The flooring in your kitchen will take more abuse then any other flooring in your home. It will need to be able to handle everything from spilled juice, drips of coffee and sticky messes to dropped pots, sharp knives and shattered mugs. Since the kitchen is the heart of the home it will endure more foot traffic especially in front of the fridge, sink and stove. Finding the perfect flooring to suite you needs while staying within your budget can be a little daunting. To get a jump start on your search I have included an overview of common flooring types below.
Wood flooring is the preferred flooring for most rooms in the home but most people don't know that you can pull this flooring directly into the kitchen. Doing so allows for as seamless transition between the kitchen and dining room or living space. It is resilient, warm and easier on the feet then a ceramic tile or concrete. You can either use a similar wood that matches your cabinets or you could use a completely different wood species and colour. Actually, most woods can be mixed and matched as long as they all have either red undertones or grey undertones.
This flooring can be a little bit more pricey but it could last a very long time. Solid strips of hardwood flooring can be refinished many times which means you could potentially never need to replace your flooring. This also means you could change the stain colour in years to come if you would like to renovate the kitchen without replacing the floor.
The only downside is that wood is considered a living material. It breathes, expands and contracts depending on humidity in the home. This in turn can leave gaps in-between boards if its too dry or cause strips to buckle if there is too much moisture. It is very important to control the humidity so if you do not plan on adding or removing moisture from the air it would be a good idea to stay away from this option.
Tile is a desired flooring for the kitchen because it is durable, easy to clean and its possible to create unique designs and mosaics. Tile is available in many different materials from glazed or unglazed, shiny or honed finishes in ceramic, porcelain and stone; with any colour, pattern or texture imaginable. Some tiles do require a little more maintenance as some porous tiles like sandstone or marble will require regular sealing. They can absorb liquids and stains quite easily which is something you will probably want to avoid.
You may want to pass on tile if you plan on spending many hours on your feet in the kitchen. Tile is cold and quite hard on the feet for extended periods of time. You can also avoid this concern if you don't mind using a cushioning task mat or area rug.
Resilient Material Flooring
Resilient flooring is a manufactured material made from vinyl, polyurethane, rubber or linoleum. They usually come in large sheets up to 12 feet wide which means you may not need a seam depending how wide your kitchen is. These types of flooring are also very thin which means that they can even lay directly over existing flooring which makes for an easy installation. They are water resistant but susceptible to dents and gouges; but because of how cost effective it is, you could replace this flooring quite often without breaking the bank.
You have probably seen a linoleum flooring at a friends home or it may be what you currently have. It is a very popular option as it comes in any style and colour. You can get this flooring in a tile pattern or a solid colour and will work with any style of kitchen.
When shopping for flooring keep your comfort and needs in mind. Factor in your lifestyle and determine if a flooring will meet that needs for you and your family. Lastly, choose a flooring that will compliment the design of your kitchen.
Word of the Day: Subfloor
The layer below the finished floor. Typically made from plywood.