The floor is the stylistic foundation of every kitchen. The last thing any kitchen renovator wants is to have a “blah” floor muting the wow factor of their new dream kitchen.

In 2019, no one should have to go with a Plain Jane or Average Joe-looking floor. In other words, with all due respect to Grandma, you don’t want her kitchen floor. For style-minded renovators, walking on a flat kitchen floor can feel like walking on broken glass.

“Choosing the right floor for your kitchen that looks sharp and modern and still functions the way you need a kitchen floor to function – it’s no joke,” says Ari Ziskin of FlooringInc.com.

So what style of floor should you be looking at to ensure your new kitchen boasts both a contemporary, classy and practical floor? These days, kitchen renovators’ floor choices are much more than just Option A and Option B.

“There are so many options these days,” Ziskin said. “You don’t have to choose between just hardwood and tile.”

With that in mind, here are the hottest kitchen floor trends for the sunset year of this renovation decade.

Wood Is In

As hip as Aquaman right now, wood, especially dark wood, is the go-to floor surface of the new year. However, wood is not required. Wood-looking floor – made possible by the magic of modern technology – can mimic a realistic wood look without the annoying maintenance, making it a win-win surface for kitchens.

“Let me tell you, as someone who uses the heck out of my kitchen, your kitchen floor must be extremely durable,” Ziskin said. “It’s also important to make sure your floor isn’t sensitive to spills, water, stains, etc.”

A Plethora of Styles

Today’s flooring options can be customized to your unique style. Whether rustic, farmhouse, industrial or contemporary, today’s trends, Ziskin notes, “are leading to cooler, more exciting kitchen themes than ever before.”

Speaking of rustic, flooring company Maples & Birch notes that the classic style is still as trendy as ever.

“Designers and homeowners are calling for longer and wider planks with an emphasis on natural aging and the use of reclaimed materials,” the company’s 2019 flooring guide notes.

How to Choose A Floor That’s Cool

Renovation experts recommend sustainability, warm tones, natural materials and even slightly 1970s’ throwback looks for floors to make the strongest stylistic statement.

The Gray Zone

Gray, M&B stresses, is still the ‘it’ floor color of choice for today’s contemporary kitchens. From sun-bleached American boardwalks to gray hardwood floors combined with brushed stainless steel and tinted glass, “Gray floors,” the Family Handyman’s Alexa Erickson writes, “have become synonymous with the modern kitchen look.”

Bamboo: The Eco-Friendly Chic Floor

Sustainable and a super green alternative to synthetic and chemical-ridden flooring options, bamboo is a natural, strong warm material with a beautiful grain that withstands everyday use and abuse like a champion.

Call bamboo the inexpensive, beautiful, Earth-friendly kitchen floor of today and tomorrow. Bamboo can handle daily kitchen traffic with ease and is a breeze to clean. However, even bamboo has its Kryptonite. Its soft surface makes it susceptible to scratches and scuffs and it’s prone to absorb water.

Concrete Cool

The most durable flooring surface on the market can withstand anything, making it the ideal floor for a busy kitchen. Plus, concrete is flexible. It can be stained, polished and waxed to offer different finishes depending on your preference and style of kitchen.

Concrete floors can also give kitchens and edgy and industrial feeling, or can be mixed with warm and soft colors like earthy tones, blush tones, pastels and neutral to create a comforting feel.

The downside: concrete – as any construction worker will tell you – is a harsh surface with zero give. Concrete floors mean death for falling glass dishes, and create a risk for injury from falls. Plus, when not sealed properly, moisture and mold can compromise concrete’s integrity. Cracks are a given as the foundation of a home shifts over time.

Cork Appeal

Cork materials offer a unique, durable flooring option that’s soft, a terrific heat insulator and strong sound barrier. It’s ideal for apartment kitchens and super Earth friendly. Alas, its soft density make cork especially prone to damage, staining and fading.

Go White Laminate For Luxurious, Coastal Style

A clean, ocean vibe, white laminate is the go-to floor of cool. All-white wood-effect laminate warmly brightens up darker kitchens instantly. Inexpensive, a natural ability to age like a fine wine, durable and water resistant, white laminate is becoming – as Decor Magazine notes – is “one of the best kitchen flooring ideas of 2019.”

Where The Rubber Meets The Kitchen Floor

Rubber is not just for gymnasiums any more.

Durable, clean, available in a myriad of colors and textures, rubber kitchen flooring is an incredibly durable, water-resistant, inexpensive, easily recyclable and fashionable. What’s not to love? Rubber’s naturally slippery nature when wet could make it a non-starter for older couples.

Stone Brings Natural Beauty

The most natural, aesthetically wowing floor surface brings an elegant beauty to any kitchen. Natural stone’s chilly skin make rugs a required compliment for cold winters.

Natural stone works in numerous patters and colors, making it a terrific alternative to synthetic floor tiles. Plus, stone isn’t as slippery as other floor options, making it a smart surface for homes with young children. The catch: Some styles are expensive, natural stone is naturally porous and can be brittle.

Bright Vinyl Equals Bright Floors

Bold, colorful, affordable and available in more color possibilities than you can imagine, bright vinyl, as Decor Magazine notes – “is the ultimate option when considering custom kitchen flooring.

Vinyl’s super bonus features include its moisture-resistant nature, its inexpensiveness and easy maintenance. However, no flooring surface is invincible. Vinyl can fade over time, is prone to damage when upholding heavy objects, and is non-biodegradable.

Timeless Tiles

From hexagonal patterns to checked, tile, Decor stresses “is a throwback to popular kitchen flooring of the past.” Tile is timeless, affordable, easy to maintain, but can have limited graphic appeal.  

Remember, today’s kitchen floor is much more than a floor. It’s the foundational, stylistic, functional and comfort statement of your kitchen. Don’t settle for a ‘blah’ floor, do your homework and find the kitchen floor that is uniquely right for you.

“Design, color and surface are important considerations, but don’t overlook comfort, durability and easy care – particularly in kitchen flooring,” Bob Vila.com’s LuAnn Brandsen writes.

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