19/03/2021  • 

Top 5 Kitchen Floors for New-Builds and Remodels

Your kitchen floor investment is one that will bolster or break the long-term enjoyment of your space. Kitchen floors have a mighty responsibility: they must stand up to sticky spills, handle heavy footfall, and bear the brunt of daily kitchen use—all while contributing to that forever-home, true-to-you look. Needless to say, a high-performance floor is an essential element of a high-quality kitchen design.

 

At Deslaurier Custom Cabinets, we collaborate with homeowners to craft holistic kitchen designs. We carefully consider kitchen flooring selections when drafting design concepts to develop cabinetry solutions that tie the whole room together.

 

What floors will withstand the chaos of kitchen-centred activity that happens in your home? In this article, we’ll delve into the market’s most popular kitchen floors and emerge with a surefire list of winners to add to your wish list.

 

In no particular order, here are the top five kitchen floors for new-builds and remodels:

 

Table of Contents

 

1. Porcelain Tile Kitchen Floors

2. Cork Kitchen Floors

3. Hardwood Kitchen Floors

4. Laminate Kitchen Floors

5. Vinyl Kitchen Floors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Porcelain Tile Kitchen Floors (Price: $$)

 

Porcelain is a heavyweight champ in the kitchen remodeling ring—literally. Porcelain is very strong and very heavy. This durable sand-mineral-clay mixture is known for commercial use, but is now making its debut in residential environments as more and more homeowners discover porcelain’s attractive attributes.

 

Pros of Porcelain Tiles

 

Firstly, their strength: these sleek tiles are highly resistant to damage. Fired at high temperatures, porcelain offers formidable resistance against stains, water penetration, and other forms of inevitable kitchen catastrophes. With porcelain tile on the job, clean-up becomes a breeze and maintenance becomes virtually non-existent.

 

Cons of Porcelain Tiles 

 

Such brute strength doesn’t come from thin air. Porcelain partly gets its strength from its density. The dense tiles are weighty products that present a challenge to install. Since porcelain tiles are so hard, they are also brittle and susceptible to cracking. Careful handling is required, which in turn can drive up the installation’s cost.

 

Pairing Porcelain Floors with Cabinetry

 

Where there’s porcelain, there’s boundless design potential. Porcelain tiles are available for purchase in endless colours and textures. Plus, you can get even more creative by laying tiles in patterns and designs. At Deslaurier, we love helping our porcelain-preferring clients match their tiles with equally versatile custom cabinetry.

 

Check out one of Deslaurier’s traditional kitchen designs, Provincial Elegance, where our regal cabinetry, highlighted by detailed millwork accents and enhanced by antique-style fixtures, blends harmoniously with the tile.

 

Pros of Porcelain Tiles

Cons of Porcelain Tiles


  • Formidable strength
  • Unlimited design options
  • Low-maintenance

  • Extremely heavy tiles
  • Susceptible to cracking
  • Difficult/costly installation

 

 

2. Cork Kitchen Floors (Price: $$$) 

 

A well-respected "green" and natural material, cork stands alone in the category for eco-friendly design. Cork flooring is made from harvested bark—the cork trees stay intact from start to finish and the bark replenishes itself—meaning the environmental impact is minimal. The cork is then ground up and compacted into thin sheets that are naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. 

 

Pros of Cork

 

Cork flooring is a premier choice for the eco-conscious customer. Beyond the fact that it’s a renewable resource, cork has a green impact on the home by working as a natural insulator. Cork simultaneously keeps kitchen floors warm and uniquely stylish. As an added bonus, cork boasts a soft, spongy surface that offers support for your feet, legs, and back.

 

Cons of Cork

 

Cork’s soft surface invites damage, however, and a major drawback to this flooring option is its stringent maintenance requirements. Homeowners should be aware that pet claws and large appliances can easily mar a cork floor’s finish. Plus, cork is prone to discoloration. Prolonged sun exposure will slowly wear off colour and vibrancy.

 

Cork floors are moisture-resistant, aided primarily by sealants that act as protective barriers over the natural cork. These protective finishes should be reapplied periodically to maintain the floor’s water-resistance.

 

Pros of Cork

Cons of Cork


  • Eco-friendly
  • Natural insulator
  • Supports feet, legs, and back

  • Not scratch-resistant
  • Prone to discoloration
  • Requires periodical refinishing for optimal moisture resistance.

 

 

A sketch of kitchen custom cabinetry

 

3. Hardwood Kitchen Floors

(Price: $$$)

 

Hardwood floors carry a reputation of prestige as no other floor does. Even the first-time remodeler or home buyer knows that hardwood is considered by many to be the flooring industry’s gold standard. Why? Real wood has undeniable class and instantly boosts property value. The rich, warm hues of all-natural oak, maple, and beech go a long way to creating a welcoming kitchen ambiance.

 

Pros of Hardwood

 

Maintenance is a fairly stress-free affair with hardwood. Spills and stains wipe away easily. Plus, a quick, occasional polish will restore a like-new shine in a flash. Long-term, you can sand and refinish the surface to remove any unsightly scratches. Without exaggeration, genuine hardwood flooring can last centuries with proper maintenance and care. A one-time investment in hardwood will handily outlast a lifetime of kitchen use in your home.

