Your kitchen floor likely gets more action than any other flooring in your home, so making sure you choose the right material is paramount when you’re considering a kitchen renovation project. The kitchen is often the center of the home, and as a high-traffic area, the flooring needs to be both functional and durable enough to stand the test of time. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) meets all the criteria for kitchen flooring, and the wide range of print and textural techniques enables you to achieve any look you want.
Benefits for Kitchens
Luxury vinyl tile is one of the most water-resistant materials you can find, and vinyl sheeting is even more so. With the sheets, you can create a single consistent covering for the entire floor surface, and have the edge seams heat-welded to the base of the walls.
With maintenance a key factor in kitchens, where spills and splashes occur regularly, vinyl is both easy to care for and relatively stain-proof. All you need to keep your luxury vinyl tile clean is:
- Weekly vacuuming or sweeping to prevent dirt and small grit particles from scuffing the top layer of the printed vinyl.
- Frequent mopping using warm water and a dash of mild cleaner that is specially formulated for your type of vinyl surface.
- Rinsing to remove any cleaning residue that remains to prevent the floor from becoming slippery.
Pricing on vinyl flooring is unbeatable, which is amazing because the printing techniques available make it possible to replicate the appearance of much more expensive flooring materials. Modern methods of manufacturing enable the creation of vinyl that resembles ceramic tile, natural stone, and hardwood flooring perfectly. You can even get textured surfaces that simulate the feel of the natural materials and use real grouting between tiles to make it look like an authentic installation.
Luxury vinyl tile flooring has a high comfort factor, which is great in a kitchen where prolonged standing on a hard surface can be tiring and painful. When you install the floor you can choose the option of including a sheet of padding beneath the surface, which softens the impact even more. The thicker the padding, the softer your kitchen floor will be, but note that the thicker options cost more.
Fewer accidents occur with a soft vinyl kitchen floor. While dropping things are an occupational hazard with cooking, a vinyl surface is soft enough to avoid shattering many of the items that fall on it.
Disadvantages of LVT
While luxury vinyl tile is an ideal choice for kitchens, some options are better suited to this room in the house than others. If your kitchen is a highly active venue, or you hold regular parties and gatherings centered around it, it’s essential to think about the durability of the vinyl you choose.
Printed vinyl gives you a wide selection of designs, but it’s produced with a “wear layer” on the surface. The durability of the design depends on how thick this layer is, because as it wears the design will fade over time.
Solid and composite vinyl, however, contain homogenous layers with colors that run right through the product. These may be available in fewer interesting designs, but the surface won’t wear down or fade with use.
Direct sunlight coming in through open windows can cause fading in some types of vinyl, however, but you can offset this by using curtains or placing area rugs strategically on the floor.
Slips and falls are a concern on many types of flooring, including vinyl—particularly when it’s wet or oily substances are spilled on it. Households with young children or seniors that are prone to slipping should opt for textured surface treatments that give the kitchen floor more traction.
Things to Avoid with Vinyl Kitchen Floors
Bleach, strong detergents, scouring pads and other abrasive cleaning products can damage the surface of the floor. Using knives and other sharp objects can puncture the vinyl, so use furniture pads under your chair legs and keep high heels out of your kitchen.
Clip your pets’ nails regularly to avoid scratches developing. Don’t use rubber mats on top of the vinyl, because this can cause a chemical reaction that results in discoloration of the floor.
For more information on choosing the right luxury vinyl tile or sheeting for your kitchen renovation, please contact Brentwood Flooring America at Raleigh: (919) 617-9327 | Cary: (919) 794-6239 today.