|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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