Any realtor will tell you that kitchens and baths sell a home, and one of the most important renovations when it comes to those areas is your choice of kitchen flooring. When choosing kitchen flooring, there are a number of things you'll want to keep in the back of your mind. How hard you are on your floors, budget concerns, and design considerations all come into play when determining which is the right type of kitchen floor for your home.
Think beyond Kitchen Flooring
A strange thing happens when many homeowners start looking into a new kitchen floor: they realize the floors in the rest of their home could use some work as well. One of the more popular trends in kitchen flooring is to take advantage of this tendency and choose flooring that will look great in adjoining areas of the home. For example, the perfect stone tiles for your kitchen probably won't look too shabby in the living room or the bathroom down the hall. And from a design standpoint, tying your house together with common flooring is a great way to create a sense of continuity between spaces that would otherwise feel isolated and out of sorts.
Kitchen flooring is no different when it comes to design trends than any other material: what is "in" changes with the times. Presently, natural looking floors have grabbed the upper hand over more refined looks. Tumbled marble and stone give you all the advantages of polished stone flooring tiles with a toned down, natural look, and porcelain tiles are also available in earth tones and rougher finishes. Even laminate and wood flooring have adjusted to meet natural flooring needs. If you choose a wood or wood imitation laminate, consider darker finishes, and install varieties with a thicker, more obvious grain.
Beyond Design: the Practical Considerations
We'd all like to make our flooring choices based purely on aesthetics, but it's also important to take into account practical considerations as well. Perhaps the two biggest of these are budget and wear and tear. If you've got children or pets and tend to be hard on your floors, look at rougher hewn stone tiles for maximum durability. They are tough as nails, and because they aren't polished or sporting a fine finish, they won't show scratches and scuffs like some other materials. Definitely stay away from hardwood floors in your kitchen if you're hard on flooring, since they can be scratched if you're not careful. Also, beware of porcelain. Some varieties are tougher than others, and fragile ceramic or porcelain tiles can chip easily under heavy use.
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For Those on a Budget
If you're working on budget, but are still particular about flooring appearance, look into laminate flooring for your kitchen floor. Laminate can be a beautiful product, and is made to imitate everything from hardwood to stone. It is also one of the toughest materials on the market, making it perfect for homeowners with kids and pets. Best of all, it comes at a fraction of the cost per square foot than higher end flooring. It's not quite as timeless, and you won't be fooling anyone who takes a good, long look at it, but for homeowners on a budget, laminate is an excellent choice.
Talk to the Pros
If you're looking into replacing your kitchen flooring, talk to a flooring contractor about the best option for your needs and situation. And if you're like most homeowners, you're probably not going to stop with the kitchen floor. To get the most out of a new kitchen remodel talk to an interior designer or specialty kitchen designer to help you plan and coordinate your new flooring with the rest of your kitchen as well.