Ray has been with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets since 1986, after receiving his diploma in Business Administration from Canadore College. He began managing the countertop department, but soon transferred into Kitchen Design. Ray has worked with many award winning builders throughout his career. Some 30+ years later, Ray still enjoys his job.
Flooring… So many choices!
The kitchen is the center point of your home. The family gathers here for meals, cooking and socializing. The floor must be able to withstand the “heavy duty” wear and tear of daily activities. Dishes will be broken and spills such as water, oils and wine will occur. Also, the pitter patter of pet claws can mark the floor. In spite of all this we want our kitchen floor to be durable, low maintenance and appealing. Most flooring companies today can offer all of this.
Some of the most popular flooring will be outlined below:
Natural Stone – travertine, marble, limestone, slate and granite
- Natural stone has been around since the beginning of time.
- It is unique in that no two pieces have exactly the same colour, pattern or texture therefore making it impossible to duplicate. Some of these floors, such as slate, can have a three-dimensional look to the floor.
- Can be used on a variety of surfaces – offering a seamless transition from one room to another.
- These floors require very little maintenance.
- If you are seeking an upscale look this flooring provides an elegant and gracious feel.
- Can be expensive – therefore it is advisable to have it laid professionally.
- Softer stones, such as travertine and limestone, may scratch or chip easily.
- Some natural stones can be porous and may require sealing over time.
- Not the most comfortable to stand on for long periods of time.
- Ceramic is one of the most versatile floors.
- It comes in a huge variety of colours, shapes and textures so you can create your own design.
- It can mimic wood and other textures and patterns.
- Can withstand heavy foot traffic, water spills, and does not absorb odors and bacteria.
- If one is at all handy, they can lay ceramic tile flooring themselves.
- Like stone, ceramic can be cold and hard on the feet.
- Tile can be slippery if there is moisture on it.
- Grout may need re-sealing to resist moisture and staining.
- Affordable, durable and eco-friendly.
- It is a man-made product. Comes in strips, planks or tiles giving a very authentic hardwood or tile look.
- Top layer of “quality” laminate flooring can withstand heavy traffic, spills, dents and pets. (When choosing laminate flooring, look for the longest warranty possible).
- Resists stains and scratches and clean up is easy.
- Unlike real hardwood, laminate does expand and contract with changes in humidity.
- Very little maintenance – sweeping and damp mop.
- Easy to install yourself. Requires an underlay to resist moisture and act as a sound barrier.
- Any spills must be cleaned up immediately. Not recommended for bathrooms or areas where excessive water may be spilled.
- May be slippery and noisy
- Unlike real hardwood, laminate cannot be sanded and refinished.
- Water resistant.
- Comes in a wide range of designs and finishes.
- Available in sheets or tiles.
- Comfortable to stand on for a length of time.
- Easy to install if you are handy with a utility knife.
- Replicates stone, wood or ceramic tile. Embossed with textures that look and feel more realistic.
- Wood-look flooring planks make it hard to distinguish from the real thing.
- Direct sunlight can fade it over a period of time.
- Overtime vinyl flooring can dent, bubble or curl. Sharp objects may tear it while grit and dirt may scratch it and dull the finish.
- Shorter lifespan – may show wear and tear after five years or so.
Hardwood kitchen flooring has become more popular again thanks to improved “factory finishes”. Typically, there are two types of hardwood flooring: the “solid” ¾” thick flooring and “engineered” flooring.
¾” Hardwood Flooring:
- Never goes out of style. If properly cared for, that unique warm look will last for decades.
- Full ¾” deep, however, you only see the surface.
- Can be refinished several times. Typically, every 10 years.
- Comes in a high gloss or matte finish in various plank widths.
- Ideal for an “open” concept style kitchen.
- Not recommended as an ideal kitchen flooring.
- When exposed to a high humidity level (above 60%) “cupping” and “warping” can occur especially with wider planks – even a dripping kitchen sink faucet can spike the humidity level.
- Spilled liquids must be wiped up right away.
- Tendency to expand and contract depending on room humidity and temperature.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring:
Has a plywood or fibre board base with a ¼” thick veneer surface. It is a preferred choice for a hardwood kitchen flooring.
- The plywood or fibre board helps keep the wood from reacting to humidity.
- Can be refinished four or five times.
- The depth is 5/8” therefore easier to transition from tile to wood or carpet.
- Can get wide boards which gives it a more natural look and an open feel to the room.
I should also mention bamboo and concrete are other flooring choices, however, may not be as popular. Even carpet still has its place.