505904
Credit: iStock/kodachrome25

505904

Be creative with your kitchen flooring and choose an option that reflects the kitchen's important role in your home

The kitchen is, almost always, the heart of the home. It's where friends and family bond over their love of good food and company, where kids hang out after school, and where you savour your early morning coffee before hectic weekdays. Given its prominence in everyday activities, you'll want your kitchen to sit on floors that support and enhance your life.

Here are nine flooring options to suit every budget, taste and trend.

505855
Credit: iStock

505855

Hardwood Floors

Like the colour black for fashion-lovers, hardwood floors are stylishly versatile, effortlessly matching walls and countertops of any shade and texture. On the other hand, they are acutely vulnerable to denting, cracking and scratching. Careless human activity, especially liquid spillage, and weighty furniture can cause damage to these vulnerable boards. If your family is young or accident-prone, hardwood floors may not be the best choice for your kitchen.

505856
Credit: iStock

505856

Laminate Floors

Equally appealing in its own way, laminate flooring is an economical alternative to hardwood flooring. The installation process is relatively uncomplicated, and does not require professional help. On top of that, laminate is impervious to scratches, dents and moisture. Even so, some people consider it too noisy and austere in comparison to its hardwood counterpart.

505858
Credit: iStock

505858

Tile Floors

Available in countless shapes, textures and hues, tiles are known for their sturdiness and adaptability. Unlike hardwood floors, tiles are perfect for a busy kitchen with their natural immunity to water and seasonal expansion. They can also be scrubbed with a wet mop. However, the grout between the tiles will eventually discolour and stain.

505859
Credit: iStock

505859

Vinyl Floors

Vinyl is one of the most affordable flooring alternatives. It comes in a diversity of patterns and tints and is also easily installed. While immune to staining, vinyl can be damaged by UV rays, molding, curling and snags. It’s recommended that you wax your kitchen floors periodically and close your curtains on sunshiny days to protect your vinyl surface.

505860
Credit: iStock

505860

Linoleum Floors

Environmentally friendly and easy to maintain, linoleum flooring is back in style. This flooring choice is created from natural products like tree resins, linseed oil and cork dust. It is also resistant to water, scrapes and grime. But it does restrict the type of rugs and coverings you can use as certain rugs or mats with rubber or plastic undersides can indelibly discolour the floors. Since linoleum is rigid and hardened, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to install your floors.

505861
Credit: Flickr/designbuildinhabit

505861

Bamboo Floors

Bamboo flooring, with its neutral stylish appearance, works well with any colour scheme in the kitchen. Bamboo floors are made from bamboo grass, rather than wood, so they are an extraordinarily renewable resource. Bamboo floors are resistant not only to water, but also to insects and allergens. Despite all these unique attributes, these floors are still susceptible to dents from heavy furniture and pointy shoes. Moreover, bamboo floors are only available in a few colours, although many find them gorgeous in their natural tints.

505862
Credit: Flickr/citymama

505862

Cork Floors

Like bamboo, cork flooring is harvested without destroying the tree and is naturally resistant to water, allergens and insects, making it one of the most eco-friendly flooring options out there. Cork is also naturally impervious to mold, fire, dents and mites. Soft, cushiony and warm, cork flooring is gentle on your feet and back and makes for an excellent noise reducer. However, scratches can harm the surface and long exposure to UV rays will stain it permanently.

505863
Credit: iStock

505863

Concrete Floors

Ideal for loft owners who want a contemporary clean look, concrete flooring is water-resistant, durable and tailor-made for underfloor radiant heating systems. Even though concrete tends to be dark and grey, concrete floors can actually be stained to virtually every colour. Plus, the stain will never fade since the colours penetrate below the concrete’s surface. Nonetheless, some homeowners may find the concrete physically and psychologically cold. Physically, concrete floors can be tiring on the legs and freezing on the feet, while psychologically, they can appear harsh and unfeeling.

505864
Credit: iStock

505864

Marble Floors

Exuding flair and elegance, marble flooring provides a classic polished appearance. It comes in a variety of styles and hues, but always remains glassy and radiant. It is susceptible to scratches, stains and moisture, however, and is particularly slippery. Not only is marble expensive to install, but it’s also incredibly burdensome to remove. Indeed, it is one of, if not the most costly flooring choice.