Simple Kitchen Flooring Ideas

Your choice of kitchen floor will depend upon the style and look you wish to achieve in the room. There are certain flooring options that are more popular than others, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fall in line. Here are a few different kitchen flooring ideas to consider.

Wood Flooring for the Kitchen

Wood floors are very common in kitchens. In fact, wood floors are definitely one of the most popular types of flooring options available. There are several different types of wood that you can choose for your floor.

Whether you stick with a basic pine slat or get a little trendier and environmentally conscience and choose a bamboo wood floor the warmth of wood adds character to the space. The color and type of the wood you choose will depend on your kitchen’s style and theme.

Tile Flooring; Timeless and Tasteful

Another very popular type of flooring for the kitchen is tile. There are so many different options from different colors and designs to a variety of materials for your tile floor. Pick from plain tile floors, ones that are laid out in a design and others that resemble stone or are decorative.

Both ceramic and porcelain tile require little maintenance and are resistant to stains and scratches. You do need to exercise some caution not to drop anything upon your tiles, though, since they are prone to cracking.

Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen

A less expensive choice for the kitchen floor is laminate. You may be surprised at just how many options you have to choose from when it comes to the new laminate flooring. Laminate floors that look like wood floors and can easily pass for a real genuine wood floor are very popular.

There are laminate floors that look like tile as well as plain laminate floors that are very simple but can fit in perfect to play down a visually striking kitchen. Many people choose laminate floors because they can be installed easily and cost much less than a tile or real wood floor.

Concrete Floor in the Kitchen

Not many people may think of a concrete floor for the kitchen but they are becoming increasingly popular. A concrete floor designed for the kitchen is different than a regular concrete floor. These are decorative and stained concrete floors that can have patterns and color incorporated into their matrix. Concrete floors are very durable and are also very reasonable when compared to real wood floors.

Vinyl for a Kitchen Floor

Another inexpensive flooring option is vinyl tile or sheet. Some people think of old kitchens when it comes to vinyl but vinyl has come a long way from the old linoleum floors of the past. Patterns, colors and designs have taken over the market, bringing style and beauty to any kitchen.

The best thing about vinyl is that you can really save money and install the floor yourself. A vinyl tile floor can make a clear statement or be a quiet, calming addition to your kitchen. It is up to you what type of vinyl tile you choose as there are thousands of options.

These are just some of the flooring options that you have for your kitchen. Once you have narrowed down you selection, you should go and look to see what is available locally. It may just surprise you to see how many options you really have.

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Bath and Shower Tubs

If you have a small bathroom, then you may like to consider a Bath and Shower Tub. This is simply a bath tub with a shower above it. The idea is that you stand up in the bath whilst you shower. Splashing is often protected by a glass screen or plastic curtain.

Another plus to the Bath and Shower combo is that you then have the option of saving space in your bathroom, making room for another cupboard or more storage space. Or you may like to use the extra space to invest in a larger bath tub and really spoil yourself!

Bath and Shower combos can also save you money on your bathroom renovation. If you have an existing bath that you are happy to keep, you simply need to install a shower fitting above it. Then you can remove your old shower and use the space in some other way.

There are also available what are known as “Walk in Tub Accessible Showers”. These are a great idea for those with mobility limitations. With the walk in tubs, you simply open a door on the side of the bath, walk in, shut and seal the door and enjoy either a relaxing bath or shower.

Once you’ve decided that the bath and shower combo is the go for your bathroom, you then have the task of deciding what brand to get and where you will get it from. There are so many bathroom supply companies out there that you need to know which are reliable.

Lasco have an excellent reputation. They have been in the bathroom business since 1965 and have loads of bath-shower combos for you to choose from. Their products are made using a product called Lascoat (fibreglass reinforced gelcoat), which claims to be scratch-resistant. Kohler is also a reliable brand, although they can cost you more than some of the other brands.

The Best Floor For Your Dream Kitchen

You now have many great options in flooring to choose from when replacing your kitchen floor during your kitchen remodel. Since your kitchen flooring is something that is used daily and the cost involved in replacement are expensive. It’s vital to choose a material that meets your family’s lifestyle and maintenance requirements. Different homes will require different flooring materials. Besides being practical and durable, your choice of flooring material, is a major design statement as well.

Solid hardwood floors. You can choose from over 40 species of domestic wood and over 90 species of exotic wood species with a large variety of stains and finishes. The types of solid wood floors that are available are hand scrapped, plank, strip, parquet. Solid wood floors can scratch easily and are prone to water damage. Wood floors can expand and contract with moisture and temperature changes. If you have a high traffic kitchen with kids and dogs you may want to avoid solid hard wood floors.

Engineered wood flooring is made from real wood and can be installed in many areas where solid wood flooring should not be installed, like a high moisture areas. Although, engineered wood flooring can be refinished.

