An informative guide to kitchen flooring

Before updating your kitchen floor, it’s important to have a good understanding of the different types of flooring available to you. By educating yourself prior to your project, you’ll be able to choose the right material for your lifestyle, your budget, and your personal tastes. Re-flooring your kitchen is a big investment, so make sure you choose a material you’ll love for several years to come.







 

The different types of kitchen flooring available

So, what is the best kitchen flooring for your home? The answer really depends on your tastes, your lifestyle, and your budget. The best thing you can do is learn about all your options and then choose the right material for your personal needs. The most common kinds of flooring sold in stores today include:

  • Hardwood
  • Carpet
  • Vinyl
  • Porcelain
  • Laminate
  • Natural stone

There are a lot of differences between the different materials listed above. They all vary in appearance, cost, texture, durability, and cleanability. They all have their pros, and they all have their cons. The best thing you can do is learn about each one and then move on from there.

Hardwood

There are a lot of benefits incorporating a hardwood floor into your kitchen. First, hardwood floors give your home that timeless, elegant look. Hardwood floors are absolutely beautiful. Second, hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain. In fact, they’re good for your health too. Hardwood floors don’t trap and collect dust, dirt, and other firth that can be unhealthy to breath in like carpets do. Third, homes with hardwood floors tend to sell for a lot more than homes without them. So, you just might increase the overall value of your property by adding a hardwood floor to your kitchen. Lastly, hardwood floors have a very long life. They’re a great investment that you’ll enjoy the rest of your life.

On the flipside, there are some negatives. Hardwood floor are expensive. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor, the average homeowner spends about $4,396 for a hardwood floor. This is much more expensive than tile, carpet, or even laminate. Another downside to hardwood floors is their ability to be scratched. Even though they’re durable, dropping anything with a pointy edge could cause damage to the surface. Remember, the softer the wood, the easier it can be scratched, dented, or scuffed.

Refinishing also takes work. Like mentioned above, hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain. However, they do need to be refinished every 7 to 10 years. This is time consuming and costs money. The price to refinish a hardwood floor is typically anywhere between $1.25 to $4.00 a square foot.

Finally, hardwood floors are not good choices for households with older members. Hardwood is slick and can cause someone to fall if they’re not careful. This is definitely something you’ll want to consider before you invest ion hardwood.

Carpet

One of the most common reasons homeowners invest in carpet is the large selection of colors and textures available. The choices are unlimited. If you’re truly wanting to personalize your kitchen to your personality, carpet is the way to go.

Another reason why homeowners tend to choose carpet is because it’s warm and comfortable on your feet. During the colder months, hardwood, natural stone, vinyl, and other kinds of flat flooring can be quite cold. Carpet on the other hand will keep your feet cozy when you’re cooking during those bitter winters.

In addition to this, carpet is also quite inexpensive when compared to other materials. According to HomeAdvisor, there are three different kinds of carpet. They include high-grade, mid-grade, and low-grade. Depending on what kind you invest in, carpeting your home can typically cost anywhere from $200 to $4,500 to carpet. It really depends on the quality of carpet you incorporate into your home.

Carpet also has its downfalls. Like previously mentioned, carpet can collect dust, dirt, and other filth which can be bad for your health and help contribute to allergies and sinus infections. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to vacuum regularly and maybe even run an air purifier system every day.

Another disadvantage of carpet, especially lighter shaded carpets, is their ability to be stained by food, drink, paint, mud, and a wide array of other things. Stain remover solutions don’t always work. This is why it’s a good idea to choose a darker color if you have a busier household or one with small children.

Finally, carpet doesn’t have a very long lifespan like hardwood does. A cheaper carpet will typically last anywhere from 1 to 5 years where as quality, whereas name brand carper can last anywhere between 15 to 25 years. You really get what you pay for when it comes to carpet.

Vinyl

Vinyl tile is a great pick for busy households and/or households with lots of children. Why? Vinyl flooring is stain resistant, even against grape juice, wine, and nail polish. Vinyl flooring is also resistant to moisture. This anti-moisture feature prevents the growth of mold or mildew and makes it a great choice for people who cook regularly. Cleaning up spills has never been easier. Lastly, vinyl comes in a larger array of colors and patterns for a very affordable cost. You can even get vinyl flooring that looks very similar to hardwood. It’s glossy, shiny, and easy on the eyes.

As great as vinyl is, there are some downsides. First, just like hardwood, vinyl is slick. If you’re not careful, you could easily slip and fall. Vinyl is not a very smart choice for homes consisting elderly individuals. Second, vinyl can be damaged by objects with sharp points and edges. Make sure you don’t drop utensils or other sharp objects onto the surface.

