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Renovating Your Kitchen: Luxury Looks – Flooring Options

News | 17th Aug 2012

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have owned your property for years, the thought of renovating your kitchen might be keeping you up at night as you worry about not only setting your budget but also sticking to it. The economy is still sluggish and employment isn’t stable, so setting and then sticking to a feasible budget on such a big project is a must.

However, you still want to make sure you get quality for your money, regardless of how much you intend to spend. And you don’t want your kitchen to turn out looking cheap, either, even though you might not have an unlimited budget.

Our series Luxury Looks Less Money will advise and recommend to you how to make the most of your budget that results in a beautiful, efficient kitchen that looks more expensive than it actually was.

In the first part, we discussed avoiding high-end appliances that don’t deliver and getting efficient, top-quality ones that do – all without shattering your savings.

In this installment, we’ll discuss flooring.

Flooring

Before even shopping for the right floor, you should think about several things first. How much traffic will it endure? How much sunlight will it be exposed to? how much humidity or moisture there will be? And how will it fit in with the style of the rest of the kitchen and/or house?

High-end flooring such as wood is always a popular choice. It emanates warmth, coziness, and elegance, and it’s good to use in adjacent rooms, creating a consistent look throughout the house. Antique wood floors bring character to the space, but they’re very easily worn. Solid wood finished flooring is the better choice, but it’s going to cost you upfront. However, it is more durable.

Yet, as durable as wood can be, if you have an inordinate amount of traffic from kids, their friends, and pets, stones such as granite and quartzite are better. They’re much more durable, yet also pricier.

Less expensive choices include engineered wood flooring. This consists of a thin veneer of real wood over a stable substrate, which is laid on the subfloor, substantially saving on installation fees. A disadvantage of this is that it can be refinished only one time, whereas solid wood can be redone many times.

Tile is another less expensive option – and it’s all-natural, too. It resembles more costly materials such as limestone and it’s much easier to maintain, as well. Tile is moisture-, wear-, and scratch-resistant. However, it tends to crack easily, it’s difficult to install, and it can be quite expensive.

Vinyl is another less costly option, as you can find some types that have very realistic-looking patterns such as wood or natural stone. Vinyl is also durable, endures wear and sunlight discoloration well, and is easy to install.

Linoleum is a viable option, as well, though it can be costly. It’s natural, resilient, and comes in a variety of colors and styles these days than it used to. Tests to judge its wear, scratch, or moisture resistance have rendered inconsistent performance, though.

A great option to consider for adhering to your budget, regardless of the materials you choose,  is buying overstocks, such as from iFloor (www.ifloor.com) or Lumber Liquidators (www.lumberliquidators.com).  These companies buy direct from manufacturers, sometimes buying overstocked materials and selling them under retail.

Also, don’t be afraid to buy flooring with minor flaws that no one will notice. You can also save on opened or damaged boxes – sometimes the flooring hasn’t been affected, but you can get major discounts.

Obviously, you must choose the flooring that best suits your tastes, budget, and kitchen or house. Be diligent and shop around, as there are many choices. Don’t spend more than is necessary, but also don’t sacrifice quality and durability.

 

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