Hardware flooring is renowned for its natural beauty and durability. It's classic good looks usually harmonize with any kitchen design. Wood flooring comes in either strips 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" wide, or planks 4" to 8" wide. The availability of wood species is endless, especially in today's market. Coatings for prefinished hardwood have advanced in recent years to include additives like ceramics, aluminum oxide, and acrylic monomers to create an incredibly tough surface.
The biggest advantage to solid wood is that it can be refinished many times over, however this means it must be nailed to a subfloor. Hardwood cost $3-$8 per square foot, with exotic varieties as high $14 per square foot. Installation is usually $5-$12 per square foot.
This flooring features a top veneer of real wood backed by layers of cheaper plywood. Strangely enough, this construction makes the floor more stable and less susceptible to change in temperature and humidity. Some newer variations have bases made from recycled wood fiber mixed with stone dust to provide extreme stability. Therefore, engineered wood is great for kitchens! It can be nailed, glued, or installed as a floating floor using self-locking planks. Prices end up being very similar to solid wood.
Bamboo has become increasingly popular due to its durability. Bamboo strands are glued together to form solid strips or engineered planks just like hardwood. Since it is made of strands, bamboo can be woven into a variety of patterns and textures. The price will range from $3-$8 per square foot, with installation costing $7-$12 per square foot.
The variety of styles, colors, and patterns for these floors are staggering. They are very similar to engineered wood in that the top wear layer is backed by plywood or compressed fiber to make it stable. The big difference is that the top layer is a plastic coating applied over a photograph. The photo-realism allows these products to look very similar to real wood, stone, tile, or stained concrete. Most laminates and vinyls are floating floor systems, which makes them easy to install over existing floors. Cost ranges from $1-$7 per square foot with installation at $2-$5 per square foot.
This flooring has a natural, warm appearance that is very comfortable underfoot. It also features an unusual grain pattern with whirls and speckles. It comes in either tiles or planks with a laminate type of construction. The top layer of cork is prefinished and glued to a stable core material. The only drawback is that these floors should be resealed every few years to renew the wear layer. Cork flooring can be glued down or installed as a floating floor. The price is usually $2-$6 per square foot, and installation is usually $3-$5 per square foot.
The variety of shapes, sizes, colors and textures in tile allow you to create a one of a kind pattern in your kitchen. Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of clay and shale that is baked and hardened in a kiln. Therefore, be sure to purchase only tile that is rated for floor use. Some of the different types are Glazed, Quarry, Porcelain, and Terracotta. Glazed tiles have a glasslike coating which makes them virtually maintenance free. Quarry tiles have a rough texture which makes them more slip resistant. Porcelain tiles are especially hard, durable, and stain resistant. They can also be glazed to make them even tougher. Terracotta tiles are earthy and rustic in appearance, but they are not very durable and must be sealed periodically to prevent staining. The price can vary from $1-$100 per square foot, but installation is generally from $4-$12 per square foot.
If luxury is you goal, then stone tile may be the way to go. But be sure to pick a hard stone that will resist moisture and staining. Soft stones such as sandstone or limestone should be avoided, and even harder stones like granite and marble should be sealed every 4 or 5 years. Also be aware of the texture you choose. A polished stone tile can be slippery when wet, so choose stone that has a textured, skid resistant surface. The cost of this luxurious look is only $2-$10 per square foot, with installation adding $5-$10 per square foot.
Unless your new kitchen has the exact same footprint and style as your old kitchen, you likely will be replacing your floors when you design your new kitchen. Kitchen floors take a beating like no other, especially since the kitchen is usually the centerpiece of your home and a natural gathering place. So which flooring can take the abuse while still adding the style and beauty your new kitchen requires? Consider the following options
The Shops at Marlborough Barn
45 North Main Street
Marlborough, CT 06447