sarah_unwinsuter

Changing kitchen flooring and worktop

Sarah U-S
last month

About 11 years ago, we had a classic side return extension to our Victorian terrace. We also extended further back where our outhouses were to make a second small sitting room / garden room for the kids. These two spaces are separated by bifold doors. At the time we chose a slate floor - 600mm square. These tiles run throughout the extension and also into our downstairs WC, and they go the full width of the kitchen and under the cupboards. In addition we have dark granite worktops.
The dilemma - I now hate both the floor and the worktop because they are so dark. The kitchen is generally very dark, although the sitting room is fine. However there is nothing else wrong with either!!
Is it possible to replace the slate and the worktops without damaging the cupboards and tiling? (which I love!)

Comments (29)

  • Sonia
    last month

    I think change the worktop then see how it looks. As you say changing the floor is a rather bigger job!

    Best Answer
  • Daisy England
    last month

    Worktops can be changed easily enough.

  • Related Discussions

    Updating a kitchen by changing the Worktops!

    Q

    Comments (1)
    By updating the worktop it really makes a difference to the kitchen and gives it a 'fresh' look. It looks great!
    ...See More

    Help which flooring to complement kitchen and worktop

    Q

    Comments (2)
    should you wish to achieve a contrast, we have a large selection of wooden floors that can be a great choice for it...possibly our ISTANBUL or MADRID floors, or feel free to browse through our selection of over 40 bespoke stains and over 150+ available products.
    ...See More

    worktop for large kitchen/diner with wood flooring

    Q

    Comments (4)
    Hi Cloughie, A number of my clients have wood with wood and it works well IF you choose the right woods. Since you have your floorboards in situ already I assume their colour is fixed. Whatever it is choose a work surface that contrasts with them, not blends with them. You don't want your work surface to look like your floor. If you have an oak floor choose a really dark work surface or a really light one. I think you will understand my meaning. So long as it's completely different you shouldn't need to worry about clashing. Best of luck. Yasmin
    ...See More

    Help pls:Mixed worktops w/ county kitchen & Moroccan-style floor tiles

    Q

    Comments (0)
    Hi, We are finally renovating our kitchen and would like some advice about installing 2 different types of kitchen worktops: granite and wood. We have a smallish J-shaped kitchen and with a separate laundry room which houses the fridge/freezer and washing machine. The style is classical/country cabinet doors in cream/mushroom colour and neutral walls. We have Moroccan style tiles which we installed when we first moved in to brighten up the kitchen, and we would like to retain these (picture included). For cost efficiency, we are considering brown or cream (can’t decide colour!) granite worktops across where the hob and sink will be situated and a dark wood across the 3rd worktop (sample plan attached). Most of the pictures of mix and match countertops on houzz/Pinterest etc seem to involve an island Or breakfast bar, neither of which we have enough space for. Thus would like your feedback on: Will differing worktops work or do they appear too disjointed in a smaller kitchen Advice on granite/quartz worktop colours that will work with the floor tiles. also any advice re: colour scheme for walls/splashback/cabinetry hardware/tiles would be appreciated. most of my kitchen toys ie food processor/kettle/toasrer are grey/black, and the hob/oven/microwave are likely to be grey/black so doesn’t really match with a traditional/country style kitchen! Many thanks in advance
    ...See More
  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks - I think that might be the only option - the slate flooring would be a huge job!!

  • Artistic Interiors
    last month

    Hi Sarah,


    I concur with your other comments. Change the countertops first and see how that looks. The tiles on your splashback may or may not need to be changed also.


    May I suggest looking into Quartz countertops. They are a composite real-stone option that can be found in many different colours and hues. They are durable, require no maintenance, and are extremely stain resistant.


    Because I don't know what your cabinets & tiling looks like, it is hard to advise on what might bring everything together and lighten up the space (with or without changing your flooring). You may want to consider more than one type of countertop - if you have an island?


    If you can post a picture or pictures of your kitchen, I might be able to help more.


    Best wishes & good luck!

