Everything You Need to Know About Flooring

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We know that kitchen and bath design is more than selecting cabinetry and countertops. Designing and remodeling your home is about family dinners, holiday entertaining, and quiet coffee mornings. It is about combining form and function in a home living space. Get inspired by browsing our recently completed projects.

Flooring is an important element of your kitchen or bath design for practical and aesthetic reasons. It can be hard to navigate the many options to find one that balances these considerations, but thankfully there are a wide array of flooring materials available to choose from. Here in the Pleasant View area and beyond, Guthrie Flooring has the product choices and expertise to help you find flooring for every space in your home.

If sleek, ceramic tiles suit your spa bath design, bear in mind that they’re slippery when wet and may not work from a practical standpoint.  A hardwood floor might work in your traditional kitchen remodel but won’t stay pristine with dogs walking around on it. Luckily, there are excellent imitation materials available so you can mimic a higher maintenance floor without the disadvantages.

Technology has advanced so much in the area of flooring design that what was once a poor choice either from a maintenance or quality standpoint is now high functioning and stylish, so don’t write off any options too soon. The environment your floor will be in affects how it looks and feels, so make sure you do your research before investing in this fundamental part of your home design.  We have put together a comprehensive list of popular flooring to help you make an informed choice.

Kitchen Island With Barstools

Vinyl

Vinyl imitates a host of other floor materials. It’s a synthetic product that is available as planks, tiles or as a sheet that can be cut to the size of your room. Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVPs) and Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs) are a popular choice with a vinyl core that can be soft or rigid, but the latter (EVP) is stronger. Stone-polymer cores are very durable, but wood-polymer cores are more comfortable to walk on.

The vinyl core is covered by an image of a flooring material, color, or pattern, and then topped by a wear layer. Vinyl is waterproof and therefore a good choice for kitchen and bath designs. However, it can emit VOCs, but the more you invest, the lower the VOC level so it pays to get a quality product.

Linoleum, on the other hand, is a more natural flooring option that can be laid in one piece and is more environmentally friendly. Vinyl is a cost-effective flooring material that can be laid loose or clicked together to float. However, the subfloor must be smooth and level or you will get permanent marks. Placing vinyl over tiles, for example, will show indentations where the grout lines are. Once you’re prepped and have chosen a quality vinyl, it will pay off with a durable, low maintenance, and stylish surface for a bath or kitchen design.

Kitchen Design With Island

Tile

Tiles are a classic flooring look for kitchen and bathroom designs. They offer durable choices in a myriad of styles to enhance any home living area. The most popular tile materials are ceramic, porcelain, stone, and cement.

  • Ceramic tiles are formed from baked clay and can imitate other materials such as stone or wood. They are very durable, waterproof, and come in many shapes, styles, patterns, and colors.
  • Porcelain is a similar, but more refined, baked clay that is also stain repellent. These tiles can be slippery if glazed, so it’s recommended to get a textured surface for flooring in moisture-prone areas.
  • Non-glazed tiles are prone to wetness and stains but are safer to walk on and less likely to expose minor damage.
  • Natural stone tiles such as granite, marble and sandstone focus on their unique patterns and appearances without the need for additional enhancements. They do need regular sealing but are a durable and classic look.
  • Cement tiles are becoming more popular and are low maintenance, once sealed. Their decorative and individual styles are perfect for creating variety, bringing character to a kitchen or bathroom design.

Mixing sizes and patterns is in vogue across all tile styles this year. Large format tiles are hugely popular and are easy to look after, with less grout to clean.

Bathroom With Tile Floor

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Wooden floors are a classic choice and a great way to bring warmth and style to home design. Solid hardwood is a costly choice which may not suit all rooms in your home as it’s not waterproof. The smooth surface of this classic flooring can also make it prone to being slippery. This can be overcome with a surface that has been hand scraped or distressed to provide traction.

If you plan on installing underfloor heating, this could damage a hardwood floor as it’s a natural product that could warp. Hardwood flooring must be acclimatized in their intended surroundings before laying, which allows them to expand or contract as much as they need to before settling. Remember that hardwood flooring needs to be nailed or glued onto a plywood or concrete subfloor, which requires a more specialist installation and could affect your budget.

