“Everything happens in the kitchen. Life happens in the kitchen.”–Andrew Zimmern
The kitchen is the heart of the home. We cook, eat, drink, socialize, clean, work, and play in the kitchen. We spend serious time in there—at least a couple of hours per day! What we’ve realized over the last few years is that it is important to enjoy the space you spend your time in. And making your kitchen a warm and pleasant space doesn’t take a full remodel, try a quick facelift by upgrading your flooring.
The kitchen is a unique space in the house. It is high-traffic, prone to spills, and your flooring needs to be easy to maintain and kind to your feet when standing for long hours cooking delicious meals! With our Best Flooring Series, we’ve created a list of our picks for the ideal floor covering for your bathroom, basement, bedroom, and mountain cabin, today we focus on the kitchen with all of the above factors in mind. Here we go!
What goes into our picks?
When considering options for your perfect kitchen flooring, we needed to address the nature of the kitchen. There’s a ton of foot traffic, a propensity for liquid spills, a need for cleanliness when dealing with food products, and, since we spend so much time there, a desire for a pleasant design. We categorized those needs into four factors: Durability, water resistance, ease of upkeep, and design options.
What is the ideal floor covering for your kitchen?
The four options we recommend for your kitchen flooring are in no particular order as they have unique qualities for your specific needs. We hope one of these brings you great joy for years to come!
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Tile is a versatile flooring material and is the most durable of all floor coverings. In fact, examples of ceramic tile, which is made out of clay that has been oven-fired and glazed, are still around that date back to 4000 BC Egypt and have been “treasured for centuries due to their durability and stunning beauty.” Who knew there was so much history on your kitchen floor!
In addition to the durability of ceramic tile, it is equally water-resistant and easy to maintain. Both ceramic and porcelain are a dream to clean with simply a damp mop and mild soap, though the grout will need to be resealed from time to time.
Porcelain tile is ceramic tile with a higher concentration of kaolin and other additives like quartz and feldspar. This fine mixture is then heated to higher temperatures than regular ceramic making it even denser and “more impervious to water,” according to The Spruce.
Ceramic tile is generally going to be a solid color, leaving you with fewer design options. Porcelain, however, tends to have plenty, as you can make it look like natural stone and even wood! With that added resilience, water resistance, and range of aesthetic choices, porcelain also has a higher price tag.
Overall, porcelain and ceramic tiles are a terrific choice for your kitchen. The only cons we’d like to draw your attention to are that they are going to be colder to the touch than other surfaces and are harder on the feet and back. Other than that, enjoy your tile—it has the potential to be with you for decades!
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
Luxury vinyl tile is one of our favorites if you haven’t noticed. It’s because it is so darn versatile and checks all the boxes when it comes to the ideal kitchen floor covering! First of all, it’s durable. LVT is made of several layers (vinyl backing, vinyl core, print layer, wear layer, and urethane coating) that make it tough and able to hold up under heavy traffic. Then, they are incredibly water resistant, if not waterproof when installed correctly.
Next, caring for LVT is a breeze. It already has a protective layer and coating, so you needn’t worry about polishing. Simply sweep and mop with a gentle soap. Lastly, the design options are vast and growing. The print layer of LVT can mimic tile, slate, marble, wood, and other patterns. In fact, some vinyl tile is textured to further imitate other surfaces, but for a more reasonable cost than hardwood or stone.
Perhaps the most pleasing quality of LVT though, the comfort! Vinyl is softer and warmer than other floor coverings. It spares your weary legs and keeps the heart of your home cozy.
Laminate has become one of the most competitive flooring products as of late! This might be because it rivals LVT in versatility. Laminate is made up of four layers: back, core, design, and wear. The back and core layers are responsible for a lot of the durability and water resistance, while the wear layer contains melamine, which makes it incredibly scratch-resistant. Outside of tile, laminate is one of the most durable materials when it comes to scratching and denting. According to Forbes, “Laminate can weather high traffic with minimal damage…”
Laminate is also being made more and more water-resistant, though you still need to make sure to clean up spills quickly. You don’t want liquid getting underneath your floor covering. Maintenance is simple and only requires a broom and a damp mop. You’ll never need to polish, wax, or oil this floor covering.
And the design options are terrific. Laminate can look like hardwood or stone, or you can choose from many other varieties of color and pattern. Not to mention, laminate is most likely going to be the most cost-friendly option on this list. Perhaps laminate won’t fool anyone under close scrutiny, but why should it? It is an excellent option for your kitchen.
Now, hardwood is nothing if not stunningly beautiful. Many will choose it simply for that reason and the sense of rich history it exudes. When it comes to durability, hardwood is reasonably durable. It will show scratches from pets and heavy traffic eventually. However, it is possible to refinish hardwood from time to time, giving it new life.
Though everyday spills can be easily cleaned with a hardwood floor, they are susceptible to damage from leaks and water staining over time. Liquids and wood are not friends. In addition, a daily cleaning routine, as well as a regular deep clean schedule, will be necessary to keep the surface of your gorgeous wood floors smooth and bright.
Hardwood comes in a variety of beautiful types and colors including hickory, oak, walnut, maple, and birch. It’s also warm and soft underfoot and adds a feeling of warmth to your space. No doubt, it might be the most charming of the materials on our list.
In short, hardwood is not the most durable, water-resistant, or easily maintained. However, it makes up for all of that in beauty, return on investment, comfort, and, quite frankly, nostalgia.
How can Graham’s Flooring & Design help you?
We hope our list inspires you to improve your busy kitchen space with some new and improved flooring! Whether you’re looking for a floor covering that lasts a lifetime, checks all the boxes, doesn’t break the bank, or impresses everyone who gazes upon it, we’ve got an option for you. The wonderful thing about flooring changes is you don’t have to be remodeling the whole kitchen to see a difference. Maybe your kitchen just needs a facelift (or simply some organization tips!)! And if you’re just not sure, discuss your design needs and wants with a professional before making your final choice.
If you’re in Northern Colorado and thinking of remodeling your kitchen, Graham’s Flooring & Design, your Loveland and Fort Collins flooring experts, would love to give you a free consultation today! We will work with you to find the ideal materials for your specific needs and design goals.
Take advantage of the professional, knowledgable, and stress-free Graham’s experience, by contacting us today. We’re the best resource for tile, vinyl, laminate, and hardwood flooring in Fort Collins and Loveland, and from design to installation, we make flooring fun!
For more on flooring and kitchens, check out our blog.