A kitchen is a place where you can be on your feet literally for hours, preparing various dishes and meals for friends and family. That kind of stress can be tough on your legs and back, especially if you have hard flooring such as tile or stone in the space. Using softer materials can offset this to some extent, although the key is finding a balance between comfort, and the durability necessary in a kitchen floor.
Cork Kitchen Flooring
Cork is one of the most comfortable flooring materials you can purchase. Soft, spongy, and squishy beneath your feet, people’s eyes tend to light with delight when they first step on a cork floor and feel it yield beneath them.
Cork is naturally porous, and is relatively easy to damage with pet claws, high heels, and dropped utensils. The surface can be protected from stains by applying a chemical sealing agent on a regular basis, but it won’t hold up against a flood, and liquids should never be allowed to rest on its surface for any period of time.
Vinyl Kitchen Tiles and Sheets
Vinyl is a nearly indestructible man-made material that is resistant to stains, mold, germs, and water. It is an excellent material for use in kitchens, and is very popular in these spaces. The comfort of vinyl doesn’t come from the material itself, but from the fact that it is very thin and will take on the properties of anything it is installed over. This allows you to put thick padding beneath it to make the floor as soft and pliant as you like.
Padded Linoleum Kitchen Flooring
Linoleum is another manufactured material but it is made from all natural products, giving it an eco-friendly feel that is lacking in vinyl. Resilient and resistant to staining, linoleum can also be combined with padding to create a plush, comfortable flooring surface for you to enjoy. The drawback is that while linoleum is resistant to small amounts of water, floods, humidity, and standing stains can cause curling and warping in the material.
Soft Rubber Kitchen Flooring
You don’t often see rubber flooring in kitchens but it is actually a durable, stain resistant material that is very comfortable to walk on. Made from the sap of the para rubber tree, or formed from recycled rubber automobile tires, these floors do not suffer from water damage and are impervious to moisture and stain penetration.
While rubber flooring is a very comfortable choice there are two caveats when using it in a kitchen. The first is that rubber can have a chemical stain reaction when it comes in contact with certain types of oil, which can make cooking grease splatters a problem. Some types of rubber flooring also have a faint but harmless odor, which can affect your ability to smell and prepare foods.
Avoid Carpet In The Kitchen
Carpeting is probably the most common comfort flooring but it is a bad idea in the kitchen. Spills and stains will be a constant hazard, while moisture problems can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which is particularly bad in a space where you will be preparing food. Even specially treated carpeting will still be more upkeep, and will last less time than almost any other flooring choice in this space