Choosing the right type of flooring for the entire house can be a difficult process, not only because the huge variety of colors and designs is absolutely overwhelming, but also because every room has different requirements and calls for certain materials. The kitchen, for instance, is a highly circulated area, with high humidity and high risk of spills, so the flooring must be hardwearing and easy to clean. Not all materials can provide these features; for example, installing a hardwood floor in the kitchen comes with more issues than benefits and most home improvement specialists recommend that you avoid it. Here are the top 3 best flooring options for kitchens that provide both practicality and aesthetic appeal:
Why choose it: Tiles are some of the most popular options for kitchen flooring and offer some key benefits for this room. First of all, no matter what look and feel you want the kitchen to have, chances are there is a tile design that meets those exact requirements. From pastel-colored glossy tiles to textured tiles that imitate stone, you can find hundreds of amazing options to help you achieve the kitchen design you’re interested in.
Secondly, tiles are extremely durable and can withstand daily wear and tear. Not only does it take a lot of force to crack them, but they’re difficult to scratch too. Tiles are waterproof, so if you accidentally spill liquids on them, they won’t swell or lose their color. In terms of maintenance, you don’t have to worry, because tiles rarely get stained and all it takes to keep them shiny is a weekly tile mop with lukewarm water and floor detergent.
Kitchen floor tiling costs: The cost of floor tiles ranges depending on the material. For example, if you decide to go for the budget-friendly option and install porcelain tiles, prices start at $1 to $20 per sq. ft. Natural stone tile flooring, on the other hand, is pricier, but this high cost is balanced by the fact that it raises the property resale value. Also, floor tiling is heavy and should only be installed by a professional – this means you’ll have to add the installation cost to your remodeling budget.
Cons: Because stone and porcelain tiles are so hard, they can be difficult to walk on for long periods of time. They also tend to get very cold even when the kitchen is headed properly, so shoes are a must while you’re in the kitchen. To avoid the risk of slipping and falling, make sure you avoid glossy tiles and go for ones that have a slight grip to them.
Why choose it: A few decades ago, the perfect home was all about looks and comfort. Now, the home of the future still has to meet these criteria, but at the same time, it should also friendly. For homeowners who want to enjoy style and comfort without hurting the planet, bamboo flooring is the answer. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that can grow up to 3 feet per day, whereas a tree harvested for hardwood can take up to two decades to grow back. So, bamboo flooring is a great way to enjoy the sophisticated look of hardwood, but without the environmental footprint. Also, unlike hardwood, bamboo is not that sensitive to water and humidity, so you can install it in the kitchen. The occasional spill can be removed easily and maintenance is also not an issue. Because bamboo is a very strong material, bamboo floors can withstand high traffic, including from kids and pets. In other words, bamboo provides the aesthetic benefits of hardwood, but without all the maintenance issues.
Bamboo flooring costs: although bamboo is similar to hardwood in terms of looks, bamboo flooring manufacturers don’t charge as much for materials and installation, so this is a good medium-priced option. Bamboo floors come in hundreds of colors and finishes, so the final price will also depend on the chosen design.
Cons: Bamboo is the hardest type of wood flooring on the market, but like all other floors, it’s not 100% impervious to scratches. When hit with something really sharp, scratches will be visible, like just about every other floor on the market. Fortunately, bamboo floors can be refinished easily and the cost of these eco-friendly hardwoods is considerably lower compared to hardwood restoration.
Why choose it: Although it’s not as sophisticated as porcelain tiles or bamboo flooring, vinyl is a nice all-rounder option that provides both convenience and affordability. The biggest benefit of vinyl flooring is that it can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Whether you drop heavy objects or spill things, vinyl floors rarely take any damage. If you cook a lot, you’ll love this material because it’s very soft, so your feet won’t hurt as much at the end of the day. As for maintenance, vinyl shouldn’t be much of a problem, because all you need to keep it clean is a damp mop. Last up, it’s one of the cheapest options there is, so if your kitchen remodeling budget is not that large, vinyl flooring offers the perfect balance.
Vinyl flooring cost: vinyl can get as cheap as $0.50 per sq. ft, so in terms of savings you really can’t find anything better than this. Of course, there are various types of vinyl available, so if you’re interested in something more high-end, prices can go up to $10 per sq. ft. But even so, this flooring option is still cheaper than stone or hardwood.
Cons: the biggest issue with vinyl flooring is that it loses its quality over time, especially due to regular UV exposure. These types of floors become yellow because of the sun and they can start to look quite old and worn out after a couple of years. When that happens, they can’t be refinished, like bamboo or tiles, so you’ll need to replace the entire floor.