A Look At The Pros and Cons Of Popular Kitchen FlooringOptions
Choosing a floor for your kitchen doesn’t have to be as painful as you think. Let your budget and our pros and cons list of each flooring type point you in the direction of the choice that’s right for you. Take heart in knowing that you’ll be able to find the flooring that will function well in your kitchen to accommodate your family, your lifestyle, and your budget. Let’s explore some options ranging from budget-friendly to expensive. I’ll chime in with details regarding the Bluffton kitchen floors we’ve installed.
Luxury Vinyl Plank
Soon after marriage, my husband and I moved into a new-construction townhouse in Bluffton. The sheet vinyl flooring in the kitchen wasn’t my favorite. After the vinyl suffered a gouge from my vacuum cleaner (dropped possibly on purpose while I was having a bad day) I knew it was time to replace that builder-grade vinyl. So, I set my sights on luxury vinyl plank which I discovered was the winning option for us since we had three busy kiddos and our budget to consider.
Vinyl plank flooring captures the middle of the pricing market. I’m especially impressed by a newer product called Coretec Plus which has the look of real hardwoods but is actually an engineered hardwood with a cork underlayment. The big plus is the fact that it’s waterproof, an obvious win in the kitchen! (Perfect for the laundry room, too, but I digress.) It has a softer feel and the added bonus of sound absorption. It comes in a tasteful palette of colors and is even offered in a tile look.
- Vast design choices
- Quick install
- Can dent or puncture with heavy or sharp objects
- Can fade with prolonged UV exposure
- Not biodegradable
Laminate is a wise choice when budget is the key concern. We installed it in the downstairs and first floor master bedroom of our townhome in Bluffton and loved its look and durability. In fact, I distinctly remember the salesperson extolling its kid-friendliness by saying, “Ma’am, you could play hockey on this floor and it would still look good!”
That said, I would steer you away from installing it in the kitchen simply because it isn’t waterproof. Between children and dogs, spills are a daily occurrence in our house, so I need a floor that will stand up to water spills….which may or may not be discovered and cleaned up right away. Laminate is prone to absorbing water quickly and then warping. For this reason, while beautiful in other areas of the home, I would not opt for laminate flooring in the kitchen.
- Quick install
- Nearly impervious to scratching
- Will not tolerate water
- Can sound cheaper under foot
- Falls short of the look of true hardwoods
If you want to bring the look of nature into your home with both color and texture, stone might be your flooring of choice for the kitchen. It’s dramatic, does not need refinishing, and can last a lifetime. It can look rustic or refined and is a solid choice for kitchen flooring.
- Extremely durable
- Color range
- Choice of finishes
- Can stain/scratch
- Travertine should be sealed every 1-2 years
- Can be as costly as hardwoods
- Can be hard underfoot
Tile is a classic kitchen floor option that can be on the expensive side, but worth the investment. Typically, it ends up being a more expensive choice than hardwoods because of costly installation. Beyond the selling point of its great look, it is also virtually waterproof. The downside is that it can chip if something heavy drops on it. As with stone or slate, in addition to being hard, another negative is that it gets cold underfoot, especially in the winter. But if you love tile, live in a cold climate, and have some leeway in your budget, plan to install radiant heat underneath your tile. My parents have it in their Colorado home and walking on it feels luxurious, even in bare feet, even in December.
- Classic look
- Vast design choices
- Hard — if a glass drops, it breaks; also tough to stand on for prolonged periods of time
- Grout can stain
- Tiles may chip or crack
- Pricey install
When we moved from the townhouse in Bluffton to our first house, I fell in love with the hardwoods. Admittedly, pet stains from the furry babies of the prior owner were a problem, but thankfully, the practical option of refinishing was the solution. We opted for a dark walnut stain that not only hid the dreaded pet stains, but also looked rich and fantastic. We added hardwoods in the kitchen to replace dated tile. Of all the Bluffton kitchen floors we have installed, the hardwoods remain my favorite. They tie in seamlessly when you have hardwood in the rest of the house and you can’t beat the warm, classic look, in my opinion.
- Timeless esthetic
- Ideal for home resale
- Easy to clean
- Can Scratch easily
- Sensitive to water
- Costly choice
The kitchen is a difficult place to decide on a flooring choice, but I believe there is a perfect fit for everyone. By considering the above options, and looking at your family structure (kids, grandkids, pets, etc.), lifestyle (how much time you spend in your kitchen, how many things hit the floor every day, etc.) and your budget, I believe that you can come up with the perfect look and feel for your specific design aesthetic. Still unsure? Be sure to come into our showroom and let one of our experienced designers here at May River Flooring help you achieve the kitchen flooring of your dreams.