Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's the Best Flooring For a Kitchen?

This is another question we get asked a lot over the phone, in the store and especially at home shows! So what is the best flooring for a kitchen?

These are just my opinions! I'm sure there are varying thoughts out there but I try to take a very practical approach on this one.

When looking at kitchen floor applications I think there are three main considerations. Water on the floor, ease of cleaning and dents - scratches.

I think the two best overall options are luxury vinyl plank and tile or ceramic tile. I'll explain why.

Luxury vinyl plank and tile are very heavy commercial rated, individual planks or tiles of vinyl. These are not your typical sheet good vinyl products nor the peel and stick junk you see at the home improvement stores. This is the same stuff you are standing on in the clothing section at the nation's largest retailer (when you're at W*&mart and in the clothing section, look down at what you're standing on, it will look like wood). If it can handle their traffic it will certainly handle the traffic in your kitchen! The tiles as well mimic ceramic, slate or stone and look as awesome as the wood plank look. These planks and tiles go down individually so it doesn't have the appearance of the cheap stuff. Luxury planks and tiles hold up great with water spills, far better than hardwood or laminate. If you have ever had laminate in your kitchen and had a water leak under the dishwasher you certainly know what I'm talking about! LVTP (luxury vinyl tile and plank) also performs very well against scratches and dents. The kitchen is a place where things tend to get dropped or scraped and can be a problem area if you're not careful. LVTP is super easy to clean as well! With a cleaners on the market by manufacturers such as Bona Kemi and others, a simple damp mop does the trick. My favorite LVTP products are by Karndean (knight Tile-Warm Oak, pictured upper left), Nafco and for the budget minded, Earthwerks Pacific plank is hard to beat.

Ceramic tile holds up better than virtually anything else with water issues. Ceramic tile is apt to crack or break if you drop something very heavy on it, but at least tiles can be replaced. Regular foot traffic does nothing to ceramic. It is susceptible to scratches from dragging the fridge etc, but hopefully you won't do that! Ceramic can also add value to your home, whether real or buyer perceived and that can mean something later. Ceramic is pretty easy on day to day maintenance. Just make sure a good sealant is put on the grout when you have it installed.

So why didn't I mention hardwood or laminate? Let me say that I love hardwood! Hardwood and laminate have their place in the home. The potential of water issues can be a problem. One big leak from your icemaker or sink and your beautiful Brazilian Cherry Wood Flooring or laminate floor is toast. Wood can be very susceptible to denting. It's not as bad as it used to be with the newer aluminum oxide finishes but it can dent. Laminate in most cases is hard to scratch if little weight is applied, but water is a killer for laminate.

My thoughts on this are just that, thoughts. If you are dead set on hardwood flooring in the kitchen, than go for it! It's your kitchen and you need to be happy with it (just make sure you give us a shot at your business!!). If you can only afford an inexpensive laminate floor, then by all means, put it in. I just wanted to give you a little up front information to think about so your decision isn't an impulse buy on how nice something looks or the color matches the cabinets perfectly. When choosing a floor for a kitchen there is a lot more at stake than what just meets the eye.

Be sure to check back soon for an update on our carpet squares designing tips!

Give us a call at BecklersCarpet.com, 1-800-232-5537! We can help you with any of these options, vinyl tile or plank, ceramic tile from Daltile, Emser and others, all species of hardwood flooring, and laminate as well. You can view all of our vinyl plank and tile offerings at BecklersCarpet.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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