Think of redoing your “kitchen” and you probably first think of countertops and cabinets – and for good reason. Both are essential parts of any kitchen, and both have massive effects the kitchen’s overall look and feel. But when redoing your kitchen, you might be tempted to focus on those countertops and cabinets to the detriment of another very important part: the kitchen floor.
Tile floors are traditional and classic – the kind you’ll find on almost any kitchen floor. But they are not the only option; whether you’re into tile or into a hardwood look, there are tons of different styles of flooring you can choose to outfit your kitchen with. Each has their own unique look and benefits, too.
Keep reading to see a few different, essential types of kitchen flooring…and find out which would look best in your home.
Ceramic tile is a classic standby of kitchen flooring materials. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get a hold of, easy to put in, and very easy to clean. It’s also quite durable and water-resistant; it requires little in the way of maintenance and can handle all kinds of everyday wear and abuse with barely any wear, if at all. If you do need to make repairs for replace some tiles, it is a relatively easy process.
Ceramic tiles can in almost any natural color, like brown or an off-white, or almost marble. They thus go well with subtle and earth-toned kitchens. Ceramic is also excellent at hiding dirt.
Porcelain tile is, ceramic tile, made from clay mixture that has been fired and hardened in a kiln. Unlike ceramic tile, however, porcelain is very refined – and takes on a super-smooth finished look. Thus, it’s more expensive…and is generally considered a more expensive and higher-end flooring material.
Additionally, because it is denser and smoother than ceramic, porcelain is also less porous – and thus more water-resistant. It’s one of the most water-resistant kitchen tiles you can get, actually – and doesn’t need much in the way of sealant or refinishing, as many others do. It’s also very stain-resistant, as well as harder and more durable than regular ceramic tile.
If you’re looking for a refined-yet-durable kitchen tile, and don’t spending a little bit more money, porcelain tile should be on the top of your list.
Travertine is a gorgeous and luxurious – but not prohibitively expensive – floor tiling. It’s perfect for almost any kitchen – but especially for those that with designs that benefit from rustic earth tones; it’s usually available in brown or reddish tan, reflecting its limestone origins. Each piece has its own unique natural “grain,” too, as its made from years of sediment buildup.
In terms of style and elegance, few flooring materials can beat Travertine. In terms of durability and ease-of-maintenance, it holds up pretty well, too. It’ll handle just about anything you can throw at it in terms of everyday wear, dropped pans, and more (it is stone, after all). A properly installed and cared-for travertine floor should last decades.
Just be warned – maintenance is integral to the Travertine experience. Moisture can actually be absorbed into the porous surface, degrading the stone over time and allowing mold to grow. You’ll need to apply a sealant over the surface of your travertine tiles – ideally every few years – to keep your kitchen floor in ideal shape.
Love a hardwood floor, but don’t want to invest in the expense and effort of real wood? Go for a laminate wood floor. It’s almost indistinguishable from traditional hardwood just in terms of aesthetics but is substantially cheaper. It’s also much more durable and requires far less maintenance; it’s pressed from real wood, is more resistant to scratches (good for heavy traffic and homes for pets) and is far easier to clean. It’s also more resistant to moisture than traditional hardwood, as it is denser and usually has a better sealant.
Downsides to laminate wood flooring include that it’s harder to repair than hardwood – which can often just be sanded and refinished – and that it doesn’t age as well.
You can use laminate flooring in almost style kitchen where hardwood would look good, but it looks especially good in farmhouse style kitchens, or paired with bright white or complementary wooden cabinets. Choosing a darker or lighter finish can make a huge difference in how good it works with your kitchen style, too.
The last kitchen tile style you need to be aware of is marble. People have been using this luxurious and gorgeous tile style for thousands of years, and it looks just as good in your home as it did in some of the world’s oldest landmarks. It’ll work in almost (suitably high-end) kitchen, though we think it looks best with matching white marble countertops and cabinets. It’s waterproof and insanely durable (evidenced by all the old ancient Greek and Roman ruins still standing, right?).
With all that said, just remember that marble is extremely expensive and heavy, making installation a big job. It also gets extremely slippery when wet, which can pose a serious hazard around the home. While it won’t break easily, it will need periodic resealing and maintenance to keep it in its best shape possible – as it is quite susceptible to staining and scratches.
But hey – if you’re lucky enough to have marble flooring in your kitchen, that periodic maintenance doesn’t seem like too big a deal.