We spend a lot of time here on the Homethangs blog talking about decorating and decor. But building a dream kitchen involves more than just picking the right appliances. Getting the right flooring is actually one of the most important choices you’ll make in the overall look and feel of your kitchen. So, if you aren’t quite sure where to start, here are a few of the hottest kitchen flooring trends to help you choose which one will work best for you.
Oldie But A Goodie
One of my favorite kitchen flooring trends has everything to do with the trend towards bigger, more open kitchen spaces. Because modern kitchens are connected to the rest of your home without any barriers in between, it’s becoming more common for designers to use the same type of flooring throughout the home. Often, that flooring is natural hardwood (like this gorgeous Northern Oak Flooring from Ferma) because not only does it look beautiful, but it’s versatile enough to work in any room, unlike carpet or (often) tile.
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Twist On A (Hardwood) Classic
When you’re shopping for hardwood flooring, though it’s important to remember that you have a few different options. Most traditional, of course, is wood flooring made of solid planks of wood. But engineered hardwood floors like this African Walnut Flooring are turning into a hot flooring trend in their own right. Usually made of real hardwood veneers layered with particleboard or plywood, engineered hardwood floors offer real wood surfacing that is more warp resistant at a lower price. Better still, because each board is shaped in layers, they’re much simpler to install and snap together easily.
Eco Friendly Bamboo Flooring
While both American hardwoods and exotic imports are popular, bamboo flooring is definitely the hottest material in trendy kitchen flooring. Like any other hardwood, it’s available in both solid and engineered versions. But the main advantage of bamboo (regular or Engineered) is that it’s a fast-growing and environmentally friendly material that’s perfect for a green kitchen. More importantly, because it grows in tropical climates, it’s naturally very water resistant, and though it’s technically a grass, it’s actually harder (and more resistant to dents and scratches) than most domestic hardwoods.
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Let’s Talk About Laminate
Depending on who you ask, laminate is either one of the trendiest kitchen flooring materials or one of the worst choices you can make. The argument is strictly practical vs. principle: laminate isn’t real wood (instead, it has a photographic printed image of wood), but is less expensive, easier to install, warm to the touch, and more durable – especially in the face of spills, children, and pets. But laminate floors like this American Alder Laminate from LessCare have two main problems: they don’t have the texture of real wood, and because they’re based on a limited set of images (rather than real wood) it’s possible to create unintentional patterns in your flooring. Some designs are better than others, but really your decision should be based on the durability of the floor versus its authenticity.
Did Someone Say Vinyl?
The spiritual successor to linoleum, vinyl flooring has actually become quite popular. Like laminate, vinyl is often used as a wood substitute (though you can find many other patterns, including imitation stone), but luxury vinyl has several more layers. While laminate is constructed around a thick core layer, luxury vinyl flooring – like this Saddle Oak Floor – has many more layers, including a double protective layer that makes it more durable. As well, the layer with the printed image is typically translucent, giving it a greater appearance of depth, while the top layer can be embossed to add some of the tactile sensation that some laminate lacks. Both are less expensive than solid hardwood, and can easily be installed on your own.
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Don’t Discount Tile
Finally, while you might not think that tried-and-true tile is exactly a “hot” trend, but good quality flooring ever goes out of style – and lately ceramic tile has seen more than a few upgrades. Now in addition to being durable, spill resistant, and slip-proof, inexpensive ceramic tile is available in patterns that closely mimic much more expensive stone tile. I really love this Calacata Porcelain Tile from Mediterranea, which uses HD printing technology to offer a luxury look at an affordable price. Heck, they even have wood look tile (another hot flooring trend, especially in the bathroom!) that mimics the look of weathered wood while giving you a totally waterproof surface.
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Choosing the right flooring for your kitchen isn’t easy, but you’ve never had more trendy options to choose from. What style do you like? Any special need for your kitchen like kids, pets, or a difficult installation setup?