Is There More to a Kitchen Floor than Vinyl and Tile?
by Jennie Wills
You may think that the most used component of the kitchen would be an appliance however in fact it is your kitchen floor! Choosing the right kitchen floor depends on several factors all of which need to be considered in order to find the perfect flooring material for your space.
It is wise to start by answering a few key questions:
How busy is your kitchen? Is there a lot of traffic?
How much do you want to spend?
What flooring products are available for kitchens?
What is the durability of each product?
What designs are available? What are your flooring measurements and how much material will be required?
When designing your kitchen, it is vital to include appropriate flooring materials that keep durability, style and re-sale in mind. Whether you are designing, remodeling or re-designing your kitchen research on kitchen flooring plays an enormous role as there are several materials to choose from. Unfortunately some of the hottest flooring products today are often overlooked as an option for kitchens.
There are a variety of hardwearing practical solutions, including slate, stone and laminate, but here are three more unusual options:
Beautiful and exotic this renewable product is very comparable to hardwood in style, feel and strength making bamboo a fantastic surface to be considered in your kitchen.
Cleaning is relatively simple requiring light mopping and sweeping. Beware that sweeping is very important as these floors can scratch. Dirt, sand, and other granular particles under foot can make good opportunity for damage. Bamboo is an extremely strong and versatile plant that is actually classified as a grass. It grows rapidly where shoots reach maturity in 5-7 years. At that time the plant actually benefits from the harvesting of those shoots.
If you are concerned about harvestation and its effect on wild life, Panda bears actually feed from of a different strain of bamboo which is located at a much higher altitude than that of bamboo used for flooring products.
This marvellous material does not end with bottle stoppers. Cork is a fabulous flooring material that even your kitchen will love. The cellular structure of cork is comprised of millions of air sacs essentially meaning that 50% of this flooring material consists of air!
Cork is another excellent consideration for your kitchen space. Depending on the type of finish you have chosen for your floor maintenance will vary. Wax finishes generally require waxing at least once a year certainly something to maintain. Polyurethane will scratch if those floors aren’t swept. So keep those floors clean with regular sweeping and dry mopping and the results will be less wear of your finish.
Unlike other natural wood flooring products, cork is obtained from the bark of oak trees generally located in the Mediterranean. The cork oak tree is remarkable as its bark can be harvested every 9 years without cause of any damage to its existence or that of its environment. The best cork is reserved for our other partner in the kitchen as our beloved wine bottles require stoppers. Bottle stoppers account for 60% of the cork market but where there is demand for perfect corks there must be waist. Cork flooring is made from that unwanted material making this flooring product another fabulously environmentally conscious choice for your kitchen floor.
Cork also has many benefits with respect to a healthy environment in any home. Suberin, the waxy, natural substance found in cork also plays a role in cork’s resistance to mould and mildew. Cork flooring is antimicrobial and has been proven to be insect resistant as well.
The cellular structure of cork also makes this flooring material an excellent choice for people who suffer from back problems or injury.
Unfortunately linoleum seems not to be the product that comes to mind when remodelling or designing a kitchen as it brings with it old memories of sterile hospitals and school hallways. So many new and exciting modifications have been made to more commonly-used flooring materials that linoleum is often overlooked. In fact this 100-year-old flooring material still has what it takes and is making a huge comeback. Here’s why.
Creative arrangements and various tile hues make linoleum a designer’s dream. Great designs and patterns can be achieved with linoleum where your floors can truly become a personalized work of art.
Maintenance - Sweeping and light mopping makes linoleum extremely easy to clean.
Another area in which linoleum excels as a material for your kitchen floor is in the health department. Linseed oil is a natural ingredient found in linoleum flooring. Its presence allows for linoleum to succeed as being a naturally antimicrobial floor. As linseed oil oxidises it prevents bacteria such as salmonella typhimurium, and staphylococus aureus from breeding and multiplying.
Other flooring receives chemical agents in order to achieve the same affect however these agents will wear off over time. No matter the age of linoleum or the finishing that it may receive, this product will always remains antimicrobial. It also repels dust, and dirt which is why this product is commonly used in hospitals and schools.
So when it comes to choosing the right material for your kitchen floor, why limit yourself to traditional choices. Do your research and select a floor that best suits your needs and your style!
- See a selection of handmade quality kitchens by Country Kitchens of Devon.