Laminate flooring is inexpensive and extremely durable. This is not real wood but if you like the look of wood, laminate flooring requires little maintenance. Laminate can be slippery, noisy, not comfortable to stand on, and can be susceptible to moisture damage. Sadly, they cannot be refinished.

Vinyl flooring comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns. It’s durable, soft, quiet, water resistant and inexpensive. It also requires little maintenance and is easy to repair. Vinyl flooring will fade, show wear, get nicks and rips and the edges can curl.

Linoleum flooring is making a comeback, which is now considered an environmentally friendly flooring option. Linoleum flooring is also durable, water resistant, and requires little maintenance. It’s more expensive than vinyl flooring because it’s difficult to install and is more durable than vinyl. Linoleum floor can last as long as a wood floor.

Ceramic tile is a popular choice for today’s homes. It is durable, long lasting, well in high traffic areas, and easy to clean. Ceramic tile is available in a number of sizes, shapes, textures and colors, and comes in endless design options to go with any kitchen. Ceramic tile surfaces are hard and cold, can chip and crack, grout lines can collect dirt and some surface textures can be slippery when wet.

Stone flooring, such as granite, marble, slate and limestone, can add a dramatic rich look to your kitchen. With stone kitchen flooring, staining, scratching, cracking can occur and with the softer stones, like limestone, you may also experience wearing. Stone flooring is hard and cold, will require more maintenance and when damaged, can be expensive to repair.

Brick is a unique and durable floor for the kitchen, as it resists wear and staining. Brick is beautiful, rustic, versatile in styling and patterns. Brick color won’t fade; the texture can be rough and uneven. Brick flooring can be more of a challenge to clean. Cheaper grades of brick can crack and split.

With concrete kitchen floor, you can achieve a number of attractive looks and you can even have it textured to look like stone or tile. Concrete kitchen floors are low maintenance, trendy and attractive. Although, concrete floors can be expensive, they can last a lifetime if maintained properly. Cleaning concrete floors is easy. Concrete floors are hard and susceptible to cracks.

Cork flooring looks unique and can take the kind of finish you want. It also has antimicrobial properties, making it a good choice in the kitchen. Cork floors are very soft so if you drop something it probably won’t break; it also feels good under your feet. They are an expensive and require a lot of maintenance. Kids and pets can easily damage a cork floor. Like wood floors cork floors will expand and contract with moisture and temperature changes.

Carpet in the kitchen isn’t a popular option. It’s quite and comfortable. Carpeting doesn’t have the durability of other kitchen flooring materials, hard to clean up spills and stains easily.

Bath and Shower Tile Designs

Ideas to help you create beautiful bath and shower tile designs.

One of the wonderful things about tile is the fact you have almost unlimited creativity. There are many types of tile and different ways to create your own unique bath and shower tile designs. From standard bulk tile to individually hand painted, no matter what your decorative style, you’ll still have many choices.

Before creating bath and shower tile designs, you must choose your pattern and tiles you want. When using tile to create designs there are three kinds of tiles you can use. There are field tiles, which are simple in shape. These come in many sizes and are great to use when covering a large area. The next tiles are the accent tiles. These tiles are designed with unusual shapes, sheens and textures. All it takes is a few of these to turn an ordinary tile pattern into something extraordinary. Last, the trim tiles are your border tiles. These are typically narrow and go around the edge to add to your design.

Tips for choosing bath and shower tile designs:

  • Light airy tile choices make your room look larger. For a stronger effect use contrasting accent tile colors.
  • Consider the entire color scheme of the room including counters, floors, and walls. Adjust your tile creation to create focal points or to compliment.
  • Using two or three colors can create subtle, yet very effective results.
  • Add color to your tile choice by using randomly spaced contrasting tiles.

Bath and Shower Tile Designs

Another important bath and shower tile design element is the grout color choice. The wide array of grout color will make your patterns come together with a matching or contrasting color. When you choose a high contrast color of grout to the tile it becomes more visible. Contrasting a white grout with black tile will contract for a checkered look giving you a little extra design. It is also important for grout to be cleaned with warm soapy water and re-sealed often in regularly used areas.

Don’t be afraid to be creative as you choose your bath and shower tile designs. The result will be a uniquely beautiful bathroom you’ll enjoy for years.

Choosing Different Types Of Flooring For Your Home

In this article, we are going to analyze the various flooring materials. In particular, we are going to look at bamboo flooring, wood flooring, slate flooring and marble flooring.

Bamboo Flooring

When you think of bamboo flooring, it is likely that you will find it rather difficult to accept that such a thing exists. After all, bamboo is food for pandas, right? Yes, but bamboo has been used for numerous other things all through the centuries.