Another disadvantage of vinyl is its ability to fade overtime. This can be a real issue for some homeowners. To prevent this from happening, you can either put up blinds or curtains. Some companies produce fade-resistant vinyl, but it’s usually a little bit more expensive than the vinyl flooring without this feature. Vinyl flooring typically costs $7 a square foot while the more expensive choices can run up to $10 or more for a square foot.

Porcelain

Porcelain is a gorgeous yet durable flooring option. It’s moisture resistant, it’s stain-resistant, and it’s extremely durable. This is a wonderful option for busy households or ones with lots of children. In addition to this, porcelain is also easy to clean and has a long lifespan. If that’s not enough, porcelain is available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Although porcelain is luxurious, practical, and durable, it’s also quite expensive. Porcelain can run up to $15 a square foot. The higher the quality and the better the color, the more you’re going to pay. To add to this, porcelain tile is difficulty to install. If you have it installed for you by a professional contractor, it can get quite pricy.

Grout maintenance is yet another downfall to incorporating a porcelain floor into your kitchen. Although porcelain is stain resistant, the grout between the tiles can be stained if they’re not sealed properly. Every now and then, you’ll need to seal the grout between the porcelain tiles. This can be time consuming and a little annoying at times.

Laminate

Laminate is a excellent alternative to real hardwood flooring. It looks similar to real wood yet it’s less costly. In fact, laminate is typically $2 to $8 a square foot. It’s much less expensive than real wood, because it’s made from sawdust that’s pressed into either a plank or into tile squares. If you’ve always dreamed of installing a hardwood floor, but your budget just won’t allow it, choose the next best thing, laminate.

Another great thing about laminate is that the planks or tile squares are extremely easy to install. They simply snap together like a puzzle. It’s that easy. There’s no glues or pastes necessary. You just lay the planks or square tiles on the cushy foam and snap them together. This is great news for anybody who isn’t that skilled in the art of home improvement.

Like hardwood, vinyl, and porcelain, laminate is easy to clean. However, laminate is not resistant to moisture and should not be used in places where water and other liquids may hit the floor. If you spill a lot when you cook, laminate may not be the best choice for your kitchen.

Another disadvantage of laminate is that it cannot be sanded or refinished like hardwood. If you scratch or dent hardwood, you can sand the flaw out or simply refinish the surface. With laminate flooring, that’s not possible. It’s also much easier to scratch, dent, and scuff than natural hardwood.

Like hardwood, laminate can be quite slick making it a bad choice for homes with elderly members. It’s easy to slip and fall if you’re not careful. However, in recent years, some manufactures have designed laminate with an anti-slip texture. If you do decide to choose laminate flooring for your kitchen, you may want to invest in laminate with this feature.

Natural Stone

Marble, granite, and quartz are three of the most common types of natural stone. One of the main benefits of natural stone is it’s gorgeous, luxurious appearance. You simply can’t get this appearance from other materials. Some products try and mimic the look, but nothing beats the real beauty of natural stone.

In addition to this, natural stone is durable and can handle a heavy flow of traffic. If you love having guests over to your home, or you have a large and busy household, natural stone can handle the daily wear and tear. Natural stone is also easy to clean. When you have a large, busy household, you need a floor that you can easily wipe up spills and sweep up the dust and dirt.

As great as natural stone is, there are some downsides. Some natural stones like marble and granite need to be sealed with a sealant annually. This sealant will prevent the surface from being stained, faded, or scratched. Sealing your natural stone floor is not only time consuming, but it can also get costly year after year.

The last real disadvantage to natural stone is the expense. Natural stone is costly, but for some homeowners, it’s definitely worth it. The size of the stone, the thickness of it, the color and the design, and the overall quality of it will determine the price, but typically you will pay anywhere from $5 to $10 or even more a square foot of natural stone. For an average sized kitchen, you can expect to spend anywhere from $3,500 to $4,000 and up.

What’s the best kitchen flooring for your needs?

Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of flooring, you can choose the right materials for your kitchen. For instance, if you’re interested in durable kitchen flooring for your busy household, vinyl, natural stone, and porcelain are great options. Hardwood is durable too, but it can be damaged by liquids that are not wiped up right away. On the other hand, maybe you’re not as worried as durability as you are about the appearance and price. In this case, laminate is the better pick. Laminate is absolutely gorgeous for the price, but it can be scratched, dinged, and damaged by moisture. When choosing the right kind of flooring for your kitchen, always consider your personal tastes, how you’ll be using the kitchen, and your overall budget. By doing this, you’ll end up with a kitchen floor you’ll love for several years to come.

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