If you're looking for new kitchen flooring, get ready to choose from more options than you ever thought possible.
Choices run the gamut from vinyl to ceramic or porcelain tile to concrete - with a lot of materials in between.
The number one flooring trend is natural material, which helps create a relaxing retreat and expresses your personality while meeting your specific lifestyle needs, according to Kate Schwartz, editor of Kitchens.com, an online consumer resource on kitchen design and remodeling.
Materials such as large marble (especially tumbled marbles like travertine), porcelain tiles and exotic woods (bamboo and darker woods like cherry and mahogany) are all popular choices in natural colors with earthy feels, she says.
"Keep an eye on bamboo. It's quickly catching on as an attractive and environmentally friendly flooring choice," Schwartz says. "Solid bamboo can be stained any color. And Nevamar has just introduced bamboo laminates in patterns and wood grain designs, including extreme green, dragon red, and Xanadu blue ¾ all vibrant takes on the traditional look."
Schwartz suggests considering your preferences before choosing flooring materials. Do you like natural or man-made materials? Do you want a consistent color? Whatever you decide, your options abound.
Other important considerations both Schwartz and the World Floor Covering Associationrecommend include:
Schwartz says common mistakes first-timers make are not remembering that the kitchen floor needs to stand up to wear and tear more than almost any other room in the home ¾ and beyond that, that the floor should be comfortable.
"Flooring is an important investment. It's certainly possible to get stylish, comfortable, and durable flooring whatever your price range, so be sure to do so,'" she says.
According to the WFCA, prices can range from $1 to $5 per square foot for vinyl, linoleum is about $4 per square foot, cork runs $5 and up, ceramic is $1 to $6, natural stone is $3 to $10 and above, wood is $4 to $10, laminate is $2 to $7, and concrete varies by contractor.
Schwarz adds that it's important to remember that your flooring can truly add to or unify your kitchen's style, so your flooring should receive as much consideration as any other component of your kitchen.