Home Improvement: Tile, Laminate or Wood? – The Pros and Cons of Popular Kitchen Flooring Type
There are lots of different kinds of flooring material you can choose from if you are planning to give your kitchen a bit of a makeover (or a lot). Three choices that spring right to mind for many people are tile, laminate and wood as carpet is rarely ever a great choice for a kitchen and stone and concrete can be expensive and rather cold.
All three of these flooring types can indeed be great choices for new kitchen flooring, but they each come with their own set of disadvantages as well. Here is a break down of the pros and cons of each material when used in the kitchen:
Tile Kitchen Floor Pros and Cons
Tile is a very common choice among homeowners for both kitchen and bathroom use and for good reason. Tile is very durable, relatively inexpensive when compared to other flooring options and very easy to clean. You can find floor tile in almost every color, pattern or texture you can imagine as well, something that offers you the chance to get truly creative and create a kitchen floor that is completely unique to your home.
There are some problems that may come along with choosing tile for kitchen flooring though. Tile does have the potential to chip and crack when heavier things are dropped onto them and the grout used to lay the tiles tends to be a real magnet for dust and dirt and can be very hard to keep clean.
Safety may be another concern as tiles become very slippery when wet so if water is splashed accidentally from the kitchen sink someone may be in a for a nasty fall. Choosing non slip tiles for kitchen use can help solve some of this problem though.
Laminate Kitchen Floor Pros and Cons
Laminate is a kitchen floor choice that has steadily been growing in popularity over the last few decades. Laminate flooring looks like wood (or tile or stone) but really it is actually made from a combination of resin and paper. Its appearance is determined by a photographic image that is added to the layers during the manufacturing process and then covered with a thick, clear ‘wear” layer to protect it.
Many people are drawn to laminate because of its appearance but also because it tends to be more affordable than real wood and much easier to take care of. Real wood dents and scratches but laminate is much more durable and while it is certainly not scratch-proof, it tends to stand up to wear and tear very well.
There are drawbacks to laminate flooring in the kitchen. It is rather hard underfoot and unless you can find laminate flooring with a special slip resistant wear layer it can be very slippery as well, even when it is dry. And for some people the fact that laminate is ‘fake wood’ or ‘fake stone’ is simply a fact that they cannot get past because they love the real thing.
Possibly the biggest disadvantage of laminate flooring though is that it cannot be sanded or refinished to remove dents and scratches in the way that hardwood can so in a very busy kitchen it may have a relatively short life expectancy compared to tile or real wood.
Wood Kitchen Floor Pros and Cons
In terms of looks, there is nothing quite like a wood floor to add warmth and character to a traditional or country themed kitchen. Lighter hardwood can also be a great visual choice for a more contemporary kitchen as well. The variations that come along with real wood are often so beautiful that they are the focus of the kitchen. And any hardwood floor that is in good shape will usually add ‘perceived value’ to your home in the eyes of buyers should you ever decide to sell.
The biggest problem that comes along with choosing wood for your kitchen floor is that it takes quite a lot of care and effort to maintain it. You do have to make sure that the wood is properly sealed to avoid water damage and any liquid spills have to be cleaned up right away to prevent damage.
Hardwood also tends to scratch fairly easily and the owners of a hardwood floor in a kitchen may have to be prepared for the fact that the floors may have to be sanded and refinished every so often to keep them in great shape.
There are in fact pros and cons associated with any flooring type, the perfect floor really has not been invented yet. However if you weigh everything up often the pros of the flooring type you are leaning towards will outweigh the cons and turn into a very worthwhile investment, especially at resale time, when that day comes.