What about installing hardwood flooring in high traffic areas like kitchens?
The urethane finishes on most new wood floors stand up to water and traffic, bringing wood flooring into bathrooms, kitchens, and other higher-stress areas.
These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing and no waxing. High traffic areas include exterior doorways, hallways, mud rooms, and the areas in front of the sink, stove and refrigerator. To protect the floor just inside exterior doorways, use walk-off mats or small rugs to catch tracked-in dirt and grime. Place small rugs or mats at other high traffic locations. Watch for grit or pebbles that might be brought in on waffle soles of athletic shoes and collect these with a hand-held cordless vac. This should be done a regular basis.
Decorative wood floor effects
In addition to natural-woodtone stains, wood floors take nicely to colorwash stains that let the grain show. They also take well to painting. Chic and classic looks include stripes, checkerboard squares, or diamonds using two alternating-color stripes. Faux-stone looks are also classic options and may be combined with checkerboard squares or diamonds: During the colonial period, itinerant artists were hired to paint plain wood floors in such faux marble tile patterns.
Spatter-painted wood floors featuring solid-color grounds flecked with dots of many other colors are a charming, surprisingly modern look with origins in colonial times. Floor stenciling, another traditional favorite, takes much of its character from the color choice: medium blue with red, pink, white, and black for Pennsylvania Dutch style; goldenrod, hunter- green, spice-brown, and rust for Mission/Arts and Crafts style; and so on.
Beautiful and exotic this renewable product is very comparable to hardwood in style, feel and strength making bamboo a fantastic surface to be considered in your kitchen.
Cost - Generally the cost of bamboo can vary from $3.00 sq to $9.00 sq installation not included. Production expense is higher with respect to engineered and stained bamboo flooring therefore increasing cost for the consumer.
Maintenance - Cleaning is relatively simple, requiring only light mopping and sweeping. Beware that sweeping is very important as these floors can scratch. Dirt, sand, and other granular particles under foot can caue damage.
Bamboo is an extremely strong and versatile plant that is actually classified as a grass. It grows rapidly and shoots reach maturity in 5-7 years. At that time the plant actually benefits from the harvesting of those shoots. If you are concerned about harvesting and its effect on wild life, Panda bears actually feed from of a different strain of bamboo which is located at a much higher altitude than that of bamboo used for flooring products.
This marvelous material does not end with bottle stoppers. Cork is a fabulous flooring material that even your kitchen will love. The cellular structure of cork is comprised of millions of air sacs essentially meaning that 50% of this flooring material consists of air!! Cork is another excellent consideration for your kitchen space.
Cost - Cork tiles and planks are priced reasonably starting at $4 for basic tiles where price increases with planks and stains. Maintenance - Depending on the type of finish you have chosen for your floor maintenance will vary. Wax finishes generally require waxing at least once a year, which is something to consider. Polyurethane will scratch if those floors are not swept. So keep those floors clean with regular sweeping and dry mopping and the results will be less wear of your finish.
Unlike other natural wood flooring products, cork is obtained from the bark of oak trees located mostly in the Mediterranean. The cork oak tree is remarkable as its bark can be harvested every 9 years without cause of any damage to its existence or that of its environment. The best cork is reserved for our other partner in the kitchen as our beloved wine bottles require stoppers. Bottle stoppers account for 60% of the cork market but where there is demand for perfect corks there must be waste. Cork flooring is made from that unwanted material making this flooring product another fabulously environmentally conscious choice for your kitchen floor.
Cork also holds many benefits with respect to a healthy environment in any home. Suberin, the waxy, natural substance found in cork also plays a role in cork's resistance to mold and mildew. Cork flooring is antimicrobial and has been proven to be insect resistant as well.
The cellular structure of cork also makes this soft, bouncy flooring an excellent choice for people who suffer from back problems or injury.