A Floor Says a Lot about a Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most widely used areas of the home. With all the traffic this room gets, there is a strong case for the floor to be the most important element of a kitchen. This flooring buying guide discusses popular flooring options for kitchens, the benefits of each option, and the costs associated with purchasing and installing each.
Ceramic Tile: Whether glazed or unglazed, the beauty, elegance and durability of ceramic tile lends itself perfectly to kitchen floors. The floor is waterproof and resists mold and mildew exceptionally well. Spills, dirt and debris clean up easily and due to the virtually limitless color, shape, and size possibilities, installations are completely customizable.
Natural Stone: In terms of durability and beauty, it gets no better than natural stone. Popular options include granite and slate, but others are available including limestone, travertine, marble and sandstone. Depending on the thickness of the stone, installations can be extremely heavy and may require adding additional flooring support.
Vinyl Tile: This is a great flooring option simply due to its economical price tag. They typically come in 12" x 12" squares and are available in dozens of colors and textures.
Hardwood Flooring: Nothing compares to a natural hardwood's inviting warmth and beauty when it comes to flooring. There are literally dozens of species available with their own unique color, hardness and price tag.
Laminate Flooring: Often found under trade names such as Pergot or Trafficmaster, this kitchen flooring option is manufactured to mimic the look of real hardwood flooring without the hassle of warping, swelling and buckling. It is available in several different widths, lengths, thicknesses and hundreds of colors/patterns. Laminate flooring can often be installed as a floating floor - which rests over most existing floors, saving money on labor costs.
Sheet flooring - made from vinyl or linoleum - is commonly available in 6' and 12' widths and virtually unlimited lengths to limit seams in the floor. The main difference between the two is that vinyl is created from synthetic materials while linoleum includes only naturally occurring substances. Both are extremely economical flooring options, waterproof, and clean up easily. Hundreds of styles, patterns, colors and textures are available.
Kitchen Flooring Costs
The following prices are national averages - expect actual costs to be slightly affected by your exact location and time of year of installation.
- Ceramic tile typically costs $4-$20 per square foot installed, depending on the quality of the ceramic.
- Natural stone materials vary widely in quality, which greatly affect costs. Economical options are available for as little as $7-$10 per square foot installed. Customers who want the highest quality product could pay as much as $50 per square foot installed.
- Vinyl tile is available for as little as $2-$6 per square foot, including installation.
- Expect hardwood kitchen flooring to cost $5-$20 per square foot with installation. Common, economical oak species tend to be cheaper, while more exotic hardwoods will push the $20 psf mark.
- Laminate flooring is available for $3-$10 per square foot installed. Prices are highly dependent on the thickness and quality of the material as well as the existence of padding (some materials come equipped with their own padding).
- Sheet flooring, whether vinyl or linoleum, typically costs $3-$6 per square foot installed.
- Removal of existing floors can add an additional $1-$3 per square foot.