what type of flooring is best for kitchen

What Type of Flooring Is Best for Kitchens?

Your kitchen requires an equal measure of technical and stylistic attention, which isn’t always the case in other rooms you’re planning to upgrade. Kitchens should exhibit several qualities to be a workable space, including combining electricity, water, and appliances in a single area. After all, a safe balance of beauty and proper utilization makes any kitchen a much more pleasant place to spend time in over the years.

With that in mind, one of the first aspects of remodeling a kitchen involves flooring since cabinets, backsplashes, and other aspects will follow. What type of flooring is best for kitchens in Georgia like yours? As a top kitchen remodel contractor in Atlanta, Southern Oak Home Renovation shares seven flooring examples below and what each entails.

#1 Hardwood

Hardwood flooring became a staple in the all-American kitchen even before the concept of popular kitchen types became well-known. These beautiful wooden surfaces exude warm colors. The natural materials, with the right finish, also stand up well for years, even against water damage.

Professional installers lay the planks in various positions and refinish each section several times to achieve a long-lasting flooring solution that’s exactly the shade you want. Of course, wood flooring requires proper waterproofing and tends to be more expensive than other flooring options.

Hardwood flooring may cost $6 to $25 per square foot, depending on the following factors:

  • Room size
  • Wood type
  • Labor costs
  • Wood quality
  • Other materials
  • Wood thickness

#2 Engineered Hardwood

Do you like the look of hardwood but not the price? Engineered hardwood might be your best solution. It contains a top layer of solid hardwood, but manufacturers make the layers below this out of reinforced composite plywood. 

Compared to solid hardwood, engineered hardwood’s layers make the material lightweight and affordable. The planks are versatile enough to suit any kitchen style. The installer will also refinish the flooring several times, though not as many as with solid hardwood. 

Engineered hardwood options won’t last as long as hardwood flooring, but the price range per square foot of $5 to $20 could make up for that.

#3 Tile

In a kitchen, tile flooring may be one of the most versatile flooring styles on the list. Stone tiles tend to be heavy but offer exceptionally sturdy kitchen flooring that might last a lifetime. The ceramic and porcelain options might be slightly less durable but still require less upkeep than many other flooring materials.

The grout that assists with the tiles’ waterproofing can get dirty, requiring quick stain cleanup. However, the endless size and color variations of tiles and grouting mean you can customize your updated kitchen effortlessly. Tile flooring also has natural coolness, working exceptionally well in humid, hot climates like Georgia’s.

Ceramic tiles start around $3 per square foot, with stone tiles topping out around $47 per square foot.

#4 Vinyl

What type of flooring is best for kitchens if you want waterproofing that’s more affordable and still design-friendly? After its accidental invention in 1926 by Waldo Semon, it’s not surprising that vinyl has since become a prime flooring choice. During WWII and the baby boom, vinyl required flooring specialists to install it as a cumbersome sheet, but today’s application is a breeze.

As a type of plastic, vinyl doesn’t exude eco-friendliness and is easy to dent. However, its completely waterproof nature, quick cleaning, and inexpensive installation are big pluses. The soft texture also makes it less slippery than porcelain, ceramic, and some wood or stone surfaces, though it can easily mimic the look of any stone tile, hardwood, and more.

Sheet vinyl flooring can cost $1 to $2 per square foot. Tile or plank vinyl often costs $1 to $12 per square foot.

#5 Laminate

As another great wood mimic, laminate flooring uses synthetic, pressed wood board underneath a printed photo of wood grain protected by a clear top layer. Before vinyl flooring’s evolution, a homeowner who couldn’t afford solid hardwood would go for laminate to achieve the same look.

While laminate mimics wood’s visual appeal, it doesn’t copy its durability and dents easily. However, one of laminate flooring’s main advantages is its lower price point. It also doesn’t take much to boost the waterproofing with additional floor treatment.

Laminate floors start at around $2 per square foot and go up to around $9 per square foot.

#6 Linoleum

Modern linoleum flooring has phenomenal customizability. Most types come from solidified linseed oil, ground cork or sawdust, and mineral fillers packed tightly onto a canvas or burlap backing. The sheets tend to be eco-friendly and economical, making them popular in schools.

Linoleum maintains moderate durability as a composite flooring material, but sharp objects may puncture it. Its components degrade and turn yellow with excess sun exposure. However, it still has excellent water resistance because of its oil composition.

Linoleum flooring costs around $2 to $12 per square foot.

#7 Cork

Cork flooring combines softness for comfort and sturdiness for longevity, which is perfect for warm and inviting kitchen space. While it can be light on your feet, cork withstands appliances (it dents but can bounce back after a while).

Homeowners choose it because of its eco-friendliness and low cost. At the same time, its porousness may stain quickly. If you plan to have a messy kitchen, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Cork floors cost between $3 and $9 per square foot.

What You Should Look for in Kitchen Flooring

What type of flooring is best for kitchens if you’re thinking of a complete change? Here are a few considerations:

Budget

No kitchen flooring should break the bank. No matter how it looks, unaffordable flooring easily becomes a sore point once maintenance and repairs come around. Instead, categorize your budget before starting the kitchen remodeling process to determine how much you want to spend now and in the future.

Durability

Kitchen floors must take a lot of damage, whether that’s from spills, foot traffic, or dropped items. As a high-traffic area, a kitchen’s floor should be able to stand the test of time. You should also plan to treat the floors periodically (maintenance and cleaning) to ensure their upkeep.

Water Resistance

If the flooring is in a kitchen, you will face water and other liquid spills. Kitchen flooring needs proper water resistance if it’s going to last. Some materials may not be inherently water resistant but could meet your needs with the right additional products or extra protective layers.

Aesthetic

What type of flooring is best for kitchens? What is the right color, texture, or style element to connect the kitchen floor with the rest of the room or home? You want the new floor to enhance the design, not detract from it.

Maintenance

Generally, you shouldn’t have to worry about preserving your kitchen floors. It’s a huge benefit if you can just maintain it occasionally or only clean up after big spills. It shouldn’t need the same sort of attention as carpets or rugs.

The Best Way To Install Your Chosen Flooring in the Kitchen—Southern Oak Home Renovations

So, how could you get your Georgia kitchen flooring right the first time? You may need to repaint, refinish, or even remove cabinets for flooring replacement if you aren’t satisfied with your kitchen layout, so why not hire professionals? A team like Southern Oak Home Renovation promises the following:

  • Thorough, high-quality installation
  • Excellent customer service
  • Fast installations
  • An unbeatable one-year warranty on all labor

We can help you determine what type of flooring is best for kitchens, from style preferences to longevity. Call 404-919-0247 or visit Southern Oak Home Renovation’s contact page to schedule a consultation today!

Eric French