Kitchen Flooring

Kitchen Flooring

Kitchen Flooring

by admin on October 17, 2012

Kitchen Flooring Buying Guide Because kitchen floors have to endure a lot of wear and tear, it is important to make an informed choice about your flooring and with so many different, stylish options available, this can be a difficult task so we decided to help you to narrow it down.

Customerreports.org has examined 40 flooring products and put them through various tests to find which were most durable and which ones could not handle the abuse:

There is a reason why this is such a popular choice; wood flooring can last a lifetime and it will suit almost any type of kitchen style.

Not only is it natural, warm and hard-wearing, rather than getting damaged by lifes inevitable nicks and dents, it all adds to its charm and character.

The three oak floors that came top of the tests of solid wood products were the Mullican St Andrews Solid Oak Strip. Bruce Dundee Plank and Lumber Liquidators Bellawood Natural Red Oak and these are considered to be in the category of high-end vinyl tiles as they cost in the region of $4.50 to $6.30 per square foot.

Bamboo, namely the EcoTimber Woven Honey/Solid Horizontal Amber and Teragren Synergy Strand with Xcora Java, was another top performer as not only is it fast growing but the process in which it is made whereby it is shred and compressed into fibres (known as stranding) ensures that it is harder than solid strips.

Kitchen Flooring

Lumber Liquidators

Bellawood Natural Red Oak

Kitchen Flooring

Mullican St Andrews

Solid Oak Strip

Laminates

Plastic laminate flooring is a newer type of synthetic flooring and it is made so that it looks like natural materials for example wood, marble or stone because a photographic imprint of the real thing is used beneath a plastic wear layer.

Quick Step Perspectives Ansel Oak Wood which looks like distressed wood and costs about $4 per square foot was one option that stood out in the tests.

Kitchen Flooring

Armstrong Century Farm

Hickory Natural

Vinyl is available in sheets or tiles although we found that the tiles were better than the sheets as, in our tests, tiles and planks resisted scratches and dents much better than the same brands sheet vinyl.

A few vinyl brands that offer both traditional sheet and tiles or plank vinyl are Congoluem DuraCeramic Sierra Slate SI-74 Golden Dreige and Armstrong Century Farm Hickory Natural/ Armstrong Coastal Living L3051 White Wash Walnut.

Overall though, it is a very popular type of flooring and rightly so; it is easy to install and maintain, durable and inexpensive in comparison to a majority of other flooring materials.

Furthermore, vinyl has the most to offer in terms of having the most range of styles as you can get anything from marble ancient Roman tiles to 1950s boomerang designs.

We also found that the greener options, including cork and linoleum which are made from bark without killing the tree, did not perform very well in the tests.

Save yourself some money

Search for overstocks

Some discount floorers like www.iFloor.com and www.lumberliquidators.com may offer deals on overstocked flooring which they purchase direct from the manufacturers.

Don’t overbuy

You can calculate your rooms square footage by multiplying the length by the width. Add 10% to this just in case but dont buy any more than that as it will just go to waste.

See before you buy

It may seem like a time and money wasting exercise but it is always best to either buy from a real shop or order samples if you are buying online or from a catalogue as the last thing you want is to buy from only having viewed pictured and then it coming and looking terrible in your kitchen.

Do any prep work yourself

You may not know how to or be confident enough to lay the flooring but you can save yourself a lot of money by preparing the installers surface including removing old flooring, levelling the subfloor and tearing out any baseboard.

Things to consider

Factory finishes are better in the long run

Although prefinished wood and bamboo flooring may cost up to 40% more than unfinished flooring, they do last longer and so you will be getting value for your money.

Furthermore, if you pay a professional to add the finish, you will still end up paying costs as well as having the additional hassle and mess.

Check green floors are certified

The packaging of green floors should have a label on stating so as both the manufacturer and the product must be certified.

This certification from the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative is to assure the buyer that the wood has been sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Vinyl which have been tested for and are recognised as having relatively lower levels of harmful volatile organic compounds (linked to pollution and health issues) are also given a FloorScore certification to give the buyer peace of mind.

What’s best for me?

Kitchen Flooring

1. Solid wood or bamboo

2. Enginereed wood or bamboo

4. Vinyl

5. Linoleum

6. Ceramic Tile

Image credit to customerreports.org

Solid wood or bamboo

This type gives natural warmth and you can sand and refinish it many times.

A drawback which may mainly be an issue for households with children is its tendency to dent easily.

Also, we found that it was quite difficult to install and many types that we tested changed colour under ultraviolet light.

It costs between $5 and £10 per square foot and this includes installation.

Engineered wood or bamboo

Is veneer over substrate which is also good for natural warmth but is much easier to install than the previous version as it can be glued, nailed or stapled into place as well as snapped together and floated without the need for glue or fasteners.

It can be refinished once but is not very hard wearing as it dents easily and can be damaged by spills.

It costs between $4 and $9 per square foot.

Plastic laminate

This product is easy to install, durable and there is a large selection of styles to choose from especially as many are imitations of a variety of natural materials.

It can usually be floated and can is stain and sunlight resistant although it can be damaged by big spills.

Also, it can be dented quite easily and it cannot be refinished.

It usually costs between $3 and $7 per square foot including installation.

Vinyl

Is very practical, easy to install and is wear, dent, stain, moisture and sun resistant.

They can be made to look like stone although close up, it still looks like vinyl. Prices are between $2 and $6 per sq. ft.

Linoleum

This choice is ideal for those who are looking for a natural product which is resilient and available in a wide choice of styles.

They are stain and sun resistant but all the ones that we tested underperformed in at least one of the main categories making vinyl a slightly better choice with its overall better performance. It costs $4 to $9 per square foot.

Ceramic tile

Is more suited to those who have a bigger budget to spend.

It comes in a lot of options, is hardwearing and resisted most typical kitchen abuse that it was subjected to. It is, however, difficult to install and if a heavy item is dropped on it, it may crack the tile and break the item as well as stain the grout.

This is usually the most expensive option costing about $8 to $15 per square foot.

New type of ceramic Tile

There is also a new type of porcelain tile that has recently come onto the market which is called Cliks by Daltile and costs $5 per square foot.

The main distinguishing feature of these tiles is that they click together with interlocking tongues and grooves so there is no need for cement or grout just like engineered wood and plastic laminates.

It is easy to install and practical as well as being scratch, stain and sunlight resistant which makes it a very tempting choice.

The negative side of these Cliks is that they cracked quite easily when we placed the heavier weights on them in the dents test and replacing one broken tile proved to be quite a mission because they locked together as you then have to remove a full row as well as the end moulding just for one tile.

This option sounds ideal if you are looking for a ceramic tile that you can install yourself but we advise against it if you are prone to kitchen mishaps and dropped pots.

Kitchen Flooring

What did the expert says?

We compile from the expert interviews and find the comparison between them in term of which would be the best and durable for kitchen flooring


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