  • PRO
    Kitchen Project Management Inc
    last month

    Hi Sarah,

    I agree with Daisy, the tops are easy to change.

    The slate floor - have you considered an epoxy covering? Comes in many colours and effects,

    If you use a professional company and good quality, it will last for years!

    Regards

  • dividjones
    last month

    You can give a lift to the slate floor by changing the grout to a light colour. You'll be surprised what a difference it makes.

  • Sarah
    29 days ago

    How about introducing LED lighting under the kitchen base units? Its currently very fashionable, and I think you would fall back in love with your slate floor!

  • Sonia
    29 days ago

    I actually love a slate floor. I have a porcelain version in my kitchen teamed with pale cream units and oak worktop. However I am changing the oak worktop as it doesn’t wear well and has become discoloured around the sink. Always something to do!

  • Sarah
    29 days ago

    Forgot to add - under unit lighting will be MUCH cheaper than replacing the floor!


    You don't say what colour the kitchen units are - if they are dark, maybe think about painting or changing them? Cream/duck egg/eau de nil paint could really look good against a dark worktop and floor.

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Thanks all.
    This is the kitchen - the units are in one long line and are in a symmetrical layout with the range in the middle. The walls are white (it usually looks better than this as the photo was taken in the dark!). The units are painted in f&b Dimpse.
    The granite is in perfect condition and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Same as the slate - so I am loathed to bin perfectly good things. However it’s just always dark. We have LED ceiling spotlights and we also have some directional lighting on the other side in the side-return extension bit. With lights on, it’s all fine. In fact, it’s more than fine!! I just wish i could go back in time and change the floor and worktop!
    If we had under-unit LED’s fitted to the wall cupboards - would it need lots of additional work such as chasing out walls or taking off tiles??

  • Sarah
    29 days ago

    I guess you don't have a window in that part, so I can see why you find it dark. I think that even if you changed the flooring, you would still tend to get that feeling, TBH. Sometimes the best thing to do is make the most of the drawback. I imagine you always need the lights on when you are in there? So I would go for more lights, yes, but maybe some flamboyant colour somewhere, even if its just coordinated kettle and worktop utensils.


    My own kitchen is dark and north-facing. The units are gloss anthracite, with wooden floor and worktop, but the walls are brilliant egg yellow! It may sound terrible, but everyone loves it; it feels kind of a cocoon when you are cooking - AND its a passageway to the extension.

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Yes - sadly no window, and yes, we have to have lights on because this room is north-facing! We do have glass bifold doors on the end wall that you can see, but they open into a sitting room, so they provide “borrowed” light.
    I asked on here a few months ago for advice about painting the cupboards a different colour (again in the hope of lightening it up) - but feedback was that they’re probably ok and the colour is good in the circumstance! I do have a few colourful bits - we don’t have a kettle as we have a Quooker tap, but I do have a lovely Kitchenaid mixer at the opposite end and also a couple of bits of le creuset in teal that I can’t fit in a cupboard!!
    As I say - it’s all absolutely fine and lovely - but just dark!!

  • Artistic Interiors
    29 days ago

    Hi Sarah,


    Ok - let's talk about several possibilities that can fix your dilemma. This is obviously giving you angst on a daily basis, and I've always said, some compromises you can live with, but for those that irritate you daily, you need to get those tackled, fixed or at the very least minimize the angst.


    You have a lovely kitchen as it is now. But even so, if the space is too dark for you, it is too dark.


    Skylights ??? - we don't have the floor plan of your home top to bottom - is it possible to bring in more light via skylights / lanterns over the kitchen or near the kitchen (maybe the room that shares the glass partician wall - ?) There are also things that are called Sun Tunnels which can be filtered through lofts & sometimes other levels of the house to bring more day-light into a room. You may want to look these up, research them, and see if it looks like a possibility for your home and if so, get in touch with an expert or sales pro whom can advise. Get some more daylight into the space, and you might not have to change anything else - ??



