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If you stop to think about what your kitchen floor goes through every day, you’ll realize that durability is one of the important factors you should be thinking about when picking a material. Whether it’s the constant walking, the scraping of chairs, or the spilled substances – there’s a lot for the flooring to put up with.
Of course, style and aesthetics also matter, so you’ll want to find a flooring material which balances good design with strength. It’s also worth considering the level of maintenance required for different materials.
Here are seven options you can look at for your kitchen flooring.
Ceramic tile is made from natural clay which has gone through a forming process. It is extremely resistant to heat, water, and stains and can last almost indefinitely without any major changes.
However, some people find it quite cold and hard to walk on. You can work around this by installing a radiant heating system underneath the tile, as well as using rugs.
The designs of ceramic tiles also vary. You can find them in a range of colors, patterns, and shapes – so there should be options for almost every taste and style of décor.
This is particularly useful for ground level kitchens. Concrete is both inexpensive and long-lasting. Many modern kitchens tend to have this – you will often find that a concrete slab is already in place underneath the floor coverings. Concrete floors can then be treated in many ways, the most popular of which is polishing (which brings it to life and creates a stylish look).
For many years, hardwood wasn’t regarded as a good material for bathrooms and kitchens due to its vulnerability to moisture. However, this is now changing, thanks to things like modern sealers and polyurethane finishes.
Although this material is more likely than most to degrade over time, this can be fixed if you have solid hardwood flooring, rather than engineered wood flooring. You can simply sand and refinish it, creating a brand new look.
Of course, some people prefer the hardwood option because they actually like the aged look it will eventually get – they tend to feel this adds to the character of the house.
This looks and feels like hardwood – although, believe it or not, it’s actually harder than hardwood! It’s also more resistant to moisture and water, which makes it a popular choice for kitchens.
One drawback can be the cost, with bamboo being at the higher end of the scale. Unlike hardwood, you will probably not be able to refinish it yourself when the time comes. You will most likely need to use a professional which adds to the overall lifetime cost – however, a premium material does command a premium price.
Staying with the premium theme, modern versions of vinyl flooring are known as luxury vinyl flooring (LVF). This is a high-quality material, often found in expensive homes, which can even mimic wood or stone. LVF is available in both snap together tiles and planks.
Older forms of vinyl, meanwhile, are cheaper and more DIY-friendly. They are almost impervious to stains and water issues, as well as being easy to clean – you simply sweep, vacuum or mop up depending on the mess. For this reason, it’s regarded as a good choice for kitchens. However, the main downside is that it will wear and fade after 7 to 10 years, meaning you will need to replace it.
Natural Stone Tile
When it comes to durability, this is one of the best options as it’s literally as hard as rock. It also has the advantage of looking very luxurious and high-end. There are various types available to you, such as marble, granite, and limestone.
Stone can be porous when it comes to water and liquid stains. However, if you regularly apply a penetrating stone sealer (usually once a year), this gives it an invisible layer of protection that will keep it looking as good as new for a very, very long time.
Linoleum was highly popular in the 1960s. After a decline, it is now making a comeback.
One of the reasons is the fact that it’s environmentally friendly (as it’s made from natural linseed oil). It can last for over 40 years if properly cared for – which is crucial, as Linoleum can be damaged if it’s immersed in water. Day to day spillages are fine, but if a pipe bursts or an appliance breaks, the flooring could be damaged.