Stony Point Construction’s Guide to Kitchen Flooring
Even if kitchen remodeling seems like a foreign language, you’ve probably heard or at least assumed that when it comes to flooring it’s hard to argue against hardwood. In many instances that would be the case, but with a kitchen you really need to evaluate your specific needs and uses for the floor to see if an alternative would work better. Wood offers a great look and appeals to almost every potential buyer, but only if it’s in good condition and free of any scrapes, discolorations, or gouges.
Luckily, there are two things working in the advantage of almost every homeowner planning to renovate or at least re-floor a kitchen:
1) there is a floor type that appeals to everyone, and
2) modern manufacturing methods have made even the least expensive kitchen flooring appear exquisite.
Here are some tips on how to find the perfect kitchen flooring on a case-by-case basis:
Hardwood is the preferred choice of flooring for the majority of home buyers which means installing it can add value down the line. The reasons for the appeal are pretty obvious – hardwood complements nearly any kitchen design style, it is warm and inviting, and it’s not uncommon for a hardwood floor to last 50 or 60 years. There is also such a variety in wood shades and grains available that the material appeals to almost every taste.
Some of the reasons to avoid hardwood floor in a home is climate, specifically humid areas which will cause the planks to swell and buckle. In addition, hardwood floors are very loud and are even banned in some condominiums and other group housing. Hardwood floors are easy to clean, but they must be done so regularly as dirt and dust does pop out on the surface. If you have dogs, you may want to reconsider installing hardwood floors as it can be slippery for pets and their nails can result in unsightly scratches.
Tile is arguably the most durable and easy to clean of all flooring materials, making it ideal for homeowners with pets or high-traffic rooms. Tile can be installed in any climate and the design limitations are almost endless in regards to color, shapes, and layout. Perhaps the biggest downfall to tile is that it’s a cold surface, but at the same time it presents a great conductor of in-floor radiant heating. Tile is particularly popular for kitchens and bathrooms.
The best way to describe a laminate floor is that it has the looks of hardwood without the price and nuances. Basically laminate is more resilient against humidity and water damage as hardwood flooring is. The laminate is incredibly easy to install in the floating tongue and groove design and modern manufacturing methods have created almost lifelike patterns. While being more affordable, laminate doesn’t have anywhere near the resale value as hardwood and it’s lifespan is significantly less than real hardwood.
Modern vinyl flooring isn’t the eyesore that it once was in the 70s and 80s, but it’s far from ideal for kitchens, the most important room in your home. Vinyl is extremely affordable and quite durable so most homeowners use the material as a flooring that ‘gets them by’ in years where destructive kids or young pets are rampaging through the kitchen.
Bamboo is a popular flooring choice for ‘green’ homes as it offers looks similar to hardwood (mostly maple) but is a much more sustainable material. Bamboo is actually a grass, which doesn’t cause destruction of timbers for its manufacturing (grows to fruition in 4-6 years). This also allows the material to be more breathable, moisture resistant, and resilient to termites and microbial agents. Despite all these benefits, some consumers are still hesitant to bamboo flooring and maintain their love for traditional hardwood.
Cork is similar to hardwood except that it offers two major advantages. First off, it offers a higher level of soundproofing than other flooring materials. Secondly, it provides more cushion and ‘bounce-back’ for standing long periods. That being said, much like bamboo, cork isn’t seen as appealing as traditional hardwood floors and appeal more to a niche market.
What Kitchen Flooring is Best For Your Renovation?
There are a variety of flooring options when renovating your kitchen – you simply have to decide which type best suits your lifestyle and the look you want to achieve. For luxury kitchens that feature high-end finishes, most homeowners opt for tile or hardwood. Another good (but more expensive) option is marble or stone flooring. To get the look of a marble floor without the cost, consider concrete flooring. Concrete is a versatile building material that can mimic the look of marble, slate, and more.
If you have kids, pets, or a habit of wearing stilettos or steel-toe boots a less expensive and more durable material, such as laminate or vinyl may be your best choice. If you’re still unsure of what type of flooring would be suit your renovation, consult a general contractor such as Stony Point Construction for advice.