Bamboo flooring is not only strong and environmentally friendly, but it is also gorgeous to look at. This kind of flooring can be completed in attractive patterns, or it can be in carbonize or natural colors.

Many markets have already noted the efficiency of bamboo flooring, and have effectively integrated this kind of flooring. These kinds of markets include executive offices, upscale condominiums, and various retail stores.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring can be especially good especially if you want something that has a classic feel to it. However, wood flooring is one of the most difficult types of floors when it comes to maintenance. There are numerous stuffs that could damage the natural surface of the wood flooring that you must constantly make it a point to take additional care of your wooden floor. The good news is, if you know how to take care of your wood flooring, you can actually expect your floor to last for a extensive period of time.

When cleaning your wood flooring, you should keep away from using water. Water or any water-based cleanser would cause the wood to decay easily. To clean your floor, you should apply wax instead. Put the wax on a rug and apply repeatedly specially in heavy traffic parts. If you have a large family, make sure that you apply wax frequently on areas like the workstations, the stair landings, room entrance and other parts of the home, which are frequently used. Applying wax on wood would help hold back the process of wear and tear.

Slate Flooring

Slate is a type of stone, which is extensively used for flooring nowadays. In the past, this stone was used mainly for places, which attracted high traffic as well as for buildings’ exteriors. Since these stones are very durable, stain free, slip-resistant and low-maintenance they gradually moved into homes as a preferred alternative for flooring. The stone exists in numerous shapes, which can be used in any arrangement you want for making your flooring as gorgeous as you want it. The slate flooring can be completed together in smooth finish and in rough finish for extra show. Besides, there are numerous colors to select from, i.e. brown, gray, sea green, dark green and even purple.

Since the slate flooring has outstanding properties like being waterproof and non-staining it is very much preferred for kitchen flooring, and all other places where water is always available such as, bathroom flooring and wall tiles, backsplashes, hallways, driveways, walkways, pool walls, fire place walls, spas, waterfalls. The slate flooring is quick becoming a great preferred flooring for kitchen since it is the best when compared to all the existing alternatives, i.e. vinyl and linoleum, parquet, ceramic tiles, etc. When compared to vinyl and linoleum the slate flooring is much more long-lasting and easy to maintain. Vinyl flooring looses its appeal in about five years time when it begins peeling off and its colors begin to fade. Linoleum also has this problem.

Marble Flooring

Marble flooring is simple to clean. If your place does not typically have heavy traffic, you can uphold your marble floor by just sweeping it everyday. You may mop it with water every now and then to get rid of some stubborn dirt. Not like wood flooring where you will have to take precautions against moisture and wetness, you don’t have to be troubled about damaging your marble floor when you spill water on it. Besides, not like in wood flooring where it is at times hard to get rid of stains, marble flooring does not stain easily. If you spill out something on your floor, just wipe it off and everything will be as good as new.

One more benefit of having marble flooring is that marble is very long-lasting. If you notice, old building such as the Taj Mahal has been there for centuries but the marble flooring is still as good as new. Depending on the kind of traffic that you get, it may take a number of years before your marble floor will actually show some signs of deterioration.

Description

In this article, we are going to analyze the various flooring materials. In particular, we are going to look at bamboo flooring, wood flooring, slate flooring and marble flooring.

The Benefit of Having Shower Baths in the Family Home

While both showers and baths each have their own benefits, you should not feel as if you are forced to select between having either amenity in your home.

Opting for a shower bath allows you to make use of both of these facilities and as such can be a particularly useful item for you and your family.

Children are notorious for getting themselves grubby, so opting for a shower bath means that they can either have a soak in the tub or make use of the showering head to get clean once more.

Shower baths offer you a choice over how you wash yourselves and if there are several people who are all clamouring to get into the bathroom at once – perhaps early in the morning in order to get ready to go to school or work or to go on a family function in the evening – you may find the shower element to be particularly useful.

As it generally takes less time to have a shower as opposed to a soak in the tub, Bette baths and shower baths from other manufacturers could be the ideal product in ensuring that everybody can get in and out of the bathroom quickly.

You will find that the showering side of the bath – which is situated at the top where the taps are – is wider than the bottom and as it curves out you should find there is plenty of space to have a shower.

In addition, this end of the bath is lower, making it easy for you to step in.

However, shower baths also allow you to enjoy a luxurious bathing experience, so if your grown-up children are out for the evening you can lie back and have a soak. By opting for shower baths you can select the bathing option most suitable for you, whether you need to get washed in a hurry or have the time to indulge in a comfortable bath and swish the bubbles around you.

The bath element of a shower bath can also be useful in the family home when it comes to washing young children. Showers are not a suitable option for toddlers and as such you may want to sit them down in the bath in order to have a scrub. Why not place a rubber duck in your Ideal Standard bath while your child has a soak?

