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.
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.
FLOOR COLORS AFFECT A KITCHEN'S LOOK AND FEEL
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.
COLOR TIPS FOR KITCHEN FLOORING
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.
WHEN SHOPPING FOR FLOORING
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.
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.
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.