The kitchen floor goes through a lot. We’re speaking about spills, heat, dropped utensils, in addition to the constant footsteps.
Therefore, you will have to pick a material that will be able to withstand such hazards and maintain its original shape at the same time.
There is a wide selection of materials that can be used in kitchens, but not all of them satisfy the required specifications. In this article, we’ll review the 6 best kitchen floor materials currently available in the market.
The Best Kitchen Floor Materials
How will every material perform? What are the benefits and shortcomings? This is what I’ll cover for each of the 5 materials mentioned below. Let’s see!
Vinyl has been in the flooring market since the 1930s. Manufacturers have been racing since then to optimize its features and decrease its shortcomings. Nowadays, the most modern type of vinyl is known as luxury vinyl flooring(LVF).
If you have a big family with young kids, you can keep your kitchen in top condition by using this option.
Why? Well, it’s extremely durable. Most products have a lifetime warranty for residential use and a 20-year warranty for commercial use. Moreover, if you install it properly, it’ll be extremely waterproof.
It is also very easy to clean, as long as you have the right tools, like a mop for vinyl floors.
The best thing about it is how fashionable it can be. Nearly all the available products can mimic stone or wood to a large extent.
However, it’s among the least eco-friendly floorings. It’s manufactured by organic compounds that can’t be recycled. Therefore, old vinyl typically ends in landfills. Also, shortly after installing, it will outgas harmful volatile organic compounds that may cause respiratory irritation.
Let’s be honest, nothing beats the classy look of natural hardwood. But when it comes to the kitchen, you may want to reconsider.
Wood is super sensitive to moisture. Some manufacturers have overcome this by using advanced sealants and waterproof finishes. Although these improvements have made it more waterproof, I don’t think that hardwood is ready yet for the constant spillage typically found in most kitchens.
To properly take care of a hardwood flooring, you’ll have to instantly mob any spillage. Prolonged exposure to moisture will permanently stain it.
However, if you become unhappy with how aged your hardwood looks, you can refinish it. This is done by sanding the floor beyond the old finish and any other defect. Then applying the all-new finish with a new stain if you’d like.
It’s worth mentioning that an aged hardwood flooring actually looks good! It reflects your personality and gives an antiquey and classic look that may fit your interior.
If you do choose hardwood, don't miss our reviews of the best mops for wood floors.
Ceramic is another great flooring option for busy kitchens. Its manufacturing involves exposure to extreme temperatures. That’s what makes the final product highly resistant to water, stains, scratches, and mechanical trauma.
Simply put, you won’t find a tougher flooring to put in your kitchen. Although set-in stains are rare with ceramic, they can be conveniently removed with any heavy-duty cleaner without worrying about damaging the material.
A steam mop is also a great choice for getting ceramic floors clean, without using any chemicals.
Moreover, it has a versatile look at a relatively low budget. You can find tiles that mimic wood, stone, marble, you name it.
On the downside, its hardness can make it tiring to stand on for long periods. Also, it tends to feel colder than other floorings. But these problems are manageable with suitable footwear and a radiant heating system.
Another disadvantage lies in its installation. The tiles themselves are notably heavy. They also require delicate handling to properly install them. Hence, if you’re looking for DIY flooring, ceramic isn’t for you.
Marble is one of the natural stone floorings. It’s famously used in palaces, so it will give your kitchen an unmatched luxurious look.
Moreover, between other stone floors, marble can be polished to give a super smooth and shiny surface. This adds a lot to its value and appearance.
As expected, such luxurious material comes at an expensive price. In return, your house resale value will definitely increase.
Owing to its stone nature, marble is somewhat porous. Therefore, it doesn’t offer the best water and stain resistance. Nevertheless, there are different types of sealantsthat can drastically improve this issue.
It’s important to note that polished marble has a low coefficient of friction. This means that it’ll be a bit slippery, especially in the presence of water. Therefore, marble might not be the best option if you have kids in your household.
Several people are surprised to know that concrete can be used as kitchen flooring. They think it would look too industrial. But, this is totally wrong.
Concrete can be colored with a solid hue, or even have a color pattern of your choice. Naturally, it’s a porous material. So it won’t resist water and staining on its own. But once you apply a suitable sealant for concrete, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Needless to say, concrete is among the most durable floorings. It can live up to 50 years without significant damage. If you consider this alongside its low cost, you’ll find that it’s the most cost-effective option.
Nevertheless, it’s fairly hard to install. The process should be done with the perfect timing of pouring, finishing, staining, polishing, and sealing.
Moreover, unless you install a radiant heating system, concrete will feel somewhat cold.
Cork has been gaining wider popularity recently. It’s manufactured from the ground-up bark of cork oakmixed with different resins.
If you look at cork’s cross-section, you’ll find that it looks like a honeycomb. This hollow nature is the secret behind being somewhat elastic and soft underfoot. Also, as air fills these hollow gaps, cork is an excellent thermal insulator and sound dampener.
Just like hardwood, it’s not resistant to water and stains by itself. You’ll have to apply a special sealer for that to happen. But even that won’t make it 100% waterproof.
Hence, the best way to protect the cork from staining is to promptly mop any spillage. After a few years of use, you can sand down the superficial layer to apply a new finish and sealer.
On the positive side, cork is a DIY budget-friendly option.
Choosing the Best Kitchen Floor Material
What’s the best kitchen floor material? There’s no one right answer. You’ll have to decide based on your needs and budget.
Are you looking for a luxurious look that increases the home resale value? Go for marble or hardwood.
If you have a busy kitchen with lots of spills and dropped utensils, ceramic will be the most durable option. If you’d like to DIY it, then consider vinyl or cork.
Lastly, if you want a material that will live for the next century, consider concrete.
I hope this article helped you decide. Good luck with your new kitchen floor.