Selecting the right kitchen flooring material to install when renovating your kitchen is very important. If you chose the right material you will be very happy and satisfied for years to come. If you chose the wrong material you will be bothered by your choice until you reinvest your hard earned money to replace the flooring with a good material.
First off, you want to pick a durable material to use in your project. Kitchen floors take a lot of abuse and are the highest traffic areas in the house.
A material such as Armstrong vinyl composite tile, a.k.a act, is one of the most durable types of flooring you can choose. They can be refinished and buffed to a glistening shine. These tiles are often used in department or grocery stores. They don’t have as many color options as other types of tile but can be made to look very attractive with a creative pattern such as the pattern in the picture down to the right.
A similar but less expensive and less durable option is linoleum. It can be installed quickly which will save on labor costs and the material is not uber expensive.
Another durable option for your kitchen floors is porcelain and/or ceramic tiles. They are very durable and come in an extremely wide variety of finishes and colors. The main difference between porcelain and ceramic is that porcelain tiles are generally thicker and therefore stronger and more resistant to cracking or breaking. For this reason, porcelain is recommended over ceramic tiles for your project.
There are many types of stone tiles you can select for your project. Slate is one of the more common natural stone tiles that are used on kitchen floors. They are very durable and have very distinct and beautiful textures and colors. They truly bring an earthy feel to your kitchen.
The next most popular natural stone tile is marble tile. They are very beautiful and have a great look which is unmatched by other options. Please keep in mind that they are prone to having the finish tarnish and may require a bit more expensive upkeep than other kitchen floors.
Another option would be granite tiles which have many of the same attributes as marble tiles. However, you do not traditionally have large grout joints with granite and marble tile which relieve you from grout upkeep and cleaning. This may be a major factor for you considering personal preferences.
Stone tiles are going to be of the most expensive types of kitchen floors you can install but are often the most attractive.
Hardwood flooring is another option which is not as popular but is definitely distinctive. The wood is very durable and can be refinished many times over. You can also select many different colors by selecting different types of wood or staining the wood.
However, because of the high traffic on the kitchen floors, the finish tends to wear off on the wood. The good thing about the hardwood is that they can be refinished and often appears nicer than it originally was if done properly.
Bamboo floor, cork floors, and pine floors should be avoided for your kitchen floors as they are relatively soft and dent/scratch very easily and will not last nearly as long as other woods.
This is one of the most important sections to read. We will call this the do not install section! The first is the biggest faux pax many homeowners make. Also, most contractors do not tell their customers to not install cheap laminate flooring such as Pergo.
The money you save will be wasted as you will have to install another kitchen floor after a few short years as the laminate will become ruined. The laminate is made up of mostly a pressed particle board type of material similar to MDF (medium density fiberboard). This material acts as a sponge and absorbs water then swells up and ends up being ruined.
The top surface is almost paper-thin and is not very durable to high traffic. You can read more detail about a laminate floor here.
An alternative to laminate, to save money, is Allure flooring which is a rubber based product which is similar in appearance to laminate but without the sponge effect and non-durable surface.
The surface of TrafficMaster Allure flooring is more durable to traffic and the rubber based material will not warp at all. This option is not the best option on the market but it is a viable and affordable option. You can read about Allure flooring in the bathroom flooring section.
The most obvious option to avoid is carpet for many obvious reasons such as water absorption and staining.
As you can see there are many options available to you. Please take your time and make a calculated and smart decision. Sometimes saving money now will cost you much later on if you have to install new kitchen flooring after a short period of time.
Installing these different materials is very laborious and therefore, will be expensive to hire a contractor to install. This cost should be taken into consideration when choosing a material. Porcelain, ceramic, and natural stone tiles will cost the most for labor.