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7 Stylish and Affordable Kitchen Flooring Materials

7 Stylish and Affordable Kitchen Flooring Materials

Explore these preferred flooring solutions for a chic look without breaking the bank.

A chic and streamlined kitchen serves as the focal point for all domestic functions. Plenty of storage, countertop area, and enough space for hosting are usually the primary concerns. Nevertheless, flooring also plays a crucial role in enhancing the kitchen’s charm and shouldn’t be left to the last minute. Whether you’ve just purchased a new home or are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, tasteful and cost-effective flooring can truly elevate the space.

Premium floors may be priced at roughly $30 per square foot. The cost of professional installation for a large kitchen can quickly exceed the allotted budget. While doing the installation yourself may seem tempting, you still have to consider the costs of grout, safety glasses, adhesive, and other essential equipment which will need storage post-installation.

Simply put, it could be more cost-effective to choose a more affordable flooring option. Here are seven top picks for affordable flooring choices that still exude style and sophistication.

1. Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain is a reliable choice. It’s available in an abundance of textures, shapes, and color schemes, and its style-to-cost ratio is hard to beat. However, you might want to steer clear of porcelain planks designed to resemble wood. If the aesthetic of wood is what you desire, it’s usually better to opt for actual wood.

Porcelain tiles are a great choice in areas with high foot traffic. They are sturdier than their ceramic counterparts, and depending on the hue and finish, can conveniently camouflage scratches or scuffs. As stated by Fixr, a finished floor can cost anywhere between $500 to $7,000. The website provides an easy way to estimate costs by inputting the exact square footage of the room and the house’s zip code.

2. Cork Flooring

For a more artistic aesthetic, top options may include cork, wood, and porcelain, all being highly practical and enduring with the right care.

Cork, especially when colored, offers a unique, unexpected, and economical choice that’s also eco-friendly and hard-wearing. It harmonizes well with nearby wooden floors that may be in the living room or dining area. While cork flooring for kitchens might lean towards the pricier end of affordable choices, it comes packed with excellent features. It’s simple to install and provides extra cushioning, perfect for energetic toddlers or older individuals.

Furthermore, cork flooring outlasts many other flooring types and provides additional comfort underfoot. With prices starting at $2.75 per square foot, it makes a viable choice for larger areas as well. However, caution should be taken when wearing high heels, as they could potentially harm the material.

3. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

One key characteristic homeowners often prioritize in kitchen flooring is its resilience against moisture. Traditional flooring types, like hardwood and laminate, aren’t capable of withstanding long-term exposure to water. While tile provides a barrier against spills, it’s not necessarily the most cost-effective choice, particularly considering the installation labor costs. Luxury vinyl flooring, being completely waterproof, easy to install, and in many cases highly scratch-resistant, is an ideal choice for kitchen spaces.

Luxury vinyl flooring comes in two primary forms: planks and tiles. Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring, similar to laminate flooring, is available in long strips, generally thin and flexible. These planks are offered in a range of designs, allowing you to select one that best complements the existing color scheme and finishes. Given their long shape, most styles mimic wooden flooring, but they come in a wide array of colors and wood-grain patterns. This flooring’s versatility makes it an excellent option when you wish to maintain uniformity in flooring across the kitchen and other parts of the house.

As mentioned before, there’s an extensive array of options to choose from, with some even priced under $1 per square foot. If you’re unsure about your choice, consider using a kitchen flooring visualizer tool to envision the ideal color and style for your space.

4. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Luxury vinyl tile is usually available in 12×24-inch tiles and is designed to mimic the look of ceramic or porcelain tiles. It is considerably thicker and stiffer compared to luxury vinyl plank. Like the planks, luxury vinyl tile flooring is completely waterproof.

Owing to its form, luxury vinyl tile often resembles stone or marble. It’s a fantastic alternative if you’re aiming for a distinct flooring style in your kitchen, setting it apart from the surrounding rooms. Both vinyl choices are budget-friendly, provided the subfloor is in good shape. Not only is luxury vinyl tile less expensive to install, but it’s also durable and easy to clean — usually, a simple wipe with a damp mop suffices.

5. Hardwood Flooring

If you’re seeking a cost-effective solution, you might be surprised to discover that hardwood can be an economical choice.

Two main options are available to you: solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring, both of which come in budget-friendly variants. Solid wood flooring is exactly what it seems: planks cut from entire pieces of wood. Engineered wood flooring, on the other hand, consists of a wood veneer attached to a base layer of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), making it a more stable option against changes in temperature and humidity.

Wooden flooring in a small, less frequented, galley-style kitchen looks traditional and elegant, particularly when the adjacent room also has wooden flooring. Using patterned wood for kitchen flooring is an excellent way to break the monotony.

As a cost-friendly solid hardwood option, hickory is worth considering. Its stunning color variations span from dark brown to red to light tan, accentuating the distinctive grain patterns. In a busy kitchen, the toughness and density of hickory prove to be beneficial. You can find lines of hickory strips (¾ x 2¼ inches) for less than $3 per square foot.

For those yearning for oak flooring on a tight budget, unfinished utility oak options are available for less than $1.50 per square foot from major flooring retailers. These “second-grade” products may have flaws, knots, machine burns, or splits, and might come in a mix of square edges and V grooves. For a rustic aesthetic suitable for a country kitchen, install them as they are, or for a more modern appeal, sand and finish after installation.

While affordable engineered flooring exists, mid- to high-grade engineered flooring often costs slightly more than solid wood (unless you’re considering very wide planks). Wood pricing varies significantly by region, so it’s recommended to check your local hardware store, compare costs, and inquire about labor charges. The most budget-friendly option might be unexpected.

6. Laminate Wood Flooring

Laminate wood flooring allows you to achieve the look of an attractive dark hardwood floor, but with easier maintenance and a lower cost. There’s a wide range of laminate products providing economical kitchen flooring solutions. For less than $1 per square foot, for example, you can introduce personality with a hand-crafted texture and warm hickory hues. An added advantage is that inexpensive laminate flooring with fold-down installation doesn’t require any glue, allowing immediate use post-installation.

7. Ceramic Tile

Durable and easy to keep clean using a simple mix of mild detergent and water, ceramic floor tiles are available in a multitude of colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes. To achieve a unique look, consider combining inexpensive floor tiles to form a border around your kitchen floor, creating a ceramic “rug.” The prices for ceramic tiles begin as low as $1 per square foot.

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