What’s the best flooring material for the kitchen? Opinions differ and the reality is there no single best option as different materials have different characteristics and offer distinct advantages. There are quite a few great options to choose from and we’re going to explore the pros and cons and the defining features of each one.
Wooden floors make spaces look warm and organic and that’s something we can’t say about other materials. They’re also durable and can stand the test of time, some even looking better as they age. Hardwood floors are also super versatile and suit all styles and they’re pretty easy to clean. When cleaning hardwood floors start by removing everything you can and then sweep, vacuum and finally mop the floor making sure to focus on the corners and the little nooks and crannies. You can even make your own natural cleaner by mixing vinegar and water in a 1:10 ratio.
There are of course some disadvantages as well. Hardwood floors can be pretty expensive and they get scuffed and scratched quite easily at which point they need to be refinished. They can also be pretty noisy when walking across so keep that in mind if you plan on leaving them bare with no area rugs to muffle the sound. With all that in mind, wood may not be the most practical flooring material for a kitchen but it definitely looks amazing and is ideal if the goal is to create a warm and inviting decor like that of this gorgeous kitchen created by Soda Pop Design.
Ceramic and porcelain tile
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are perhaps the most common option when it comes to kitchen flooring and the reasons for that are multiple. One of the biggest advantages that tiles have is the fact that they’re resistant to liquids and stains. Since it’s practically impossible not to spill or drop things in the kitchen, that’s an amazing detail. The tiles are also fireproof and very durable plus even if any of them cracks or gets damaged they can be replaced individually. Another big advantage is the low maintenance which porcelain and ceramic tiles require.
It’s also important to mention that porcelain tiles can mimic numerous other flooring materials such as marble, granite, cork or even wood and steel meaning you can enjoy all the advantages of a tiled floor while also opting for a specific type of look that suits your style just right. As far as the cons go, the most notable disadvantages include the price, difficult installation and the fact that the grout between the tiles can get quite dirty and create an unaesthetic appearance but that’s actually something you can deal with. We have a tutorial which explains how to clean the grout and the tiles depending on how dirty they are.
Concrete is one of the most durable and most resilient materials out there and an excellent choice for the kitchen. If properly cared for it can basically last indefinitely. Maintenance is also fairly easy for concrete flooring, requiring attention every 3 to 8 months when it need to be sealed in order to remain resistant to moisture and liquids. The rest of the time neutral cleaning products can be used. A cool advantage is the fact that if you ever decide you want a different type of flooring in your kitchen you can just install it over the existing concrete. The biggest inconveniences include the fact that concrete flooring is very hard and can quickly become uncomfortable plus it doesn’t retain heat and can feel very cold, especially during winter. For cleaning, you can make your own mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent which would get rid of easy stains and if you want something more powerful you can add some baking soda as well.
Natural stone tiles have the ability to give a kitchen a very elegant and refined appearance plus they offer numerous other advantages as well. For example, natural stone can handle heavy foot traffic well which is important, especially for modern and contemporary kitchens which are part of open floor plans. Some of the most common types of natural stone include granite, marble, travertine and limestone, each with its own unique look. Of course, different types of stone can require different types of treatments so make sure to be specific when doing your research. Certain types can scratch and chip easily so that’s also a disadvantage to consider, along with the cost which is higher than with other types of flooring.
For many people laminate wood is just the cheaper and less good alternative of real wood but in reality this is a category of its own with lots of unique advantages and not that many cons. First of all, laminate flooring is a lot cheaper than solid wood or other types of flooring. It’s also easier to install and you can probably do it yourself without any help. Laminate floors are also resistant to spills and even to scratches which makes them a good option if you have pets. However, there are also a few obvious disadvantages such as the fact that they can’t be refinished, don’t last as long as real wood and are not suitable for wet areas. Even so, it’s a great option for the kitchen.
Although not as popular as other types of flooring, bamboo is yet another good option for the kitchen and interior spaces in general. If harvested and handled properly bamboo flooring can be as durable as hardwood floors. It also has a distinctively clean and modern appearance and can be refinished meaning you get to enjoy it for a really long time. One of the key advantages associated with bamboo flooring is the fact that it’s eco-friendly and there aren’t really many other similar options to choose from. Bamboo flooring is also relatively cheap and easy to clean and to care for. On the other hand it can scratch easily, can be damaged by moisture and liquids and is not as versatile as other types of flooring.
Until not that long ago linoleum flooring used to be very popular in homes throughout Europe and recently it’s been seeing a comeback. There are quite a few valid good points to consider such as the fact that linoleum is a very flexible material. it’s soft and comfortable to walk on and comes in lots and lots of different colors and patterns. In addition, it’s a renewable resource and an eco-friendly material which requires minimum maintenance, perfect for kitchens. Of course, there are also disadvantages to consider such as the fact that it can get scratched easily and can get a yellowish nuance is not cared for properly. It also becomes yellow if exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. We should also mentioned that upon installation is gives off linseed fumes for about a week up to a month and while this isn’t harmful it can be annoying.