While cabinets and counters get headlines, kitchen flooring is the anchor of a kitchen remodel project that literally starts from the ground up. What’s hot and what’s new includes multiple choices for every lifestyle and décor. Flooring options have expanded to get up to speed and accommodate styles like farmhouse, industrial and contemporary.
What do flooring professionals look for most in 2018? One indisputable statement is: Wood is “in.” At least kitchen flooring that looks like wood. True hardwood flooring isn’t always the best choice for a busy kitchen – wood isn’t waterproof and wood requires maintenance. Modern technology provides excellent alternatives that look like true wood.
Kitchen Flooring Fits Your Style
There are two in-demand kitchen remodel trends that dominate the process and flooring selections are created to match. Consider these popular styles:
- Farmhouse Kitchen – The farmhouse style is rustic and was the No. 1 design choice last year. It combines an old-fashioned look with high-tech materials to keep the room interesting as well as functional. White or gray walls, light cabinets and warm woods prevail. Kitchen flooring to accent the style include hardscapes – the look of brick and stone – distressed, reclaimed or “old” woods. Darker woods to complement the lighter features make sense. Today’s wood-look tiles and laminates are “pre-stressed” and actually resist the stresses of daily traffic (including the nails of your pets).
- The Contemporary Kitchen – Contemporary means what’s hot right now, but also includes modern looks that have been standard in recent years. Flooring options in a contemporary setting are usually smooth and clean. They are seldom bold. Options flow well in an open concept as they blend with other rooms of the home.
Materials Provide Many Options
The traditional materials used in floors are all updated and available along with some truly high-tech variations. For example, the original laminated wood floors were the leaders in replacing real hardwood for the wood look. Weigh these options as you plan a kitchen remodel:
- Laminate – The first wood-look to replace the standby tile or linoleum floors of decades past. Laminate represent lower cost options to real wood. Technology has moved laminates ahead in the kitchen flooring world with the addition of water-resistant manufacturing techniques and more stress-resistant surfaces. More and more wood-like textures and colors are available.
- Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) – this is a relatively new, water-proof vinyl flooring material that’s available in the form of planks and tiles. WPC represents an up-scale laminate floor. It provides a convincing wood-look as well as the look of tile and stone. WPC is one of the fastest growing choices for kitchen flooring in remodeling projects and new construction. WPC stands up to heavy traffic and is easy to clean, requiring little maintenance.
- Engineered Wood – This is another relatively new option to hardwood floors and is created from real wood. Engineered wood includes a thin veneer of solid wood over a base of plywood or medium density fiberboard (MDF). It stands up to heavy traffic better than hardwood and provides all the ambiance of real wooden kitchen flooring. Engineered wood comes prefinished and never requires refinishing. Unlike some hardwood floors, engineered wood will not warp or swell when humidity changes.
- Bamboo – Bamboo flooring is the most durable flooring option available. It is also very eco-friendly. Bamboo comes in many styles and colors, providing a classic, elegant look. As a kitchen remodel choice, it is relatively easy to maintain and can be refinished if necessary. But, it scratched, dents and chips easily and can fade in direct sunlight. And, it is very susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity – changes that can cause warping and discoloration. Bamboo kitchen flooring is a high maintenance option.
NOTE FROM A PRO — In recent years certain bamboo flooring options, most notably imported from China, have been found to contain toxic chemicals including formaldehyde-based glues and finishes that can release into the air over time – always look for certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) when reviewing bamboo kitchen flooring choices.
- Cork – Cork as a flooring material was developed because it is resilient and softer than most other options. It is the most comfortable and joint-friendly flooring material for anyone who will be standing on it for extended periods of time. It is also environmentally friendly. Cook as kitchen flooring doesn’t look like an old bulletin board, it has its own unique appearance. While easy on the cook, cork flooring in the kitchen will not stand up to harsh traffic and easily dents and scratches. Natural ingredients in cork work as mold inhibitors and cork is an excellent insulator. Cork is also fire resistant. Unfortunately, cork flooring is on the high end of the maintenance scale – it must be sealed every 4-5 years and it is easily stained by oils and spills. The weight of cabinets or islands can form dents.
- Wood-look Tile – Ceramic and porcelain tiles that mimic the look and feel of real wood are extremely popular for a kitchen remodel in 2018. They are durable, available in dozens of wood-like finishes and can extend up a wall, as a backsplash or unique accent on a kitchen island. The newest versions come in long “planks” and the look of reclaimed barn wood is extremely popular. Tile is always a good choice where spills are possible since it is resistant to most liquids – although stains are possible. As with any tile installation, the new wood-like designs require proper surface preparation prior to installation, the correct adhesives, sealants and grout. Tile requires periodic maintenance and it susceptible to chips and cracks.
Remodeling Pros Keep Up With Trends
A knowledgeable source of remodeling ideas and the latest trends, Sims Exteriors & Remodeling serves greater Dane County, including Middleton, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Oregon Verona, McFarland, Stoughton, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie and Deforest.
Contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling at 608-825-4500, or email us to begin the kitchen remodel process and review the many options available for your new kitchen flooring in Madison WI.