The kitchen floor is susceptible to a vigorous daily workout including high traffic, wear and tear, spills, scratches and sunlight. Consider the following materials for your kitchen floor: hardwood, bamboo, tiles, brick, cork, linoleum, vinyl and laminate composite flooring which have their own unique features and benefits.
The kitchen floor takes up the majority of the surface area of your kitchen, so it is important to do your research and find the floor that best matches your needs and budget. There are many different flooring options available today, and it may seem confusing at first. However, by learning a little about each flooring material you will be able to distinguish which floor is right for you. If you are renovating and replacing your kitchen, the floor can be decided last, but before the kitchen gets installed. Follow this guide for a brief description outlining the features and benefits of each material.
Hardwood floors make an excellent choice. Their beauty, versatility and variety of timbers make hardwood floors a striking choice for any kitchen design. They are durable, hardwearing and come in many different colours, stains and textures. Timber can be expensive, but is long-lasting if taken care of properly. It requires sealing and can be susceptible to water damage, but can be sanded back and given a facelift when needed.
Often referred to as floating timber floors, engineered wood is a composite of timber veneer over a plywood base. It is becoming popular as it looks like solid timber but is less expensive and easier to install. However, it does dent easily and can be damaged by spills. Take extra care with this material as it can only be refinished once.
Bamboo flooring is a relatively new material that is gaining popularity as it is considered environmentally friendly. Bamboo is harvested every seven years, and the roots remain intact, ready to produce more bamboo shoots once harvested. Bamboo is highly moisture-resistant. Make sure you choose a bamboo flooring company that is ethical and harvests their bamboo responsibly.
There are many different tiles available for your kitchen floor, ranging from ceramic to stone tiles such as travertine and marble. Many ceramic tiles can have stone-like qualities and require less maintenance. Choose a tile that is non-slip, and a grout that matches the tile. Large tiles are available that look seamless. Tiles are a versatile choice as they come in many different colours, textures and shape,s and can range in price dramatically, either making it an affordable or an expensive option.
Cork is gaining popularity as it is a renewable resource and offers the same strength and durability as a hardwood floor. The added benefits are that it is highly acoustic, is allergy-free, and has a natural wax called suberin that is fire-resistant and repels insects. Cork is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. The cork is harvested every nine years without harm to the tree. Cork does require sealing on a regular basis and may not be as easy to keep clean as vinyl floors.
Linoleum is a 100 percent natural product. It is made from renewable resources such as linseed oil, natural pigments, pine resin, cork and powdered wood. It is extremely durable: it is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable. It is often confused with vinyl. However vinyl is made of petrochemicals and has colour on the uppermost layer. Linoleum is environmentally responsible and the colour runs through the entire thickness. It is easy to maintain and does not require refinishing or polishing. Although linoleum is available in many colours, it does not always look as luxurious as other materials such as natural stone and timber.
Vinyl flooring is the most affordable option. It is easy to work with, quiet, soft and comes in a variety of colours and looks. It is available in large rolls or as stick-on tiles. The biggest disadvantage of vinyl is the seams which are often unavoidable in most rooms. The seams are weak and moisture can get in and lift the vinyl and mould and mildew can grow in-between the seams. However, for the price, it is still a decent option. It is water and stain-resistant and easy to keep clean.
Concrete provides and industrial and urban feel to your kitchen floor. Concrete is moisture resistant, easy to clean and maintain, and is allergy-free. If you are considering built-in floor heating, it is an ideal material. It is visually appealing but does not make for an easy installation. The colour choices are limited too, but if done correctly, concrete floors can be striking and will be a wow factor in your kitchen.
Laminate floors often look like real timber floors but are actually made from plastic, are durable, and easy to install. It can be installed over old floors and is good for damp areas.Many types of laminates click together, meaning no glue is needed and it can be self-installed. If damaged, laminate can’t be restored and will need to be replaced with spare boards set aside. Many people assume laminate flooring will be cheaper than solid hardwood floors, but that may not always be the case. Do your research wisely. Not the best choice if you are environmentally inclined.
With so many materials available for kitchen floors, it can be daunting to decide which floor will work best for you. Learning the pros and cons of each material will prove insightful and will help inform your decision. Kitchen floors visually impact your kitchen and can become the talking point and wow factor of your kitchen renovation.