY kitchen renovation is unquestionably the largest project we’ve undertaken since buying the house, but I can’t rightly call it finished. There remains one critical eye sore in the room as it stands—the flooring.



It’s this very unpleasant tiling–beige with brown marbling–that is suppose to have the intended effect of camouflaging dirt. The unfortunate truth is it does the opposite. Even after a deep clean, the floor ALWAYS looks dirty. Mark my words, 2015 will be the year that we finally toss the dingy tiles in favor of something a little more fresh and fun.

But what?

As I recently wrote, for our renovation projects, it is important that we make era-appropriate style choices for upgrading our space. But that leaves me with a lot of questions for what to do about the floors. My first instinct: classic linoleum.


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But picking the right shade and texture of flooring to match our eclectic and busy kitchen, would be a challenge. Enter the wonders of photoshop to help point me in the right direction. Right away, two clear winners stood out.

The classic checkerboard:



And dark grey:



Linoleum definitely fits in with the ’50’s scheme, but the more I thought about durability and style, the more I started to wonder about other contenders. I knew I was a fan of the darker grey color for the floor, but wondered if something a little more sleek would make sense.

Dark grey tiles, perhaps?


I am definitely a fan of the way the floor tiles sort of mirror the mosaic backplash, but one of the reasons I was drawn to linoleum in the first place  was because I wanted to avoid having grout, if at all possible. The kitchen arguably gets more traffic than any other room in the house. And the fewer cracks and crevices in which dirt can collect, the better. Which led me to my final proposition: concrete.

I’ve always loved concrete flooring, but had reservations about how that industrial look would fit in with a mid century vibe. While there is potential for it to clash, I’ve equal reason to believe the contrast could be a refreshing change.



While it’s not an exact science, photoshop confirmed my suspicions. There could be some real potential in demolishing the existing tile and giving the concrete underneath some TLC.




I’m a big fan of how the polished concrete reflects the light (which the small, one-window kitchen definitely needs) and how it would likely make for easy cleaning. What say you Internet? Am I grasping at straws or could there be something to this whole concrete idea? Does the industrial flooring complement or clash with the warm wooden cabinetry? I’m legitimately flummoxed.



36 Comments on “Flooring for the kitchen–a diy dilemma”

  1. I like concrete floors as well as linoleum and love the darker coloring flooring in your kitchen. Plus you can get some cute memory foam rugs. I have linoleum with memory foam rugs and actually have bought memory foam rugs for the bathrooms now – come in all shapes and sizes and materials and colors and patterns. Good Luck 🙂

  2. lisalouisedouglas says:

    We loved our concrete floor in our last home. You have so many choices with scoring options. I’ll send pics of the new home Lauren and Jay have done scored concrete to look like wood.

  3. Monte says:

    The grey stained concrete looks phenom! It’s easy to clean, durable, and tres chic. Also, it’s one of the recognized ‘Doodle’ colors. Haha. We LOVE it in our kitchen. And shouldn’t it be DIY-lemma? I kid, but I do come largely for the puns. Absolutely adore your blog!

  4. K mom says:

    Hmmmm. I really liked the linoleum initially, not so much the tile. I quite like the concrete look. Especially the last image. Wonder how it would feel. No way to know how the surface will be under the tile, but if you don’t like it, it will be ready for a new solution once revealed.

  5. fynnandcade says:

    Oh, definitely the concrete! Love the grey.

  6. My instinct is that linoleum would be warmer and softer underfoot, and that would seal the deal for me. I wouldn’t worry about the concrete clashing though. Actually the mottled effect of polished concrete might end up being kind of similar to sheet linoleum anyway – and you already have a modern/vintage blend, so it’ll totally work if you want it to.

  7. I love how that last photo looks with the lighter concrete floor. I do wonder what a color like Caribbean or Rosato from the Forbo Marmoleum’s Real line. Moon or Cloudy Sand from the Concrete line may also be nice with the colors in the counter and butcher block. If you are interested in a eco friendly concrete stain, EcoProCote makes a nice variety of colors. I love your tile, and I hope it is coming along well!

  8. mosesmama says:

    I like the darkest color of concrete, I think the others will show dirt, just as your current floor does. I would also consider a rubber floor, maybe in one of the colors from your tiling. The rubber floor would also feel softer on your leg joints.

  9. twainausten says:

    You could def do concrete. A cooler look that would complement the warm cabinetry. If anyone has joint issues, it might be hard though. Will be easy to clean;)

  10. I love those last few pictures. I think the solid flooring is a good direction. The checkerboard, and dark gray blocks don’t hit the mark. I like that you are able to superimpose the flooring to get a glimpse.

  11. salpal1 says:

    I am leaning toward the linoleum. I think it is more durable than you are giving it credit for – and it is available in an amazing number of colors! I feel like it would be more comfortable underfoot than concrete, too.

  12. LOVE the concrete. Its clean and it will be able to change with any other changes in the kitchen

  13. Anne Lene says:

    I like the darkest version of concrete, and I would consider the checkered linoleum version but prob would go with a more charcoal and white version.. I think that would look cool..

  14. kyledotypoet says:

    We did stained concrete for a while. It was just okay for us. Likely, we didn’t do it quite good enough since it was a DIY and I’m not a great DIYer. We just recently (2 weeks) went with tiger striped engineered hardwood from Home Depot. It doesn’t sound too classy, in fact, it sounds chintzy coming from HD, but it’s quite nice and makes our space (Living Room, Kitchen, and down the hall) look a lot bigger and cleaner.

  15. keebslac1234 says:

    I’d suggest a classic wood floor with a good, hard finish. We bit that bullet when we added on to the north side of our home. The floor has stood up very well, and the warm glow wood provides adds to the comfort factor. I’m imagining a wood floor in your kitchen would set it off quite nicely.

  16. bloggingbrb says:

    Personally I like the original one and the black one. Keep us updated though.

  17. Grasping for words says:

    I definitely like the gray concrete. We have gray vinyl plank flooring which we love. Gray is so versatile and neutral without being boring.

  18. Yes, concrete for the win! I say try photoshop with a dark slate bluish hue!

  19. digging the concrete as well!

  20. Barb says:

    I had concrete floors in my last 1995 custom mid century home . They were covered in awful vinyl and parquet flooring. It wasn’t easy to scrape the vinyl from the bathrooms and the 35 foot long kitchen . But I did the grinding and polishing of the slab myself in the bathrooms,( Very dusty and messy.) hired a pro for kitchen space. Long story short the floors were awesome , modern and easy to clean and maintain . I miss those concrete floors ! I had radiant floor heat so the coldness was not a factor . They were cozy in winter cool in summer. Talk to people who have lived with concrete . There are a lot of assumptions .Huge fan . Good luck !

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