We had a linoleum floor, but it seems every linoleum pattern has a flaw in that the floor has just enough texture (like small craters) which collect deposits of dirt. It is really impossible to get a linoleum floor sparkling clean, and it dulls in time. Then, we replaced the linoleum with a floating wood floor. Naturally, soon afterwards, our dishwasher leaked all over the floor, and the wood warped! :smack: Also, with two kids, we were uninformed that a wood floor simply cannot take punishment.
So, what would you recommend? A ceramic tile floor, perhaps? Is there an improved linoleum that wears much better? What other options are there? And, what are the pros and cons? Can a floor be functional and aesthetically pleasing? All suggestions appreciated. …OK, now you have the floor!
Properly installed, a quality linoleum (vinyl) floor is a good choice - sounds like you need a new sub-floor installed and sealed before installing the covering.
Glazed ceramic or pavers would be great on wear, but very cold on feet. Maybe over a radiant heating system. SEAL WELL.*
Wood can be used, but only if you are absolutely religious about re-sealing it with a product rated for floor.
If this is DIY:
STAY AWAY FROM THE BIG BOXES!!!
I can’t believe the crap they sell as flooring. 1/4" thick tile is NOT floor. Laminate is crap. 1/2" natural stone is crap. I did see one line of carpet which was worth close to what they were charging.
Their prep and seal products are a joke - 20 coats of their best stuff is worth less than 1 coat of real sealant.
I have seen red oak (the only kind HD sells; I was taught that it was good as firewood, nothing else) formed into something vaguely resembling real T&G floor at HD - it looked like it would be good for kindling, but I would never waste my time trying to make it into a floor.
I rant about this often enough.
There are 3 grades of tile:
Big boxes think poor quality wall tile belongs on floors. It doesn’t. I have 150 sq ft of cheap tile installed in this dump - it is chipped, smashed, scratched, gouged. Ugly as sin, and I am going to have to tear out a bunch because it is in front of the door, and adding another layer of floor would block the door.
Sealing: Go to a train station built in the 1880’s or public spaces from the turn of the last century. Look at the tile. Now go home and look at that mildew-encrusted crap the last owner put in.
The difference is curing and sealing. I paid $80/pint for sealer back in 1983. Judge the stuff you’re looking at compared to that.
You (sometimes) get what you pay for; you almost never get more.
I’m no handy-person or anything, but I’ve lived with a few floors in my time. My favourite of all is sealed slate, with cork tiles (also properly sealed) coming in a close second. They’re both warm underfoot, don’t show any marks, and are bog simple to clean with a quick swish of a mop in warm water with a dash of vinegar.
Ceramic in the kitchen is tough. It will crack and gouge if you drop something heavy, or not even that heavy if it lands wrong. I always thought I wanted it, and now that I have it, I don’t love it at all. It is completely unforgiving, to anything you drop, and well as your feet, knees and back. And if it gets wet, it’s treacherous as hell. Think about how often you drop or spill in the kitchen. And there’s the grout lines to catch stuff. The ceramic in front of my stove, if I am frying something on high, and it spatters-greasy slippery hard to get completely clean stuff. (what a crappy sentence, sorry, hope you can parse it )
We have laminate in our kitchen, and I love it. It tough, it takes lots of abuse, it doesn’t scratch easily (and Lord know I try), it doesn’t stain, it doesn’t shatter everything that drops on it, it cleans easily (use a swiffer weekly and wash it once in a while - we mostly just spot clean it).
As the answers so far have indicated, I think you have to divide the answer into DIY and pro. Almost any flooring, laid by a pro to pro specs and with their advice as to materials, will be a good choice.
If you’re going to DIY it, or try to nickel and dime the work, you need to know EXACTLY what you’re doing, choose materials that will work within your budget and skills, and do every prep and finish step exactly right.
By “linoleum” do you mean vinyl or do you mean real linoleum. I have a linoleum floor (forbo marmoleum) and I don’t have any of the problems you mentioned. It’s flat and cleans easily. It’s also very durable.
I’d recommend it. I’ve never found tile anything easy to clean really well.
Marmoleum is a newer generation of linoleum, and is a pretty smooth product (noted above by amarinth). Bamboo flooring has become all the rage: eco-friendly and hard as nails. We have large ceramic tiles on our floor, and put down a thick service mat in front of the stove. You can buy those at places like Bed Bath and Beyond and other kitchen supply stores.
One thing I want to share about Bamboo flooring. Please note that I have it in my kitchen, and I love it. But that comment about it being hard can be misleading. We were sold on that phrase, about it being hard, thinking that meant it would be safe from scrapes and dents - it’s not.
While the wood itself is hard, the varnish that the wood is sealed with is not - it’s the same varnish that goes on all hardwood floors. So, we have dings and dents in our floor - one of them from the first day the installation was done!
As long as you’re aware of that, and aren’t expecting your floor to be perfect till the end of time, bamboo floor can be quite nice. It’s warm to the feet, beautiful colours, etc. But in the end, it’s nothing more than another hardwood floor.
We had a bamboo floor in our old house, too - I also found that it scratched very easily. Laminate flooring does not do that; for example, we just painted our master bedroom. I dragged my dresser out, then dragged it back in over the laminate flooring in there, without a single scratch. I wouldn’t even consider doing that with a hardwood floor.
We put commercial vinyl tile in our kitchen and bathrooms. It is speckled like linoleum. Same stuff you see in stores and hospitals and schools. We bought it for the retro look and wide variety of colors available.
I don’t like it because it needs to be waxed, and almost all of the floor cleaners you buy at the grocery store don’t work with wax. Swiffer doesn’t, for example. The spray cleaners I use on bathroom fixtures eat the wax away, so I always have pockmarks on the floors in the bathrooms. Also, re-waxing is a pain in the ass.
I disagree. We have a tiled floor in our kitchen, and I love the feel of it underfoot. We put in an electric underfloor heating system, which was far less expensive than I thought it would be. I love standing in there in slippers or bare feet, and my daughter loves just lounging on the warm floor.
We went for porcelain stone-effect tiles. They are very hard and tough, so they shouldn’t chip or crack (unless perhaps we drop a full cast-iron crockpot or something, which would probably trash any floor) and they have a lightly textured finish so they’re not slippery.
It’s easy to clean, too. We’ve had the floor down for about three years and the only thing I’d say is that the grout is a shade or two darker than it originally was. It doesn’t look “dirty”, though, just darker, and it certainly doesn’t bother me. The tiles are quite big so there isn’t that much grout there anyway.
Edit… aaaand I just realised this thread is a spam zombie.