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Choosing Kitchen Flooring

If you are planning on remodeling your kitchen or are building a new home, you will have to make a decision on kitchen flooring. There are several options, all with pros and cons.

Linoleum is inexpensive and relatively easy to install. It comes in self-stick tiles or large room size rolls. Linoleum resists water and is easy to clean, but dropped objects can cause dents that fill with dirt and cannot be fixed without replacing a piece of the flooring.

Tile is a popular alternative, and it comes in many forms, including ceramic, slate, marble, terra cotta, limestone, and quartz. It can be expensive, but it will last for years, and is relatively easy to clean if the surface is smooth. There are many tiles out now with a rougher surface that will prevent slipping, but the rough surface will also collect dirt. You can install the tile yourself or hire it out. Again, dropped objects can cause cracking, but you can replace a single tile if this happens. Water leaks will not damage the tile, in fact the tile will protect your subfloor from any water damage. Tile floors are very hard to walk on, and can be cold. When choosing tile, try to see it on a large expanse of floor, as the pattern can be deceiving. Also bring the tiles home to see it in your own lighting.

Wood floors are easy to clean and add a warm cozy look to any kitchen. Oak and maple are popular choices, but cherry, mahogany, and even bamboo flooring is now available. The downside to wood is they can be prone to scratching and can be expensive to install. The upside is they will last a lifetime, and can be refinished countless times. You can rent a sander and refinish the floors yourself. Sometimes all that is needed is using a screen on the sander to buff out small scratches. The newer finishes used on wood floors makes them much easier to maintain and resist scratching significantly. Most flooring manufacturers suggest refinishing your floor every 5 to 7 years, but you can go much longer, depending on your traffic.

Laminate flooring is becoming less expensive and is a great alternative to tile or wood. It comes in wood like planks or can resemble tile or marble. Do not use laminate flooring in an adjoining bathroom, as it will be ruined by any water damage. The surface of the laminate flooring is very hard and resists scratching, but it is not scratch proof. It can be refinished once in a lifetime. If you are buying laminate flooring, check into warrantees, as the price ranges offer a variety of qualities of flooring.


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