Kitchen floors typically endure heavy traffic, frequent spills and dropped
objects. And between meal preparation and cleanup, you may spend a great deal
of time on your feet in a kitchen, so durability, stain and soil resistance,
easy cleaning, comfort, style and safety are all important factors.
Choosing the Right Floor
While vinyl may be the most popular choice for kitchen flooring, other
flooring types that work well in kitchens include laminate, tile and wood.
Vinyl's high durability, ease of maintenance and
resistance to water, stains and spills make it ideal for the kitchen. It's
affordable, easy to install and available in an array of styles, colors and
patterns. Vinyl's resilience is also easier on the feet than other
hard-surface floors; that same resilience can absorb the impact of a dropped
glass, cushion a child's fall and add traction to the floor's surface.
Today's laminate floors offer the look of wood floors
with several advantages. Laminate is more affordable, easier to install, more
resistant to scratching and fading, and never needs refinishing. Laminate
floors can also simulate ceramic and natural stone tile floors, but they are
easier to install and more affordable than either.
Ceramic tile is the most durable flooring
available, and it offers outstanding resistance to water, stains and dirt.
Plus it's easy to clean and maintain. Tile floors can be complicated to
install, and are generally more expensive than other floors. The hardness that
makes tile so durable also makes it the least comfortable type of floor.
With recent advances in finishes and in engineered
products, the beauty of wood can now be enjoyed in the kitchen. Wood floors
are durable in most homes, though they don't resist scratches and dents as
well as laminate and tile do.
Cork floors are highly durable, resistant to water and
stains, easy to clean and naturally resilient. A cork floor will cushion your
feet and give a spring back to each step, so it's very comfortable.