It is easy to be excited when shopping for kitchen flooring after we have gone through hundreds of home interior design magazines but it is not advisable to choose a material based on looks alone. Narrow the choices to a few of your favourites and then take a trip to a flooring store or home centre for a test drive.
We do most activity in the kitchen while we are standing so it is smart to look for something that is easy on the legs. While shopping take your shoes off and stand on the floor in your stocking feet and see how it feels. Is the floor comfortable or too hard under your feet? Put your shoes back on and go for a walk and see how the floor sounds on the noise level. Today's kitchens are more open than ever attaching to the den or even opening up to the great room. The noise from shoes can create problems while others are talking or watching TV. Remember too that the kitchen is typically the busiest spot in the house so you want a floor that wears well too. With the kids and the animals it doesn't take long to wear the floor down, not to mention all the foot traffic and spills. Durability is important in today's full families and ease of maintenance should be taken into consideration too.
These are different floorings to be considered:
Wood fits a variety of decor styles and is warm underfoot, easy on the legs and is basically a quiet floor option. The maintenance and durability of a wood floor depend greatly on what species of wood is being used and how that wood is finished. One of the worries with wood is that it may be scratched, but wood floors can always be sanded and refinished. For homeowners who want an exceptionally durable floor and requires little maintenance, laminate is a great option. Laminate is factory-finished and can be easily installed over an existing floor making installation a breeze. While laminate has its advantages, it lacks the warmth and character typically associated with natural wood and some may find it noisy.
Ceramic tile allows for a great deal of customisation in terms of colours and patterns. Though tile is easy too clean with a damp mop, the surrounding grout can be difficult to maintain and keep clean. Ceramic tile can be very hard on the legs not to mention dropped dishes. It doesn't help with sound control in the kitchen and can be quite cold underfoot. If you are on a tight budget then vinyl sheeting or peel and stick tiles are for you. Vinyl is easy to install and is available in an endless array of colours and patterns. One of the drawbacks to vinyl floors is that the edges can curl and peel.
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Linoleum flooring is making a comeback due to its green appeal. Made from linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone and pigments, this kitchen flooring is environmentally friendly. There are other green options that are environmentally friendly but of course there are advantages and disadvantages to each type of flooring. The key is to go with your own kitchen flooring ideas and in the long run your floor will reflect your taste and fit with your lifestyle.