6 Kitchen Flooring Trends That Are on Their Way Out This Year (and What to Do Instead)

published Sep 10, 2023
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Scandinavian interior design. White grey kitchen room organization
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One of the coolest kitchens I ever saw had vinyl flooring in a red and black checkerboard pattern. It was, at the time, my favorite color combination — so, an entire kitchen in it? Pinch me. Sadly, that trend is probably so far out of fashion these days that you can’t even see it in the distance. Alas, I’m glad I didn’t spend any more energy (or cash) on it.

Planning on new floors soon? To save you the trouble (and, of course, money) on making the decision on your kitchen flooring, we talked to interior designers and found that the following kitchen floor trends are becoming less and less popular.

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1. Dark Wood

Dark wood floors, although even recently considered trendy and on-point, have some serious issues that homeowners are tiring of. They show imperfections pretty clearly, like scratches and dust buildup. Plus, they can make a kitchen feel darker and heavier.

  • Instead: Opt for a brighter wood shade. “Brighter wood shades can infuse your kitchen with a cozy and luminous ambiance,” says Artem Kropovinsky, an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an interior design studio based in New York. “They also complement a broader range of design themes.”
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2. Gray Wash

That being said, you don’t want to go too light on your kitchen floors. “At one point, gray wash floors were considered modern and a good neutral option. But now, gray wash flooring is beginning to be seen as overused and a bit cold in atmosphere,” says Asia Ligas, design experience manager at Block Renovation

  • Instead: Earthy tones. Try a honey hue, a muted green, or a blue shade. You could also use a natural wood finish to showcase the grain and color of the wood itself.
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3. Herringbone and Chevron

Eye-catching patterns can be fabulous! But steer clear of putting them on the kitchen floor now, Kropovinsky says, because they can easily overwhelm newer, more airy kitchen aesthetics.

  • Instead: Floor decals. Ligas says this new trend is bringing in fun patterns with easy application. She also suggests trying large-format tiles with big geometric patterns.
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4. High Gloss

You can see everything on high-gloss floors, from dings and scratches to footprints and dust. The trend is on its way out because people realized they’re a pain to keep clean all the time.

  • Instead: Replace the high gloss with a trendier matte or natural stone finish. Natural materials are all the rage right now, Ligas says, so incorporating bamboo, cork, or reclaimed wood will keep your kitchen on point (and trend).
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5. Tile

It may be an easy alternative or fix for flooring, but tile floors of almost every kind in kitchens are on their way out, according to Josh Churnick, VP of lead generation at Express Flooring. “We credit it to its heavy dependency on grout cleaning,” he says. “Maintaining and cleaning grout, where cracks and stains are noticeable, can become incredibly tedious in these high-traffic areas.”

  • Instead: Luxury vinyl plank. It’s waterproof, easy to clean, durable, and affordable. 
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6. Narrow Planks

People in vintage homes, I’m sorry to tell you — but your original narrow-plank floors aren’t super on-trend anymore. Ligas says that they might be making your space look choppy and busy.

  • Instead: Wider-plank flooring that will make your kitchen look more open. You could also try an industrial concrete floor, a trend Kropovinksy says is a modern favorite.