    Your Cabinet Paint Color - I adore F&B and it looks great, but the reality is that particular paint colour absorbs light rather than reflects it. It looks light, but it is aborbing your light - that's what your last comment question in Houzz didn't uncover. You may want to whiten the place up (which will bounce light about and reflect - brightening your room). And although I really do like the look of the F&B matt, but in this case a bit of satin, sheen or semi-gloss on the cabinets will help with the light reflection as well.



    Your Countertops - yes the are lovely, but dark. The back lip makes it all look even darker as it gives a low-level bucket effect for the black. When I connect the backsplash to the countertops, I never use these back lips. It is just one more line which spoils the line of the whole space. I take the backsplash material to meet up flush with the countertop. Or I use the countertop material for both countertop and backsplash (always running the backsplash material up to at least the height of the extractor fan or the entire wall, dependind on the design - again less horizontal line break-up to the eye). If you went for a quartz countertop (colour and look depending on what other changes you want to make in the kitchen and what you are matching it to), you could make a seamless countertop & backsplash connection (choosing something you like that reflects light).



    Your Range - ok, one of the elephants in the room is the huge range in the middle of your cabinetry that is ultra dark - connecting the dark floor with the dark countertops and making a huge dark I shape in your kitchen. This is adding to the problem as it is black (absorbing light - rather than stainless steel as an option which reflects light). You might want to either change this appliance or change the stuff around it so it doesn't have such a dominate effect in your kitchen.



    Your Flooring - slate is gorgeous, but yes, very dark. I am about to suggest something that I have never done before - as you are trying to work with your existing kitchen - but when I was doing interior design full time (I am retired now), I did new things all the time for clients which always made each project stand out. In these cases, I'd design something different or new or select a new material and then research the how-tos and viability of it until I knew for sure it could or could not be done. I just looked up if you could lay wood flooring over your slate tile. The information that I am coming across says it is possible to do so, so you might want to do some research on this and see if it really looks possible, then contact a flooring expert to see if it would work with your slate and your layout. This new flooring may be able to be installed around your existing kitchen, w/c etc etc, rather than having to move or disrupt anything (again - research is key here). If it is viable, it may be another option to help you mitagate the dark factor. The other option is using rugs strategically to break up the dark flooring without eleminating it completely. If you look at kitchens on houzz, you'll start to see that many of then have runners or other rugs and work beautifully both aesthetically & functionally.



    Essentially your issues at the moment is, even though many of your design elements look light in colour, just about all the elements in your space are light absorbing rather than light reflecting, some of those elements are also very dark, and you have a daylight deficient in your kitchen area. Hopefully, you can use anyone of the options above or use them in combination to help rebalance these overriding issues.


    Examples might be:

    • sky lantern and - or sun tunnels
    • new backspash (remove granite lip), paint cabinets & use rugs
    • replace countertop & backsplash with quartz countertops, use rugs
    • new backsplash (remove granite lip), install new hardwood floors over existing slate floors (assuming it is possible)
    • or a different combo


    Hope this info helps and that the suggestions give you a place to jump off from so you can finally fix the problem.


    Wishing you all the best of luck!



  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Huge thanks Artistic Interiors for a thorough breakdown - I think you’ve literally covered everything that I’ve already thought about - so it’s reassuring to know that it’s not just me who sees it!!

    Skylight are already at a max because we are in a conservation area - we were limited by the planners.

    Cabinet colour is the thing I’d be tempted to change first (mainly from a financial point of view!!!) - what colour would you suggest???

    Worktops - I’m tempted to change to quartz. The issue is that it would cost £thousands - and because I already have granite, I have just been told by a company that removing it would risk damaging the units due to the adhesive. If anyone has managed to change their granite successfully (and relatively cheaply!) - I’d love to know!

    The range - agreed - I’d happily change it and have identified a couple of lighter coloured ones that I like - however it’s again going to cost £thousands to change something that isn’t broken.

    Flooring - I thought about wood over the top. Unfortunately we have a set of bifold doors at the end of the wall that separates the kitchen from the sitting room. The frame of the bifolds is level with the slate - so I don’t think it’s possible to change it without ripping out the doors and starting all over again. This would also cost £thousands to fix something that isn’t broken.

