Kitchen flooring is a big deal. Hardwood floors vs. ceramic tile vs. slate floor tiles vs. carpet vs. …you get the idea. The choices are complex and varied. When we remodeled that first home, we chose marble and slate for the rest of the flooring in the house, but for the kitchen, we chose a gray Berber carpet with a very heavy pad. Why? The kitchen is the one place in the house where you spend the majority of your time standing.
I love the choices that you have for kitchen flooring. Wood of every color and texture is available to create the most delightful floors. Wood is easy to care for and to stand on – without hurting your back or knees. It is a forgiving surface but it does scar if you drop a heavy pan or break a glass on it. There are top finishes that you can use to keep the staining down, but please, do not pour grape juice on it as a test. With quality wood flooring the colors will become deeper and richer with age.
Stone flooring is cold, hard and beautiful. Slate, surprisingly, must be sealed very carefully or it produces dust that covers everything. We had a mess for a while before we found the correct sealer. We used slate flooring for the master bedroom and bathroom – very cold but beautiful. Marble makes a beautiful floor as well. You can find just about any color you want. The range of colors is amazing. Just be aware that marble is relatively fragile and will stain; so do not spill red wine or you will be in trouble. Granite makes better counters and walls than floors. Travertine, a porous form of limestone, has been used for centuries as a paving stone, flooring tile and even for larger projects. The Romans used travertine as the primary construction material when building the Coliseum.
Carpeting may seem like a strange kitchen flooring choice, but it works well. If you use carpeting, get yourself a good carpet cleaner machine and a strong vacuum cleaner. If you spill flour, it really makes a mess with the carpet. But that is my only complaint using carpet. It did help me with my knees.
Tile flooring is a popular choice, especially in the southwest where I live. In the East, if you run hot water heating system under the tile, the floor will not be so cold in winter and the air rising off the floor will help warm the area. Tile is easy to clean and wears well. If a tile is broken, it is easily replaced. The one difficulty is the grout. If you use tile, be sure and secure extra dry grout to keep on hand, just in case you need it. Grout coloring is like a fabric run – with dye lots being slightly different from each other. So make sure that you have the correct die lot for your extra grout.
As you can see, your choices for kitchen flooring are wide open. Take your time and think about what will fit with your design choices. But most importantly, choose the type of flooring surface that will work best for you and your family.