As one of the most heavily traveled spaces in your home, the kitchen floor is subjected to constant traffic.  This surface must be a durable material that can handle the moisture, food spills, and grease splatters that are ever-present in the kitchen.

At the same time, the floor is a key element of your kitchen design style, as it extends across the entire room.  Which material is right for your kitchen remodel?  Here is our 5-step guide to flooring styles and materials to get you started:

1. How will you use your kitchen?

Are you staying in your home long-term or do you plan to sell?  Who will be using the space, and how frequently do you cook and entertain?  If you have small children running in and out all day or a house full of pets, stick to a material that is highly durable, stain and spill resistant, and easier to clean.  If you choose style over practicality, then understand up front the cleaning and maintenance requirements for your new floor.

2. What is your kitchen design style?

The kitchen floor is much more than a surface on which you walk.  It is a material that covers the length and width of your kitchen, and a color and texture that pulls together the other elements of your kitchen design.  If your kitchen is part of an open plan design or a great room, you may want to use the same flooring material and color throughout the space.  Either way, choose a material that complements your general home style, since the kitchen is a social space that is the center of life in the home.

3. What is your budget for kitchen flooring?

There are several factors that impact how much your kitchen flooring will cost, including the size of your space, the type of material, installation cost, and any extras you may add like underfloor radiant heating.  Consider several options for flooring that you believe will suit your design and functional needs and look at how each choice fits with your kitchen remodeling budget.

4. What material is best for you?

There are many options for kitchen flooring materials, each with its pros and cons.  You could select a material to match or complement your flooring in the rest of the home, particularly other rooms surrounding the kitchen.  This gives the kitchen and living spaces a fluid feel, and makes the space feel larger.  Or, you may decide to set the kitchen apart with a distinct floor material, perhaps one that is more robust and easier to maintain than the materials in the rest of your home.  Here are a few of the top options available:

Stone is a natural material with a unique appearance, and includes such options as limestone, travertine, and slate.  It is a durable, hard wearing surface that is generally easy to clean and maintain.  Some are less impervious to stains and prone to chipping, so consult with your kitchen design expert to see which material is best for you.  Stone can also be cold, so you may want to include radiant underfloor heating in your kitchen remodeling budget.

Tile comes in a variety of options like porcelain or ceramic, or even a wood effect tile that can give the appearance of hardwood floors.  Tile offers versatile style options and is generally easy to clean and maintain.  Don’t forget that tile includes grout lines, which must be re-sealed to make them impervious to stains and easier to clean.

Wood is a very popular material for kitchen designs as it creates a warm appearance and integrates well with open plan kitchen/dining/living spaces. Wood is a durable material that gains character as it ages, but it requires special preparation, care, and ongoing maintenance to protect it from moisture and scratching.  On the positive side, it can be refinished over time, extending the life of this flooring option.

Vinyl is a man-made material that is water resistant, easy to install, and designed to mimic almost any surface material.  Linoleum is an all-natural material that can be found in almost any color and shape, offering a one-of-a-kind appearance for the kitchen floor.  Both are easy to maintain and less expensive but may not be as durable and hard-wearing as other materials.

Kitchen design with vinyl flooring

Luxury Vinyl Tile takes vinyl flooring to the next level with its ability to mimic wood and stone surfaces in a highly durable, moisture resistant, scratch resistant, easy to maintain surface.  It is easy to install with excellent heat and sound insulation, and the latest techniques produce a surface that looks and feels natural.  The latest advances in vinyl is waterproof core flooring, which offers excellent wood and tile aesthetics in a durable waterproof floor material.

Other materials include bamboo, concrete, laminate, rubber, and carpet.  Each has its own pros and cons, so first identify your requirements and then review the options with your kitchen remodeling expert to find the ideal material for your kitchen design.

5. What are the installation requirements?

Some materials have more specialized installation requirements, and therefore involve more time and materials to install.  This typically carries a higher price tag for installation and must be factored into your overall budget.

Still deciding which material to select for your kitchen renovation?  Visit our kitchen design gallery to see more examples of flooring options.  A visit to our showroom is an ideal place to start, where you can talk to one of our kitchen design experts and view our extensive range of kitchen flooring options.