An advantage to hardwood flooring for kitchen design is that it is long lasting, and its appearance can be altered over the years with refinishing. Current trends favor lighter shades such as oak, bamboo or maple. Whitewashed grays are also popular as is hickory, for its varied appearance. Mixing and matching planks for a multi-toned appearance is also on the rise. Herringbone patterned floors are perfect for this look as you can vary your woods in a classic, chic way.  Wider, longer planks are also fashionable, and can be laid in different patterns to create a unique, eclectic style.

Kitchen With Large Island

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a more budget friendly version of solid hardwood. It’s also more environmentally friendly as the bottom layer is made up of wood by-products. The top layer is solid hardwood, so it still scratches and marks, is not waterproof, and is liable to be a slip hazard when wet. However, engineered hardwood can be distressed and refinished in the same way as its solid counterpart, though not as many times so it does have a more limited lifespan than hardwood. It is also resistant to warping so pairs well with underfloor heating. Ease of installation is another advantage to engineered hardwood planks. While they can be nailed or glued down like hardwood, they can also click together and float on your subfloor.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is a great choice for kitchen and bath designs. It is primarily made up of melamine resin and fiber board which is covered by an image of a flooring material such as wood or stone. There is a protective layer on top to make it extremely durable. This ensures that laminate flooring is also warm and won’t warp, scratch, or fade. In the same way as hardwood, a textured or distressed finish is recommended to avoid slippages. Larger planks are also in vogue for laminate flooring, and new advances in waterproofing make it ideal for bathrooms or kitchen designs where the floor is subject to spills and steam.

Terrazzo

This colorful flooring material has been around for centuries, and while it fell out of fashion it is now in vogue again. Terrazzo is exceptionally durable and low maintenance and can be tailored to your personal taste. Shards of materials such as natural stone or glass are put into an epoxy resin or tinted cement which can be poured on site or made into slabs. The more expensive the aggregates, the more your terrazzo will cost. After it has set, it is ground down and polished, but its surface isn’t too slippery. It is a durable surface that resists stains, scratches, and even fire. It has very low VOC levels too, so is a winner environmentally. It is more comfortable to walk on with underfloor heating, which won’t damage it in any way. As it lasts for decades, be aware that the colors you choose can date easily, so either be sure about bold choices or keep it neutral.

Concrete

Stained concrete is a durable option that is edgy and cost-effective if you’re using an existing concrete subfloor. The floor will need to be prepared properly before being stained.

  • Lighter shades are popular in flooring this year.
  • If you don’t want to go with one uniform color, you can stain your concrete floor to look like wood, with intricate grains and knots.
  • Another option is a stone-like stain with veins and imperfections that mimic natural materials.
  • Tile patterns that appear to have grout lines is a possibility as well.

Once the concrete has been stained, it’s imperative to seal it properly. Now it’s waterproof but can be slippery when wet, so place mats or absorbent rugs near sinks, showers, baths, and water-run appliances. This also warms up your room and adds texture to any design.

Choosing flooring requires forward planning as you assess your everyday requirements, budget, and style preferences. Then choose from the array of flooring options to find a material that balances your needs.

Kitchen Design With Island
  • Are you flooring a space that has a tendency towards being damp or wet? In that case, try concrete, terrazzo, ceramic, porcelain, or vinyl tile.
  • Do you have four-legged friends? Consider a surface that is scratch resistant like plank vinyl, terrazzo, laminate, or tile.
  • If your heart is set on solid hardwood but know that it will be scratched, then be prepared to invest in surface refinishing when needed.
  • If you don’t have a large budget for flooring then definitely consider budget-friendly but stylish laminate, vinyl, linoleum, or polish your concrete subfloor.
  • It’s not worth investing in cheap tiles as they aren’t durable, and the labor-intensive installation is costly.
  • If you are searching for low-maintenance flooring, then vinyl, cement and terrazzo are durable and stylish. Ask yourself how much maintenance you’re willing to undertake for your kitchen or bathroom flooring?
  • If you want ultimate luxury, then don’t hesitate to choose natural stone or solid hardwood.

Regular maintenance and preventative measures, such as protective rugs in busy places, meant you can have your dream kitchen or bath design complete with the flooring you really want. Contact us today at Guthrie Kitchen & Bath Plus LLC to discuss your kitchen or bath design flooring needs or visit our dedicated Guthrie Flooring website to browse the many options available.

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