Hardwood flooring is very durable and perhaps well worth the extra investment for a kitchen floor. It scratches,and flakes with excessive wear and also dents.
Laminate flooring is a lower investment. Laminate floors blister and often do not live up to to the expected warranty life span, especially for high moisture areas including kitchens.
A lower investment high quality vinyl flooring is easy to clean, and may be a good choice. It will not hold up to heavy chair and appliance movements.
http://www.homeplansforfree.com/Free-bathroom-designs/thumbnails.php?album=18 are a great durable choice. The grout lines are difficult to clean over time although good quality sealers may make this job go more smoothly. Tile floors are cold and going with a heated tile floor system may be desired in kitchen areas. The disadvantage to tile floors is they may crack. To help avoid cracking the tile go with a good quality tile floor and be sure to have the installer have a 100% mortar contact on the tile being installed.
Personally I have the negative idea that there is no best material for a kitchen floor. All flooring has problems. Kitchen floors seem to have even more problems especially in areas susceptible to moisture and in high traffic areas.
We personally went with a white oak hardwood floor for our new kitchen floor and although it has a little wear after 5 years we can always refinish the surface to have a new look for minimal extra dollars vs replacing our floor. I would recommend our choice of choosing a hardwood floor.
If your kitchen is placed over a concrete slab or in a basement going with tile for your flooring is an excellent option. In high moisture areas tile floors are usually the best choice. Keep in mind that tiles are cool and consider a heated tile system for extra warmth.
Reviewing pricing and pros and cons with a reputable flooring contractor is well worth your time. I recommend planning ahead to budget enough to go with a quality new kitchen floor such as hardwood or tile. The extra investment to have the work done with quality will save you money if you plan to continue to reside in your home.
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