There are many factors to consider when planning to build a new home or renovating an existing one. When making a decision about the type of flooring in the kitchen, consider several factors -- many of which can directly affect the price -- about the different flooring materials, as well as the usage of the room itself.
Manufacturers have begun staining cork tiles to provide a larger variety of colors. Cork tiles are scratch-resistant and resilient enough to absorb the shock when an item falls onto the floor. Additionally, cork tiles work as an insulator, absorbing both sound and warmth. Unlike some other types of tile, cork tiles will not be uncomfortably cold to the touch.
There are a few disadvantages to cork, however. Pointy and heavy objects such as furniture can damage cork flooring if padding isn't put underneath furniture. Sunlight will cause cork flooring to lose its color over time. You can also expect to refinish the wax on cork flooring annually. You can prolong the finish of the floor with frequent sweeping and mopping.
Wood floors provide a finish that many people consider attractive. Wood floors are also warm to the touch and easy on the feet. The use of wood flooring can tie a room such as the kitchen with the rest of the home, giving the feeling of an open-floor plan. Wood floors come in many different stains, and homeowners can paint wood floors for a colorful look.
Wood flooring is susceptible to water damage, a characteristic that may make it less suitable for the kitchen. Wood floors can be expensive to install, and the installation can result in dust particles from the wood. Expect wood to darken with age, and be aware that wood has a tendency to dent.
Laminate flooring is more affordable than natural materials such as stone, ceramic and wood, and is relatively easy to install. Laminate tiles can be installed over the existing floor to reduce the labor and cost associated with removing the old floor. You can also choose laminate flooring that mimics other types of flooring.
Laminate flooring does not protect the subfloor from water, and the material itself may buckle or warp when exposed to moisture. Additionally, laminate flooring does not have a lifespan as long as natural flooring materials. An article in Happy Living Magazines states that the longest a homeowner can expect laminate flooring to last is about 15 years.
Stone flooring includes materials such as granite, marble, slate and limestone. These tiles are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Specially treated finishes can add traction to the floor.
These options come with a few drawbacks. Most notably, expect to pay more for stone flooring. Slate may be cheaper than other forms of stone flooring, but it is susceptible to peeling. Because stone is heavier than other flooring materials, the subfloor must be able to accommodate the weight.
Stone flooring is also cold to the touch and becomes slippery when wet, which often happens in the kitchen. Stone flooring requires regular maintenance, including polishing and resealing. Lastly, stone flooring can collect or absorb dirt.
Ceramic, porcelain, quarry and terra cotta are all types of floor tiles. These tiles vary in price and design. Glazed tiles are water- and scratch-resistant while non-glazed tiles may require frequent sealing. Some tiles require grout, which can be difficult to clean. Additionally, if a tile needs to be replaced, it can be difficult to match the previous grout with new grout.
Because tiles are hard, an item may break if it falls on the floor. Tiles may also be susceptible to breaking upon impact or from the stress of a heavy objects. The unforgiving nature of tile may prove physically uncomfortable for some people, and tiles tend to be cold to the touch.
- Photo Credit ceramic tile floor or wall texture image by Ana de Sousa from Fotolia.com
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