The Pros & Cons of Kitchen Flooring Materials

December 08, 2017

If you’re planning to revamp your kitchen floors, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of hardwood, tile, travertine, laminate and vinyl can be very useful. Check out our tips for helping pick the flooring types that are right for your family and lifestyle. 

 

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Image via Studio 212 Interiors

1. Hardwood 

When it comes to flooring, real hardwood floors are at the top of most homeowners wishlist. Buyers can choose between solid hardwood or engineered hardwood, which is constructed with several layers of wood called plies. 

Pros: Just about everyone wants hardwood floors, including home buyers. The resale value is through the roof. Other flooring products can come close but never fully replicate their natural beauty. Hardwood floors have the ability to be refinished and can last for a very long time.

Cons: Hardwood floors aren’t always practical for homeowners who want low-maintenance kitchens. They scratch more easily than other materials and are harder to clean. When exposed to moisture over the long term, they can warp, buckle or crown. Also, engineered hardwood can only be refinished a handful of times, which means if you have a heavy traffic area and need to refinish often, it may be wise to go with the real thing. 

 

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Image via Steele Street Studios

 

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Image via Croma Design Inc

 

2. Tile

Tile has come a long way in the past 10 years. Not only does tile now come in every color imaginable, tile can also be printed upon and given texture to imitate other products- such as wood flooring. 

Pros: Moisture is no match for porcelain, which absorbs less water than ceramic. Tile has a hard surface that is very durable. It won’t scratch easily and is considered one of the easiest floors to clean. 

Cons: Tile with a smooth finish can get slick when wet. And despite how durable it is, it can still crack and chip if a heavy object hits its surface. Though standard tile is affordable, plank tile and marble tile can cost nearly as much as wood and stone. 

 

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Image via LAURA LAKIN DESIGN

 

3. Travertine


Travertine is a timeless choice and comes in many forms, including tumbled, honed and filled, chiseled, and polished. 

Pros: Travertine has broad appeal for it's classic beauty and luxurious feel. It’s highly durable and is less susceptible to chipping and cracking compared to other tiles. Tumbled travertine offers good slip resistance because of its grooved texture. When cared for properly, it can last for ages. 

Cons: Travertine may not scratch, but it will stain. Natural stone requires more upkeep than other types of flooring. It must be cleaned with a stone cleaner or mild detergent. You also have to seal it every one to two years to protect its porous surface. 

 

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Image via McBurney Junction

 

4. Laminate


A relatively inexpensive floor, it can spruce up your kitchen at a lower cost than hardwood while providing superior scratch resistance against foot traffic. It’s a viable alternative to hardwood floors, offering realistic wood finishes in a variety of styles. 

Pros: If you want to save money, laminate may be for you. It is less expensive than hardwood and tile.

Cons: Laminate isn’t as equipped to handle moisture as tile and vinyl are (it can warp when wet), so installing it in your kitchen can make the upkeep more challenging. If you do, use a proper moisture barrier. You’ll need a special cleaner and mop to clean it. Laminate also doesn’t have the shelf life that hardwood, tile and vinyl floors do.

 

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Image via HGTV

 

5. Vinyl


Vinyl flooring is manufactured in three primary forms: vinyl plank, vinyl tile and sheet vinyl. It has several installation methods, including peel and stick, glue down, and click and lock. It can look like wood or stone. 

Pros: Unlike tile, vinyl won’t chip, and unlike laminate, vinyl can handle moisture. Its durable surface won’t easily succumb to scratches and scuffs. It’s also soft on your feet, a perk for older homeowners and those with foot or knee problems. 

Cons: Furniture can leave marks on vinyl’s soft surface. Foot-traffic patterns can emerge over time and it can actually hurt you in resale. 

 

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Image via Francesco Pierazzi Architects

 

 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

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