Kitchen Flooring Basics
The kitchen is certainly the most well-loved room in most homes. Because it is a high traffic area, kitchen flooring needs to not only look beautiful, but also stand up to a lot of wear and tear. There are many flooring options available in today’s market in a variety of styles and price points and each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here we will try to simplify the selection process by detailing a few of our favourite options.
Wood has consistently been a top flooring choice in West Coast kitchens due to its timeless appeal and durability. We love the variety of grains, ages and colours that are available. Though one of the pricier options, wood remains one of our favourite choices for the kitchen because of its classic appeal, versatility and resilience. A quality wood floor can stand up to kids’ toy cars, pets and the endless traffic of teenagers heading to the fridge, but keep in mind that it will require additional protection to withstand water damage, scratching, and denting. It is also important to remember that all wood floors will age or “patina” over time. Ask your flooring company which products will patina best; the process can often have beautiful results! One drawback is that you must be careful to clean your wood floor properly. We recommend using only water with a small amount of soap; you can also add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil if you like a little scent. Most importantly, don’t forget to dry it immediately afterwards to avoid water damage to the substrate. You should also anticipate that you may need to periodically re-finish to floors to buff out scratches and patchiness.
Concrete is a modern choice for kitchen flooring that can be stamped, stained or polished to complement your overall design. This is a highly durable and moisture resistant option that is best suited for contemporary or industrial-inspired spaces. Because the climate in Victoria can be cool, you may want to consider sub-floor heating to warm the material. If you have young children, be aware that glasses and dishware can smash easily if dropped on concrete so you may want to steer clear if you like to serve dinner on antique china. Concrete will also require re-sealing down the road to protect against the inevitable spills and stains.
Stone and Tile
Both stone and tile come in a variety of beautiful options that are durable and low maintenance. Marble, slate and travertine are a few popular stone options that will add value to any kitchen and give a subtle rustic appeal.
We love that stone and tile are easy to maintain and can be cleaned simply with a damp mop. You can also use one of the many great eco-friendly cleaning products for the occasional deeper clean. Though both stone and tile are easy to clean, grout lines may become stained over time and some stone may be prone to chips and scratches. If you choose stone, expect to reseal fairly frequently to keep it looking gorgeous.
Vinyl tiles and sheet vinyl are popular kitchen flooring options because of vinyl’s water resistance and endless style options. The newest vinyl tiles can mimic the look of stone or wood at a fraction of the cost. These materials are soft underfoot and can be easily cleaned. However, both tiles and sheet vinyl require a smooth subfloor and can gouge easily. Although vinyl is one of the more affordable options, the preparation may become expensive if you need to replace uneven subfloors so keep this in mind when setting your budget.
Cork is an attractive flooring option that offers natural insulation from cold, noise, and bacteria. We recommend choosing a high quality cork that can be refinished in areas that become damaged over time. Cork comes in a variety of eco-friendly options and finishes. This can be a great option if the kitchen is above a suite where sound may be an issue.
With any of the above options, we always recommend doing your research and choosing an installer with a reliable reputation. Though budgets may vary, we suggest selecting the best quality product possible to increase your home’s value and ensure the longevity of the flooring. This is not an area to cut corners!