People love to congregate in the kitchen. It’s the room where some of the best conversations and most cherished moments of family life happen. It’s also a prime location for spills, drips, leaks and plenty of foot traffic. A great kitchen floor combines durability and a terrific look. Which kitchen floor is best for you? The good news is, there are now more beautiful options than ever before. What you choose will depend on budget, lifestyle and how your kitchen is designed and used.

Hardwood in the Kitchen? You Bet!

Moisture can be a problem for hardwood, so some experts have tended to shy away from hardwood in the kitchen, where sinks, dishwashers and spills can spell trouble. However, new developments in hardwood flooring, including tough modern finishes, make it totally doable in the kitchen. Hardwood is an excellent choice if you’re going for a traditional look or updating a historic home. It’s also perfect for smaller kitchens with less foot traffic. The key for keeping hardwood in the kitchen is a high-quality, professionally applied protective finish. Engineered hardwood is another popular option, offering a hardwood surface with more resistant plywood below at a lower cost. However, hardwood flooring does require more maintenance and a stricter cleaning regimen than some other options so keep that in mind as you make your choice.

Laminate: Beautifully Affordable

Laminate flooring like Pergo is increasingly popular all over the house. It’s affordable and attractive with so many fabulous looks available from wood to bamboo to stone. We’ve seen so many clients replacing outdated linoleum with laminate and giving their kitchens a fresh look. However, laminate is not as water and scratch resistant as some other options. So if your high-traffic kitchen is still a whirlwind of kids and pets, we may want to explore other options. Otherwise, it’s a great-looking, low-cost option.

Vinyl and Waterproof Flooring: Great Look at a Great Price

Vinyl flooring is durable, affordable and very water resistant. And the designs are much cooler than your mom’s 1970s linoleum, with contemporary wood and stone looks in the trendiest shades. Luxury vinyl tile and vinyl plank flooring use modern technology to give you natural wood or stone or wood looks at a fraction of the cost of hardwood. They’re waterproof, stain resistant and great for busy open kitchen plans and life with family and pets. They’re so easy to clean and remarkably dent-resistant. You’ll be blown away at the range of super-contemporary styles and colors.

Ceramic Tile: Classic Elegance

Ceramic tile is still a favorite among home improvement experts and something that many clients aspire to. It’s the most durable flooring material around, water and stain resistant and easy to clean. With increasingly stunning designs available, high-quality ceramic tile just exudes elegance. The downside is that it’s a particularly hard surface and isn’t always best for young children and cooks who are on their feet for long periods of time. As ceramic tile enthusiasts know, it can also get chilly on winter mornings. Cracking or chipping is also a concern, especially with the chance of something heavy getting dropped in the kitchen as opposed to the bathroom, for example.  If you choose ceramic tile, you’ll want to keep the grout clean, which can also be a factor in the kitchen with more frequent spills. Prices range, but for quality work, ceramic tile tends to be priced at the higher end of the spectrum. It’s definitely a material you want professionally installed since a bad DIY tile job can be costly and ruin the look. If you already have ceramic tile, Loudoun Carpet Care, a division of Loudoun Valley Floors, offers ceramic tile cleaning that will leave it looking like new.

Loudoun Valley Floors: Finding the Kitchen Floor That Meets Your Needs

Whether you’re an empty-nester giving a well-loved kitchen a much-needed update, parents in the thick of kid and dog craziness, or a historic home enthusiast looking to keep your kitchen’s traditional look while making it tougher and more water resistant, Loudoun Valley Floors has just the right material for you. We’ll talk with you about your budget, kitchen design, household traffic patterns and lifestyle and find something that looks and feels perfect for you.