Balancing affordability vs. durability
We’re redoing our kitchen! YAY!
We need to stick to a budget. BOO!
Anyone who has ever remodeled or built a new kitchen knows that the costs add up – and quickly. Between appliances, cupboards, counters and floors, there are plenty of places to spend your money. But once you’ve figured out how much to budget for the floor, you’ll find there are actually a number of options to weigh in terms of form, function and finances.
At United Floors in Courtenay, we carry a broad selection of flooring suitable for the kitchen, each with their own price point and pros and cons. Here are some of the most popular choices for homeowners looking to balance affordability with durability.
Laminate flooring in the kitchen – it works!
When it first came out people were scared of using laminate flooring in the kitchen, but as finishes and joining technology have improved, this flooring has made its way into today’s galley. While you should still avoid getting things wet, the price, look and ease of installation have made it hard to ignore. Laminate is comfortable underfoot and available in a range of styles and looks. Care and maintenance is easy, but if you have young children who spill . . . well, think twice. And laminate does require a foam underlayment.
Tile is tough enough for your home
This is one tough floor – durable, stain resistant and low maintenance. Porcelain tiles are available in glazed or unglazed finishes and various sizes, and it’s impervious to moisture. With tiles you get the look of stone at a fraction of the price. But like stone, it can be cold and tiring to stand on for long periods of time. And depending on the layout of your kitchen you may want to have this product professionally installed, which adds to the costs.
Vinyl in the kitchen will make you dance
Vinyl is the product for you if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Your feet and muscles will be happy on this cushiony product. (The cushion is also helpful for those of us who drop things!) And it’s easy on the budget. Available as sheet vinyl, plank or tiles, there is little maintenance other than sweeping and mopping. Thicker vinyl can feature a textured surface, which helps provide some traction as smooth vinyl can be slippery when wet.
Available in scores of today’s colours, patterns and textures, vinyl is waterproof and resistant to scratches and scuffs. A good vinyl can last about 20 years.
Linoleum – a kitchen classic
Not quite as durable nor as soft as vinyl, its upside is its eco-friendliness. An all-natural product with color throughout, it’s easy to clean and water resistant, but does need to be maintained with sealers from time to time depending on traffic.
Cork – a comfortable, eco-friendly flooring option
Cork is also gaining traction in the kitchen. Its natural insulating properties will keep your floor warm, and it is slip-resistant. However, it’s softer than wood, tile and laminate, so is more susceptible to damage. The nice thing about cork is that it’s a sustainable material; made from tree bark, it’s harvested every eight to ten years.
Its unique cellular structure makes it water resistant and compressible. And its patterns are unique. Unlike other floors, cork needs to be resealed every 3-5 years to protect against scratches and moisture entering through seams and cracks. Typically, it is available in tiles and planks.
Engineered hardwood looks good in any room
Hardwood is a nice option if you want your floor to keep its value and style over the years. It’s very durable and works well with an open floor plan that extends into other rooms. There are two types of hardwood flooring – solid wood or engineered wood planks. In our ‘wet’ coast climate engineered wood is much more stable and the better choice for kitchens.
Engineered wood has a veneer of real wood backed by layers of plywood. The way it’s made helps to add stability and makes it less vulnerable to movement caused by changes in temperature or humidity, which can occur in kitchens.