Finding the right flooring for your kitchen means finding something comfortable, easy to clean and that fits the look you are going for. Keeping traditional with ceramic tile, stone or brick can look amazing but be very painful on your feet and back. A more modern laminate, cork or vinyl flooring might be easier on the feet and back overall but might not be able to achieve the look you want. No matter what style you choose there is an option that should fit right into what you need. So while I’m not going to bore you by going over the details of every single type of flooring and its variants I will keep to my 4 favorite. In no particular order they are:
Wood – Engineered wood is especially good for kitchens and bathrooms as it has the look of natural wood without the hassle of coating and cleaning it all the time. You can still go with a more traditional oak wood but it can be much more expensive and quite a bit harder to maintain.
Slate Stone – A very good option for traditional, modern or contemporary kitchens. Slate stone can be one of the easiest to maintain and depending on where you live, one of the most Eco-friendly choices for your kitchen floor. Depending on which type of stone you use you may or may not have to seal every so often. You can find slate stones in all kinds of colors and lay them out in whatever pattern you like. Cost can be a little high with slate and they are a stone so make sure you have some extra padding where you need it so you don’t break your back making dinner.
Cork – Cork flooring is a little new on the block and is one of the best Eco friendly flooring choices there is. Cork trees grow very fast and pretty much only in FSC forests so if you want something beautiful and Eco friendly this is the choice. It comes in all sorts of sizes can be laid out as tile or ‘rolled’ out like most laminate and vynil flooring. Cork flooring is very soft underfoot so it’s a great choice for people who spend a lot of time in their kitchen and it can be colored to fit anything. Cork floors must be covered with a very thin layer of sealant which needs to be re-applied every year or two.
Ceramic Tile – One of the most popular along with vinyl and laminate. Ceramic tile floors are easy to clean, go good with most styles and are a solid affordable choice for most people. They also need no coating unlike wood and cork. Some downsides to ceramic tile is that it can be pretty hard to stand on for a long time since it’s a stiff material. Although it’s stiff it’s also prone to cracking and unless you go groutless it can be a little tough to maintain.
A few tips to help along with your flooring: Regardless of whether you have to or not, it never hurts to add a thin layer of sealant over whatever type of flooring you have. Most of the ones on the market today are low VOC but find the lowest to prevent any toxins from leaking into the air as the sealant is worn off, something you want to especially avoid in kitchens where food prep is going on.
You’ll also want to put rugs in areas where you sit, stand or do the most work in the kitchen. All flooring wears after a while and having a rug or mat in frequently used areas not only helps keep the floors nice it also adds an extra layer of comfort.
Finally, cheap is not always best when it comes to floors. They get more abused and usually collect more dirt than any other part of a home. It’s important to do your research on all types of flooring you are considering. You’ll want to take extra care to look into what it takes to maintain each. It can be that you end up with floors that cost more to maintain in time and money than they are worth. If you have any questions ask in the comments. As always thanks for reading.