Linoleum kitchen flooring is a favorite due to how easy it is to clean, its durability and the wide variety of styles in which it comes. But kitchen flooring doesn’t stop with just linoleum. There are all kinds of different kitchen flooring options, many of which are as durable or even more durable than linoleum. Choosing between different kitchen flooring types like hardwood, concrete, ceramic tile, natural stone or vinyl can offer an even wider array of kitchen styles. For instance, concrete kitchen flooring is the perfect way to get an urban or industrial look.
Installing a new kitchen floor can vary in price, depending on what type of flooring you buy. New flooring can range from around $0.50 to $14 per square foot. Wood and natural stone flooring tends to be the most expensive and vinyl tends to be the least expensive. Adding the cost of installation can often double or even triple those prices. However, if your kitchen flooring has seen better days, it will be worth it. And the wide range of materials and costs means you can likely find something to fit your budget and preferred style.
Hardwood kitchen flooring
Hardwood is a favorite kitchen flooring option in any home style. It can look classic or modern. Darker-toned woods can give a cozy, classic feel. Lighter-toned woods look great in brighter, more modern kitchens. Some pros and cons include:
- Different types of woods can give different design textures.
- Wood floors come in a wide variety of styles, like oak, walnut and cherry woods. Bamboo is advertised as a more sustainable and durable flooring option due to how fast it grows.
- You can sand and refinish your hardwood floors when they look worn, meaning less cost than a whole install.
- You can match other interior elements, like the cabinets, to wood floors easily.
- It doesn’t get as cold as other types of flooring.
- It’s easy to clean.
- You have to be careful about which wood you use, as some are more durable than others. Pine tends to scratch easily, for instance. Some finishes also tend to be more durable than others, like fortified polyurethane finishes.
- Moisture can warp and otherwise damage hardwood kitchen flooring. A leaking refrigerator or kitchen sink pipe can be catastrophic on your wood floors. Even spills left too long can damage them.
- Hardwood needs a completely flat surface underneath it or it will bend with time. The substructure must be in good condition.
- It tends to be the most expensive option on this list.
Concrete kitchen flooring
Concrete kitchen flooring is on the more unconventional side of flooring options. But it looks great in urban, modern or industrial spaces. When given a high polish, it also reflects the light beautifully. Some pros and cons to this kitchen flooring option include:
- Concrete is resistant to moisture.
- It’s the most durable of floors, in that it won’t scratch or scuff the way hardwood can.
- When sealed well, concrete also doesn’t hold onto dirt, stains or spills.
- Concrete comes in different colors and textures, thanks to modern dyes, paints and finishes.
- You can opt for added heating elements under the floor to keep it warm.
- Concrete may become cold easily if heating elements are not installed.
- The hardness can make it uncomfortable to walk barefoot on and dropped fragile dinnerware is sure to shatter. Falls can result in worse injuries, too.
- Concrete can crack over time. However, you can find patching kits and paint to hide the cracking.
Ceramic tile kitchen flooring
Tile kitchen flooring can give an organized geometry to the space. The wide variety of textures also makes ceramic tile an attractive option for many kitchen designs. Included in this category is also porcelain tile, which is famous for its tougher and more scratch-resistant properties. Some overall pros and cons include:
- Different types of ceramic tile can mean different levels of durability but, on the whole, this is one of the most durable types of flooring. In fact, porcelain tile (a type of ceramic) is made from a dense clay that’s heated at high temperatures, making it tougher than natural stone.
- Its surfaces are moisture-resistant.
- Ceramic tile is not as prone to cracking as concrete, and when it does crack due to something hitting it, it’s easy to replace individual tiles.
- It’s resistant to dirt, stains and liquids, so it’s easy to clean.
- Tile insulation can be time-consuming, meaning higher install costs if you hire a contractor. Laying tile is often tricky for DIYers, as well.
- Grout between the tile tends to show its age fast if not sealed well.
- Exact color and texture can be hard to pin down, as different batches of tile will have different sizes and colors.
- It can be uncomfortable to stand on when barefoot due to its hard texture and ability to retain cold.
- Tile is heavy and will require sturdy substructures.