Flooring ideas for kitchens with dark cabinets

Flooring ideas

Wood, tile, laminate, vinyl… When looking for flooring that will go with dark cabinets, it's important to find a finish that suits the layout and size of your kitchen to avoid any sense of the space feeling claustrophobic.

Before you decide on a material and colour, there are a few key things you should keep in mind to ensure you make the best choice for your design scheme.

Which material is right for you?

Which material is right for you?

Depending on your lifestyle and your budget, certain flooring materials will suit your dark cabinets better:

  • Wood flooring is beautiful and authentic, and works with a rustic or sophisticated design scheme, depending on the colour and finish you choose. It's more expensive than other alternatives though.
  • Laminate and vinyl flooring is highly affordable and available in both wood and stone finishes. These are created by placing digital imagery under a protective coat that allows the realistic effect to shine through while protecting it from wear. Coming in many different patterns, vinyl and laminate are suitable for any style of kitchen.
  • Stone tiles are durable and elegant. Available in a range of finishes, including granite, marble, and slate, they are timeless in both look and quality. Ideal for kitchens with a sophisticated theme, stone tiles can be costly because they are made of natural materials.
  • Ceramic and porcelain tiles are a more affordable alternative to stone, and can create a similar effect in your kitchen. Available in a range of patterns and designs, they're hardwearing and easy to clean. Like laminate and vinyl, the diverse range of patterns means they're suitable for any kitchen scheme.

Luckily, there are endless flooring combinations available in a range of materials, so you can easily find a style you love in a material that works. Read our kitchen flooring guides for more inspiration.

When choosing flooring, consider…

When choosing flooring, consider…

After you've decided on a flooring material, find a colour and pattern that will work with your dark kitchen cabinets. There are many different factors that play into creating the perfect combination:

  • The size of your kitchen: As a rule, small kitchens should be decorated with light features to avoid overwhelming the layout. If you have dark cabinets, make sure the other elements are a lighter shade. Dark flooring can still work with dark cabinets in a small kitchen, as long as the worktops and walls are a lighter shade.
  • In a large kitchen, it's easier to use dark elements across your entire kitchen scheme. However, you run the risk of creating a harsh-feeling environment if you include too many dark features. To offset this, implement softer textures, such as wood or patterned tiles, to break up the uniform look.

Design tip: To complement dark cabinets, create a rustic look by choosing flooring that has undertones of the same colour, like a multi-tonal wooden or stone finish.

When choosing flooring, consider…
  • Natural light: The amount of natural light that filters into your kitchen will affect which flooring will work with your dark cabinets. Typically, kitchens that lack natural light should have bright units to reflect the little light that comes one.
  • In this case, opt for light coloured flooring. White is a failsafe option and can have a contemporary look when paired with black cabinets. Alternatively, ash grey provides a subtler contrast, while a pale wooden finish creates a welcoming feel.

Design tip: If you want to incorporate dark flooring as well as dark cabinets, include additional lighting to boost the brightness, such as plinth lighting or  under cabinet lighting.

When choosing flooring, consider…
  • The theme of your kitchen: Generally, when paired with dark cabinets, dark flooring will incite a serious mood, while light flooring can make a space feel more lively. If you want to achieve a sophisticated look, pairing dark wooden cabinets with a similar shade of flooring will set a professional-looking tone. Stone tiles in rich colours look especially refined when paired with dark cabinets.
  • For a more casual feel, bleached-wood flooring brightens up navy or dark green cabinets to create a modern-farmhouse style kitchen. Similarly, patterned tiles will add a cheerful vibe to a kitchen with dark cabinets, helping to break up a monotone colour scheme.

Design tip: Choose flooring in the same finish as your cabinets to create a coherent look across your kitchen. Gloss cabinets and flooring will reflect light around the room, whereas matt cabinets and flooring have a subtler impact.

The best way to find flooring that suits your dark cabinets and the style of your kitchen is to play around with colours and materials. Check out our kitchen planning tool  to see what your dream design could look like and get in touch with our expert installers to make your vision into a reality.