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of shower baths is that they allow you to save money. Of course you have the option of purchasing a separate shower and bath, but incorporating the two into a single unit may be more cost-effective in the long term.

And as shower baths do not tend to take up much more room than a standard bath they can be a great space-saving option. Family bathrooms can often be cramped enough at the best of times, so such products could allow you to make the most of the room you have available.

However, remember that the showering panel of your bath can be positioned on the left or right-hand so bare in mind where you want your suite to be located before you buy.

Shower baths can also lend significant aesthetic appeal to your home and you and your family may have lots of fun deciding which shape and style to go for.

With so many benefits, you are sure to find shower baths to be the perfect choice for your home.

If you’re searching for shower baths for your family home come to Bathrooms 365. As a leading retailer we can offer you great deals on Bette baths, Ideal Standard baths and a range of other products.

Hardwood Floor Care

In many homes in Houston, hardwood floors are one of the most beautiful focal points in the home. They come from a wide variety of woods and can be finished in just about any color and finish you can imagine. While hardwood floors are very durable and traffic resistant, proper care and maintenance is essential to keeping them beautiful for many, many years.

The key to keeping hardwood floors looking beautiful lies with keeping them as clean and dry as possible. Dust and other debris on the surface of hardwood flooring gets ground into the finish, and this causes floors to dull over time. The longer this surface contamination is left on the floor, the more deeply embedded the debris becomes and this causes more damage to the finish. If not attended to, this can actually strip away the finish and leave raw wood exposed. Keeping a good coat of wax on the floors will prevent casual spills from absorbing into the wood if you act quickly clean them up. The good news is that keeping your floors clean is a simple matter of sweeping them a couple of times a day with a swifter mop (use a micro fiber pad) and a product like Orange-Glo.

The biggest problem with hardwood floors is getting them scratched by the demands that simply living on them causes. You must take care when moving things around on hardwood floors. When living on hardwood floors, do not drag anything across them when moving furniture or other heavy objects. Use large area rugs under heavy furniture, and keep pads under furniture legs, as these will move when sat upon or brushed up against. These will dig into the wood if left unprotected. Large dogs with toenails that click as they walk can do a lot of damage to hardwoods. Even small dogs and cats can damage hardwood floors. If their toenails are clicking on your hardwoods, it is time to clip them back. Have a door mat so people can clean the soles of their shoes before they walk on the hardwoods.

In my home, I put a ceramic tile “stoop” inside the front door so someone who comes in with grit in their soles can slip them off without damaging the hardwoods.

Pets also may have an accident on your floors, and these must be attended to as soon as found. The beauty of the floor and the health of your family is at stake. Bacteria in the animal’s urine or feces are a health hazard, and when animal fluids get on hardwood floors, acids in the fluid will attack the floor. It is important to use something like Orange Glo that will eliminate the acids. Keeping your floors properly waxed will help prevent these stains from penetrating the wood as quickly.

While scratches are the most common wear and tear issue hardwood floors have to deal with, by far the biggest enemy of hardwood floors is water damage.

Houston hardwood floors are often subjected to high humidity, tropical storms and even hurricanes. Local flooding is always a possibility when living along the Gulf Coast. In addition to weather related flooding normal hazards like plumbing leaks, roof leaks and such can play havoc with hardwood floors. Water will destroy the finish of your hardwood floors, and in severe cases, such as urban flooding, the individual slats of wood will absorb so much water that they will begin to swell and warp.

Almost any Houston handyman service can wax or refinish your hardwood floors, but restoring hardwood floors that have been flooded is a job best left to those professionals certified by the IICRC. Always bring in a professional when this happens, because inadequate drying will result in mold growth later in the areas that did not get dry. Be sure that your technician is certified in water damage restoration with the IICRC, the national certification organization for floor care professionals. If called in time, these professionals can take measures to save your hardwood floors from total destruction. You can visit the IICRC online atr floors while you wait for a professional to arrive.

Call your insurance adjuster and take any photos you need for insurance purposes before you start the cleanup process.

  • Get everything off the hardwood floors as quickly as possible. This means carpets, rugs, and furniture.
  • If it is safe to do so, use electric blowers to blow air onto the hardwood
  • If possible, direct the flow of these fans downward. Just prop them slightly to one side.
  • When you get a large dry spot, move the fan, and dry out another spot
  • You will notice that your previous dry spot will begin to look wet. This is due to wicking. Just keep moving the fans around until there are no more wet areas.
  • Lean the fans along cracks of walls to force air into these places to help the drying process along.
  • Humidity in a flooded home is incredible, open the windows and place fans in them on one side of the house to force wet air out and bring dry air in. This will do more to dry your floors than the fans on the floors will. You must get the moisture out of the house or it will simply absorb right back into the wood.

