Are you in the midst of planning 廚房工程 kitchen renovation? You have probably spent countless hours looking at cabinetry and countertops. You have considered the options for gourmet or commercial-grade appliances. You probably have selected a stylish, but functional sink. But have you spent time considering what kind of flooring you will put in your kitchen?

Often, kitchen flooring is an afterthought in the kitchen renovation or designing process. Selecting the right floor for your kitchen is important because it is often the flooring that makes or breaks a kitchen style. Certain types of flooring are comfortable to stand on for a long time, and others are easy to clean. Durability and overall cost of kitchen flooring does vary. So, you do not want to make a last minute selection that was not properly considered, leading to busted budgets, clashing of styles, hard to clean flooring, or a kitchen floor that cannot stand up to heavy foot traffic.

A kitchen is often the centerpiece of the home, where family and friends spend most of their time together. So you want it to look fantastic, remain functional and be easy to clean. You need to consider the following factors when selecting a kitchen floor. What flooring makes sense in a busy and messy kitchen? What flooring is comfortable to stand on during long cooking sessions? How much will the flooring materials and installation cost? What floors are durable and easy to clean?

First, a quick overview of kitchen flooring material options:

Engineered Wood – This engineered wood core with a solid hardwood or laminate veneer is a popular option for the busy, but stylish kitchen. Engineered wood is designed to resist moisture and remain durable for decades.

Hardwood – The choice for pure style and ambiance. Hardwood floors are traditional, durable and available in an array of hardwood choices and stains.

Travertine – A beautiful option for a sense of opulence. Polished travertine is easy to care for, extremely durable and stain resistant.

Bamboo – This is a renewable wood that has a beautiful appearance, but durable and comfortable to stand on.

Vinyl – A low cost and durable material that has remained popular for kitchen flooring. The classic checkerboard pattern is undergoing resurgence in many gourmet kitchens.

Cork – This is a sustainable, natural, quiet, durable and comfortable option that looks stunning in the kitchen. Cork flooring costs the same as hardwood, but cork trees grow to maturity in under ten years, while hardwood trees can take decades to over half a century to reach maturity.

Linoleum – A flooring product made from linseed oil, cork, limestone and wood pulp, this is a green option that is anti-bacterial and sustainable. It is available in any color, pattern, or design that can be imagined.

Tile – A classic choice for a kitchen that sees a lot of traffic but is also a showpiece. Durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean, tile floors can also be heated for year-round comfort.

Other Flooring Materials – A homeowner has so many options to choose from that can truly make a statement in a kitchen. From concrete, brick, flagstone, painted floors to reclaimed materials, the possibilities are endless.

Major Considerations in Choosing a Kitchen Floor Material – The 3 “C’s:”

Cleaning: Not all flooring materials are easy to clean. While hardwood floors are stained and sealed, they also expand and contract with the weather, which creates cracks in the seals where liquids can penetrate into the grain and cause warping and staining. Floors such as tile, flagstone, brick, travertine, and cork need to be treated and sealed for water resistance. Also consider that food, dirt and other foreign material will pack into porous materials.

Comfort: Different kitchen floors have different levels of comfort. The king of comfort is the supple and pliable cork, but a brick, tile or stone floor might be hard on the feet and joints of many people after prolonged standing.

Cost: This is often the point that makes or breaks a kitchen floor. Flooring is sold by the square foot, which requires accurate measurement plus a waste factor of typically 10%. Most installers will require a waste factor or they will not take the job without additional fees. Removal and disposal of old floors needs to be considered. Installation will require delivery fees, underlayment and other squeak reducing materials, options such as heat elements, and labor. It is wise to contact competent flooring contractors that will give estimates of costs before proceeding with a project.

Many homeowners and aspiring entrepreneurs are creating home wealth and value through home renovations. By increasing a home’s equity, homeowners can tap into low-interest second mortgages to generate cash or allow the extra value to appreciate along with their home, all the while increasing the enjoyment of their homes. Small businesses are also looking to buy homes and put extra equity into them in order to run their own real estate business.

No matter the reason, when a homeowner is looking to increase the worth of their home, kitchen countertop renovations offer one of the best returns on investment. The kitchen is often the highlight of a home for both the current family and any potential buyers if a house is on the market, making dollars invested in this room have the greatest financial impact.

