9 Best Kitchen Flooring Materials

By Amanda Lutz Updated March 15, 2024

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Homeowners who are considering new kitchen flooring must think about style preferences, budget, and lifestyle when picking a material. Flooring should be comfortable to stand on, easy to clean, stain-resistant, and suitable for high-traffic areas. Below are some of the best kitchen flooring options along with tips on how to navigate a kitchen renovation.

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1. Vinyl Plank and Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and luxury vinyl plank (LVP), along with laminate flooring, are practical and versatile flooring options. Engineered vinyl flooring can mimic the look of hardwood floors, but it’s easier to clean up and maintain. Vinyl flooring has several layers, including an underlayment, a rigid core, a printed layer, and a wear layer. While this makes vinyl flooring soft underfoot, be careful not to dent or scratch it when moving large appliances. Once the top layer wears away, you must replace the vinyl flooring.

Average cost: $1 to $10 per square foot*

*All cost data in this article sourced from Angi.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Vinyl is easy to install but isn’t environmentally friendly and can easily dent or scratch.

Easy to installCan dent or scratch
WaterproofNot environmentally friendly
Can mimic hardwood and other flooring materialsLower-quality vinyl flooring can look cheap

2. Concrete

Concrete is most common in industrial settings, but custom designs and versatility also make it ideal for kitchens. Stained concrete can look like wood, stone, or tile and is resistant to damage from falling objects and heat. Concrete is inexpensive and long-lasting, but homeowners must seal it to protect it from staining or water damage. Concrete isn’t ideal if you have a basement or crawl space directly underneath your kitchen area because it needs more support. You should only use concrete in your kitchen if your floor is already on an existing concrete slab because it can carry the additional load the concrete floor creates.

Average cost: $2 to $8 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Concrete requires lots of work to maintain but is durable and budget-friendly.

InexpensiveRequires sealing to protect it from staining and water damage
Custom design optionsNot an option for all homes
Impact- and heat-resistantCold and hard underfoot

3. Linoleum

Linoleum is a common alternative to vinyl that’s regaining popularity after falling out of favor for decades. This flooring type consists of a design layer, which features a high-resolution photo of wood grain, and a second, clear protective layer. Linoleum can be glued directly to the subfloor or installed as a series of floating tiles that interlock but don’t directly fasten to it. Linoleum is affordable, easy to install, and low-maintenance, though it’s prone to water damage and lacks durability.

Average cost: $3 to $7 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Linoleum is extremely affordable but isn’t a great long-term solution.

Comes in a wide variety of colors and designsSusceptible to water damage
Easy to clean and maintainCan darken and turn yellow over time
Eco-friendlyAppliances and furniture can dent it

4. Cork

Cork is renewable, antimicrobial, and helps homeowners to achieve retro kitchen vibes. Cork is soft and springy, and newer types of cork flooring can resemble hardwood planks or stone tiles. Cork can resist stains but isn’t waterproof, so clean spills on cork flooring immediately. If you notice a stain, sand down and retouch the area with stain and a sealer. Cork can fade in direct sunlight, so keep the curtains closed when it’s especially bright outside.

Average cost: $5 to $12 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Cork is inexpensive but lacks in durability.

InexpensiveColor fades in direct sunlight
Comfortable to stand and walk onNot waterproof
Absorbs soundHeavy
Environmentally sustainablePointed objects can damage the floor

5. Bamboo

Bamboo mimics the look of hardwood floors but is durable and resistant to water. Bamboo is available in different colors, grains, and patterns, and each bamboo type performs differently. Strand-woven bamboo is the most durable and expensive model. Clean any spills on bamboo immediately to prevent moisture from seeping into the space between planks.

Average cost: $5 to $15 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Bamboo’s color options are limited, but quality bamboo can be far more durable than hardwood.

