Commercial Kitchen Flooring Ideas: What Works And What Doesn't

This is the age of do-it-yourself home improvements, and that includes kitchen flooring. Learn how to decide which is best for you.

Thinking of putting in a new kitchen floor? There are all styles of flooring out there on the market today, and generally people will pick one based upon their budget. However, even if you have all the money in the world and can afford the best hardwoods or wood laminates, there are some floors definitely not designed for the working kitchen.

Before you select the type of flooring, consider your lifestyle. Do you eat out most of the time, or order in a lot, thus not doing much cooking? If you don't do a lot of cooking and you're not constantly tracking back and forth across your kitchen floor, you won't need to worry about water spills, food spills or cooking splatters, because they will be few and far between and can be mopped up quickly with no damage to the floor.

If you are a kitchen magician, however, whipping up marvelous casseroles, glorious stews or fancy desserts, you'll need a floor that will withstand boil-overs, spilled cake batter and the like. Also, if you ever had a water pipe break or a dishwasher hose come off, you know the amount of water that can quickly permeate a floor, and if it's made of wood or laminate, that can be the end of it immediately.

If you are a connoisseur in the kitchen, you will want the highest grade of tile or linoleum you can afford. Chances are you'll be mopping up daily, if not more than that, and you will need a flooring that can withstand the heavy use. One-piece linoleum is a wise choice for the avid cook or baker. With sheet linoleum, there are no seams for liquids to seep into like there are in separate tiles. You can mop it daily and not worry about warping or lifting. However, if you plan to use the same linoleum for kitchen and eating area, the most expensive brands may not be the best idea, as they are cushioned and luxurious, and average dining chairs may easily poke holes in the floor or at the least, create many dents. You'd be better off using a sheet of linoleum in the kitchen/cooking area, and wood or laminate in the dining area. Spills can be wiped up immediately with less chance of warping.

Individual floor tiles come in two kinds - self stick and those that need adhesive. Again, how you use your kitchen depends on the type to purchase. Self stick tiles work in areas that have little use, don't get mopped daily, and don't have a chance of spilled liquid seeping through the seams and making them curl up off the floor. If you plan to be in the kitchen a lot, tiles put down with adhesive glue will last much longer, and stay glued to the floor as well. Of course, the day you take them up to put in a new floor, you may need to chisel part of them up to get them off.

Marble or marble-type floor tiles are also popular, but not a great choice for the kitchen, because the grouting becomes soiled quickly as dirt and debris seeps into the nooks and crannies. Even if you are the cleanest housekeeper, grout on kitchen floors can be daunting to keep new-looking.

Professional-type flooring, the kind put in malls and restaurants, is much more expensive than the kind you find in value hardware stores, but it will last ten times longer. Before purchasing that new floor, you will need to evaluate your lifestyle, and ask yourself if you want a floor that will last forever, or if you won't mind changing it every few years or so. Many people change floors with the wallpaper, and if you are one of those, a lesser expensive flooring may be the perfect thing for you. If you do a lot of cooking and don't like change, investigate the costlier professional flooring. Some of the better flooring is guaranteed to last many years, and if you want one you don't need to replace often, that would be the course to take.

Just as every house is different, and kitchens take various forms of use and abuse, every floor covering is different. Do your homework. Decide what type of flooring you need and compare prices and styles. There is something for everyone out there. You just need to decide which is best for you.

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