Finding new floors for your kitchen can be exciting. With so many flooring types from which to choose and so much riding on your decision, it can also be overwhelming. You might feel pressured by friends, magazines, and salespeople to choose the “hottest” new floors. You might feel pressured by your budget to find something reasonably priced. You probably already know you don’t want to have to do this again any time soon, so there’s pressure to get it right the first time. While all of these things are sure to play some part in your decision-making process, making sure your own style and needs stay front and center is the key to helping you make the best choice for you.
Establishing a firm max budget is a good place to start. There’s not really any point in considering options that you simply can’t afford. Falling in love with one floor or another and then realizing it’s absolutely out of your price range can be heartbreaking and make it harder to be truly happy with a more affordable style since part of you will feel like you’re settling for a second-best option. If you have the luxury of an unlimited budget, don’t make the mistake of overlooking all lower-priced options. Being convinced that more expensive is better may lead to you missing out on your perfect floor and being able to spend that extra money elsewhere.
Once you’ve established a budget, consider how much time you’ll be spending in the kitchen. If your kitchen is the busiest room in the house, as it is for so many of us, comfort and durability should be top priorities. If you spend a lot of time prepping and cooking, you might want flooring that’s a little more resilient, making it more comfortable for long periods of standing. Tile and marble are the toughest on feet; woods and laminates are generally a little more forgiving. Whatever type you choose, kitchen rugs or mats can add to the comfort level and be an inexpensive way to add a bit of color that can change the look of your floors from one season to the next. Since busy kitchens tend to see lots of messes, finding easy-to-clean floors can be crucial to making sure you don’t regret your choice. In addition to being easy to clean, good kitchen floors should be water resistant and resist staining and chipping. Nobody wants to see their beautiful new floor “ruined” when somebody drops the heavy lasagna pan, leaving a tomato-colored stain and matching divot in the middle of the kitchen.
Another factor to think about is safety. If you’ve got kids known for running through the kitchen, or have had to do it yourself when you smell something burning, be sure to look for nonslip floors. Floors rated as nonslip when they’re dry are also a little safer when wet.
Once you’ve got the functional issues figured out, all that’s left is to decide what you think will look best in your kitchen. Lighter floors can make a small kitchen look bigger. Darker ones can make your kitchen seem cozier and might show a little less dirt. Let your personal style and your vision of your kitchen determine whether you want your new floors to be the star of the show or a solid, if more subtle, supporting player.