Choosing the best new floors for your kitchen or bath is a big task. Not only does your selection need to look good, but will also have to stand up to repeated moisture and humidity. Luckily, there are many choices that perfectly combine form with function. Not only can your floors resist spills, stains and protect you from slips and falls, but they can also elevate your style and complete an on-trend interior.
Ceramic tiles in kitchens and bath areas are nothing new, but today’s selection runs the gamut in color, texture and style. Ceramic options are great for high-traffic areas because they are durable, resist moisture, water and wear and tear. They can be easily cleaned and don’t absorb odors or harmful dirt and bacteria. While tile typically comes in three styles – ceramic, porcelain and stone – each has their own set of pros and cons. Tile also can be suited for any budget; from high end marble to easy-going terracotta or granite there is a style out there to fit any project.
Modern Vinyl comes in many different styles and can mimic the look of tile or stone. Luxury vinyl typically comes in plank form and is installed in a similar manner to wood floors. These sheets adhere horizontally to one another and “float” over the subfloor instead of sticking directly. They are a cost effective solution for a home that would benefit from the more expensive look of wood or tile, but needs something water resistant with additional grip or stick.
Vinyl Sheet Flooring
Like luxury vinyl, sheet flooring is also very durable and affordable. It comes in many styles with patterns that range from geometric shapes and bright colors, to neutral stone and wood look. They are easy to install, clean and replace if needed since tiles are covered in a layer of resilient urethane and can be peeled up and changed out as necessary. With proper care, these floors can last for decades.
Laminate flooring is a great option to bridge the gap between vinyl and wood flooring. Similar to vinyl, laminate is installed in click and lock planks that mimic the look of hardwood or stone. But unlike luxury vinyl, which uses plastic and rubber laminate relies on real wood for its core. The top surface of each plank is plastic with a printed layer of design but underneath it is a composite of different layers. Laminate allows for thicker, more realistic embossing and resistant to heat and wear. But unlike vinyl, can only tolerate water for short periods of time. If you avoid standing water and can clean up spills and stains quickly, this is a great choice for kitchens and baths.
When nothing else will do, engineered hardwood is the best choice for a real wood look in a semi-wet area. It is easy to install, most planks come with a click-lock system, and is great for use against concrete slabs. With proper precautions, like rugs in front the sink or mats near doors to the outside, kitchen hardwood can be a beautiful and practical choice. Look for styles that are sanded, sealed and stained at the factory and ones that do not have beveled edges. These can trap water and moisture from shoes and spills.