There are a lot of things that you want to consider when you’re deciding on a new kitchen floor. Do you cook a lot? Do you have a floor plan that is open? Which option is most durable? Below is a guide to the four types of flooring that are best for kitchens as well as the reasons why they’re the best.

Hardwood Floors

Ideal If:

  • You want a timeless look
  • Your floor plan is open
  • You want something that’s durable

Hardwood flooring has a visual appeal and warmth that is unmatched. It’s great if you want a look that is timeless. It will give you a good return on your investment if you choose to sell the house.

It’s also a good choice if your floor plan is open, since it works in living areas and kitchens. It will create a unified and warm look.

Hardwood also is:

  • Very durable, it can be used for decades
  • Resistant to moisture if you choose one that is pre-finished
  • Low maintenance

This type of flooring is made in one of two ways, solid strips of wood, or wood planks that are engineered. The engineered wood will be better when it comes to your kitchen. This comes with a real wood veneer that’s backed up by plywood. This type of construction gives you dimensional stability that makes the floor a lot less susceptible to movement that’s caused by temperature and humidity changes which are common in a kitchen.

Cost: $3 – $12 each square foot
Installation: $5 – $12 each square foot, based on the job’s complexity

Vinyl Flooring

Ideal if:

  • You do a lot of cooking
  • You want a floor that’s easy to maintain
  • You don’t have a lot of money

The sheet vinyl is part of a flooring products group that is known as resilient flooring. This is the softest option when it comes to flooring. If you’re doing a lot of cooking, it’s soft and makes it a lot easier to be standing up a long time and eases muscle fatigue.

It’s also a lot more forgiving when someone in the house is klutzy and drops a lot of things. You’re not going to have as much breakage. Not only that, but it’s easy to clean. It’s completely stain-proof and waterproof. One disadvantage is that based on your kitchen’s layout and size, there may be seams. The standard width when it comes to vinyl flooring is 12 feet. If you have a kitchen that is wider than this, you’re definitely going to have seams. These can allow moisture to go into your subfloor and make dirt get trapped if they’re not bonded tightly.

One advantage is that sheet vinyl won’t require any type of constant maintenance beyond mopping and sweeping. If the thing that appeals most to you about vinyl flooring is its softness, you might consider the cushioned type of vinyl flooring. This is backed with a foam layer.

This sounds good, but the additional cushiness can make it hard to make steams that will stay bonded tightly as time goes on. This could mean that you’re having seams come apart so that dirt is trapped and moisture is let in.

There are a lot of patterns and colors that sheet vinyl is available in. Vinyl that is thicker can have a surface that has a texture and some of the types look like real stone and ceramic tile. Vinyl that is textured is a great choice since it gives you traction, and vinyl is really slippery when wet.

Flooring made of vinyl also will have a layer that will help with resisting scuff marks and scratches. The very best brands give you guarantees on this layer for 10 to 15 years. Vinyl of high quality should last up to 20 years.

Cost: $1 – $5 each square foot
Installation: $1 – $2 each square foot

Vinyl shouldn’t be confused with linoleum. Even though linoleum’s similar, it’s not as soft or durable as vinyl. However, it’s eco-friendly.

Porcelain Tile

Ideal if:

  • You’re looking for tough flooring
  • You love the stone look
  • You’re looking for low maintenance

Flooring made of porcelain tile is the one that is most durable. Porcelain is fired at an extremely high temperature so that it’s very durable, stain-resistant and hard that is impervious when it comes to moisture.

The truth is that you can even use it outside in any type of climate. Just like the ceramic tile, it’s available either glazed or unglazed. The tiles that aren’t glazed will take on their clay mixture’s color, so their tones are naturally earthy.

If you choose glazed tile, the coating is glass-like and it can be made into just about any color and it can mimic the texture and look of real stone but for a cost that is a lot lower than stone.

You should choose porcelain tile that is slip resistant based on the ADA. This designation is something you should be able to see on the packing material o the literature.

Cost: $1-$20 each square foot
Installation: $5-$10 each square foot

Cork Flooring

Ideal if:

  • You’re looking for a choice that is eco-friendly
  • You’re looking for a floor that is softer than tile or wood
  • You’re looking for slip-resistance

Cork’s made of tree bark harvested every 8-10 years. This sustainable material means that the bark will grow back and is able to be repeatedly harvested. Cork-producing countries are careful to make sure harvesting is regulated so that future supplies are ensured.

Cork offers a unique structure that is compressible and waterproof, making it a moisture-resistant, comfortable choice. The tiles are 12”x12” tiles and 1ftx3ft planks. Each choice comes with a unique pattern of speckles and swirls. Its surface has a natural texture so that it’s slip-resistant.

The big disadvantage of cork is that it needs resealing every 3 to 4 years so that it’s guarded against any scratches and moisture’s prevented from entering the seams in between the tiles.

Polyurethane and natural wax are great for sealing cork. Choose polyurethane that is water based and non-toxic or that has a low content of volatile organic compounds in it so that your floor stays green.

Cost: $2-$6 each square foot
Installation: $5-$10 each square foot

These are the most popular options when you are looking for a new floor for your kitchen. Think about your needs and budget to help you with choosing the one that is best.

Remodeling Contractors in Naples

We are a family-operated remodeling company with over 20 years of experience in kitchen, bathroom and flooring remodels for homes, townhouses, apartments and condos in Naples, Bonita Springs and Marco Island. We handle both residential and commercial remodeling projects. Contact us today for a free design consultation at 239-435-6677.

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