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Some Thoughts ...

Posted by Jay J on August 24th, 2000 08:38 AM
In reply to Best flooring for kitchens? by Lisa on August 24th, 2000 07:58 AM [Go to top of thread]

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I approach 'things' in a philosophical kinda way to get at an answer to this type of question. Here's what I mean using your question as my 'platform'.

How will I be using my kitchen? Do I have small kids and pets? Will there be a lot of traffic in and through the kitchen? How will my feet feel on it, depending on what I use for flooring?

Now, to kinda address the answers to these types of questions, that's something I'll leave to you. BUT, I will offer my $.02 on what I think should be used for kitchen flooring in MY house. (Perhaps this will help you answer your own questions and the one's I've posed.)

I have one small child, and no pets. Part of the 'space' under the floor is over an unheated crawlspace. The kitchen is HUGH and gets a lot of use when we have parties (of which we have about 3 per year.) I like to walk bare footed around the house and outside, as much as I can. We settled on a sheet-vinyl floor. It's Armstrong Solarium. This type of SHEET (not square tile) flooring has a 'wear thickness' of about 1/32". I know it doesn't sound like much BUT the 'older vinyl' had their designs 'embossed' on the vinyl. With our type of flooring, if part of a design gets 'worn', there's more of it UNDERNEATH (so to speak.) In other words, with the older types of vinyl, the design actually wore off the SURFACE of the vinyl. Also, when the kid drops something on the floor, it's less-likely to break since it's soft, relatively speaking. Also, since I like to walk around in bare feet, vinyl is NOT as cold as tile. We chose not to use any wood or laminate-based product because 1) of the 'space' under the house, and 2) it would get waaaay too much wear because of 'how we use our kitchen'.

What you might want to do is go look at a product like Armstrong Solarium. Yes, there are seams but we had a pro do the install. It's been 4+ years and you can't even see the seams! We do keep it clean so that helps. IN short, when it comes to a kitchen floor, I don't think you can beat a vinyl floor. As I said, it gets a LOT of wear. If you had hardwood, you will see the wear rather quickly (if your kitchen is used a lot, or walked through a lot.) As for tile, if you have a good subfloor + 'underlayment', it will be fine but it's cold in the winter, even if the room below is heated. Plus, things when dropped, have a tendency to break when they hit the floor AND chip the tile. (With vinyl, it's softer and 'denting' is not noticible.) As for pets, clip their nails. That's why they slide all over the place. (Taking them for routine walks on the street will trim their nails and toughen up their pads.) Vinyl is the easiest to maintain, IMO.

I guess I could go on and on. If you need more info, e-mail me directly or post up. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J

PS: I'm not a flooring installer nor do I work for one, nor do I work for a mfgr. of flooring products, nor do I receive any compensation in any way from anyone in the flooring business. (I just like the ARmstrong Solarium Series, AND how the 'top layer' is made.)

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