There are so many kitchen flooring options available that it can feel difficult to find the right one. When making your decision, you’ll want to consider two factors: function and durability. Whatever it’s made of, your kitchen floor should be easy-to-maintain and long-lasting. There is a beautiful option for you, no matter your style or budget. Follow this guide to understand the expected costs and the pros and cons of some of the most popular kitchen flooring options.
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The kitchen is often one of the most popular rooms in the entire house. For this reason, you’ll want a material built to withstand lots of foot traffic over time. And due to the high number of spills — whether it be wine, sauce, oil or any other liquid and food that tends to stain — you’ll want kitchen flooring that’s easy to clean and maintain.
The top durable flooring options include:
Besides durability, cooking usually requires long periods of standing and walking back and forth. Flooring that has some cushioning is helpful, especially if you suffer from back issues.
The most ergonomic flooring options include:
Let’s look at the materials available for your kitchen flooring ideas (in alphabetical order) and weigh their pros and cons.
Bamboo Kitchen Flooring
If you like eco-friendly products, bamboo is great for kitchen flooring. Bamboo grows extremely quickly, making it a sustainable source for flooring. In addition to being eco-friendly, bamboo is one of the strongest natural materials on the market, so it will withstand lots of use. Be sure to go with a reputable brand with a long warranty, should you choose bamboo flooring. The quality of the bamboo flooring is reflected by the length of the warranty.
Pros: Durable, beautifully grained, eco-friendly, long warranty available.
Cons: Some bamboo flooring can dent easily.
Cost: $2.09 – $5.91 per square foot, installation averages at $8 per square foot.
Carpet Kitchen Flooring
Since carpet is often difficult to maintain and clean, as it can absorb stains and spills, it has not always been one of the more popular kitchen flooring options. But the latest carpet tiles are a modern kitchen floor solution. Designed and tested to be industrial grade for high traffic areas, made of durable, easy to clean materials and easy to install, they now make a unique kitchen flooring idea. The best part is that a carpet tile can be removed for cleaning or replacement. Choose a carpet tile from a company like Flor, designed for the modern, DIY consumer. Be sure to buy an extra box of tiles and keep for future replacements. For a modern look, use carpet tiles selectively in certain areas of your kitchen like the image above, instead of wall to wall.
Pros: Durable, modern colors and textures, soft and padded, recyclable.
Cons: Needs frequent cleaning and vacuuming.
Cost: $1 to $3.60 per square foot
Concrete Kitchen Flooring
Concrete has a contemporary look and tone that is hard to match. It not only looks great; because of its durability, it can stand up to the busiest kitchens. There are various finishes you can give concrete to customize its look. Freshly poured concrete can be stamped, while all concrete can be stained, polished, stenciled and waxed. If you like concrete flooring and live in a colder climate, consider adding radiant floor heating beneath the concrete to warm up the material’s cold surface.
Pros: Durable, versatile, moisture resistant, contemporary looking.
Cons: Hard if standing is required for prolonged periods, cold, needs resealing, can stain.
Cost: Depending on the level of preparation required to install and finish concrete, cost averages range widely between $2 – $30 per square foot installed.
Cork Kitchen Flooring
Cork is a good kitchen flooring idea that offers a unique texture and a padded feel underfoot. Cork is a natural insulator, and can help with both temperature changes and noise. It’s also naturally antimicrobial, as the waxy substance in the cork repels insects and pests. On a budget? Cork tiles are a great DIY solution that’s easy to install. Choose a quality cork that like wood, can be sanded and refinished periodically. Confirm that the cork has a durable finish that will repel water and moisture. If choosing to install cork tiles, buy a few spares that can serve as future replacements should the tile flooring become damaged.
Pros: Earth friendly, anti-microbial, soft, padded feel, attractive texture options.
Cons: Can dent or scratch easily, creating imperfections on the surface that may bother some cork flooring owners.
Cost: $5.24 – $7.24 per square foot.
Laminate Wood Kitchen Flooring
Laminate wood flooring is an affordable and durable kitchen flooring idea. The top layer can withstand most abuse. If you add padding beneath, it’s a soft, ergonomic flooring solution. Easy-to-install and available in a wide variety of styles, laminate wood flooring is a simple, modern solution for kitchen floors. Choose laminate flooring with the longest warranty possible. Many come with a 25-year guarantee. For extra cushioning when standing, install a manufacturer-recommended thin foam sheet layer underneath.
