Kitchen flooring: your choice matters
There’s no really easy room to choose flooring for because they all present their own challenges – it would be nice to have a plush living room carpet but pets and children could ruin it, while bathroom floors have to be capable of withstanding the effects of ever-present moisture in the form of water or steam.
Kitchens are equally difficult to choose flooring for. As one of the main rooms in the house, it is subjected to a heavy amount of footfall in addition to the effects of cooking meals (moisture, heat the potential for things to be dropped on it all add up), and the floor has to be able to withstand all of this without prematurely aging and costing the owner money to repair or replace every year.
There are various options available to choose between, with certain types working best under certain circumstances – for instance, installing underfloor heating would mean that the floor surface would have to be capable of conducting heat.
Hardwood flooring is generally the classiest-looking floor choice regardless of the room it’s in, and you can see why: able to withstand heavy levels of footfall as long as a decent polish or protective lacquer is used, rustic in feel and easy to spruce up by sanding, it is a fantastic choice for any kitchen floor.
The only caveat is its price, which tends to start high and get higher the larger the area to be covered is. However, they’re a solid investment and will add value to your house if you come to sell it, so the pros vastly outweigh the cons.
Although it is looked down upon slightly by some homeowners, vinyl is actually an extremely effective choice of material for a kitchen floor. Colourful, hardy and easy to lay and maintain, vinyl designs can be found to suit any interior decorating style. It’s also impervious to water, which is a desirable quality in any kitchen floor.
However, it isn’t biodegradable and can be a fire hazard, which isn’t a desirable quality in a kitchen (or any room where naked flames are regularly used). It is also difficult to repair if damaged, so you’d have to be confident that you would be able to maintain the floor for a decent amount of time to avoid having to replace it.
Tiles are an ever-popular kitchen flooring option as they can be laid in a variety of styles and designs, which makes them versatile and desirable decorative pieces for any home of any type. Minimalist décor could incorporate all-white or all-black ceramic tiling, while Mediterranean-styled homes can include terracotta stone tiling to evoke a sunkissed atmosphere.
The prices of tiles can vary wildly – solid stone tiles are extremely expensive, for example – but they are all durable and nonporous as long as they have a solid concrete subfloor beneath them. This will ensure that they don’t move around and develop cracks.
There is an increasing trend for rubber flooring in rooms like bathrooms and kitchens because of the material’s ability to repel water (though it sometimes needs a vapour barrier to provide protection against ground moisture if it is being placed below grade). Like vinyl, it can be incredibly versatile in terms of the way it looks, which makes it a desirable option for any house.
However, while it is water-repellent, this means that water sits on its surface and can be a slipping hazard, so it’s possibly not best suited to households with children. In addition, it can be discoloured significantly by contact with abrasive cleaning materials or grease, so care when cleaning and cooking is advised – not always ideal in a kitchen!