Comfortable Kitchen Flooring
Most families spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen. Despite being one of the most used rooms in the house, a kitchen's flooring doesn't always get the attention it deserves.
As a high traffic area, kitchen flooring needs to meet several important requirements. Top of the list includes: easy to clean, scratch resistant, scuff resistant, dent resistant, and of course water resistant. Historically, this has meant that homeowners choose a durable product like tile, however, the notion of comfort is becoming more and more important.
Generally, there are two scenarios in your kitchen.
1. Your existing flooring feels hard on the feet.
For those of us who don't have the option to upgrade our kitchen floors anytime soon, the least we can do is make it comfortable, especially in food prep areas and in front of the sink. You can use small mats in these areas to provide some cushion for the feet, but a growing trend is to lay down a larger area rug or floor runner if your floor plan allows. If you have an open floor plan, an area rug works well to define the space. Optimally, you would look for a lower pile option complete with stain resistance that's built in to the fibres. Or you could have a piece of carpet custom bound to match another room in the house. (Not expensive!) Now, think about your dinner parties and how luxurious it would be for your friends' feet, or consider the knees of your crawling baby and stumbling toddler - softer kitchen flooring could be arguably practical! Why not enjoy some comfort underfoot in this busiest of places?
As for cleaning, instead of mopping or sweeping, you simply vacuum. If you're worried about spills, it's no biggie, just choose something with great stain resistance. (Click here to see the amazing Mohawk SmartStrand Carpet and its "wipe up with water" powers!) And in the corners around the kitchen where the floor meets the walls, you do what you normally do to clean up the runaway crumbs!
If you have a kitchen with an island feature in the centre, a floor runner could be more appropriate, or you may choose to colour coordinate with your living room and custom bind a low pile carpet to match. Any of our Flooring Experts would be happy to assist with sizing and selection, and it's handy to bring in a swatch to aid with colour and pattern selection! (Image Credit: Urrutia Design on Houzz)
Stating the obvious, if you're looking for a floor mat or area rug for your kitchen, it would be better to steer away from lighter and solid colours which will show dirt or spills more easily. Choose medium or darker colours, ideally with a pattern. When the pattern is a little bit busy and varied, the tiny imperfections of day to day wear won't catch the eye!
2. Scenario two: you get to buy new flooring.
Hurrah! This is exciting and while it's a big job, it doesn't need to be overwhelming. You have many excellent choices for today's kitchen flooring, and technology has come along way in providing the ultimate comfort and practicality underfoot. So let's have a quick look at some ideal options.
LUXURY VINYL TILE OR PLANK
This product is unbelievable, and it's one of our biggest sellers across Canada. The aesthetic is beautiful, realistically replicating the look and feel of natural materials ranging from textured slate tiles to warm knotted hardwoods. Click here for a full list of benefits and features. Go into one of our stores and have a look, you have to see it to believe it! It's perfect for the kitchen: dent resistant, water resistant and super easy to clean.
Another luxurious choice. Harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, cork is an excellent floor choice in a kitchen, due to its high level of cushioning, and it's available in a variety of colours, patterns and textures. One benefit of putting cork in the kitchen is its ability to "self heal," so if you end up dropping something on it, it can recover and won't always show the extent of damage. Soft, spongy and very durable, cork flooring is available at most of our locations - just ask! Click here for a full article all about cork flooring.
Always a classic, no matter which room in the house! Hardwood flooring looks and feels great, so it's ideal for a kitchen for the comfort aspect. However, it can be a little finicky when it comes to moisture, and hardwood is also scratched more easily when compared to other types of flooring, so be sure to protect it! (See above idea on adding an area rug to your kitchen!)
LAMINATE OR VINYL
Technology has come a long way when it comes to laminate and vinyl. Both options have a huge variety of classic and modern styles, colours and patterns, and both are incredibly affordable! To read about modern vinyl flooring in another flooring guide post, click here. If you're thinking you would enjoy the look of hardwood but with the resiliency of laminate, click here for several articles about why laminate remains a great and popular choice.
Whatever you choose, remember one thing: the kitchen is YOUR space. Make it your own, make it comfortable, and turn it into a place where you can experiment with recipes, clean up disasters, and enjoy every footstep. Your kitchen is the one room in the house that always brings family and friends together, so any floor will work as long as you care for it. Bon Appétit! ;-)
Learn more about taking care of your hard surface flooring here.
To read about hardwood and humidity, click here.
Go here for more hardwood facts and floor care.
Scroll down this page for some great articles about the carpet we carry!
Feeling overwhelmed? Check out this Flooring Product Comparison! :)
Thanks for reading! Our Flooring Experts are also a fantastic resource for any questions you have! Find a location here.
Contributed by Stephanie Gilchrist.