Pros: Durable, cost effective, wide variety of options, easy to install and uninstall.
Cons: Is not as valued as real wood flooring, may be slippery, noisy, not refinishable.
Cost: $2.00 – $4.00 per square foot.
Rubber Kitchen Flooring
Rubber has similar properties to cork, but comes in a larger variety of colors and textures. It’s both easy-to-install and doesn’t require an adhesive, thanks to its high-grip properties. This makes it a good temporary flooring upgrade if you’re in a rental apartment. It’s cushy underfoot, durable and has a non-slip surface, so it’s perfect for busy kitchens. And it’s available in sheeting or tiles so it’s easy to customize. Choose richer, darker colors which hide oil stains better. As an added bonus, rubber tiles are easier to install than sheeting. For an earth-friendly kitchen floor, choose recycled rubber flooring, which is also less expensive.
Pros: Recyclable, naturally water and fire-resistant, durable, easy to clean, soft, padded feel.
Cons: Some people are sensitive to the initial smell, oils may stain the rubber’s surface.
Cost: Approximately $3.50, including installation.
Stone Kitchen Flooring
There’s a great variety of stone flooring available including the most popular marble, travertine and slate. Because of the natural pattern and color variations found in the material, stone is a great kitchen flooring idea that gives each kitchen a unique, earthy look. Stone flooring is also naturally cool, which is perfect in hotter climates. If installing stone flooring in a cold climate, consider adding subfloor radiant heat to warm the floors in the winter. Purchase at least 25% more than you need and save your receipt to return the rejected stone. Look through all your stone tiles before having them professionally installed. It’s likely that the grain and coloring of the stone will vary dramatically and you’ll want to hand select the pieces you want installed for a similar texture and tonal match.
Pros: Hard, durable surface, easy to clean.
Cons: Certain stones may stain, requires routine sealing, some fragile stones like slate may chip easily.
Cost: Depending on the material, $17.91 – $27.53 per square foot.
Tile Kitchen Flooring
Tile flooring is a great, low-maintenance solution for a kitchen. It’s easy-to-clean, durable and has a reflective quality that expands the appearance of space in a kitchen. The latest tile designs mimic wood and other textures and patterns. Know that tile no longer comes exclusively as a 12” square, so you can customize your design more easily. Some of the latest modern designs are large, rectangular shapes. Hire a professional to install the tile flooring, especially if the subflooring is not perfectly level. For ease of maintenance, install tiles with grout lines that are as small as possible.
Pros: Durable, moisture resistant, easy to maintain, available in a large assortment of styles, shapes and colors.
Cons: Grout lines may be difficult to keep clean, dropped items like glassware and dishes will likely shatter.
Cost: $11.34 – $17.38 per square foot.
Vinyl Kitchen Flooring
Vinyl is affordable, comes in a variety of textures and styles and is one of the most water-resistant kitchen flooring options. While tiles are easy to install, sheet vinyl requires professional installation. Consider the latest wood-look vinyl flooring planks. Easy to install, water resistant enough to be used in a shower, kitchen or wet area and textured to mimic wood grain, it takes a careful look to see if the wood plank vinyl flooring is actually wood or not.
Pros: Easy to install, water resistant, certain styles look just like wood.
Cons: Offgasses potentially harmful chemicals in your home, requires a flawless subfloor to install on, can gouge easily.
Cost: $2.83 – $3.82 per square foot.
Hardwood Kitchen Flooring
Hardwood has traditionally been on the top of buyer’s lists for flooring choices. Hardwood has a high-end, warm look that’s unique, according to grain and age. But hardwood in the kitchen requires special protection from excess moisture. Add an extra coat of finish in the kitchen to keep the wood sealed. If living in a high humidity or coastal region, avoid wider planks, which will cup and warp over time.
Pros: Adds resale value, attractive, durable, can be refinished.
Cons: Can be noisy, needs periodic refinishing, may dent or scratch easily.
Cost: $6 – $18 per square foot, including installation.