The kitchen is the room that we all spend most of our time in, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming to design. There are so many great options and choices available that it can be easy to feel lost when it comes to making decisions. Making a plan can help keep you on track- not only design-wise but with your budget as well. In the next few posts, we’ll break down each element involved in designing your dream kitchen. Let’s start with the foundation for your room, flooring.
The options for kitchen flooring material have remained fairly constant throughout the years. Wood and tile have held their place over time as the most tried and true choices. But, with the progression of technology, many new choices have made their way onto the scene. Looks and trends are changing and real wood is being replaced with modern materials. Let’s take a look at the different types of flooring, the cost, and the practicality of putting them in your kitchen.
This timeless classic will never go out of style. Real wood allows you the option of choosing your finish, whether it be paint or stain. It also allows you to decide how much texture you would like to see in the wood grain. One of the benefits of using real wood is the ability to refinish the floor multiple times. The colors and plank sizes have changed over time and we now see much larger planks than were available in the past. Softer woods are easier on your feet and back, although they are more likely to show wear. With other types of flooring, this could be a problem; but the beauty of real wood is that any wear and tear adds character to the floor.
Cost: $8-$28/sq. ft.
Add $4-$6/sq. ft. to install.
Waterproof Vinyl flooring:
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) is also known as Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP), or Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). The waterproof nature of this flooring makes it extremely durable, so spills are less of an issue. It comes in a wide variety of colors, textures, and sizes. Some of the dark brown and reddish-brown floors that were popular in previous years are being replaced by lighter tones and grays.
Cost: $3-$6/sq. ft.
Add $2.50/sq. ft to install.
Tile can’t truly be considered a trend, as it’s been around for so long. But the look of tile has certainly changed over time. In recent years, tile manufacturers have begun to produce tile with the look of real hardwoods. The Wood-look Tile pattern is enhanced by the current ability to install tile with smaller grout lines, thus achieving the look of real wood. Choosing Wood-look Tile allows you to participate in the wood trend while still having the benefits and durability of tile. Tile is very easy to maintain and comes in a variety of options so you can get almost any look or color that you want.
Cost: $2-$15/sq. ft.
Add $4-$8/sq. ft. to install.
This product is different from Wood Plastic Composite in that it has a thin top veneer made of real wood. The core can be made of plywood, fiberboard, or more recently, rigid core engineered wood. Engineered wood often features a waterproof core, making it spill-resistant. Since it comes prefinished from the factory, you get the look of real wood without the mess and hassle of staining the floor yourself.
Cost: $8-$25/sq. ft.
Add $4-$6/sq. ft. to install.
The extreme durability of this flooring makes it a great option for kitchens that see a lot of foot traffic, or dropped pots and pans. It is also a highly renewable resource, making it a good option for those seeking an environmentally friendly product. However, it is very sensitive to moisture and fluctuations in temperature. Unless you live in a climate with relatively no change in temperature throughout the seasons, it is probably best to steer clear of bamboo in the kitchen.
Floor Color Trends:
Blonde- this shade is a much lighter tone than we have seen in the past.
Honey- darker undertones than blonde give you a light look, but with a cozier feel.
Whitewashed- has a more beachy vibe that will make your home feel open and airy. This trend started in coastal areas. As its popularity has increased, it has begun showing up in other areas of the country. Ultimately, however, it tends to remain most popular with those that live near coastal areas.
Espresso- A favorite choice of 2019, Espresso continues to be popular today. Dark floors can make your space feel warm and inviting. There is, however, a downside to darker shades in that they show every scratch and particle of dust. Espresso floors are showing up less and less now that lighter tones, such as gray and white, are becoming trendy choices.
Gray flooring- Gray flooring is another popular option right now. It appears this trend will be around for years to come. The nice thing about choosing a gray floor is that it acts somewhat like a neutral. Choosing a neutral gray shade for your floor allows you to make a bold statement with cabinets, a backsplash, counters, or paint.
High-Variation Flooring- This look, though very specific, will be around for a while. This style isn’t for everyone, but what design is? Making a strong statement with your floors can help elongate the space, create visual interest, and form a color palette. If you are unsure how the floor will look as a whole, it could be very helpful to see a rendering or photo (of the floor you are considering) before you begin. Also, consider laying out multiple pieces in the space before you make the final decision.
Hand-Scraped, Wire-Brushed, and Distressed… What is the difference?
Hand-Scraped: long-ingrained scrapes in the wood make each plank appear unique. This look creates a lot of variation when all the boards are laid out together.
Wire-Brushed: floors are scraped with a wire brush to create subtle scratches that are smoother and more consistent than that of hand-scraped.
Distressed: often mistaken for hand-scraped, however, these boards can also contain burns, wormholes, knots, and more.
Choosing the right flooring does not have to be overwhelming. Make sure that you take into consideration the level of durability that your home requires. Select a floor color that complements the rest of your room’s design. Following these steps with your flooring choices will set a foundation for success.