Kitchen flooring has the ability to set the mood for the entire room. Stone or ceramic tiles evoke a Mediterranean-like feeling of old-world charm and sun-dappled terraces, while wood gives the feeling of period harmony where simple lines and earth-friendly tones are used. Unexpected materials such as cork and concrete set the stage for other cutting-edge ideas. Choosing the right kitchen and bathroom tiles is critical to the overall setting you are looking to create.
Choosing the Right Kitchen Flooring Material
The same principles for choosing countertops apply to flooring in the kitchen: durability, use, and style. Think about how the kitchen is used before choosing your flooring material. Stone and ceramic tiles are durable and easy to clean, but can be slippery and uncomfortable for long periods of standing. Wood has much more cushion, but needs more maintenance. And new, innovative materials might be more costly to install in certain geographical areas. Vinyl, laminates, and linoleum round out the options and are the most affordable.
Vinyl, Laminate, and Linoleum Flooring
Vinyl comes in tiles and sheets and can be installed on top of other flooring. Vinyl is a great choice for busy families since clean up is a snap and there is no maintenance involved. Laminates are mostly used in the kitchen and for good reason. Virtually as durable as vinyl, laminates give the look of wood or stone with modern technology adhering a photographed image onto a fibrous material. With quick installation and no maintenance, it's no wonder that more wood lovers are choosing laminates instead. Linoleum is not the same product that it was fifty years ago. Deemed sustainable and environmentally friendly, linoleums are made from natural materials. It's a great choice for people sensitive to allergens and comes in many color and style choices.
Wood, Ceramic, and Stone Flooring
Wood is a good option for people who want a warm environment in their kitchen. It's also a great choice if other living areas flow to or from the kitchen. Wood flooring comes in unfinished, pre-finished, and solid or engineered strips, planks, and parquet squares. Even with a polyurethane coating, wood requires occasional refinishing and resealing. Ceramic tile can be a relatively affordable option and doesn't need much maintenance. It can be cold and unforgiving on one's back. Ceramic tile options range from large-size pavers and unglazed quarry to high maintenance glazed porcelain. Stone tiles, cut from the middle of boulders, are also durable but require a sealant due to the porous nature of the stone. Popular options include granite, limestone, and marble.