The kitchen is a major hot spot in any house. While counters and appliances may be susceptible to wear and tear, it's the flooring that really takes a toll. From foot traffic to food spills, there are a whole host of things that can leave your kitchen floor looking worse for the wear.
Don't make excuses. Instead, take this as an opportunity to indulge in 2012's kitchen floor trends. This year's top picks are not only eye-catching, but earth-conscious, easy-to-clean and budget friendly.
No, your eyes aren't fooling you. That popular 1970's flooring is finally back in favor. Unlike its ancestor, today's linoleum
is non-toxic, biodegradable and has a generous lifespan. It's constructed from "green
" materials like linseed oil, cork dust and resins.
Even though it's super eco-friendly, modern linoleum is just as durable as its predecessor. It's made for withstanding heavy traffic and it also retains its color and pattern through wear and tear.
Skip the self-installation. Linoleum has to be carefully installed over a subfloor and sealed from moisture. This is definitely a job best left to a professional.
Hardwood flooring has always been a favorite in upscale homes. It's chic, durable and looks great in every room. This year's focus is on reclaimed wood. Unlike new wood floors, reclaimed wood features random planking that gives your kitchen a mix-and-match, country feel. Though this style of flooring is beautiful and eco-friendly, it's going to take a bigger toll on your wallet than other options.
This environmentally friendly option is a great alternative to hardwood flooring. It's cheaper, just as durable and a natural insulator -- meaning it's warm underfoot and absorbs sound. The downside to cork flooring is that it fades in the sun. That said, it may not be the best option for a kitchen full of windows.
You can purchase natural cork tiles and stain them to your liking, or opt for tiles that are already stained and sealed. For easy self-installation, look for Click Cork flooring. Click technology allows you to install your cork tiles over pre-existing flooring without any adhesive.
No longer relegated to the basement or the garage, this simple mix
of cement, water and sand is now seen as a trendy option for kitchens. It's just as durable and easy to clean as stone or tile and comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes. Give your kitchen a major style boost and opt for a polished concrete floor that radiates heat.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown