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Types of Kitchen Flooring

 


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The right kitchen flooring can not only make your life easier, but it has the ability to set the mood for the entire room. The three main factors to consider when deciding on the type of flooring for your kitchen are durability, use, and style. We'll start by taking a closer look at some of the most popular choices in kitchen flooring.

Hardwood Flooring
With its warmth and inviting tone, hardwood flooring creates a traditional feeling in any kitchen. Hardwood floors are known for their beauty and prestige and are sturdy surfaces that are easy to clean. One of the most popular types of hardwood floors is oak which is neutral in color and very durable. Other popular types of wood used for flooring are ash, cherry and walnut.

Hardwood floors come in two types: solid and engineered. Solid flooring is cut from single pieces of wood and worked into desired shapes. Solid hardwood floors come in strip flooring which are nailed to sub-flooring, plank flooring which has wider boards, and parquet flooring which comes in squares or geometric shapes to create different patterns.

Engineered flooring is created by laminating thin sheets of wood together in a crisscross pattern for strength. They are then topped with a veneer of hardwood to add strength. Engineered flooring holds up better than solid flooring when exposed to changes in moisture and humidity. This makes it a good choice for below-ground floors. Engineered hardwood floors come in strips and planks.

When purchasing hardwood floors for your kitchen, you want to make sure that it has already been finished. Pre-finished hardwood is your best bet for several reasons. First of all, pre-finished wood flooring is less prone to damage and easier to maintain than its unfinished counterpart. Secondly, it is more durable and will in most cases come with long-term manufacturer warranties. Lastly, pre-finished hardwood floors are offered in a wide variety of stain colors and can be easily re-stained to match future remodeling projects.

Laminate Flooring
Laminate is a cost-effective choice for kitchen flooring that is both long-lasting and easy to maintain. Although not considered to be on the same level as wood and marble flooring, laminate can be created to imitate such looks. It is made of several layers and can be installed over
existing floors.

Laminate flooring has an impressive life span. In the lifespan of one laminate floor, carpet would need to be replaced 2 to 4 times, solid hardwoods would need 3 to 5 refinishing treatments, and vinyl flooring would need to be replaced 3 times. Most laminate flooring comes with a manufacturer's warranty of 25 years or longer.

Laminate flooring is extremely durable, which makes it a great choice for families with busy kitchens. It will resist damage from traffic, spills, and scrapes and it makes cleaning and maintenance very simple. Laminate flooring will not lose color over time, while flooring such as hardwood tends to fade. It is offered in many different styles and patterns, and can imitate other types of flooring such as wood, rock, gravel, and concrete.

Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is an affordable and aesthetically pleasing choice for kitchen flooring. Because of its durability and moisture resistance it is primarily used in busy areas of the home such as kitchens and bathrooms. Another reason for its popularity is that it can, much like laminate, be made to imitate other flooring materials such as stone, marble, and wood. Vinyl flooring is often referred to by the popular manufacturers’ trade names Linoleum® and Congoleum®.

Vinyl is made of plastic, or more specifically polyvinyl chloride - abbreviated PVC - to which other compounds are added. It can consist of either multiple layers of material or just one layer.

It is manufactured using one of two processes: inlay or rotovinyl. With inlay vinyl, color and pattern are imbedded into the vinyl layers, while with rotovinyl only a single layer of vinyl is printed with color and pattern. Both manufacturing processes require a protective coating overlay in order to boost durability.

Inlay vinyl flooring, which is only available in tile form, offers great wear resistance since the colors and patterns go all the way through the flooring material. Rotovinyl comes in both sheet and tile form. Resistance to wear is dependent on the type of protective coating used during the manufacturing process. Vinyl floors are very easy to maintain. Sweeping or using a dust mop is often all that is needed.

Marble Flooring
Marble flooring is known for its natural beauty and unbeatable durability. Marble is a type of metamorphic rock that is formed beneath the earth's crust. Although the preferred choice for some, marble flooring is not the optimal choice for kitchen flooring as it is porous and prone
to staining.

Marble flooring comes in many styles and always adds a unique look to a room because no two slabs of marble are identical. It comes in a variety of colors such as pure white, deep green, brown, grey and blue. It is ranked in grades A through D, A being the strongest with the least natural imperfections and D being the softest with most faults. Although grade A marble is the most expensive, it is the recommended choice for kitchens because it is the most durable.

When choosing marble for your kitchen floor, there are a few things to keep in mind. Since marble surfaces can become very slippery when wet, you should choose finishes to help create traction for your floor; these include tumbled and honed finishes. Marble flooring also requires regular maintenance to last a long time. Because it is porous, marble is susceptible to stains from common household liquids so it is important to apply a sealant to protect it.

Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tile flooring is a very popular type of kitchen flooring in the United States - it is one of the oldest and longest-lasting flooring materials known. Ceramic tile is especially well suited for areas with high traffic and exposure to water and dirt, such as entryways, bathrooms, kitchens and hallways.

There are four basic decisions to make when choosing ceramic tile for your floor: size, shape, color, and finish. Ceramic tile ranges in size from 1/4" square to 12" x 12" squares and even larger. Shapes include square, rectangular, diamond, hexagon, octagon, triangular, round etc. - depending on your budget, you can get ceramic tile in any shape you can possibly imagine.

Color choices are endless, from black and white to everything in-between, and as far as finish is concerned most people opt for the glazed finish. Glazed tile is simply more water resistant and easier to clean than any other finish. It does tend to be more slippery when wet, but you can easily get tiles that are glazed with a non-slip material, which should take care of that problem. Ceramic tiles are very strong, durable, cost-effective, and require little maintenance - making it an attractive alternative to many other flooring materials.

Tile Flooring
Stone tile flooring has a natural look and is strong and durable. It comes in several textures and colors and no two pieces are the same. Stone tiles can look traditional and rustic or contemporary and elegant. Although this flooring option can be expensive, stone tiles have the potential to last a lifetime.

Stone tile floors are generally easy to maintain, usually requiring only a mop for cleaning. For extra durability, stone should be periodically sealed. Since kitchens can become busy and messy places, you should choose stone tiles that are resistant to moisture damage and staining.

Granite tile flooring is one of the better options for kitchen flooring because it is denser and more durable than other stone options. Granite is still susceptible to stains so it should be sealed and periodically resealed for regular maintenance.

Factors such as room size, layout, materials used and amount of labor required will all affect the cost of your kitchen remodeling project. Your project is going to cost more if you are starting from scratch with a complete remodel rather than just replacing a couple of items.

A kitchen remodeling project can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 or even $150,000 - you can regulate the cost of your kitchen remodeling project by making product choices that fit your budget.

A new kitchen is a major investment, so take your time choosing colors, finishes and features - and remember to have fun. Work closely with your professional contractor and don't hesitate to ask for help and creative ideas - this will bring you one step closer to the kitchen of your dreams.

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