More durable than hardwoodQuality varies
Water-resistantLimited to a few tonal shades
Environmentally friendlyProne to scratching

6. Stone Tile

Kitchen floor tiles can last decades if properly maintained, and there are many types of stone from which to choose. Granite and marble slabs make suitable countertops, while limestone is ideal for use in low-traffic areas. Slate is a sophisticated stone that lasts for decades if sealed and maintained while travertine stands out but isn’t long-lasting. Stone is porous, so it requires an annual application of a high-quality sealer to protect it from water damage and staining.

Average cost: $6 to $20 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Stone can increase your home’s resale value but flooring installation for it is relatively expensive.

Can increase home’s resale valueSusceptible to water damage and staining
Durable and long-lastingRequires regular sealing
Looks sophisticated and luxuriousSomewhat expensive

7. Hardwood

Hardwood is a common kitchen flooring choice but isn’t waterproof, so spills and messes must be cleaned up quickly to prevent damage. Solid wood flooring requires a stain-resistant finish and isn’t ideal for busy households or kitchens that are directly next to a house’s entrance. Solid hardwood floors can be refinished to make them appear new if you notice staining or scratches.

Average cost: $6 to $22 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Hardwood floors come in a number of colors and styles but can be expensive.

Provides a seamless look between roomsWater can discolor the wood or cause it to warp and swell
You can refinish hardwood to make it appear newPricier than other models
Available in several colors and patternsCan easily scratch or dent

8. Brick

Brick is resistant to abrasion and can be ideal for homeowners who prefer a rustic farmhouse look in their kitchens. Brick has a long life span and is durable, but you must routinely apply sealant to prevent staining and water damage. The price of brick fluctuates depending on design complexity and the quality of the brick paver.

Average cost: $10 to $20 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Brick has vibrant natural colors but requires lots of work to properly maintain.

Very durablePorous and prone to water damage
Long life spanNeeds regular resealing
Provides natural insulationLimited color options

9. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are durable, long-lasting, and water-resistant. Properly installed ceramic tile floors will outperform and outlast nearly any other floor covering according to the World Floor Covering Association. Cleaning tiles only requires a damp mop or a common household cleaner, but you’ll need to regularly reseal tile to extend its life. Ceramic tiles are available as unglazed models with rustic appearances or as more durable and personalized glazed models.

Average cost: $12 to $45 per square foot

Benefits and Drawbacks

Ceramic tile is long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing but requires lots of upkeep.

Easy to clean and maintainCan be slippery
Resistant to waterTiles can crack
Very durable flooring typeGrout requires annual resealing

How to Choose the Best Kitchen Flooring

The best flooring option for your kitchen depends on your home, budget, and lifestyle. If you have small children or pets, you may want a durable material such as stone tile or bamboo. If you live in a humid area, you may need a floor that’s particularly resistant to moisture and water, such as vinyl or tile. Make sure to also choose a flooring type that fits your personal style and matches your budget.

Our Recommendation

The right flooring for your needs is whichever model balances your desires, comfort, and lifestyle. The floor should be easy to maintain and durable enough to withstand foot traffic. The floor should also be resistant to moisture, staining, and heat. Finally, be sure that the flooring type is within your set budget.

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Best Kitchen Flooring FAQ

What is the best heavy-duty kitchen flooring?

The best heavy-duty kitchen flooring types are properly maintained concrete flooring and natural stone, which are both durable and resistant to water and stains.

What is the most timeless kitchen flooring?

The most timeless kitchen flooring styles are stone, tile, and hardwood. These materials work well in many different styles of kitchens.

What is the best flooring to put in a kitchen that is going to be used for a long time?

The best flooring to put in a kitchen that’s going to be used for a long time is ceramic tile, which can last for 60 years or longer with regular grout resealing.

What is the easiest flooring to put in a kitchen?

The easiest flooring to put in a kitchen is vinyl flooring. Vinyl is durable, easy to clean, and a popular choice for do-it-yourself (DIY) kitchen remodels.

Is it better to DIY a new floor or hire professional installation?

Whether you install kitchen flooring with DIY methods or hire a pro depends on the type of flooring and your level of home improvement experience. Materials like vinyl are easy to install with little to no experience, while stone tiles and hardwood may require greater knowledge.