Your taste & price will dictate kitchen & bath floor surfaces
What floor covering to use in a kitchen or bath is always debatable. With all the options available, the choice is a matter of durability, practicality, price and aesthetics. The real questions are, which of those options is most important and if possible, is there a flooring choice that satisfies more than one of those needs?Since the kitchen and bath floors take the most abuse in the house, durability is always top on the list. Now durability can also be attractive. Vinyl floors, anciently called linoleum, offer many styles and performance options and also offer low prices.The most expensive of these vinyls is the one that is topped with urethane wear layer which has the most shine retention, stain resistance and longest life. The prices for vinyl range from as low as $4.50 a square yard to as much as $50 a square yard or even a little more. But that’s not bad, since we are talking in square yards and not square feet.Then there is tile. A glazed ceramic tile is quite durable, easy to clean and always looks like an upgrade. There are also the unglazed tiles and stones that are more rustic looking. If you choose an unglazed tile or stone, it is imperative that it be properly sealed otherwise the maintenance will be unbearable. Every spill will sink into the pores of the stone and stay. Sealing of unglazed tiles and stones, even if one properly, will need to be repeated regularly.Slate, travertine, marble and granite all fall under this tile/stone category. They are great and beautiful choices, offering the most aesthetic version of the floor covering realm.Prices here are counted in square feet., not square yards and the range is anywhere from a bargain basement price of $3, up to as much as $45 a square foot, and even more if you are looking at rare tiles and stones. The natural stones and marbles will be on the expensive side.Laminated wood floors are quite attractive and with the lamination, the floors are quite durable and have a moisture-resistant quality – very important in kitchen and bath areas. These floors offer the look of hardwood with the durability of lamination. Since this flooring is installed as a floating floor – plans glued to each other instead of nailing directly to the floor, it can be installed right over any existing floor covering.This saves on installation costs. Laminated wood floors range in price from approximately $8 a square foot up to $20 a square foot.There are other choices for floor coverings for kitchens and baths such as cork and in large bathrooms even carpet, but they aren’t as popular as the options we’ve discussed.Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color,” available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Amazon.com.
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