Finding something you can walk all over
Your kitchen floor often doubles as a sock-skating rink, a bowling alley and a dish crash test site simultaneously, so you really have to consider durability when installing a new kitchen floor.
Luckily today there are numerous solutions: hardwood, kitchen tiles, carpet and linoleum are all popular choices. Whatever you choose, you must consider how your kitchen will be used and what type of material will last the longest in your environment. Of course, not all floors are considered equal and price will be a big factor in your decision. Here are some of your options:
Vinyl comes in sheets or tiles. It's easy to install, easy to clean and gives the feet a nice cushion. Available in all kinds of colors and patterns, vinyl can blend seamlessly into most decors. It is very resilient and inexpensive, but is susceptible to water damage when in tile form, and can stain if spills are not wiped up quickly.
Solid wood snobs often turn up their noses at this wood alternative, but if you like the look of wood and don’t have a large budget for this portion of your kitchen renovation, laminate is a great alternative. It’s cheap, relatively easy to clean and easy to install. Also, laminate floors are durable, they don’t fade and are more stain resistant than real wood - however, when areas get worn down or excessively stained, the whole floor must be replaced, not just a plank.
Tiles come in three forms: ceramic, porcelain and quarry. It’s a great material for decorating because there is such a wide variety of sizes, colors and prices to choose from. Tile is extremely durable, and should one happen to break you can replace just that one (Hint: buy extra tiles at the time of purchase in case the style you use is discontinued later on). If you’re looking for something that resists stains, be sure to purchase a glazed tile.
Common choices for wooden kitchen floors are maple, oak and pine, laid in planks, strips or parquet tiles. (For best results, lay your floors before installing your cabinets.) Wood floors require a lot more maintenance and may not be the best option for kitchens. They can be slippery too, great for sock-skating but not so good when carrying a hot roasting pan full of food at Thanksgiving. Wood floors stain easily, are more easily damaged and cost more than many other options.
With a huge selection of patterns and styles with linoleum available today you don’t have to worry about your kitchen looking like Grandma’s old floor. Keep in mind it’s a little more expensive than vinyl, but is also very resilient and easy to clean.
Carpet is an option, although not the most hygienic one. Carpet does offer the best comfort for people who stand and cook for long hours, but food and contaminants are easily trapped in it. Also, stains will show much more on carpet than they will on other materials. If you are considering carpet, shop around and purchase something durable - otherwise your kitchen could end up looking like a test site for spills! Rather than committing to full carpeting, you may want to consider placing small area rugs in spots where you will do a lot of standing.