    I’m also in slight conflict with my husband who is oblivious to all the issues. He just sees a nice and functional kitchen!!!!! He would probably go slightly bonkers if I said I was going to spend £thousands on things that are fine.

    I think I’ve just talked myself into just painting the cabinets!!! Serious suggestions of colours would be very gratefully received!!

  • Sarah
    29 days ago

    Consider vehicle paint - you can take the doors off and get them properly sprayed with a glitter-type colour (this is what I did, on standard Ikea doors). Or if you are feeling very budget conscious, a high gloss varnish.

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Sarah - have you got a photo of your glittery cupboards?!! I’m not a very glittery person - so not sure it’s my thing - however willing to consider anything!!!

  • Sonia
    29 days ago

    I recognise your kitchen from a previous post a few months ago. I had a thought about your worktop. There are companies who specialise in covering a worktop in a thinner layer of another worktop thus no need to remove it. I’ve no idea how good or bad they are, but worth a google? I’ll try and find a pic.


  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Ha ha - Sonia - my last post about this was a while ago but it still grates on me!!!

    I’ve emailed a couple of those transform companies already because that has also been a thought. Unfortunately no one ever seems to reply!!! (To be fair, it is lockdown!)

  • Sonia
    29 days ago

    Don’t worry I've written loads of posts! 😊 I had a quick look for those worktops and they are called Overlay Worktops and look amazing , but obviously you need to read reviews and do your research. Here’s a transformation picture.



  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Thanks for that Sonia - that example looks great - that’s the kind of thing I’m looking for. If you had to guess at cupboard colour, what would you say?

  • Sonia
    29 days ago

    Very similar to yours haha! Of course light is everything with colour and you get a very different effect in a north facing room to a south facing room and even in this picture the back units look a definite grey and the side ones on the left look darker and more of a taupe shade. I stick by what I said and if you get a lighter worktop you will probably fall in love again with the units and even the floor 😊. The very black worktop saps the light. I think if you paint the units (which are gorgeous) but keep the worktop you will still be disappointed. I’m looking at replacing my wooden worktop but it could damage the tiles etc etc, so not an easy task. I feel your pain.

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Thanks Sonia - I used to have a wooden worktop myself so I get what you’re going through. I loved it - but a solid surface is sooo much easier!

    I will get in touch with granite transformations and see what they say - fingers crossed. It’s a shame they can’t go over your wooden surfaces...

  • Artistic Interiors
    29 days ago

    Hi Sarah,


    Here are a bunch of photos I've found on Houzz that might help you:


    This photo shows good cabinet & wall colour with similar backsplash as yours, similar extractor fan and darker countertops.

    Wood Flooring · More Info



    This photo with cabinet colour & wall colour to match - brightens the whole room


    A modern classic of a kitchen · More Info




    This photo - darker floors & countertops with white coloured cabinets



    marine · More Info



    This photo - black slate floors, dark countertops, dark range, white cabinets, walls & ceiling + a rug to break it up (although this rug isn't big enough or very well placed)



    Park oak · More Info


    This photo - another angle - the table as a make-shift island is nice because it has a light marble countertop that breaks up the darkness (might be a nice & useful addition to your kitchen if you have enough space for something similar - maybe a little bit deeper than this one so it is more practical - you can always add a top to a piece of furniture)



    Avante Interiors · More Info



    This photo - and one more angle



    Avante Interiors · More Info




    This photo - white colour cabinet & walls, slate floor, black countertop on left, metalic reflective handles on cabinets, reflective appliances (if you ever want to go down that route), and showing that you can do an all white 'furniture island" to break up the black like a stand alone piece pictured above with marble or quartz white counter top & white base colour to match the cabinets = more reflective surfaces.


