Floor Colors for Kitchens

Floor colors, like all elements of kitchen color schemes, must work with other colors in the room.

Just how important is the color of a floor?

Flooring takes up the most visual space in a kitchen, next to the cabinets, so it will usually be the second largest color element in the room.

Things to consider when choosing floor color


The color of your kitchen flooring can make you regret its choice if you're constantly cleaning it. Very dark or very light floors show dirt. Floor colors in a mid-range seem to hide dirt best.

Solid colors show more dirt...flooring that has color variations - even subtle ones - helps hide dirt.

Are you a neat freak? Then a white or very light floor is right up your alley. However, if you have little ones, pets or a husband constantly traipsing through the kitchen, consider flooring that's less pale.

It's not that you don't want a clean floor...it's just easier not to stress out over every little speck of dirt.


Pale floor colors can light up a kitchen by reflecting light, just the way light wall colors do. Helpful with deeper toned wood cabinets or in small spaces.

Mid-range neutral colors in shades of tan, taupe or gray are restful to the eye.

They draw your attention up from the floor to lighter, brighter colors in the room, like wall color, countertop, or backsplash.

(Photo courtesy of DecCardy Interior Design.)

Bright colors - like yellow, blue, green, red, purple - can set off an eclectic, country, or modern style kitchen, but don't let the color "steal the show."

It needs to be balanced by strong visual impact from other kitchen elements.

Choose strong colors carefully - they can be rich and delightful, but you can tire of them in a short time.

If your kitchen is open other rooms, using the same flooring gives a feeling of expansive space. Or use different types of flooring but in similar colors.


If you want wood flooring and your cabinets are wood, go a bit darker or lighter than the cabinet color. Too much of the same can make your kitchen boring, or - with darker wood tones - feel like a cave.

Look for undertone hues in the cabinet wood - reds, yellows, grays, etc. - and find a wood for the floor with the same undertone but lighter or darker.

Neutrals always work well. Even a colorful kitchen benefits from a more neutral floor color. It lets the other colors stand out in your kitchen.

Plus, you don't have to change it if you change any kitchen colors later.


Lay the flooring sample down on the floor to look at it. Sounds silly but this is actually important and a lot of people don't think to do it.

Floor colors look completely different when a sample is hanging on the wall or actually on the floor.

Take the flooring piece near the front windows of the store to get a look at it in natural light. Again, lay it down on the floor.

Once you've found one or two you really like, ask to take a sample home - preferably one with some size - so you can see it on your kitchen floor.

Basic types of flooring for kitchens

Tile It's tough, durable and water-proof.

LOTS of color choices, more than other floor types.

You can generally find inexpensive ceramic tile, and most porcelain isn't too bad in price. Granite and marble tile are at the top of the price range.

Tile can be tiring to stand on for long periods of time, so use rugs in key areas.

If you drop a plate or a glass, it's likely to break.

Hardwood A good choice, strong and more comfortable than tile.

Can be affected by water damage, and can show nicks and bruises.

Colors generally limited to wood tones, unless refinished and painted.

Laminate Laminate, in wood or stone colors, is a very tough, durable surface.

Resists scratches very well.

It is susceptible to water damage.

Vinyl Sheet vinyl is still available, most with stone or wood look colors.

Self-stick vinyl tiles work very well though water and/or high traffic can push them around.

The color of lesser quality vinyl is usually only surface-deep so it will show dings. (Color "pencils" are available for ding repair.)

Commercial self-stick tile is heavier, and more comfy than other types of flooring. Colors are usually very limited from home centers, but more are available if you order through a flooring store.

Need some DIY how-to on refinishing your existing floor? See Cheap Floors.

Or if you want to tile your own floor - using ceramic or self-stick tile, check out How to Tile a Floor.

Interview with a Color Expert

Kitchen Color Design

The Color Story of a Kitchen

Kitchen Wall Colors

Ceiling Colors for Kitchens

Kitchen Appliance Colors

Kitchen Cabinet Colors

White Kitchens

Back to Kitchen Color Schemes

Return to Home Page from Floor Colors for Kitchens

Thinking of remodeling?

Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.

Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.

Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.