For many homeowners, kitchen renovation projects can quickly become all about paint colours, ambiance, appliances, and finishes – but rarely do we stop to consider how the flooring will ultimately tie the room together, affect the flow of energy, and fit into our individual lifestyles.
Choosing the right kitchen flooring is a tough choice, but a rewarding one when you stop to consider the pros and cons of each. Aesthetics and style, warmth, texture, colour, softness, and practicality are all key pillars for consideration. Here’s everything you need to know to assist in choosing the right kitchen flooring.
For many years, ceramic tile has been the quintessential kitchen flooring material thanks to its iconic style, its affordable price point, and its capacity to conform and suit any number of different kitchen designs.
Size, shape, texture and pattern are essentially boundless, so you’ll have 100% creative freedom to create whatever type of aesthetic you wish, and you’ll benefit from impressive durability and strength as well. Ceramic tile is modular, DIY-friendly and/or simple for your contractor to install, and can be altered in its installation to deliver a unique pattern – even on a tightened timeline.
Tile can crack over time as the floors settle in your new space, and it tends to be cold and hard underfoot. The grout used in between ceramic tile to seal them in place requires maintenance sealing every few years, and special cleaners can be used to freshen up the finish of the grout as well. Be prepared to spend about $3-8 per square foot for a reputable ceramic tile – a pretty slick price to pay for enduring style and contemporary authority.
Resilient, Eco-friendly, and flexible, cork flooring is a beautiful material that boasts sustainable harvesting practices which have contributed to its massive popularity in recent years. Cork is all natural, varied in texture, and warm, helping to usher in an organic and socially responsible vibe to your reimagined kitchen space.
Extremely comfortable underfoot, cork is the opposite of ceramic tile in that its makeup allows it to absorb the shock from dropped plates, lessening the likelihood of breaks. It also absorbs sound very well, helping to bring an acoustic respectability into a new space. Further to its visual appeal, cork is also high in suberin, a naturally occurring substance that is resistant to mould, mildew, pests, and rot. It’s makeup also allows it to heal itself from small scratches, dings, and scarring – but larger mistakes are harder to fix.
Dirt and grit build up can damage its surface appearance and feel over time, so sweeping and vacuuming are staples of all kitchens that feature cork flooring. It also requires annual sealing with polyurethane or floor wax to help prevent inevitable fading. Prices vary, but expect to pay an approximate $2-12 per square foot.
Credit its post-industrial design aesthetic and edginess to its recent popularity, concrete floors are no longer shunned to the basement cellar or hidden under carpeting – these days, concrete can be stamped, dyed, textured, and even acid etched to create gorgeous and unique visual effects that elevate the material to new aesthetic heights.
Ideal for warm climates for its always-cool mentality, concrete can also be advanced with the inclusion on in floor heat during its installation, making it a practical and modern alternative to other flooring solutions. Its unwavering strength and durability make it a perfect choice for active homes with pets and kids, and in room like the kitchen which feature high-traffic.
Concrete floors can be tough on the feet, and the price tag associated with professional installation can be alarming – especially when you factor in visual finishing treatments like staining, etching, or stamping. Expect to pay anywhere from $3-15 per square foot to have it poured and accented.
Much like concrete, natural stone is no longer constrained to the mudroom, back patio, or foyer – nowadays it’s a viable alternative to any number of kitchen flooring solutions thanks to its natural beauty, durability and romantic, organic aesthetic.
Limestone, granite, slate, travertine – they all have one major advantage when compared to their competitors – natural variation. No stones are the same, and all of them will boast their own unique colours, textures, feel, and pattern, helping to elevate the material to a standpoint of elegant ruggedness. Nothing can claim to be more classic, and yet so modern at the same time, delivering an upscale look that can evolve with room upgrades over the years.
Just like tile and concrete, natural stone fares well in warm climates thanks to its permanent cool factor, and day-to-day maintenance is ket to a minimum thanks to its rock hard durability. Soft stone like limestone, for example, can be chipped and scratched, and slate is known to peel and lose its layers over the years, so sealing is critical to ensure its longevity.