The key factor to saving the floors that have been flooded is to get them dry as fast as possible. As soon as possible after the flooding event, you MUST remove everything from your hardwood floors, not just carpet and rugs, but furniture as well. Get as many fans and blowers as you can find and point them downward so that they will dry out the hardwood. As soon as you see a dry spot, move the fan. Be sure to open the house up to the outside so that all this water vapor you are creating will be able to escape from inside the home. If your relative humidity is 50% or less, you can dry the floors out much faster by using fans to blow this hot, drier air into the house along with the floor blowers. (do not do this on high humidity days, it is not as effective). You will have to blow the floors until they are dry, which may take many hours, even days.

Because wood wicks water, as soon as you create a dry spot, the dry spot will start to pull in moisture from the wet wood around it. This greatly increases the rate of drying the floor over not moving the fans around. Many hardwood floors are installed on a “bed” that creates an air gap under the wood slats. If this is the case for your floors, try to create a funnel with a piece of plastic or canvas and force air underneath the floors along any cracks you can find. Use duct tape to tape the funnel to the fan, and an office stapler to staple it over the crack you want to dry out. Take your time, failure to let the floors dry completely out will set up conditions for mold to grow.

While hardwood floors can almost always be restored or replaced, or simply re-finished to restore their beauty. this is very expensive compared to performing the proper maintenance in the first place.

You cannot do anything about flooding, but you can avoid dragging that recliner across the room to put in front of the TV for the big game.

Tips To Choose The Perfect Wooden Flooring For Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the most trafficked area in a house; spilling, stomping and running, your kitchen takes it all. But with regular maintenance and by using the right wood and finish you can have durable wooden flooring in your kitchen.

Here are a few things that you might want to consider before getting your kitchen wooden floored.

The best species of wood for Kitchen

When flooring your kitchen, it is advisable to always for the hardest wood. Oak and ash are some of the strongest native wood species used in the making of wooden floors. The greatest advantage of using these species is that their beautiful and heavy graining and delicate texture not only make your kitchen floor beautiful but it also helps camouflage the small scratches and dents that are bound to occur over time.

There are other stronger wood species available in the market like Jatoba and Santos Mahogany, but the main disadvantage of using them is that they tend to change colour and darken over time. Also, they are very susceptible to humidity fluctuations.

The best wood finishes for Kitchen

Wooden floors in the kitchen need to have a protective coating to prevent the absorption of moisture and stains. Although most of the wood floor finishes available, today are suitable for kitchens, using a water-based clear finish is often recommended because they preserve the wood’s colour and can be easily re-coated. The best water-based finish is a factory-applied, acrylic-impregnated finish that diffuses through the wood instead of just staying on the surface. Although acrylic coated floors are more expensive, they are stronger and require less maintenance. Also using satin sheen finish helps disguise dirt.

Lacquers Finishes

Polyurethane lacquer finishes are very strong and durable. They are more than enough for any home interior. But, if there is too much damage, then parts of the floor or in some cases the entire section will have to be replaced. The parts near the sink, the stove, and the fridge are most vulnerable to damages from drops and spills. You can use rugs to secure these parts.

Oil Finishes

UV-cured oil finishes are not as durable as lacquers, but the benefit of an oil finish is that the damaged areas can be fixed or restored quickly. Spot repairs can be made by using sanding paper. An oil-finished hardwood floor is a suitable option for a kitchen where the spills are cleaned up immediately.

Matching kitchen cabinets with wooden floors

The kitchen looks appealing when the floor and the cabinets have contrasting looks. For example, if you opt for a dark floor, you may want cabinets painted in a light colour or made from a light wood.

Maintaining Hardwood Floors in a Kitchen

• As mentioned kitchen floors are going to suffer water spillage and staining so it is necessary that these wooden floors are given a couple of coatings of the sealing agent to prevent moisture penetration.

• If anything spills, make sure to wipe it up immediately, and never let water stand on the wooden surface for long.

• Make sure that you don’t scrub or use any strong chemicals for cleaning. Use products especially recommended for wooden floors to reinstate the original shine of your floor.

• It will also be essential to sweep or vacuum the floors frequently, to keep them free of grit and grime that can scratch the wood and wear away the finish.

• If the floors get damaged, you can get them refinished. This process involves sanding the surface and re-applying the protective layers.

Advantages of Wood Flooring in kitchen:

• Wood is a warm material that brings vital energy into your Kitchen. And if you are using wooden flooring for all your other spaces then using the same for your kitchen ensures evenness in your decor. This is especially visible in homes with open kitchens where the kitchen seems to be an extension of the living room.

• Hardwood floor is long-lasting, and it tends to ages gracefully.

• Hardwood floors are environment-friendly and are the healthiest floors which create a clean environment.

