Tile floors are a great choice for kitchens. Tile can withstand heavy foot traffic, water, spills and doesn't absorb odors or bacteria. It can stand up to pets and children and it can go with any style decor. And tile can be arranged in a multitude of patterns.
The hardness that makes tile so desirable as a kitchen floor surface can also be a drawback. Serious cooks will want to wear comfortable shoes or put down floor mats or area rugs, because standing on tile for long periods of time can be tough on legs and backs. Its surface is cold to the touch of bare feet. And dropped dishes, mugs, and glasses can break on impact.
The Lowdown: Tiles are manufactured pieces of durable material, such as ceramic, stone, metal, or glass.
Tough Enough? This ultra-hard surface won't be damaged by pets or kids, and it withstands stains from spilled food. But it requires proper sealing to withstand water.
How to Clean: Wipe up spills immediately to avoid staining grout. Sweep, dust, or vacuum regularly, and occasionally wipe the surface with a damp mop or cloth. Avoid abrasives such as steel wool and scouring pads. Reseal stone floors as necessary.
There are three primary types of tile.
Ceramic. Made from clays. It's easy to install but slightly more prone to damage than porcelain.
Porcelain. Made from sands and minerals, it's harder and more dense than ceramic tile and water resistant. But it's harder to install.
Stone. Beautiful and durable, but requires sealing and is the most expensive.
The most popular tiles are large format styles that minimize grout lines and make a small kitchen appear larger. Squares are the most popular shape, but rectangles, hexagons, and octagons can make a statement. You can incorporate one or more styles to create a variety of patterns, from checkerboard to basketweave, and add accents for visual interest. Here are some considerations when choosing tile for your kitchen floor:
Underlayment. Tile must be installed on a subfloor that is smooth, flat, rigid, and clean. Depending on the existing subfloor, a cement tile backer board may be required beneath the tile.
Break out of traditional materials and try alternative flooring surfaces for your kitchen renovation.
Linoleum is affordable, durable, easy to clean and comes in a rainbow of colors