The Best Kitchen Flooring Options
When choosing new flooring for your kitchen, there are a lot of factors that come into play. You want to consider durability, easiness to clean, as well as picking a material that will fit in with the other design elements in your kitchen. To help you narrow down your search, we’ve laid out the benefits and drawback to six top kitchen flooring options so that you can choose which one best fits your needs.
1. Hardwood: Pros: Wood is a classic material that won’t go out of style. Whether you’re choosing pine, maple, cherry, or oak, there’s no denying that it will add real warmth and beauty to your space. In addition to its character, wood is a great option for heavy traffic spots, like your kitchen. If properly cared for and refinished periodically, wood will withstand the test of time.
Cons: While wood fares well against water stains and spills, if left without immediate care, it is prone to staining. It also scratches easier than other materials so take care when moving chairs and other furniture about the room.
2. Laminate: Pros: The less costly alternative to hardwood floors, laminate floors are designed to imitate the look of wood or tile without the hefty price tag. Laminate floors have a melamine wear layer to give it strong scratch protection, making it a great kitchen option. They also require little maintenance and are easy to install yourself if you are looking for a good DIY project.
Cons: The biggest gripe homeowners have with laminate floor is its durability factor. Laminate floors are not water resistant and after time and constant use, they tend to deteriorate and show their age. In addition, laminate floors cannot be refinished, so they need to be replaced completely at the end of their life cycle.
3. Vinyl: Pros: One of the most inexpensive flooring options out there, vinyl flooring is a great option if you’re on a budget. It is a synthetic material made to look like tile or hardwood and comes in a range of designs and finishes. Unlike laminate, which is a floating floor, vinyl is glued down directly to the floor underneath. In general, vinyl flooring handles humidity, dampness, and spills better than many other flooring options.
Cons: If you’re looking for a long-term option, vinyl might not be the best fit. They have a lifespan of 7-10 years, and will dent and curl over time.
4. Natural Stone: Pros: Natural stone flooring has been a top choice in kitchens for centuries. With popular materials like slate, travertine, sandstone, granite, and marble, you have numerous options to fit with your color and quality needs. Stone is a resilient material that requires little maintenance, so it gets top marks for durability.
Cons: Natural stone is more expensive than other materials and is difficult to install yourself. If you choose a porous material like limestone, it must be sealed upon installation and then twice a year after. Marble and travertine are prone to staining and scratching, so they must be kept up with.
5. Cork: Pros: An eco-friendly choice, cork is a softer alternative to the hardness of wood or tile. Its unique textured structure makes it slip and moisture resistant and because it is rich in suberin, it stands up against mold, mildew, and rot.
Cons: Unlike the other flooring options, cork should be resealed every three to four years.
6. Porcelain Tile: Pros: Porcelain tile, a version of common ceramic tile, is known for its affordability, durability, and ease to mop clean. It has countless colors, size, and shape options, so you’re bound to find a style that fits with your vision.
Cons: Because it is a hard material, it can be uncomfortable and cold to stand on for long periods of time. It is also less forgiving than other materials, so dropping glasses and other dishware onto it is sure to break the item as well as sometimes cracking the floor. Another drawback is that it does become slippery when wet, so if traction is a key factor for you, you might want to consider a more textured surface.