Do you realize how much abuse your kitchen and bath floors take everyday? Your kitchen and bath floors are probably the hardest-working surfaces in your home. They take all the imaginable harsh conditions like heavy foot traffic, water overflow in the sinks and bathtubs, heavy pots and pans that are dropped occasionally, children’s clanging toys and colored crayons. Since the kitchen and bath are the most visited areas of the house, it is undeniable that these floors accumulate the most dirt and grit. Despite all the insults these hardworking floors take, we still expect them to be beautiful and last forever. Moreover, we want these floors to be safe and inexpensive.
In order to choose the best possible flooring materials, you need to know what you are looking for. Today, a myriad of flooring choices abound depending on appearance, cost and technology. These choices include hardwoods, softwoods, stone, carpet, resilients, tiles and laminates. Each of these flooring choices has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Experts suggest that you use these three criteria in order to properly choose your new floor. First, consider how the material will fit in your design. Second – consider how much wear and tear this material can take and how much traffic the area will take. Third, decide whether or not it will fit the allotted budget.
When choosing flooring you need to consider if this fits with the overall design of your kitchen and bath. The flooring can pretty much establish the mood or character you want to create for that certain area in your house. The flooring can either become the focal point of the area or it can serve as a background that will lead the eyes to other design elements of the room. Either way, you will need to have it in proper coordination with the rest of the design elements of the room. If you want to create a bold, contemporary look, you can mix and match colors, pattern, size and texture of ceramic tiles. There are also widely available laminates that can mimic the look and feel of natural materials. These can be inexpensive and support almost all possible design options ranging from a formal to a casual look.
You need to know the advantages and disadvantages of some flooring materials so that you will be able to come up with the best possible choice. A good kitchen and bath flooring need to withstand harsh conditions and daily abuse.
Hardwood flooring lasts indefinitely and is wear resistant. It provides a warm, natural look that is comfortable to the feet. This can be easily cleaned and refinished. However, this type of flooring is vulnerable to moisture and can easily dent. Some wood can darken as it ages.
Besides being durable, laminate flooring can be installed over old and existing floor. There are many colors to choose from. There are designs that imitate natural wood, stone and ceramic tile. Although this type of flooring is extremely durable, once damaged, refinishing it is next to impossible. This also needs foam underpadding, otherwise it can be very noisy without it.
Ceramic tile is durable and can resist both stain and water. There is a wide range of choices available. However, it can be noisy and cold. Glazed tiles can be hazardous and slippery especially when wet. Dirt can accumulate in grout joints. This type of flooring is difficult to repair.
Resilients are vinyl tiles and sheet flooring that are water and stain resistant. These are generally comfortable to the feet and easy to install. There are a lot of available designs to choose from. However, resilient flooring is prone to dent and tear. Moisture can seep into the seam between tiles.
Finally, stone is a type of flooring that is almost indestructible, elegant, can withstand high temperature and is easy to maintain. Stone flooring however is expensive, cold and slippery. A strong subfloor is needed if you decide on installing stone flooring. Some stones like limestone and granite absorb stain and dirt quickly. Stone flooring is usually difficult to repair. Gloss surfaces need regular polishing, which can be expensive and messy.