• The kitchen is one area where one or more people will spend a lot of time standing as they cook. And that is why the comfort of the floor is imperative. Wooden flooring offers a softer and more comfortable surface to stand on. Studies have shown that wooden floors are good for the spine and the joints of your body!

Disadvantages of Wood Flooring:

• The wooden floors need regular polishing every 3-4 years to maintain its finish in high traffic areas such as the kitchen. And the cost of polishing is high.

• Wooden flooring will be damaged in the event of any water overflow or drainage which is very frequent in kitchens. Leaks are going to be a regular concern when you decide to install wood in your kitchen. The only way take care of this threat is to make sure that all appliances are maintained properly, and all the pipes are sturdy and free of any leaks.

• Wooden floor’s finish is prone to scratching from a kitchen’s heavy traffic and pet nails.

• Another major drawback is that the refinishing process is a messy process. It requires taking almost everything out of the kitchen and then using huge, loud equipment that sends sawdust flying through the air.

Real wood flooring can be an eye-catching and brilliant addition to your kitchen. I am sure this article would have given you a descriptive know-how about wooden flooring in kitchens; from selecting the right wood to taking care of your kitchen flooring. So if you are sure about getting wooden flooring installed in your kitchen, then go ahead get creative, play around with various rich colours to design your unique kitchen.

Types of Kitchen Flooring

The right kitchen flooring can not only make your life easier, but it has the ability to set the mood for the entire room. The three main factors to consider when deciding on the type of flooring for your kitchen are durability, use, and style. We’ll start by taking a closer look at some of the most popular choices in kitchen flooring.

Hardwood Flooring
With its warmth and inviting tone, hardwood flooring creates a traditional feeling in any kitchen. Hardwood floors are known for their beauty and prestige and are sturdy surfaces that are easy to clean. One of the most popular types of hardwood floors is oak which is neutral in color and very durable. Other popular types of wood used for flooring are ash, cherry and walnut.

Hardwood floors come in two types: solid and engineered. Solid flooring is cut from single pieces of wood and worked into desired shapes. Solid hardwood floors come in strip flooring which are nailed to sub-flooring, plank flooring which has wider boards, and parquet flooring which comes in squares or geometric shapes to create different patterns.

Engineered flooring is created by laminating thin sheets of wood together in a crisscross pattern for strength. They are then topped with a veneer of hardwood to add strength. Engineered flooring holds up better than solid flooring when exposed to changes in moisture and humidity. This makes it a good choice for below-ground floors. Engineered hardwood floors come in strips and planks.

When purchasing hardwood floors for your kitchen, you want to make sure that it has already been finished. Pre-finished hardwood is your best bet for several reasons. First of all, pre-finished wood flooring is less prone to damage and easier to maintain than its unfinished counterpart. Secondly, it is more durable and will in most cases come with long-term manufacturer warranties. Lastly, pre-finished hardwood floors are offered in a wide variety of stain colors and can be easily re-stained to match future remodeling projects.

Laminate Flooring
Laminate is a cost-effective choice for kitchen flooring that is both long-lasting and easy to maintain. Although not considered to be on the same level as wood and marble flooring, laminate can be created to imitate such looks. It is made of several layers and can be installed over
existing floors.

Laminate flooring has an impressive life span. In the lifespan of one laminate floor, carpet would need to be replaced 2 to 4 times, solid hardwoods would need 3 to 5 refinishing treatments, and vinyl flooring would need to be replaced 3 times. Most laminate flooring comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years or longer.

Laminate flooring is extremely durable, which makes it a great choice for families with busy kitchens. It will resist damage from traffic, spills, and scrapes and it makes cleaning and maintenance very simple. Laminate flooring will not lose color over time, while flooring such as hardwood tends to fade. It is offered in many different styles and patterns, and can imitate other types of flooring such as wood, rock, gravel, and concrete.

Vinyl Flooring 
Vinyl flooring is an affordable and aesthetically pleasing choice for kitchen flooring. Because of its durability and moisture resistance it is primarily used in busy areas of the home such as kitchens and bathrooms. Another reason for its popularity is that it can, much like laminate, be made to imitate other flooring materials such as stone, marble, and wood. Vinyl flooring is often referred to by the popular manufacturers’ trade names Linoleum® and Congoleum®.

Vinyl is made of plastic, or more specifically polyvinyl chloride – abbreviated PVC – to which other compounds are added. It can consist of either multiple layers of material or just one layer.

It is manufactured using one of two processes: inlay or rotovinyl. With inlay vinyl, color and pattern are imbedded into the vinyl layers, while with rotovinyl only a single layer of vinyl is printed with color and pattern. Both manufacturing processes require a protective coating overlay in order to boost durability.

