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Exploring Flooring Options for Your Kitchen

A lot goes on in the kitchen. Often the hub of the home, a kitchen serves as a place where families congregate to grab a bite on the way to work and school, munch on snacks while discussing the events of the day, and talk about the things that really matter while making and enjoying dinner.

If you’re shopping for kitchen floors, you’re in good company – according to Houzz’s 2019 Kitchen Trends Study, 69 percent of respondents reported updating their kitchen floors.

When shopping for a kitchen floor, you’re going to need flooring that is durable (kitchen floors take a beating!) – tough enough to resist dents, scratches, and staining. Something easy to clean should also be a priority – spills are pretty common in the kitchen. You’ll also probably want something that’s comfortable to stand on, especially if you’re the family cook. And, naturally, you’ll want it to look great.

Here are some great flooring options for the kitchen.

Vinyl

kitchen island with wood floor
Metroflor

Vinyl is often cited as one of the best options for kitchen flooring because it is so resilient. Not only does it offer a bit of elasticity for comfortable standing, but it’s resistant to all kinds of damage and staining. It’s also relatively easy to clean with a quick mopping, and moisture won’t pose a problem with vinyl flooring. There are also plenty of affordable options here, especially if you opt for sheet vinyl instead of luxury vinyl tile or rigid vinyl.

One drawback to vinyl floors is the environmental factor. Vinyl is known to emit VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, that have been linked to health issues. For most people, the level of VOCs is negligible, but it may not be safe for infants and young children. In this case, you can find low-VOC options. Look for products with FloorScore certification.

Tile

modern kitchen with wood-look daltile tile
Daltile

Ceramic and porcelain tile will meet many of the must-haves for the best flooring for your kitchen, from being easy to clean to holding up well against traffic and spills. These materials also offer tons of stunning visuals, so you’ll be sure to find a tile floor that fits your personal decorating style.

However, tile is hard, so if you spend a lot of time on your feet next to the stove or countertop, it won’t be kind to your joints. The good news is you can always add padded floor mats for comfort, if you’re sold on tile.

Hardwood

kitchen island modern with wide plank hardwood
Anderson-Tuftex

You might assume that hardwood is a no-go for kitchens. Granted, if you’re prone to spilling, you might have some problems – excess moisture is especially bad for hardwood! That said, if you have your heart set on hardwood flooring for the kitchen, you can definitely make it work.

For example, opt for engineered hardwood instead of solid. With a top layer of hardwood and a sturdy plywood or high density fiberboard core, engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood. And if your floor has a factory finish, it will have multiple coats of sealants and hardening agents added for protection.

Laminate

white kitchen with wide plank laminate floor
Shaw

Like engineered wood, laminate features a composite material core, but the veneer on top is a print layer that mimics natural visuals. It comes in a variety of realistic colors, grain patterns, and even textures.

Laminate flooring’s many benefits include durability, stain resistance, an affordable price point, and ease of maintenance. While many laminate products available today are moisture resistant, something like an overflowing dishwasher will ruin the floor.

Cork

large kitchen with cork floors
USFloors

For cooks who spend a lot of time standing over the stove, cork floors are going to make your feet very happy. Its springy, resilient properties make it a comfortable floor to stand on, and its anti-microbial properties make it mold and mildew-resistant.

Keep in mind that cork floors do need to be sealed in order to be water-resistant, and the softness that makes it such a comfortable surface to stand on also makes it susceptible to dents from dropped objects, or indentation from heavy appliances. Use floor protectors on your furniture and appliances, and avoid dragging furniture across the floor, which can scratch or scuff the cork. Or, read up on the pros and cons of cork flooring.

About The Author

Lauren Moore

Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).

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