The saying goes that the kitchen is the heart of the home, so choosing which flooring to put down in this all-important room, whether you're building new or remodeling, is a very important decision. Because of the average family's tendency to have a large amount of foot traffic, spilled food and liquid, and broken glasses, it's fairly obvious that the surface needs to be durable and easy to clean. Here are some options for choosing a long-lasting material that will add beauty and comfort to this integral room in your home.
As with any flooring purchase, it's important to consider your personal aesthetic. Consider the colors and patterns that you like the best. It's also important to calculate a budget before purchasing. Costs can greatly vary between materials, so you don't want to go overboard. Many companies have financing options, so you'll also want to pin down the highest monthly payment you can afford for the available flooring options for your home.
- Hardwood. This material is comfortable for bare feet and adds a warm feeling to any room. If you have an open floor plan, it also blends beautifully with other rooms. The material is also good at handling high volumes of traffic while avoiding the dull appearance of other highly used surfaces. However, it is susceptible to water damage and scratching, and it requires frequent maintenance. Having the wood pre-treated will help reduce its vulnerability to moisture damage and wear. Laminate imitation hardwood may also be a good choice for the same look at a reduced cost and maintenance burden.
- Ceramic tile. Durable, easy to maintain, and available in a huge ranges of colors, designs, and decorative borders, this material is a great choice for a kitchen. It's extremely strong and moisture resistant as well. Considerations for this surface include its tendency to be slippery, so you should choose a product that's certified as slip-resistant by the Americans with Disabilities Act. This material is hard, so it may not be comfortable to stand on for any long period of time, and it'll likely shatter any glass you accidentally drop on it. Also, if you live in an older house that shifts or settles, the tiles could crack.
- Cork. Cork is an interesting material because this unusual choice is just gaining traction in interior design. It's water-resistant and carries the added bonus of muffling impact noise. It comes in a variety of colors and is available in either tiles or boards to suit your tastes. Cork is a natural, eco-friendly option, as it is a sustainable material. Further, it's already slip-resistant and is much softer than hardwood or tile. Unlike some of the other options, it will need to be resealed every three to four years.
Hardwood, ceramic tile, and cork are just a few of the many options for kitchen flooring available on the market today. Because each choice comes with its own pros and cons, you'll want to consider the aspects that are most important to your comfort and that best fit your specific needs.