Stone is expensive, so prep that pocketbook. $15-$30 per square foot uninstalled is a standard price point, but is it worth it? We think so.
Once upon a time, vinyl floors weren’t considered stylish or coveted – and their main positive point was affordable prices – but all of that has changed. Vinyl flooring has come a long way, and now represents one of the most popular choices for kitchen flooring thanks to its affordability, versatility, innovative construction and design, as well as chic finishes.
A true chameleon, vinyl has the power to mimic the priciest of materials thanks to its versatility. It’s available in tile format and sheets that can mimic the style and texture of wood, stone, and ceramic tile, amongst other things. It’s easy to clean, easy to replace or repair, and comfy and relatively warm underfoot. Install is also easy, so your contractor will love you.
Vinyl can bubble and warp in prolonged, direct exposure to sunlight, and sharp, hard objects can scratch or puncture vinyl. A typically 5-10 year lifespan means vinyl may not be the best choice for a permanent kitchen flooring upgrade, but its versatility and price make it a considerable force to be reckoned with.
Such a beautiful word, tainted by the legacy of the 1980’s – but no more. Typically confused by vinyl offerings, linoleum is actually an all-natural material, constructed from resins, linseed oils, wood flour, and more natural substances, giving it serious green street-cred in Eco-friendly consumers who love its dedication to style, versatility, and affordability.
It’s available in a wide spectrum of colours and textures, so creatively it’s a great product to work with, but physically, linoleum can be tricky to master. Able to be cut in any variety of shape, it’s often coated in a protective layer – and without that layer, the surface may require sealing, polishing, and/or waxing yearly or so to restore its shine. Talk about inexpensive, linoleum floors can go for as little as $4-7 per square foot.
The purist in all of us loves a solid wood floor, no? Mother Nature has been providing stunning wood materials since the beginning of time, and since recorded history began, wood has been a staple flooring material.
When wood is properly treated and cared for, it can develop its own unique character and patina over time, contributing to its personality, richness, and uniqueness. It never goes out of style, and doesn’t have to change much if you should decide to renovate your kitchen again down the road. It’s resilient to rot, moisture, and general wear and tear – and re-sanding can essentially wipe the slate clean to give old wood floors new life. Wood floors can fetch anywhere from $4-12 per square foot uninstalled.
The trusty, old school laminate floor is a staple of kitchens the world over. Engineered from several layers of varying substances pressed together, laminate flooring is usually designed to mimic the appearance of wood or ceramic tile. It’s hugely resistant to scratching and scuffing, making it an ideal flooring solution for high-traffic homes with kids and pets.
It’s easy to clean, easy to maintain and typically only requires a sweep and a mop every so often to retain its finish, and while it’s come a long way in recent years, laminate still can’t hold a candle to the real thing. It also can’t be refinished, so when its damaged, it’ll need to be replaced outright – but that’s more than doable thanks to an approximate price point of $2-4 per square foot.
Tough, Eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical, bamboo flooring is a booming industry that’s perfect for kitchens. Although popular opinion would have you believe that it’s wood, bamboo is actually a species of grass – but a hugely durable grass. It’s easy to maintain, resistant to scratching or scuffing, and requires no special care. Aesthetically, it also adds a unique brand of exoticism or a tropical vibe that is tough to recreate with other domestic hardwoods like maple, cherry, or oak.
It grows very quickly thanks to its grass lineage, so it’s often the favoured flooring solution for green builds or eco-savvy homeowners. Bamboo has a limited range of colours and is usually thinner in diameter than most other woods. It’s also not quite as resistant to moisture and mildew, so in high-humidity spaces, or in kitchens prone to spills, it can warp and bend over time. Cost can range from a respectable $4-9 per square foot.
Flooring has the power to unite a space geographically, and possesses the power to create desired divisions in energy, function, and personality.
Choosing the right kitchen flooring relies on a variety of emotional and logical considerations, but comes down to choosing what you feel looks great, compliments your new kitchen space, and makes you say ‘wow’ every time you come into the room.