Site logo

The Best Kitchen Flooring Options

Kitchens are one of the rooms where a lot of time is spent, be it alone or as a family. They are where your creative energy can come alive, you’ll host memorable moments, and most importantly, they’re where the average adult will spend 400 hours a year. The flooring of your kitchen will play a big part in the overall feel and look of the space.

Finding the right materials to set the tone of your new build or kitchen remodel makes a world of difference in how your kitchen feels. Typically during design, a lot of the attention in the kitchen is focused on the countertops and cabinets, with flooring considered an afterthought in the process.

Photo: Unsplash

There are a wide variety of kitchen flooring materials available in the market today. Choosing the right materials for the flooring should keep the space aesthetic, durability, and functionality in mind.

In addition, if your floor will host of scampering children’s feet and guests, you’ll need to consider how easy they are to maintain and clean. The costs and ease of installation will also be factors if you plan on installing it yourself.

In this guide, we’ll provide all the possible floor materials, their pros and cons, and their overall cost.

Materials For Kitchen Floors

Here is a rundown of the most commonly used kitchen flooring materials to help you choose. They range from cost-effective to luxurious and easy to clean to high maintenance.


Hardwood flooring offers a rustic, cabin-inspired, natural look that has the bonus of adding value to your home. Once a go-to classic kitchen flooring option, they were replaced by cheaper and less durable materials over time.

However, they are currently enjoying a resurgence into the limelight and appear to be here to stay in modern builds that are looking for added interest in their flooring.

Better For Your Health

Hardwood floors don’t contain synthetic chemicals like PVC or phthalates, which can be toxic to humans if exposed over time. They also don’t trap dust or allergens like carpets do, so they are much healthier for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. Plus, wood emits negative ions, which help purify the air in your home by removing pollutants such as dust particles and pet dander from the environment.

High Durability

This type of flooring is rated high in durability if you anticipate a lot of footfall. Hardwood floors are incredibly tough and can last up to 25 years or more with proper maintenance.

This makes them a great long-term investment and saves you money in the long run since you won’t need to replace them often. In addition, if the wood becomes discolored or scratched over time, it can easily be refinished rather than needing to be replaced entirely like with other types of flooring.

Let’s look at the different types of hardwood flooring and how they differ.

Solid, Engineered, or Reclaimed Wood

There are generally three types of hardwood flooring available in the current market. Each has a different quality, durability, and price point. Hardwood floors can cost anywhere from $6-$25 per square foot, depending on the type.

Solid wood consists of planks made from a single piece of lumber. These can be made from various kinds of wood, such as walnut, pine, mahogany, and maple. With a typical thickness of around three-quarters of an inch, they are preferred for their ability to be sanded multiple times over their lifetime.

On the other hand, engineered wood is made by layering high-quality hardwood and other wood. This provides more stability and reduced warping, making it a great choice for kitchens. The planks are also easier to fit and install.

Keep in mind these wooden planks have slightly fewer wood choices than solid wood and come in lower thicknesses. The reduction in thickness reduces the number of times they can be sanded and refurbished.

Reclaimed wood is the third option. It can be found through authorized resellers and can bring character and warmth to your kitchen. It is also suited for the long run, and while aged wood gets a character of its own, options such as staining, refinishing, and painting are available if you want to give it a new look.

Higher Potential For Warping

Changes in technology have made wood more resistant to water spillage and moisture. However, while hardwood floors offer great protection against spills and floods, there is still a risk for serious water damage if exposed to large amounts of moisture over time.

Wood absorbs moisture from the air, which can cause warping over a long period of time. Additionally, if left untreated or unsealed, wood can swell when wet and start to rot away over time due to mold growth in damp conditions. When installing hardwood floors in areas prone to flooding or high humidity, it is important to keep this in mind.

Photo: Unsplash


Laminate is an easy-to-install multi-layered synthetic flooring. It is also designed to imitate the look of wood plants. This type of flooring typically comes in strips, planks, or tiles. Laminate flooring is typically between $6-$14 per square foot, including installation.

Affordable and Functional

This affordable flooring also has great functions for growing families and kitchens that see a lot of action. It withstands moisture and most spills very well and are easy to clean.

Unlike hardwood, these cannot be sanded down over time and also require a sheet layer underneath for cushioning and soundproofing. This means they may more readily show wear. However, they are still durable and low maintenance, making them a great choice for families with pets and toddlers.


Linoleum is a biodegradable flooring material made using natural components, including linseed oil, resin, and wood flour. Linoleum is available in sheets and tiles in various shades and can be used to create a diverse set of designs. The average cost of linoleum is a very cost-effective $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot.

Environmentally Friendly

Because linoleum is made from natural materials, is biodegradable, and doesn’t contain any volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This means that it is not only environmentally friendly but also healthier for your family than other types of flooring materials. It is also antibacterial and hypoallergenic.

