Kitchen floors take a beating. In fact, they're the most used, consistently tread and spilled-on floors in the house. For this reason, a good kitchen design incorporates durable flooring materials that are - ideally - low-maintenance, so busy families can go about their routines without a whole lot of fuss.
Kitchen Flooring Options to Fit Your Timeless Kitchen Design
Here are some of our top flooring choices that contribute to a timeless kitchen design and won't have to be replaced for decades.
From smooth, sleek granite tiles to rougher but harder-to-clean slate, natural stone tiles come in 12x12 and 18x18 squares and an infinite number of looks. We mean that literally since no two stone tiles are alike. They're cool on the feet - especially in winter - although area rugs can fix that. Assuming you replace cracked tiles, and re-adhere/re-grout any tiles that lift - natural stone tile flooring will last pretty much forever.
Although beautiful, rough-surfaced stone is harder to clean since "stuff" gets trapped in pores and crevices, so keep that in mind if you like a surface that stays squeaky clean. Natural stone is expensive so it's only an option for those with higher budgets or a smaller kitchen.
If you're wary of the natural stone budget, check out today's ceramic tiles. You can go with classic colors or take advantage of the wonders of digital printing, which allow ceramic tile manufacturers to produce tiles that look just like stone. Unlike rougher stone options, ceramic tiles are super easy to keep clean and spills are as easy as a wipe up with a cloth or damp sponge.
Hard and cool is the overall effect and - like stone - if you drop glass, it's going to break. Typically, ceramic tiles cost one-third the price of natural stone.
Wood is gorgeous. It's warmer and softer on the feet (and dropped dishware) than any tile option. With a high-quality finish, hardwood floors can withstand the moisture levels and heavy wear-and-tear kitchens are known for. Between various wood species and stain options, you can easily find wood flooring options that suit your taste. Price-wise, hardwood flooring falls between natural stone and ceramic tile.
While it's true wood floors can handle a little moisture, long-term liquid exposure causes permanent damage so spills must be cleaned immediately. Also, depending on the quality of the finish (pre-finished woods have the longest-lasting finishes) and the wear-and-tear it experiences, hardwood floors have to be re-finished every 10 to 15 years on average.
Don't want to pay for hardwood or the refinishing costs? Opt for laminate flooring. Today's higher-end laminates are difficult to discern from real hardwood. They can be installed over an existing floor and come in all the same colors, "plank" widths and looks that hardwood offers - for a fraction of the price. Laminate floors are very easy to maintain.
Their surface is pretty slippery and, since it isn't refinished, sorely worn or damaged places have to be replaced, which yields an inconsistent look.
When is the last time you looked at vinyl flooring samples? Like laminate countertops, vinyl flooring was sort of cast off from the "kitchen design realm" for all but standard subdivision flooring and cheap rentals. We say, however, give vinyl a chance. Like tile, the printing technology has come a long way. We have seen clients actually get down on their hands and knees, feeling with their fingers to verify that a high-end vinyl sample isn't really hardwood or natural stone - they're that convincing. It's one of the cheapest flooring options on the market.
The downfall of vinyl is that it is soft. So, while it's warmer and softer than tile or wood, it's can tear and ding. Dirt and debris can scratch and dull the surface. Come on by the Kitchen Magic showroom to get a better idea of what each of these kitchen floors look like, and to discuss their pros and cons with experienced kitchen remodelers.