Not sure what flooring material to use in your kitchen? It’s important to choose wisely. Kitchen floors are special, because they get more day-to-day wear and tear than any other room. You want to think about durability, maintenance, and ease of cleanup when you shop.

Recommended flooring options that can hold up to the heavy foot traffic and exposure to moisture include the following: linoleum, sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, natural stone tile, natural slate, terra cotta tile, laminate strip/plank, solid hardwood strip/plank, prefinished hardwood, engineered hardwood, bamboo and cork.

Choose Durable, Low-Maintenance Kitchen FlooringAvailable in sheet or tile form, vinyl is the easiest and least expensive material to replace. Vinyl tiles are a project that handy homeowners can handle themselves, while sheet product is better left to the pros since it requires exact shaping and can often be so large that it’s just unwieldy.

Laminate flooring is one of the most durable and versatile flooring materials for kitchens, available in realistic wood, tile, stone, or even vinyl-like patterns. Most laminates are highly water resistant and won’t warp or twist even if you pour water directly onto their surfaces. They’re also easier than ever to install with lock-together, glue-free designs that can “float” over a variety of older floor coverings.

Ceramic, stone, and terra cotta tile are each a treat style-wise, especially when it comes to the overall effect provided by large-format tiles. For the kitchen, you need to look at slip resistance, stain resistance, sealing options, including — or especially! — the grout, since gravity and tomato sauce can work against you.  Tile floors can be hard underfoot — something for serious cooks to consider — but once they’re installed, they’ll outlast both you and your Money Pit.   

Avoid Dishwasher Disasters
If you are replacing the kitchen floor, there’s one appliance in particular you need to keep in mind: the dishwasher. Built-in dishwashers are set between cabinets and under a countertop. If you add a new layer of floor in front of your dishwasher, you may never get it out when it breaks down and needs to be replaced─ which will most likely happen as you’re gluing the last floorboard in place! Instead, disconnect and remove the dishwasher before installing the new flooring. Then you can adjust the height of the legs and slide it back into place.

You have many options when it comes to kitchen floor materials that will offer durability, low maintenance and ease of cleanup. Some offer the potential for DIY installation, while others are best left to the pros. On the looks front, laminate and tile both come in a wide variety of colors and styles to complement any decor scheme. Choose wisely, and you’ll have a beautiful kitchen floor that will last for many years to come.

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