The Best Kitchen Flooring Options

Whatever you dish out, these kitchen flooring ideas can take it.

By: John Riha
Kitchen in New Luxury Home

Kitchen in New Luxury Home

Photo by: Justin Krug

Justin Krug

Kitchen floors have a big job to do: they’ve got to stand up to a lot of foot traffic, shrug off spills and stains, and look great while doing it. Fortunately, you’ve got a lot of choices. Here are some of the best kitchen flooring ideas:

Sheet Vinyl

Sheet vinyl flooring is waterproof and stain-proof, plus it’s a snap to clean up spills and splashes. It comes in a huge array of colors and styles, from plain Jane to embossed vinyl that does a good job mimicking ceramic tile and stone. Standard sheets are 12-feet wide so seams are minimal. 

Sheet vinyl is resilient flooring, which means it feels slightly soft underfoot. That eases fatigue and makes hours of food prep easier. Also, resilient flooring is forgiving of dropped bowls and glasses. If you’re looking for cheap kitchen flooring, some types of sheet vinyl are downright inexpensive.

Porcelain Tile

For durability and good looks, porcelain kitchen tile flooring is the champ. It’s an upgrade version of regular ceramic tile because of a manufacturing process that makes it harder and less porous — a good choice for kitchens where spills are likely.

Porcelain tile comes either glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles come with a glass-like coating that can be made in any color. Unglazed porcelain tiles have the naturally earthy color of the clays used to make them. Some porcelain kitchen flooring tiles are certified to be slip-resistant by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Hardwood

Hardwood flooring combines warmth and beauty, and is comfortable underfoot. It’s a good choice if you have an open floor plan and want a single type of flooring that extends beyond your kitchen.

Hardwood combines durability with low-maintenance. Properly finished hardwood flooring resists moisture from occasional splashes, but spills should be wiped up immediately.

Hardwood flooring comes as either solid wood or engineered wood planks. Engineered wood planks have a top veneer of real wood backed by a layer of plywood that make the planks stable and the flooring less susceptible to humidity and temperature — a good kitchen flooring idea.

Cork

Cork is waterproof and resilient, which makes it a comfortable, moisture-resistant choice for kitchen floors. Cork comes in 12" x 12" tiles and 1' x 3' planks, each with intriguing grain patterns. Cork has a textured surface that offers some slip resistance, too.

Cork is made from tree bark that grows back, so it’s a sustainable material. It comes prefinished, but needs to be resealed every 3 to 4 years to help prevent scratches and stains.

Linoleum

Linoleum is another green kitchen flooring option. It’s is made from renewable, biodegradable cork powder and linseed oil, and it has no harmful VOCs. It’s a resilient flooring that comes in many patterns and colors, and it stands up well to foot traffic. 

It’s moisture-resistant but a bit susceptible to staining, so make sure the product you buy has a protective coating to guard against scratches and spills.

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