8 small kitchen flooring ideas that even design experts approve of

Who knew changing your small kitchen flooring can totally makeover your home

(Image credit: Tilebar)

Changing up your small kitchen flooring can give your space the most unexpected makeover. If you're living in an apartment or an older home, you may be stuck with some tragic vinyl floors that just aren't cutting it.

When it comes to designing the ideal kitchen, plenty of people have opinions on the big design elements. However, an oft-overlooked but essential part of kitchen design is right beneath your feet: the flooring. 

Despite being an important part of your kitchen’s design, redoing the floors seems too daunting of an undertaking for many. However, there are plenty of small kitchen ideas to makeover floors that won’t break the bank (or your back). 

All the small kitchen flooring inspiration you need to see

From kitchen floor tile ideas to thrifty peel-and-stick designs, I rounded up some pretty clever small kitchen flooring inspiration. See what our experts have to say about these easy tips and tricks.

1. Get funky with peel & stick options


(Image credit: Wayfair)

Ok, I know all about peel-and-stick wallpaper, but I had no idea floor tiles could be installed this way too. Because vinyl peel-and-stick flooring doesn’t need an underlayment (meaning you don’t have to place anything down before arranging the tiles), it’s a fantastic budget-friendly flooring option for those who want a luxury look, like these faux-marble floor tiles from Amazon. Both inexpensive and easy to install (many people DIY these types of tiles on their own), peel-and-stick tiles are growing in popularity. 

Although there are plenty of great reasons to choose this style of flooring, there are also a few downsides, including how labor-intensive it can be to remove tiles. Quality also varies slightly between different brands so be sure to order samples before choosing the style of pattern and color for your kitchen. 

2. For durability, opt for porcelain tiles

Bedrosians Tile & Stone

(Image credit: Bedrosians Tile & Stone)

“Kitchen flooring should be as durable as it is bеautiful,” interior designer Artem Kropovinsky says. While ceramic tiles are made of finely ground sand or clay, porcelain tiles are made from very fine clay, making them typically more durable than ceramic with a lower water absorption rate. 

“Porcelain tiles arе thе bеst choicе, bеcausе of thеir resistance to expansion and traffic,” says Kropovinsky.

These beautiful hexagon-shaped floral tiles available on Amazon are sure to make a statement, while also lasting a long time in your small kitchen.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

3. Go vinyl in a modern way


(Image credit: Amazon)

Steve Silvers, CEO of Express Flooring, understands there are plenty of options on the market today for small kitchen flooring. "Homeowners now have more kitchen flooring options than ever, and their priorities are shifting towards practical features like durability and easy cleaning rather than just design,” he says. 

One suggestion he has for those looking at durability? “Luxury vinyl plank,” Silvers says of the tile type also called LVP. “It replicates the look of natural hardwood with impressive accuracy. Thanks to improved technologies, it's no longer seen as a cheap alternative but rather as a durable choice. LVP is gaining popularity for its ability to handle moisture, scratches, and dents, making it ideal for high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen.” 

The great news is, choosing vinyl flooring is pretty easy with plenty of great options online.  You can snag this luxury vinyl plank from Amazon to try it out in your small kitchen.

Steve Silvers
Steve Silvers

Steve Silvers is the CEO at the industry-leading flooring brand Express Flooring.  

4. Go au naturale with stone tiles

Bedrosians Tile & Stone

(Image credit: Bedrosians Tile & Stone)

Naturally resistant to stains and moisture, stone floor tiles, like these slate tiles available on Wayfair, are a popular choice for small kitchen flooring that sees a lot of foot traffic. They're also able to retain heat better than other types of flooring, making them a great choice for anyone who despises a freezing floor. 

Often stone floor tiles last longer than their ceramic or vinyl counterparts but they also often come with a hefty price tag. For those looking to get the stone tile look, plenty of stone-like options in ceramic and porcelain are available on the market today, like these ceramic stone-look tiles available on Wayfair

5. Go for timeless ceramic tiles

Tile Club

(Image credit: Tile Club)

Ceramic tiles are one of the most popular small kitchen flooring choices out there. Because they're manufactured by a variety of companies, ceramic tiles come in many different variations of colors and styles, so they can easily make your small kitchen look more luxurious. They're readily available so you can simply pick them up from your local home-improvement store or order them online. 

If you're searching for a particular color or pattern, you're most likely to find your desired type in a ceramic tile. I love these stunning blue vintage-inspired tiles available from Wayfair. Typically waterproof and non-absorbent, these tiles are more resistant to stains, making them a popular choice for any kitchen. 

6. Go bold with color


(Image credit: Wayfair)

When it comes to designing your small kitchen flooring, neutral tones and classic motifs are not the only options. Especially when you decorate using neutrals or softer tones, choosing a bold-colored floor can make all the difference in adding visual interest to your kitchen. Embracing maximalism including bright colors, is a great way to inject some fun and modernity into your kitchen design. You can plenty of options online, like these Moroccan-inspired tiles from Wayfair.

7. Get vintage-inspired with penny round tiles

Tile Club

(Image credit: Tile Club)

Vintage-inspired kitchens are always charming. Vintage round penny tiles are a great way to create geometric appeal to your kitchen floors. Although square or rectangular tiles are the norm, penny tiles are hexagon tiles that were popular in the early 1900s but make sense visually in contemporary kitchens. 

A retro throwback that will give more depth and interest to your floors, vintage penny rounds also come in a variety of colors and potential patterns, like these penny tiles available on Wayfair

8. Go for a classic pattern

Bedrosians Tile & Stone

(Image credit: Bedrosians Tile & Stone)

Found dating back to Ancient Rome, black and white tiles are always a timeless home decor buy. Using any classic patterns or styles in your home means choosing a floor you won’t feel that you have to change in a few years. 

Adding a bit of timeless appeal to your kitchen’s floors allows you to be more experimental when it comes to furniture or other decor. Classic is always a great style choice, even when it comes to your small kitchen flooring. 

Tile buys for your small kitchen


What are the most durable and long-lasting flooring options for a small kitchen?

For a small kitchen that sees plenty of foot traffic, opting for the less expensive vinyl or peel-and-stick tiles might not be the best choice. Instead, stone and ceramic tiles will typically outlast peel-and-stick tiles and keep their flawless look for longer. 

Which types of flooring tiles are the easiest to keep clean?

Vinyl tiles and laminate flooring are typically easy to wipe clean while porcelain tile can be made more stain-resistant by using the right grout. Natural stone tiles like granite, although beautiful, are prone to staining which is worth considering if your kitchen tends to be a high-traffic area. 

Although it can be quite the project, transforming your kitchen floor is a rewarding and satisfying way to put your personal stamp on your kitchen, and get you one step closer to turning your house into a home. 

You're going to want to take steps to preserve your new gorgeous small kitchen floors. Add some kitchen area rugs to high-traffic areas to keep them in good shape, Plus, a nice rug adds some cozy ambiance to the room.

Kate Santos

Hello! I’m Kate Santos, a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. In the design world, I got my start working as an Editorial Intern for Dwell magazine in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve written about design and architecture in many national magazines and online publications, including Playboy, Hunker, and The Culture Trip.

I grew up in a very old house in North Carolina and am still influenced by the rustic, charming, antique and aged elements of a home. Sustainability and longevity is extremely important to me and I believe learning to reuse materials or purchasing items you’ll love forever goes a long way. I also lean towards the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi when designing my own home, embracing the perfectly imperfect items I can find.