Inlay vinyl flooring, which is only available in tile form, offers great wear resistance since the colors and patterns go all the way through the flooring material. Rotovinyl comes in both sheet and tile form. Resistance to wear is dependent on the type of protective coating used during the manufacturing process. Vinyl floors are very easy to maintain. Sweeping or using a dust mop is often all that is needed.

Marble Flooring
Marble flooring is known for its natural beauty and unbeatable durability. Marble is a type of metamorphic rock that is formed beneath the earth’s crust. Although the preferred choice for some, marble flooring is not the optimal choice for kitchen flooring as it is porous and prone
to staining.

Marble flooring comes in many styles and always adds a unique look to a room because no two slabs of marble are identical. It comes in a variety of colors such as pure white, deep green, brown, grey and blue. It is ranked in grades A through D, A being the strongest with the least natural imperfections and D being the softest with most faults. Although grade A marble is the most expensive, it is the recommended choice for kitchens because it is the most durable.

When choosing marble for your kitchen floor, there are a few things to keep in mind. Since marble surfaces can become very slippery when wet, you should choose finishes to help create traction for your floor; these include tumbled and honed finishes. Marble flooring also requires regular maintenance to last a long time. Because it is porous, marble is susceptible to stains from common household liquids so it is important to apply a sealant to protect it.

Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tile flooring is a very popular type of kitchen flooring in the United States – it is one of the oldest and longest-lasting flooring materials known. Ceramic tile is especially well suited for areas with high traffic and exposure to water and dirt, such as entryways, bathrooms, kitchens and hallways.

There are four basic decisions to make when choosing ceramic tile for your floor: size, shape, color, and finish. Ceramic tile ranges in size from 1/4″ square to 12″ x 12″ squares and even larger. Shapes include square, rectangular, diamond, hexagon, octagon, triangular, round etc. – depending on your budget, you can get ceramic tile in any shape you can possibly imagine.

Color choices are endless, from black and white to everything in-between, and as far as finish is concerned most people opt for the glazed finish. Glazed tile is simply more water resistant and easier to clean than any other finish. It does tend to be more slippery when wet, but you can easily get tiles that are glazed with a non-slip material, which should take care of that problem. Ceramic tiles are very strong, durable, cost-effective, and require little maintenance – making it an attractive alternative to many other flooring materials.

Tile Flooring 
Stone tile flooring has a natural look and is strong and durable. It comes in several textures and colors and no two pieces are the same. Stone tiles can look traditional and rustic or contemporary and elegant. Although this flooring option can be expensive, stone tiles have the potential to last a lifetime.

Stone tile floors are generally easy to maintain, usually requiring only a mop for cleaning. For extra durability, stone should be periodically sealed. Since kitchens can become busy and messy places, you should choose stone tiles that are resistant to moisture damage and staining.

Granite tile flooring is one of the better options for kitchen flooring because it is denser and more durable than other stone options. Granite is still susceptible to stains so it should be sealed and periodically resealed for regular maintenance.

Factors such as room size, layout, materials used and amount of labor required will all affect the cost of your kitchen remodeling project. Your project is going to cost more if you are starting from scratch with a complete remodel rather than just replacing a couple of items.

A kitchen remodeling project can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 or even $150,000 – you can regulate the cost of your kitchen remodeling project by making product choices that fit your budget.

A new kitchen is a major investment, so take your time choosing colors, finishes and features – and remember to have fun. Work closely with your professional contractor and don’t hesitate to ask for help and creative ideas – this will bring you one step closer to the kitchen of your dreams.

Benefits of Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring will last more than 100 years, and the finish can be easily renewed when needed. Just having wood floors increases the value of your home.

Not too long ago, the only choice you had was the old-fashioned solid wood tongue and groove strips in maple or oak. Today, wood flooring can be planks from old barns, exotic woods, pre-finished engineered wood strips which eliminate the dust and disruption of finishing on site. You even can have wood laminate flooring, which isn’t wood, but looks like wood at a much lower cost.

SOLID WOOD FLOORING – Solid wood floors, although beautiful, can’t be used everywhere. They must be nailed to a sub-floor. This makes solid wood unsuitable for use directly over concrete.

Adding a sub-floor between the concrete and the wood flooring might result in a height problem where the floor meets an adjoining room. Moisture causes wood to expand, so it’s not appropriate in basements. Humidity can lead to squeaking and buckling.

The trend seems to be for homeowners to buy wood flooring with a factory-applied finish. This eliminates dust from sanding, fumes from finishing, and waiting before the floor can be walked on. Another benefit is that the factory finishes are usually much tougher than the polyurethane applied in the field.

The downside of pre-finishing is that since that floor doesn’t get sanded after it’s installed, there are slight bumps and dips where the sub-floor isn’t perfectly level, and where the flooring strips might vary slightly in thickness.

