What's the best flooring for kitchens?


By Christopher Dean

If your kitchen is in need of an upgrade or if the floors are damaged beyond repair, it may be time to replace your kitchen floors. But should you choose the same material you’ve had all along — or is it time to try something different?

When it comes to the flooring in your kitchen, it comes down to two things:

  1. It should be durable and stand up to multiple hazards (spills, stains, dents from dropped pans, etc.).
  2. It should look good. A sleek, updated, and practical kitchen floor can be a significant design statement that can earn you countless compliments from guests and family members. 

If you’re remodeling your kitchen and want to explore all of your options, keep reading. This guide will give you plenty of kitchen flooring options to consider.

Kitchen flooring considerations.

Not all flooring materials in the market are well-suited for your kitchen. The best flooring for kitchens lasts longer with fewer maintenance needs. When comparing your options, pay attention to style, function and comfort. Here are crucial factors to keep in mind when shopping for the best kitchen flooring materials.

Durability and moisture resistance.

A kitchen flooring project is a significant investment both in terms of money and time. Undoubtedly, you want floors that will last and continue looking good for several years to come. Typically, a kitchen floor goes through a lot of wear and tear. The ideal flooring for this space should withstand spills, drips, heat, high traffic, and dropped pans and pots. 

Some of the most popular kitchen flooring types for durability and moisture resistance include tile, vinyl, laminate and concrete.

Aesthetics and style.

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you’ll want something that looks good and works into your style and décor preferences. Determine whether your flooring matches the colors you’re using for your counters, cabinets, backsplash and walls. Similarly, decide whether your kitchen floor will be a focal point or a neutral backdrop for the rest of your kitchen.

Are the existing floors in your kitchen outdated? Some modern kitchen floor ideas include: 

  • Cork flooring
  • Stained concrete
  • Luxury vinyl plank flooring
  • Chevron or herringbone wood or vinyl designs

Maintenance needs.

Let’s be real: not many people genuinely love to clean, seal or refinish floors. Obviously, you probably want flooring that has fewer maintenance needs. A poor choice may force you to spend a substantial amount of time cleaning, scrubbing and worrying about stains on the floors. 

Some of the essential things to keep in mind when it comes to the upkeep of different floors include:

  • Tile grout needs periodic special cleaning to remove stains and seal.
  • Hardwood floors typically need to be recoated or refinished.
  • Concrete flooring requires little or no maintenance, but you should wipe up spills quickly before they stain.


For most homeowners, their budget is a critical factor when choosing an ideal kitchen flooring material. Research flooring costs before you make a decision. If your budget doesn't allow the flooring material you really desire, go for a more cost-effective alternative. However, avoid flooring materials that come with ridiculously low prices. Flooring that costs too little may not hold up under pressure and can force you to install a new one a lot sooner.

Here’s a look at how much kitchen flooring costs, depending on the material:


Estimated cost


$4.75-$9.50/sq. ft.


$3.00-$10.00/sq. ft.


$4.00-$10.00/sq. ft.


$3.00-$7.00/sq. ft.

Solid wood

$5.00-$10.00/sq. ft.


$5.00-$10.00/sq. ft.


$2.50-$25.00/sq. ft.


$1.50-$7.00/sq. ft. 

Compare prices from flooring specialists near you.

Best kitchen flooring options to consider.

flooring materialFrom tile to hardwood, you have many options when it comes to your kitchen floors. Here are the best kitchen flooring materials:

Ceramic tile. 

Ceramic tile is a top kitchen flooring option due to its durability and imperviousness to water and stains. It’s also resistant to heat and breakage and can withstand high traffic and multiple hazards typical of a kitchen environment. 

Ceramic tiles are also available in various colors and patterns, and choosing a style that complements your home décor is easy. They are also available in all shapes and sizes to give you a wealth of design options. If you cannot find a ceramic tile in the color and design that meets your décor preferences, you can opt for its cousin — porcelain tile.

Porcelain tile.

Porcelain tiles boast exceptional strength, durability and beauty. Known to be highly uniform, dense and less porous, porcelain is a great option for kitchen floors. It’s also available in many shapes and styles, which is why some homeowners may prefer this material over others.


Vinyl is a practical choice that can withstand all rigors of a busy kitchen. Choosing tough flooring like vinyl means you won't have to worry too much about spills, dropped pots and water. 

Vinyl can also create the desired look with extra comfort and appeal at a much lower cost than other options out there. And there are vinyl options for different budgets, from cheaper options to luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) that come with multiple layers of cushion for a longer lifespan and softer feel.

kitchen floor


When it comes to durability, longevity and cost-effectiveness, concrete is a great option for kitchen floors. Plus, it can be more decorative than you think. You can add color, patterns, textures and polish. 

However, keep in mind that concrete is hard. If you tend to drop dishes, they’ll likely shatter on your concrete floors. And if spills are common in your kitchen, be careful —concrete floors can become especially slippery. 

Natural stone.

If you need a durable and luxurious kitchen flooring option, consider natural stone. Natural stones carry an element of luxury that draws the attention of top-dollar buyers when you decide to sell your home. 

Natural stone flooring materials offer various benefits, including scratch resistance and long-term durability. Some of the top options in this category include granite, slate and limestone. 


Laminate flooring is an extremely versatile option for your home. It comes in different patterns, colors and textures, making it a good option for homeowners who don’t want to pay a higher price for real wood floors. Laminate floors also hold up well against scratches. 

The No. 1 thing you need to be wary of: moisture. Wipe up spills quickly before the moisture sets in and warps your floor.


Hardwood floors are arguably one of the most popular kitchen flooring materials for most homeowners in America. Hardwood is, by nature, a highly durable option that can withstand all kinds of kitchen abuse. 

But for a long time, this material was considered a poor choice for kitchens and bathrooms because they are susceptible to moisture in their natural state. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make hardwood floors work in your kitchen. For example, apply a polyurethane sealant every four to six years. And choose unfinished planks over prefinished planks to help protect against spills. And, of course, stay on top of cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors.

Find a top-rated flooring specialist near you.

Search for a kitchen flooring pro on Thumbtack.

Although most floor installation projects can be turned into a DIY project, it's always best to leave it to the professionals — especially if you’re inexperienced. Use Thumbtack to find kitchen flooring professionals with good reviews, a lot of experience and the right expertise for this home improvement project. 

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