 

Cons of Hardwood

 

The ageless advantage of genuine hardwood floors doesn’t come cheap, however. Real wood costs more than its synthetic counterparts, and there’s no getting around it. A homeowner set on hardwood should prepare to pay a premium—but can expect to receive a premium product in return.

 

Of note, too much moisture can cause wood floors to discolour and buckle. Vigilance is advised to control humidity levels in the room and clean up liquid spills promptly.

 

Over time, excessive movement can alter the flooring, and homeowners may start to notice creaking noises in certain sections of the floor.

 

Pros of Hardwood

Cons of Hardwood


  • Boosts property value
  • Long lifespan
  • Ability to polish and refinish

  • Expensive material
  • Prone to moisture damage
  • May become noisy over time

 

 

Pairing Hardwood Floors with Cabinetry

 

Hardwood offers incredible design flexibility. It’s hard to go wrong—the natural colours and grains of authentic wood support almost any style of cabinetry. Check out one of our modern kitchen projects, Contemporary Suburbia, to explore the match-up of wide plank hardwood with our two-toned dark cherry and white-gloss thermoplastic cabinetry.

 

4. Laminate Kitchen Floors

(Price: $$)

 

Laminate is an increasingly sought-after kitchen flooring choice; one widely known as the number one alternative to hardwood. In recent years, the laminate manufacturing process has made leaps and bounds. Today, manufacturers use high-resolution images to mimic the look of virtually any wood species to the point where even the most acute eye will have trouble deciphering the difference.  

 

Pros of Laminate

 

The big draw to laminate is undoubtedly its realistic imitation of hardwood. Homeowners gain all the aesthetic excellence of real wood without the hefty price tag attached. Laminate is all-around hardwearing, too, and the protective topcoat will fend off scratches, discoloration, and stains with relative ease.

 

The money-saving power of laminate doesn’t stop there. Laminate flooring is loved for its simple installation process. Manufactured as planks or tiles, laminate floors click together conveniently like puzzle pieces, altogether eliminating the need for glues and nails. A few basic tools are all that’s required to lay a sophisticated and alluring floor.

 

Cons of Laminate

 

While laminate flooring is marketed as moisture-resistant, keep in mind water-resistant is not the same as waterproof. As with hardwood, any significant exposure to moisture will damage the floor. A dishwasher leak or drain pipe burst may damage your laminate floors irreparably. Furthermore, laminate can’t be refinished like real wood can, making replacement the only viable option for severe damage.

 

While laminate excels in the “look” department, it lacks in the “feel” department. Laminate presents a twin copy of hardwood’s aesthetic, but simply can’t clone the natural feel of authentic wood under your feet. Some homeowners may dislike the hardness and noise of walking on laminate.

 

Pros of Laminate

Cons of Laminate


  • Scratch-resistant
  • Excellent imitation of hardwood
  • Easy installation

  • Prone to moisture damage
  • Cannot be refinished
  • May feel hard to walk on

 

 

5. Vinyl Kitchen Floors (Price: $)

 

Vinyl is an entirely synthetic flooring material and likely the most economical option in this list. Modern engraving techniques allow homeowners to source vinyl look-alikes of ceramics, stone, and even wood. You can purchase vinyl as either a glue-down or a floating, click-together product.

 

Pros of Vinyl 

 

Vinyl flooring offers a powerful defence against household-related activity. Many vinyl products are 100% waterproof, making them an ideal choice for family homes prone to spills and splashes. Vinyl fares very well against stains and scratches, too, making it even more attractive for pet owners. Some varieties even boast antimicrobial protection to ward off bacteria and mould.

 

Vinyl flooring is also a budget-friendly flooring solution, and typically the most affordable product offered by dealers and contractors. Even the top-tier vinyl products often fall below the average price points for other flooring options.

 

Cons of Vinyl

 

While vinyl is widely appreciated for its overall resilience, the material is surprisingly soft to the touch. Dropping a sharp or heavy object may puncture the surface and cause permanent scars.

 

The topcoat on most vinyl products is not typically UV-treated, meaning that if your kitchen has a lot of natural light, your vinyl floors may fade over time.

 

Another drawback to vinyl is its difficult removal process. Generally, vinyl flooring is glued down to the underlayer during installation. Once adhered, peeling off vinyl is a labour-intensive, tedious job.

 

Of note, there are alternative types of vinyl besides the glue-down type that are easier to install and remove. Specifically, click-together vinyl planks float over the subfloor without adhesive. Floating vinyl products are slightly more expensive than the glue-down variety. 

 

Pros of Vinyl

Cons of Vinyl


  • Highly scratch-resistant
  • 100% waterproof
  • Budget-friendly

  • Not impervious to punctures/dents
  • Prone to discoloration
  • Difficult removal process (glue-down vinyl only)

 

 

Choose Your Kitchen Floors with Confidence

 

Porcelain, cork, hardwood, laminate, and vinyl all have their own advantages and disadvantages. There’s no wrong answer when choosing between these five popular candidates—the right flooring decision for you depends on your target budget, lifestyle, and stylistic preferences.

 

Whatever floor you choose to install, know that for every floor, there’s a cabinetry solution to match. Deslaurier leverages 40+ years in the business to help homeowners craft designs of quality and function for a beautiful life.

 

Want to see our design prowess in action? Book a complimentary consultation with our designers in Ottawa and Renfrew. Your kitchen design adventure awaits.

 

Interested in becoming a dealer? Fill out our Become a Dealer form to connect with us!

 

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