To hide these misalignments, flooring is available with V grooves so that when together, the edges aren’t touching and it’s difficult to notice any imperfections in alignment. Over time, these V grooves will catch dirt and darken, becoming a prominent feature in the floor. Not my favorite scenario.

Another advantage of finishing after installation is that you can have the floor stained to your liking. If you like the grain of oak, but don’t care for the yellowish tone of the wood, you can make it amber, for example. A professional finisher will know how to bring out the natural patina of the wood using boiled linseed oil or tung oil.

Most homeowners have hardwood flooring. There are also softwoods, like pine and fir, which are very attractive. These will get nicked up over time, but they’re meant to be lived on. The more beat up they get, the better they look – especially if you have a country or antique flavor running through the house. These work especially well as wider planks rather than the 2 1/2″ strips.

Prices for solid wood flooring vary from $8 to $10 per square foot for common species, to over $25 per square foot for the exotic variety. This same price range applies to engineered wood flooring.

ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING – The advantage of using engineered wood flooring is that it can be used directly over concrete (because you don’t have to nail it during installation), or below grade (because moisture doesn’t bother it as much as solid wood). The wood look comes from a thin veneer of the selected wood, which is pressed onto several layers of substrate.

This product is available in strips, planks, or panels that look like planks. It can be nailed down, but is typically installed as a floating floor. This means the pieces are glued to each other, but not attached to a sub-floor. This allows the floor to “float” with seasonal weather changes or changes in humidity.

Virtually all engineered wood flooring is pre-finished, and usually comes with the V grooves mentioned earlier. Some cannot be refinished because that top veneer is too thin. Others can be – once or twice. It depends on the top layer, which can be anything from 1/12″ to 1/4″ depending on the manufacturer. In the end, this flooring costs about as much as solid wood flooring, and the only advantage (in my opinion) is that you can “float” it on concrete.

EXOTIC WOODS – Over the past several years, many flooring manufacturers have included exotic woods in their lines to meet growing popularity. Some of these exotic looks are even available in wood laminate flooring. In solid planking, exotic woods can cost twice as much as comparable domestic species, although engineered woods remain closer to the domestic hardwoods.

The appeal of these species is often in their rich colors and their durability. Many are considerably harder than oak or maple. A number of tropical woods have been acclaimed as environmentally friendly due to their quick growth rate. The quickest self-replenishers are bamboo and cork (neither are a wood).

If the environment is of concern to you, look for the FSC stamp on the product you’re buying. The Forest Stewardship Council is an environmental group that tracks wood production and certifies woods that are harvested in an environmentally friendly manner.

RECLAIMED WOOD FLOORING – This is another way to recycle. It is not new wood that is made to look old. Reclaimed wood really is old. These antique floor boards come from several sources. It could possibly be flooring removed from an old building; or you could get old timbers that are sliced into floor boards.

Salvage companies dive into lakes and rivers to pull up old trees that sank in the 19th century, on their way to be milled. Still other wood is reclaimed when old structures like barns, boxcars, or industrial building, are demolished. Some dealers will provide a history of the product you’re buying.

This is a win-win. You get a distinctive floor, and you help save a forest. Older wood will have a straighter, tighter grain. Decades of oxidation give it deeper, richer colors. It’s not perfect, but it’s got character. You might see nail holes, stains, and even minor insect damage in the boards, all of which contributes to their beauty.

Most reclaimed flooring comes unfinished. Expect to pay about twice the price of standard flooring ($16 to $20 per square foot). This wood should be kiln dried before you buy it. This will kill bugs, expose cracks, and minimize moisture in the wood, which might cause excessive expansion and contraction.

This is like granite in that it’s a one-of-a-kind product. Make sure you request a sample so you know what to expect before your floor arrives.

WOOD LAMINATE FLOORING – This is not made from wood. It’s really a photograph of wood sandwiched between a clear plastic covering and a fiberboard backing. It comes at a fraction of the cost of any of the products mentioned above (about $1.50 per square foot). It’s so easy to install, many homeowners do it themselves.

This product came to the United States from Sweden in 1996 and already accounts for about 10% of the entire residential flooring market. It looks very much like the real thing, but it does sound different when you walk on it. You can minimize this by putting sound-dampening under-layments below the floor. Some have sound-deadening material already incorporated into the planks.

There are differences in quality. Make sure you buy high-pressure laminate (HPL) as opposed to direct-pressure laminate (DPL). For a more authentic look, buy wood laminate flooring that is “embossed in register”. This means that the little lines imprinted on the surface follow the lines of the grain – to look more real.

Also choose a product that has a repeat of at least 6 planks – that means 6 different grain photographs that repeat around the room – and in random lengths, to disguise repeats. Quality wood laminate flooring is generally guaranteed for 20 or 25 years. But unlike wood floors, they can’t be refinished. In the event of spot damage, the individual boards can sometimes be replaced.