A perfect floor is a must-have in a perfect kitchen. It should be attractive and stylish, but also functional. That means choosing a material hard enough to stand up to long-term foot traffic and waterproof enough that it can easily be scrubbed clean of spills and stains. A well-fitted floor with no cracks or crags will keep mold at bay, last for years and keep your kitchen looking like a picture in a catalog. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most common kitchen flooring materials.
Ceramic and porcelain tile
They're classics for a reason. Both are made of fired clay, although porcelain is treated to be harder and less porous, making it more expensive but harder wearing. Both ceramic and porcelain can be purchased in a wide range of colors and patterns and may be either glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles are nonporous, easy to clean and glossy. Unglazed ones are rougher and more slip-proof.
This is a naturally beautiful and rustic choice that has historically been overlooked. Previously, it was impossible to waterproof hardwood well enough for it to stand up to kitchen use; it absorbed spills and got moldy. These days, a well-finished hardwood floor can hold up fine against kitchen use. A good choice for the kitchen is engineered hardwood, which is moisture-resistant plywood with a hardwood veneer. However, wood will always be softer than tough options like ceramic, meaning it can be scratched or dented.
It’s not just for basements and garages anymore. Concrete flooring can be painted with epoxy or stained, sanded and sealed like wood, so you can pick any color, pattern or finish you like. It's still some of the sturdiest and most waterproof flooring around, although it's always chilly in the winter.
Yes, linoleum. Why did we let this eco-friendly flooring, made of cork sealed with linseed oil, go out of style? Well, the cheaper kinds can warp or discolor if exposed to water for a long period of time, and can be scratched if struck with enough force, which is why old and poorly maintained linoleum looks so bad. But good-quality linoleum with a protective coating can last. And it's a brightly colored, friendly option that feels nicer underfoot than harder options like tile or concrete.
Different types of stone tile go in and out of fashion, but a polished stone floor is never really out of style. It's naturally low maintenance, waterproof and hard-wearing. The downside is that it's hard and chilly. It's also more expensive than other types of tile.
When you're remodeling your kitchen, a new floor is essential. The perfect floor is waterproof and stainproof, and holds up well against foot traffic and scrubbing. But it's also the floor that fits best with your lifestyle and aesthetic. Choosing the right flooring is as simple as choosing the flooring that fits your dream kitchen.