Kitchen Flooring is a very important issue that needs to be considered within a home.
WOOD FLOORING (Read more on Hardwood Flooring)
You still can get good old wood, which is known in the trade as solid wood. But the category has grown to include flooring products referred to as engineered wood and prefinished flooring. No matter which one you choose, it’s hard to go wrong with a wood floor in a kitchen. The cost is moderate, and a wood floor is a resale plus. It can also increase the value of your home which is a great bonus.
Solid wood flooring means the same piece of wood for the entire thickness of the floorboard. A typical wood floorboard is 3/4 in. thick and 2 1/2 in. wide, with a tongue-and-groove profile to make it interlock. Red and white oak still rule, together comprising more than 90% of all of the solid hardwood flooring installed nowadays. But plenty of other species are well suited to kitchen flooring, such as ash, maple, beech and cherry.
However, if you live in an older home with wood floors, they may not be hardwood but have pine-plank flooring which is great if you want to achieve a vintage look in your kitchen.
PROS Warmth, beauty, relatively comfortable underfoot, enormous range of species and price, good resale value, new finishes require less maintenance, can be refinished many times (solid), dimensional stability (engineered), speed of installation, immediate use of room (prefinished)
CONS Finish maintenance required, subject to dents, expands/contracts with humidity (solid), limited choice of stain colours/sheens (prefinished), no overall finish coat applied to “seal” seams (prefinished), limited number of refinishings (engineered)
Mosaic-tile floors that have been excavated in Piazza Armerina, Sicily, are 1,800 years old. How’s that for durability?
Kitchens usually need a group III or higher tile. Choose a tile with good slip resistance. Unglazed tiles are less slippery than glazed tiles. Any tile with a slightly textured surface provides greater traction than a smooth tile. The texture shows dirt less; too much texture, however, inhibits cleaning.
Tiles that mimic stone in their texture and have mottled colouration are popular now. Many of these tiles are porcelain products, fired at temperatures so high that they are vitreous. This process renders them harder than the slate, granite, marble or limestone they resemble. They are extremely dense and absorb little water, meaning you can continue your kitchen flooring outside the house. And these tiles are made in sizes larger than previous standards, up to 18 in. sq. The larger the tile, the more expansive your kitchen space reads.
If you value an original more than a copy, consider stone: granite, limestone, slate, soapstone. Stone retains heat, making a stone floor a fine installation over radiant heat or in passive-solar situations. We know it’s durable, and it is low maintenance.
Soapstone sends a worn, venerable message; black absolute granite sends a polished, sophisticated one. Rustic stone tiles with slightly irregular dimensions will look their best with wider grout lines. Crisply machined stone tiles, such as the soapstone floors from Green Mountain Soapstone, have edges accurate enough to require no grout. Just butt them together.
Seal any stone except soapstone. A stone supplier can recommend the best sealer. Maintain your floor with a pH-neutral cleaner but nothing that leaves a soap film, which traps dirt.
PROS Durability and hardness, enormous variety, simple care, environmentally friendly, no staining or fading, good over radiant heat, moderate cost
CONS Less comfortable underfoot, hardness means breakage of dropped items, cold, noisy, grout can stain or crack.
Vinyl flooring, which bounded into homes in the 1960s, works great in the kitchen and remains a popular choice today. Inlaid patterns are consistent throughout the thickness of the material. They last longer than those patterns printed on the top surface only, which can wear off. So inlaid costs more.
Products differ mostly in the composition of the top, or wear, layer. The tougher and more resistant, the longer the life expectancy of the product; also, the better the warranty.
There is some, but not much. As with wood floors, the culprits are outdoor grit and pebbles that are likely to scratch the finish or to become embedded. Sweep, damp mop, and follow manufacturers’ recommendations about cleaning products.
PROS: Resilient, comfortable, enormous variety, tough, wears well, low cost, works in most site conditions, good warranties, simple maintenance, non-absorptive
CONS: Can fade or yellow, pattern can wear off, seams can lift or intrude visually
Linoleum is a product manufactured from natural, renewable resources, including linseed oil, wood flour, ground limestone, pigments and resins, and backed by jute fibre. Its components, in combination, have both antistatic and bactericidal qualities.
What it is not: vinyl (PVC). Vinyl pushed linoleum aside in the 1960s because then it required waxing to keep it looking good, while vinyl didn’t. Today’s linoleum doesn’t need waxing because it comes presealed and also can be resealed.
PROS: Environmentally friendly, antiallergen, antistatic, resilient, comfortable, durable, tiles are a good DIY choice, large color selection, simple care
CONS: Pricier up front, seams can intrude visually, harder to find installer.
One of the hardest worked rooms in any Devon home is the kitchen. Research proves that the kitchen is becoming the focal point of most Devon homes, and the room in which more and more time is spent. The variety of kitchen designs available in Devon today is simply staggering, and it is a room that now sees rising levels of expenditure in furniture, appliances and floor covering.
The need for an efficient and comfortable heating system is now more important than ever. However heating a kitchen has often been a compromise, with precious wall space having to be given over to a radiator or storage heater. This commonly specified heating not only occupies valuable space, but its very presence can detract from the design of the kitchen you’ve tried to create.
Now you can free up that cherished wall space, and enjoy a comfortable controlled underfloor heating system. Unseen and therefore never unsightly, this affordable, economic heating choice is proving to be a real winner in the kitchen.