The best flooring for kitchens is sometimes what you wouldn’t expect. The kitchen is a tough room to equip. It’s where friends and family gather every night for a meal, and it’s one room in the home that gets high traffic and hard work every day.
The kitchen is truly a room of congregation and for all these reasons, so picking the best type of flooring for kitchen spaces is especially important.
1. Porcelain flooring
Porcelain is hard and durable, stain-resistant, waterproof, and resembles a natural stone at significantly less the expense. As a kitchen flooring type, these are the top reasons why some households go to porcelain.
With that said, porcelain is easier to slip and fall on than other surfaces, standing on it for long periods of time can be straining, and it can be very challenging. This might be the best type of flooring for kitchen spaces, with porcelain able ot handle any splatter, mess, or spill.
2. Cork flooring
Cork is a go-to kitchen flooring type with a lot of benefits. Cork is environmentally sustainable, is soft to walk on, moisture-resistant, and is also slip resistant. A cork kitchen floor does present some challenges however including the fact that it requires new sealant every three to four years.
Heavy furniture, such as a kitchen table, can create permanent indentations. Direct sun can also discolor it over time. Although it’s a very popular option and well worth it for its advantages, you’ve got to be ready to care for it.
3. Natural stone flooring
Natural stone flooring gives your kitchen a designer look, with a wide array of options and colors to choose from. It adds resale value to the home and is very durable. These advantages aside, natural stone’s expensive, heavy, difficult to install, and cheaper varieties is very susceptible to damage. In terms of an alternative to hardwood flooring in the kitchen, natural stone’s your best bet.
The look of this type of stone is very unique, leaving you ultimately with a kitchen that’s very directly yours. The process for installation is complicated and the material itself isn’t cheap but if you’re working in a high-end kitchen or want a look like this, this is a great option.
4. Engineered hardwood flooring
Durable enough to withstand the traffic and moisture resistant enough to handle occasional spills, engineered hardwood is a recommended kitchen floor type. Installing engineered hardwood flooring adds property value as well and is also very conducive to open concept layouts.
Engineered hardwood is one of the more expensive kitchen floor types, can be difficult to replace when a plank is damaged, and is manufactured from resins and adhesives. For those that can afford it, this type of hardwood transitions well from room to room and will always protect your kitchen no matter what mess is made.
5. Vinyl flooring
Vinyl kitchen flooring is budget-friendly and affordable, very water-resistant, and come in an assortment of colors and styles. Vinyl is a preferred flooring type for all these reasons although it can come with some drawbacks. Unlike other flooring types, though vinyl doesn’t detract, it doesn’t add any value to a home. It’s also not the most eco-friendly flooring type and is susceptible to scratches as well as other forms of damage.
If you’re not careful in a kitchen, one’s vinyl flooring can look pretty beat-up after a certain amount of time. If well taken care of, vinyl flooring can last up to 20 years and still look as good as new.
6. Costs for a kitchen floor flooring
Almost every kitchen will select one of the prior 5 kitchen flooring types. A huge factor is cost, understandably. Although every installer is different and actual cost can vary, a kitchen floor estimate will generally fit to the following cost comparison. For an average 250 sq. ft. kitchen, vinyl’s least expensive at $500 for sheet vinyl or $1,200 for luxury vinyl.
Next up is porcelain tile at $1,275 for 250 sq. ft., cork flooring at $1,600, natural stone tile flooring for $2,300, and lastly engineered hardwood is most expensive at $2,600. Now this is just for the materials. Labour will further add to the cost.
7. Installation costs flooring
Difficulty of installation varies from floor type to floor type. For the average professional installer, installation fees for each are likely to start at $3/sq. ft. for sheet vinyl, $6/sq. ft. for cork, $7/sq. ft. for vinyl tile and plank, and $8/sq. ft. for engineered hardwood.
But what about porcelain tile and natural stone? The most expensive kitchen flooring type to install are these two. Porcelain tile’s likely to run you $13/sq. ft., and natural stone will cost up to $15/sq. ft. and sometimes more depending on the type of stone selected.
8. So what’s the best flooring type for a kitchen?
The best kitchen floor for you is what suits your budget and priority for the space. A designer kitchen’s engineered hardwood or natural stone adds value but it may not speak to you. If you want to install the kitchen yourself, luxury vinyl is simple enough to do. If eco-friendliness is priority, cork’s renewable and all-natural.
If affordability’s your #1 guide, go with porcelain tiles. As mentioned, it all boils down to how you see your kitchen, what you have to spend, and what you’re looking to get from your kitchen in aesthetic and return.