DURABLE, LONG-LASTING, AND PRACTICAL KITCHEN FLOORING OPTIONS
Updated: Nov 28, 2019
The last thing you want in a kitchen floor is to replace it right after you buy it. These are the floors that will last for decades in your kitchen.
A kitchen floor needs to stand up to a lot. Aside from regular foot traffic (the kitchen is one of the most heavily trafficked rooms in any home), it’s also got to deal with spills, splashes, stains, heat, and who knows what else on a regular basis. As a result, it’s no surprise that one of the most frequent requests we get is for information on durable kitchen flooring. We’ve covered kitchen flooring options before (e.g., with a focus on water resistance or with affordability as a priority), but today we’ll cover it again with a focus on longevity, ease of maintenance, and aesthetics.
For looks and durability, look no further than ceramics and porcelain tiles
There isn’t a better combination of looks and performance for a kitchen floor than tile.
If you’re most interested in durability paired with attractiveness, it’s hard to beat ceramic and porcelain floor tiles for kitchens. They’re made to be waterproof, hard, easy to clean, and unstainable. They won’t be damaged by heat and they won’t break. Unless you drive heavy machinery over them, they’re likely to last for the life of your home, barely changing as the years go by. You can also buy ceramic and porcelain tiles in a range of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes, meaning your design options are essentially limitless.
Stay away from hardwood flooring unless it’s treated (and you’re okay with a weathered look)
You won’t get waterproof performance from hardwood floors in a kitchen, but you’ll certainly get a classic appeal that’s hard to match anywhere else.
If your top priority is to have a floor that looks good, even if it takes more maintenance to keep in good shape, it’s hard to top kitchen hardwood flooring. But while it will undoubtedly look good upon installation, you’re going to need to pay much more attention to avoiding water and staining. That said, if you have it installed with a urethane finish (or if you apply a finish on your own), you can make hardwood floors work in most kitchens as long as you pay attention to stains and moisture.
No matter how careful you are with hardwood flooring, if you use it in a kitchen, it’s naturally going to degrade to some degree as the years go by; stains, spills, and splatters will add up with the natural rhythms of cooking. However, the appearance of a well-used and well-loved hardwood floor can be a big draw, especially if you’ve put the years on the floor yourself. There’s also always the potential for a floor refinish if you want to restore its original luster.d.
When all else fails, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with vinyl
…and when all else fails, look to vinyl for good-old-fashioned practicality.
Finally, although it’s not the most luxurious choice, vinyl remains the most sought-after kitchen flooring option for four reasons: it’s incredibly durable, it’s waterproof, it needs no maintenance whatsoever, and it’s highly affordable. Vinyl is essentially a sheet of plastic laid down on your subfloor, and it’s about as hardy as a Tupperware container. The only things you need to do to keep it clean are to sweep or vacuum it, although you can also wet mop it whenever you want, since it’s completely waterproof. The biggest downsides to vinyl have to do with its appearance; while it can last for decades before developing rips and tears, much like any plastic dish, it’ll generally start fading after around a decade of daily use in your home, which includes in your kitchen.
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