Luxury vinyl flooring from BPS Southeast in Spindale, NC

What is the best floor to put in a kitchen?

When someone asks "What flooring would you put in a kitchen?", there isn't one right answer. The first question should always be, is it commercial or residential? That is the starter. When you talk about a commercial kitchen, you will need specific details. Is it a restaurant, food manufacturing, a break room, or some other type of situation? If it is for a home, you need to think about it differently. The home kitchen can be referred to as the heart of a good home. This room will have someone in it everyday and it may be the gathering place for the whole family at one point or another. Good & unforgettable memories will be made in the kitchens of most homes. Cooking the family meals, doing homework, gatherings of friends & family, and the occasional science experiment & toys in the sink will happen in someone's kitchen. What flooring will you need to hold up against all this?

Lets look at a residential kitchen for a home. The first question would be "What is your budget?" There are a number of flooring surfaces that can be installed into a kitchen. They all have different price points and differences in how to maintain them. A good entry level cost point is vinyl flooring. There are a few different options when selecting vinyl. The lowest cost would be sheet vinyl. It is water proof and there are a number of very nice patterns and styles. There are different levels of quality. The product will increase in price as you increase thickness and durability. The next option would be a vinyl plank or tile. These are separate tiles or planks installed to look like a complete floor. They can be installed by using adhesive, clicking together, or loose lay installation. Many times the plank can be used in the kitchen and then into other rooms of the home because it looks like a hardwood floor. This type of flooring is like the sheet vinyl in that it increases in price as it gets thicker and more durable.

Sheet vinyl can be cleaned easily and with most cleaning products. The only disadvantage is that if it gets damaged, it isn't easy to repair and may have to be replaced. If there are chemical spills or water damage under the sheet, it can cause discoloration to the surface. Individual planks or tiles are more durable and are harder to damage. The ones that are applied with adhesive can be removed and replaced if damaged. The click together is not as easy. You will have to unclick the flooring until you get to the damaged one which may be more work than it is worth. The loose lay installation is the easiest to repair. Just pull up what is damaged and put another down in its place. Vinyl is water proof so you can use flat mops, steam mops, and a soft bristle brush on hard to remove dirt.

If anyone suggest using laminate flooring in a kitchen to you, think twice about it and do your homework. Traditional laminate is a low budget product and very durable. The only draw back is that the core is made up of a wood type product. If water gets under the flooring, it will swell and be destroyed. If the laminate says waterproof, look at the fine print. Many times it will show that it can handle water on top of the flooring without issues, but it doesn't say that the bottom will hold up. If you have an ice maker line or dishwasher over flow, it can easily get under the flooring. I have found the Egger Flooring makes a laminate that will handle steam mops and moisture under the flooring without any immediate issues. I say immediate because if you have a flood, they will tell you to replace the flooring even if it is waterproof. Multiple issues arise when a lot of water gets between a waterproof flooring and a wood sub floor.

Some homes that have hardwood flooring in them will carry it through the kitchen as well. It looks great, but wood is not a friend of water. If you ever have a leak, wood will buckle and warp. It can be repaired, but it may take a lot of work and money. If you understand those risk, go for it. The only other draw back when having wood in a kitchen is that dropping pots, pans, cans, and other items can dent and damage the wood. If it is a solid wood, you can sand it again later in life to restore the finish. Engineered wood won't be as easy to repair and restore. Be aware that cleaning wood floors may be a challenge in a kitchen. Cooking oils, dirt, and food can make the finish of a wood floor look dull. Without the proper care and cleaning products, they will not look as good as the rest of the hardwood flooring in the home. If you need help cleaning them, go to Basic Coatings online and find a certified contractor that can help you maintain your wood floors.

Last but not least, tile floors are the tried and true option for kitchen flooring. Tile is waterproof, durable, and easier to clean. There are thousands of tile options to design and decorate your kitchen floor as well as the walls. Your flooring can accent and flow with wall tiles and counter tops. It is the most expensive installation and needs to be done correctly for it to hold up over the years. There are guidelines on what kind of structure and condition the subfloor needs to be to support the weight of the flooring. There are different types of underpayments, mortars, and floor preparation products available for different tiles. This flooring is not the type I would recommend for the general home owner. It is a large investment and if it isn't done correctly, it will cost a lot to remove it and start over. The only complaint I get from homeowners is that they can't seem to keep the grout clean. If that is the only problem, hire a professional to clean it for you yearly or every other year.

With tile being the last option listed, it is the favorite of most. It isn't the one I would recommend for everyone though. Vinyl products have been a great option for kitchens over the years and will continue to be so. It is much cheaper and the looks are very close to tile. The wood planks are great because you may want to do your whole home in one flooring. This product will allow you to do that. Whatever product you choose, take in consideration of your budget, your time or cost to install, and what your lifestyle will be in your home. What level of durability and cleanability will you need? Flooring is an investment. Take your time to invest wisely.

At BPS Southeast, our experts can help you make the right flooring decision for your kitchen. Contact us today to see how we can help!