There are many options for kitchen countertop renovations; let us take a look at different countertop materials and how they stack up as an investment.

Granite Countertops

Granite is a top of the line material for use in the kitchen. The elegant, modern look and feel of granite is extremely attractive and sought after. Since granite is a natural stone material, every quarry produces different patterns, colors, and grains. This allows the freedom to match the design to the kitchen and ensures that no two granite applications are ever the same.

Granite is also a durable, heat resistant working material that will last a lifetime. Maintenance involves a periodic sealant to prevent staining and water seepage to ensure that long life. When it comes to increasing both the intrinsic and financial value of a kitchen, granite is a top choice.

Quartz And Engineered Stone

Quartz is another high end material that offers a strong return on investment in a kitchen remodeling. Natural quartz is a non-porous, scratch resistance substance, which makes it perfect for keeping a clean and sanitary kitchen. Engineered stone combines 90 to 95 percent quartz with added pigments and resins in order to enjoy increased strength and design flexibility.

Both types of countertops are naturally sanitary and anti-microbial; they are even seen in use in hospitals and restaurant kitchens for this reason. In the home, it offers an unlimited range of colors and designs from natural stone to bold contemporary colors. For a unique kitchen design coupled with an elegant material, quartz will make a perfect investment.

A Green Choice

One of today’s hottest trends is green home construction. Whether it is appealing to the current homeowner or used as a great selling point, Silestone countertops are certified as a green product due to the use of recycled materials and quartz that is mined in an eco-friendly manner. Make no mistake, Silestone gives up nothing to durability and enjoys all of the benefits of quartz and engineered stone. It can become the centerpiece of a green home for the environmentally conscious.

There are hordes of flooring options in the market these days. Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular and if you have gone as far as choosing between the solid type of the engineered kind, then you are deep into picking the right kind of material for your wooden flooring. Solid vs. engineered wood flooring choices has been around for so long, ever-competing for homeowners’ attention. Knowing the pros and cons for each one should help you get the biggest return for your investment.

First, the solid hardwood – this is often ¾ of an inch thick and has been milled from just one piece of wood. This hardwood’s thickness means it can be sanded down then refinished many times throughout the furniture’s life.

Since solid hardwood is made of just one piece of wood, it is probable that the changes in humidity levels can cause the wood to expand or contract. In the long run, this can also lead to warping. So you won’t have to worry about this issue, make sure to put solid hardwood furniture inside rooms that are not exposed to the elements or humidity such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens.

Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, usually has three to five layers of wood that have been bonded together with the use of pressure and heat. This kind of wood tends to cost less than the solid hardwood type since the only layer that need to have a hundred-percent hardwood is the top one. The bottom layers are already engineered pieces. The more layers that an engineered hardwood has, then more times that it can be refinished.

Which to Pick?

Now that you know the pros and cons of solid and engineered wood flooring, it’s time to make your choice. First, you always need to consider your location. Keep in mind that any surface that is located below ground level has greater risk of being exposed to moisture, hence, solid hardwood flooring is unsuitable.

Rooms that are located below the ground such as sunken living rooms or basements are better off with engineered hardwood flooring.

Next, you need to consider the function of the room. If you are certain that the room will be exposed to moisture such as in the case of a kitchen or a bathroom, then it is best to install engineered hardwood flooring.

The third thing that you need to think about is the kind of subfloor that you will install. Given a subfloor of plywood, then your option is a toss between solid wood and engineered wood, meaning, you can use whichever you prefer. With a concrete flooring, then the option has to be engineered wood floor.

Now that you know the factors involved in choosing between solid vs. engineered wood flooring, it is time to know why you should settle for wood and not any other kind of material –

  • First, quality wooden floors can last for a very, very long time. Those who choose to cover a concrete flooring with carpets end up replacing their carpet every five years or so. This can be an expensive journey to take.
  • Wood floors are a lot easier to clean than rugs or carpets. Just lightly vacuum or brush the wooden floors and they will already look great.
  • Solid or engineered wood flooring are both hygienic. Compared to carpets, they are less likely to become home for parasites. If you have allergies, then having a wooden floor is better than having carpets installed.
  • Unpleasant odors can also be dispelled since wood is hygienic.
  • If you want to install under floor heating soon, then the best material to have is a wooden floor.

Sanding and sealing can make wood floors look new even after years of scratching, wearing and tearing.