Choosing the right flooring option is an important decision for any part of your home. Perhaps nowhere in the house is this more important than in the kitchen. The kitchen is a high-traffic area that often produces more wear and tear on the flooring associated with it. It is also one of the areas in the home people spend most of their time and it is important to find the type of flooring that matches your budget, family situation, and personal taste.
As with any other room in the house, there are a number of viable options for flooring in the kitchen. Each choice provides various advantages and disadvantages and weighing these pros and cons will help you find the perfect match for your new kitchen floor.
Let’s start by taking a look at one of the most traditional options for kitchen flooring; vinyl.
The reason vinyl is such a standard choice for kitchen flooring is because it is relatively cheap. Vinyl offers a serviceable flooring option that is more affordable than other choices. It also provides versatility in style as it can mimic the look of other flooring materials such as hardwood or tile quite effectively. Finally, one of the biggest advantages to vinyl flooring in the kitchen is it is easy to clean and repels water better than most other flooring options.
A drawback to vinyl flooring in the kitchen is that although it is very affordable, it is not the most durable flooring option. Vinyl stands up well to water, but can be damaged by sharp objects and can dent from heavy furniture over time. Also, if vinyl flooring is frequently exposed to sunlight its color can fade. When compared to other types of kitchen flooring, vinyl has a relatively short lifespan.
A classic flooring option throughout the home, hardwood has recently been gaining popularity in the kitchen.
The first advantage to wood flooring in the kitchen (or for that matter anywhere in the house) is that it will add resale value to your home. Hardwood boasts an attractive and stylish look which can be combined seamlessly with other rooms in the house with wood flooring. This can be taken a step further as hardwood floors can accent wooden cabinets wonderfully. In contrast to vinyl flooring, hardwood floors have one of the longest lifespans of all flooring materials.
Also in contrast to vinyl flooring, hardwood does not stand up well to water. This can be a problem in the kitchen where water often spills and it is imperative that you clean up any standing water immediately. It is also worth noting that hardwood can be scratched easily and these types of damages are difficult to repair. Although wood is aesthetically pleasing, it does not provide the most comfort when walking around on it.
Cork is a relatively new flooring option and one that, like hardwood, is becoming a favored choice for the kitchen.
Along with wood flooring, cork is another option that will increase resale value. One of the reasons that cork has been gaining so much popularity is because of the “green” movement since cork flooring is one of the more eco-friendly choices because it is made from renewable sources. Cork works great in the kitchen because it is soft and reduces the risk of glasses or dishes shattering if dropped on it.
The main disadvantages to cork flooring deal with its durability. Like hardwood, cork is not resistant to water and can be greatly damaged by standing water. Cork also requires a lot of maintenance and cleaning to keep it looking good. Cork is also rather costly and is one of the more expensive types of flooring materials you can use for the kitchen.
Concrete offers an interesting alternative to traditional options for kitchen flooring.
The first advantage that comes to mind when considering concrete is its durability. Concrete is obviously a strong material and it is by far the most durable option on this list. Another lesser known advantage of concrete is that it offers a lot of variety. These days there are numerous styles and designs that can be implemented with concrete flooring. Finally, much like vinyl flooring, concrete is quite resistant to water damage which will come in handy in the kitchen where there is potential for a leaky refrigerator or dishwasher.
Concrete is nearly the opposite of cork flooring in regards to forgiving drops. For a family with young children, concrete may not be a wise choice as any type of glass that falls to the floor will surely shatter. Also, concrete may not be the most comfortable option as it is hard and many people complain of its tendency to remain cold. Like cork, concrete is pricy and installation is very difficult causing it to be very expensive.
While these are not the only options available for kitchen flooring, these are some of the more popular and traditional choices. Each type of flooring offers various advantages and disadvantages as no particular material is perfect. However, if you compare and contrast the pros and cons of each against your own personal situation and tastes, you should be able to make an informed decision that will suit your needs best.
Author Bio: Wade Myer is a former contractor who has turned to writing in an attempt to preserve what is left of his back. Rather than swing a hammer, Wade now shares his knowledge of construction and remodeling. Currently he writes on behalf of Steiner Homes LTD. who builds St. John homes.