Comfy For Cooking

A durable flooring option, linoleum is also soft, which aids those who like to spend a lot of time cooking and long-standing periods. This also helps for younger kids when a plate hits the floor!

Easy To Maintain

In addition, to being eco-friendly in the material that is used, it is a very sustainable in that it is durable and can last up to 40 years with proper care. Linoleum is also easy to clean and maintain with regular sweeping or mopping with warm water and mild detergent.

It Needs To Be Sealed

While its environmental friendliness has led to a renewed interest in it, its main disadvantage for use in kitchens is that it absorbs moisture. To resolve this, it needs to be coated with an acrylic sealer before use and needs yearly resealing.

However, linoleum tiles can be easily switched to replace moisture damage. With proper care and maintenance, linoleum offers good all-around durability and function.

Photo: pexels


Vinyl is a synthetic flooring material known for its versatility. Once considered less than expensive looking, today, vinyl is available with modern patterns and designs but at the same economical pricepoint. Vinyl flooring comes in at a very reasonable cost of $2-$10 per square foot, including installation.

Can Mimic More Expensive Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) that emulates hardwood, stone, and even ceramics is now available as sheets, tiles, and planks that can be easily assembled. They are preferred for their affordability and functionality in cost-efficient designs.

Water Resistant & Family Friendly

Like laminates and linoleum, vinyl flooring is a great solution for families with kids and pets, as it is resistant to water and stains. Some of the vinyl options are padded enough to even save the occasional dropped plate from breaking.


Tiles are the most opted-for choice for kitchen flooring due to their durability and water resistance. They are also resistant to stains and can be cleaned easily. In addition, with proper care, they can last up to 15 years or even longer.

Tiles come in a wide range of materials, which we will get to below. The cost is on the higher side of flooring choices at $15-$20 with installation.

Photo: Unsplash

Ceramic, Porcelain, Natural Stone

There are generally three types of floor tiles available: ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone. While ceramic and porcelain are often mistaken for the same, they do have a few differences.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are made by firing clay in a kiln. however, porcelain is fired at a higher temperature and under more pressure, making the material more dense and impervious. This means that while both ceramic and porcelain are water resistant, porcelain is more so.

This is why some porcelain tiles are also suitable for outdoor use. Porcelain is usually more expensive because it is more difficult, making ceramic tiles a more popular choice. Both tiles also offer a wide range of colors and designs to choose from.

Natural stone tile includes tiles are made from earthen materials such as marble, granite, onyx, sandstone, travertine, and quartz. These hardworking materials are durable and look luxurious, thanks to their unique colors and patterns.

They are also generally available in larger sizes than ceramic and porcelain tiles, which helps make the room look more spacious. The stones can be polished to reflect more light or given a rougher finish to give more of a grip. While the tiles’ density, hardness, durability, and porosity vary by the type of stone used, none of them are completely resistant to water, making stone sealer a requirement for most.

Great For Design, Not As Much For Families

Tiling is the hardest of all flooring materials. In addition, they can be slippery when they get wet. This means that it can be the nemesis of a household of toddlers. It can also be cold to the touch, but an area rug can be used to soften the impact of the flooring for footfall.

Photo: this Old House


Cork flooring is made using natural material harvested from a cork oak. The flooring material generates unique colours and patterns, which can also be stained or dyed as preferred. This affordable flooring, valued for its environment-friendly credential, is soft on the foot and makes the kitchen more comfortable for long hours.

COrk’s natural insulation absorbs sounds making it great for noisy households. It also withstands temperature changes and antimicrobial properties that repel insects and allergens.

While it may not appear to be at first glance, cork flooring is durable, washable, and water resistant but more akin to wood in this respect than tile or laminate. It typically costs $3-$12 per square foot with installation.

Environmentally Friendly

Cork is an incredibly sustainable material. It’s made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which means that harvesting it does not harm or damage the tree in any way. The bark will naturally regenerate over time, allowing us to enjoy its benefits with minimal environmental impact.

Easy Installation

Regarding installation, cork can be installed using adhesives or as tiles in a floating floor system that allows for easy installation, which can be done by DIYers. Both systems require little prior knowledge and can be installed easily.

May Need Sealant

If exposed to moisture over a long period, cork can be prone to warping or discoloration, potentially leading to expensive repairs down the line if not addressed quickly enough. Because it can be more porous than other flooring types, a sealant may have to be applied to keep it water-resistant.

There’s A Flooring For Every Project

So, what’s the best kitchen flooring? The answer to that question depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Vinyl is generally considered one of the most durable options, while hardwood is popular for its natural look and feel. If you’re looking for something sustainable, cork may be a good option; it’s made from recycled materials and can be refinished multiple times.

Ultimately, the best kitchen flooring for you will come down to your budget and how much wear and tear it will need to withstand. The styles, price points, and functions are limitless.

Check out our buying guide for flooring from Gabriela Gargano founder of Grisoro Designsto help you on your way!