Kitchens are a fun place for family and friends to gather over good food and spend time socializing or catching up about each other’s day. In today’s lifestyle, however, the kitchen is a multi-purpose facility. As part of modern home design it’s frequently open to the living area. Homeowners desire kitchen flooring that’s not only low maintenance but also long lasting, budget friendly and will add style to the kitchen. Thankfully, many homeowners can find beautiful floors that are also affordable for their kitchen.
Limestone, a sedimentary rock, is formed from fragments from the skeletal remains of mollusks, coral and other organisms residing underwater. Generally, it consists of crystal forms of calcium carbonate. There are limestone quarries all over the United States and throughout the world. The durability and versatility of limestone has made it a very common choice for building materials.
Limestone is effective for both the inside and outside of a home and can provide that natural stone beauty for less than the price of marble or travertine. The color palette of limestone generally will consist of natural tones such as beiges, browns, grays and white. Most limestone is available in 12 X 12 or 18 X 18 tiles, large slabs can also be had, along with small mosaics. Price per square foot for limestone is from $2 to $11. When installing limestone, a sealer should be applied and repeated every two years. If that process is followed, your limestone floor will keep its natural beauty for many years to come. Limestone flooring should be installed by professionals due to their weight and challenge of working with a natural stone.
Don’t dismiss vinyl
Vinyl is a flooring material that has benefitted the most from recent advances in technology. Once seen as “cheap” option, it has evolved into one of the most versatile and trendy options that is also budget friendly. Its price ranges from $.50/square foot to $2/square foot. While you can still select from economical sheet goods in numerous patterns and colors, vinyl can now mimic stone, wood and other luxury materials at a very attractive price. Due to advances in surface engraving techniques, vinyl can take on textures heretofore unthinkable for this product. Vinyl floors are durable and virtually waterproof, making it an excellent choice for your kitchen. Vinyl is one of the most popular flooring options in the industry. It’s available as:
- Sheet goods
- Composite tiles
- Luxury Vinyl Planks
Porcelain is a stunning and very luxurious type of flooring. Porcelain is different from ceramic due its dense and less porous qualities. It’s also more resistant to moisture as compared to ceramic and is a more durable material. Therefore, porcelain has a long lifespan and is considered to be very expensive due to its great quality. Its price ranges from $5/square foot to $13/square foot. This beautiful tile is low maintenance, resistant to scratches and staining, making it a great floor for your kitchen. Since porcelain is a hard, dense tile, you shouldn’t consider installing this type of flooring yourself. By adding porcelain tile to your kitchen you’ll able to increase your home’s resale value.
Laminate is often mistaken with engineered wood due to its appearance. This is one of the most affordable and versatile flooring options for your kitchen. The only limitation on the style and design of laminate flooring is your imagination. The manufacturing process consists of blending together four layers of material together.
- Backer: this is the bottom layer that protects the plank from moisture and provides balance
- Core: the next layer above; made from a high-density material. Serves as protective barrier from indentation and moisture.
- Design: next position above the core; contains a high-resolution image of the surface
- Wearing Layer: the top surface; made of clear aluminum oxide that guards the surface from abrasions and burns
Since laminate consists of multiple layers it’s very durable and easy to clean. Laminate flooring requires an underlayment, although some may have it integrally attached. Check with your professional to see what is required for your particular floor application. The estimated cost spans a wide range, due to the vast number of offerings available. It can range from less than $1 per square foot all the way up to $6.
Cork floors have become more popular over the last few years. Many homeowners love how cork is eco-friendly. This floor is formed from cork bark and mixed with resins to form a gorgeous floor. It’s a great natural insulator and is resistant to moisture, heat and mold. With its varied natural texture, cork is now available in a wide range of different colors to match with your home’s design. The price for cork flooring is from $2/square foot and higher.
If you are considering adding cork flooring to your kitchen you should place mats on top of your floor since it’s a high traffic area. Cork is available in either easy to install planks or tiles, which offer a variety of different materials. Cork flooring requires sealing, with different finishes available including wax, polyurethane and vinyl.
When looking for flooring for your kitchen don’t dismiss these wonderful cost-effective options. These floors are durable, affordable and can add style to your kitchen. Every flooring material has some downsides, but in general you can’t go wrong with these cost effective options. New floors are a major purchase decision, but can add lasting beauty and functionality to your kitchen.