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Kitchen Flooring Buying Guide

This page serves as an introduction to kitchen flooring replacement or choosing the right product for a new construction project.

natural stone kitchen flooring

The flooring you select will tie together your design, so it should work well with the base cabinets, especially, and look great with countertops, appliances and the wall color you select. You’ve got wonderful kitchen flooring options, and they’re covered in more detail below. We’ve created a set of guides for each one to provide you with complete information you can use to research and compare your favorites. You’ll find pros and cons, kitchen flooring prices and more for each type.

Reasons to Update Kitchen Flooring When Remodeling

The obvious motivations for replacing kitchen flooring are that it is visibly worn or it is simply outdated. However, you might have reasons to replace the floors even if they still look reasonably good.

Your flooring is the wrong style for your new design: No flooring material goes well with all design styles such as traditional, rustic, retro, Mediterranean and modern. If they are going to look out of place with the style of the new kitchen components, replacing the floors makes sense.

The layout of the kitchen is changing: A remodeling project is your opportunity to change the space to make it more efficient, comfortable and attractive. Typically, the old flooring won’t accommodate the new design.

Selling your house is an option: If you might put your home on the market in the next five years or so, updated flooring will catch the eye of potential buyers. They’ll view it as one less thing to have to put money into should they purchase your home.

The old flooring is ugly: Why live with flooring you don’t like, especially with fabulous new cabinets, countertops and appliances?

Got Wood? The Refinishing Option

If you’ve got solid wood flooring, it can probably be refinished, unless it is 50+ years old and has already gone through the process several times. Many engineered wood floors can be refinished a time or two. With normal wear, a wood floor requires refinishing in 15 to 25 years.

Get estimates from several floor refinishing contractors for the work, if you’re interested in restoring what you’ve got to its original beauty rather than installing new flooring. Hardwood floor refinishing costs average $4.00 to $4.50 per square foot though can be slightly more or less depending on the specifics of the job and who does the work.

What to Consider when Choosing your Kitchen Flooring

As you know, there’s more to your choice than what looks great. Our kitchen flooring guides give you pros and cons along with additional information that will help you narrow your choices to those that are a good fit for your family and your project. These considerations will help, too.

Do you cook up a storm? Some of the side effects of food preparation are spills, splatters and drops. Flooring materials such as natural stone stain more easily if the seal is worn away. Tile grout that is poorly sealed will stain too. Stone can chip, as can ceramic or porcelain tile.

Vinyl, linoleum and laminate handle messes very well. The first two can be cut by dropped knives; laminate may dent with the drop of a cast iron pan or other heavy item. Wood flooring is susceptible to dents, and spills on wood should be cleaned up quickly.

There’s no “perfect” flooring for the chef, but knowing strengths and weaknesses of each will help you consider the best material for the way you love to cook.

Do you have young kids? Linoleum and vinyl are softer for crawling knees and the occasional fall, and wood and laminate are warmer than stone and tile. If there are adults in your home with stability problems, the hardness of the flooring should be a consideration too.

Is selling your home an option? If you might sell in the next five to seven years, choosing a more neutral color and style of flooring – regardless of material – is a good choice.

On the expense side of the issue, the more costly the flooring is that you choose, the lower percentage return it will bring you, especially in affordable and moderate homes.

Spending $3 to $5 per square foot to refinish existing wood, if it is present in your home, is always the best decision for resale. You’ll spend what some carpet or vinyl costs. And 54% of homeowners said they’d spend more for a home with hardwood floors.

Marble doesn’t appeal to everyone and it is so costly that you might not get a high percentage of it back. The same is somewhat true for granite too, though it has wider appeal.

For resale, these are the top choices:

Affordable homes: Vinyl, linoleum, ceramic tile

Moderate homes: Vinyl, linoleum, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl, laminate, granite, hardwood

Expensive homes: Luxury vinyl, ceramic tile, natural stone, hardwood

Your Kitchen Flooring Choices

Here is the list of kitchen flooring materials covered in our comprehensive guides.

Looking for a Flooring Installer?

You’ll find an experienced installer and good prices when you receive estimates from at least three flooring contractors. Let the contractors know that they’re competing to give you the best prices on the flooring and installation (or just installation, if you’ll be buying the material separately).

Use the estimate-gathering process to learn about the experience of the installer with the type of flooring you’ve chosen. They should specialize in the type of flooring you’ve selected. These specialties tend to go together:

  • Vinyl, luxury vinyl and linoleum
  • Laminate, hardwood and luxury vinyl
  • Tile and natural stone

The service offered on our site is a quick, no-hassle way to receive free estimates from three competing installers who have been prescreened for experience. There is no cost or obligation.