    Mid Century Modernism · More Info



    This photo - if you imagine brighter white paint colour like in the pictures above - this shows what your kitchen could like if you do find that covering the floors in wood is possible (call and ask an expert about your doors as they would know best, if you ever get to that point)



    Early American Colonial Home · More Info



    This photo - if you ever opt to change your paint colour and countertops/backsplash to quartz - this photo may help to visualize



    Hanging in Balance Kitchen Design | Astro Design Centre | Ottawa, Canada · More Info



    And the rest of the photos just show rugs in kitchens which break-up the 'there's lots of this flooring everywhere look'. I'm not saying any of these rugs would work with the style of your home - just showing you the perportions of the rugs (no deep piles & must be easy to clean if in kitchen) and how they can break-up the darkness of your black floors.



    North Boulder White Kitchen · More Info




    Thurman Street · More Info




    El Dorado · More Info




    Traditional Kitchen · More Info



    Bellevue Mid Century · More Info



    The rug doesn't have to be a runner - it can be large and be placed in front of your cabinetry and travel outwards almost like this one if it was more closer to the cabinetry (and depending on the room size and what else is in it)



    Stockholm, Sweden · More Info




    DS Chicago to Birmingham · More Info



    Last recommendation or option is you might want to seek out a lighting designer that can maximize the light the areas you feel are dark.


    Well, I hope all of these examples help with choosing paint colour for walls & cabinets (and maybe ceiling), and also gives you inspiration if you decide to try any of the other suggestions going forward.


    Good luck with everything!



  • Julie C
    29 days ago

    Sarah I Agree with comments re improved lighting. love your units so don’t think you should change them. Seems awful to even suggest it but some people have done amazing transformations on floors with frenchic paint and stencils.

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Artistic Interiors - thank you for those - it certainly helps to visualise things.

    Julie C - I follow Frenchic on Instagram but have never dared to try it. I’ve seen several of those transformations and they look fab - but being a relatively new product, no one can show the longevity, so I would be cautious. I think my husband would go even more bonkers if I painted the slate!!! (He actually loves the kitchen and is fed up of me constantly suggesting change!!).

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Just a thinking back to Artistic Interiors - we have a large dining table opposite the cupboards. Would a huge rug under the table work?

    Does anyone have any comments about rugs under dining tables? My kids are now teenagers, but we’re not the tidiest / cleanest of families. I’d worry about it looking a mess!!

  • Artistic Interiors
    28 days ago

    Hi Sarah,


    Huge rug under dining table - big yes! As I mentioned before, just make sure it it doesn't have a deep pile and is fairly easy to clean / hoover. This will break up the black considerably! The rug size needs to be big enough to pull all your chairs out and they still sit on the rug - that's the minimum right size.



    Just a thought about finding the right paint colour for your walls and cabinets to brighten everything up. When my family took a trip down to cornwall, we stayed in this lovely cottage in the country-side. The cottage had small little deep windows, so didn't get much light in. However the cottage was so bright, warm & crisp. It had been painted a white that really really worked - white can be tricky to get right.



    So I called the owners of the cottage to see if they had a paint can laying around so I could find out the exact colour. It was straight Brilliant White - standard paint you can get for kitchens, walls, ceilings, masonry, etc in whatever finish you need (matt, sheen, semi-gloss or gloss). I've used it a couple of times sinse to freshen up or update an area, to make small spaces pop, or just to bring a whole space that crisp - perfect white look to show off art and objects (it is one of the few whites that can do so well as art and objects usually look dull or get lost with a plain white background). This might help with your project as it is the best paint for reflecting light and brightening your areas - but it is bright - so you will have to do a test area to see if it is too bright for you, in which case go with a white toned down from that.



    Think the rug(s) & the paint colour change of walls & cabinets will work the best for you since you've spent a lot on your interior already and your husband likes it as is - it is hard to justify large costs when your partner thinks it is great and you've already spent a lot..



    Good luck!

  • Sarah U-S
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Thank you - I will start the hunt for a huge rug!!
    The walls and skirting are already brilliant white - and I do like it. I just need to think about the cupboards now...!

  • Artistic Interiors
    28 days ago

    Hi Sarah,


    Great! Sounds like a good start.


    Last recommendation going forward after the other options to add metalic handles to the cabinets - this will soften the big black I shape and give you yet another reflective surface. It's relatively low cost too.


    Best wishes!

United Kingdom
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.