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From the Ground Up: Kitchen Flooring Choices

From the Ground Up: Kitchen Flooring Choices

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October 26, 2010

One of the best ways to update our kitchen is changing your kitchen flooring. Depending on your budget, time-commitment, and taste, you can find flooring that exceeds your expectations, but doesn't break the bank.

Choose kitchen flooring based on function as well as kitchen design. And, make sure your kitchen flooring is easy to clean. In most cases, you can install a new floor over an old floor if the sub-flooring is in good condition. You can also add a floor heating system to warm up the tile on cold mornings. If you've never installed hardwood or ceramic flooring, consult a local contractor.

Types of Kitchen Flooring Available:

  • Hardwood
  • Vinyl
  • Linoleum
  • Ceramic, terracotta, and natural stone
  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Rubber

Here's a look at some pros and cons of various flooring materials for your kitchen renovation:

  • Vinyl: It's economically priced at two to five dollars per square foot, water-resistant, and easy to install. Designs and coloring run throughout the material, which means no worn spots, ever.
  • Linoleum: It's affordable at two to five dollars per square foot, but wears quickly when used in high traffic areas
  • Solid hardwood: It resists water when used with a proper sealant. You can also find pre-sealed and wood laminate floors that are simple to install. Wood floors are hard wearing, easy to clean, and hide dirt and spills. Contractor-installed wood floors average eight dollars per square foot, including all materials.
  • Glazed ceramic tiles: Depending on size and color, they can run from one to twenty dollars per square foot.
  • Terracotta pavers: They add a deep, Mediterranean feel. They're relatively inexpensive-around two dollars-fifty cents per square foot.
  • Natural stone tiles--marble, granite, and slate: They start around two dollars per square foot. Tile requires grout maintenance, but is very durable.

Go Green

Most similar to hardwood, bamboo floors are eco-friendly for the kitchen. They're water-resistant and don't warp like wood. Cork is tough and is a good insulator of sound and heat. Along with bamboo and rubber, it's completely renewable, and, therefore, is a green flooring product. Installed cork runs around the same price as hardwood, whereas bamboo is one to three dollars more per square foot. Rubber floors are available in a variety of colors and textures, including recycled rubber and speckled styles.

Nowadays, you're not limited to laminate and vinyl floors when remodeling your kitchen. Shop around, and match material to your design--it's the first step in the right direction.

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