Renovating your flooring for the kitchen may be a laborious home project. However, having a surface that can withstand heavy foot traffic, spills, heat and other hazards is a must. Choosing a stunning floor material can elevate your kitchen’s overall look, too. The key is to limit your options and match them with your needs, preference and budget. Here are a few types worth considering.
Different Kinds of Flooring for the Kitchen
The best flooring for kitchens is one with balanced structural and design features. You’ll want a new kitchen floor that is durable but, at the same time, attractive. Depending on your household, you’ll probably want something that is kid and pet-friendly, too.
Most importantly, it should feel comfortable against your feet, especially if you prep and cook often. Good thing there are several types of kitchen flooring available in the market. Each has its share of pros and cons to suit our varying requirements.
Vinyl flooring in kitchens is available in sheet vinyl or vinyl tile. Sheet vinyl or resilient flooring is best for family or extra busy kitchens that require high spill protection. Upper-end homeowners, however, prefer vinyl planks or tiles, also called luxury vinyl flooring, as they can mimic ceramic, stone or wood.
Either type of flooring, however, is available in a wide range of colours and designs. Both are also durable, requiring replacement every decade or so. It calls for professional installation, though, to ensure exact dimensions and prevent air bubbles.
Pros: A vinyl floor is easy to clean, water-resistant and inexpensive. It feels slightly soft underfoot and does not get cold during winter either.
Cons: Heavy appliances might need protection at the base to avoid leaving dents on the floor.
2. Ceramic Tile
If your ideal flooring for the kitchen is long-lasting and beautiful, go for ceramic or porcelain tiles. This type goes through an intense heating process during production, making it highly water, stain and damage resistant.
You can choose from the many tile floor colours available or opt for the glazed or unglazed types. It also comes in several sizes, making it easy to fit in any kitchen space. Kitchen floor tiles are heavy, though, and are often not suitable for second-floor installation.
Pros: This flooring material is a popular choice as it is robust and easy to clean.
Cons: Porcelain tile can be slippery when wet, however. The grout lines need periodic sealing every 3 to 4 years as well. Also, some people find this flooring type too hard and cold, which you can remedy with an underfloor heating system or a fluffy floor rug.
3. Natural Stone
Renovators who are after elegance and luxurious appeal will choose stone flooring for the kitchen in a heartbeat. Yes, it is expensive but for a reason. Natural stone tile has unique and attractive veining, for instance, that you cannot find elsewhere. Its durability and quality also last for many years.
If cost is an issue, you can always match your budget and needs with the right type of stone material. For example, choose scratch and slip-resistant granite or slate for high-traffic areas. Slippery marble is best for creating a stunning but less busy kitchen. Travertine and sandstone are your mid-range options in terms of price and durability.
Pros: Stone elicits natural beauty and class. It’s a durable flooring material worth the investment. Unlike manufactured tiles, natural stone tile flooring also has semi-porous, non-slip features that suit home kitchens.
Cons: The porous quality, however, also make it prone to stains and discolouration. You would have to commit to sealing it regularly every 2 to 4 years for maintenance.
Solid hardwood flooring for the kitchen is perfect for creating a warm and cosy vibe. It is also a favourite of homeowners who prefer using a single material for their open floor plan. Some, however, are not a fan of it for kitchen use due to moisture damage concerns.
But the good news is, aside from solid wood, this flooring type is also available as engineered hardwood planks. This alternative flooring has several layers of wood and fibres that enhance its stability against humidity and temperature changes. The use of polyurethane finishes and sealers also make hardwood floors more durable.
Pros: Compared with tiles, wood is softer underfoot. While it is not as resistant to damages, some find wood imperfections appealing. Moreover, hardwood floors add value to a home, which is vital if you plan to sell in the future.
Cons: Aside from warping and buckling issues, wood can be expensive. Staining can also be a problem, especially in a kitchen where lots of spills and splatters happen. These, however, can be avoided with proper care or timber floor repair.
Are you looking for a low-cost but durable kitchen flooring option? Then concrete floors may be your best match. This cheaper option is perfect for both industrial-type and modern kitchens with high foot traffic. It may not offer attractive patterns or a wide variety of colour options. However, concrete can be tinted, stained and polished for personal style. The best part? It’s low maintenance and very easy to clean.
Pros: It is inexpensive and takes no time to clean. Concrete cannot be destroyed by water either. It’s also open to several design and treatment options.
Cons: Concrete floors are prone to cracks, though. They also feel hard and cold, especially during chilly weather. Professional installation is a must, too. Like natural stone floors, it also needs regular sealing to protect the porous surface from stains. And as it is inexpensive, it can be a deal-breaker when selling your home.
Kitchen renovation with a touch of eco-friendliness is always a good idea. And if your goal is to build a home out of sustainable materials, then make sure to add linoleum kitchen floors to your to-do list. This material made from natural linseed oil and biodegradable cork powder has no toxic volatile compounds either. It can stain, though, so choose one with a protective coating.
Pros: Linoleum flooring for the kitchen comes in numerous colours and patterns. It has a springy feel that is comforting on the legs and feet. It also withstands high foot traffic and lasts for years with proper care.
Cons: Linoleum may not be the best flooring choice for kitchens in flood-prone areas as water can damage it. Low-quality linoleum floors can also curl, especially under high humidity. Dents and discolouration may develop over time as well.
A fully renovated kitchen is not complete without a functional sink to match. And if you cannot decide between stainless steel and porcelain kitchen sinks, skip the dilemma. Read these sink selection and installation tips instead!