Sheet vinyl flooring (C) Daniel Friedman Kitchen & Bath Flooring Choices & Recommendations
     

  • FLOOR DESIGNS: KITCHEN & BATH - CONTENTS: Flooring choices for Kitchens and Bathrooms. Table of most frequently chosen kitchen floor coverings. Table of most popular bathroom floor coverings. Tables provided here compare properties of flooring alternatives: cost, pros, cons, & suitability for radiant heated floors describe sheet vinyl flooring, ceramic tile floors, solid vinyl tile flooring, natural stone floors, hardwood floors, engineered wood flooring, high pressure laminate (plastic) flooring, modern linoleum sheet flooring, cork flooring, and rubber tile floors
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Kitchen and bath floor recommendations: this article recommends types of floor coverings for residential kitchens and bathrooms.

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Kitchen & Bathroom Flooring Choices & Recommendations

Ceramic mosaic bathroom floor tile (C) D FriedmanThis article series discusses current best design practices for kitchens and bathrooms, including layout, clearances, work space, and accessible kitchen and bathroom layout, clearances, turning space, grab bars, controls, etc.

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We include advice on choosing and installing kitchen countertops, cabinets, and kitchen or bathroom flooring, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures and fixture controls such as faucets. A list of kitchen and bath product manufactures and sources is included.

This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.

Also see FLOOR TILE, CERAMIC for K & B and our other flooring articles beginning at FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS. More details about resilient flooring are found at FLOOR, RESILIENT VINYL or CORK (noting that cork flooring is not recommended for wet areas). As summarized in Chapter 6 of Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction:

Figure 6-28: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss

The leading choices for kitchen and bath flooring installed in new homes are sheet vinyl and ceramic tile, chosen for their durability, ease of maintenance, and tolerance of water (Figure 6-28 at left and Figure 6-29 shown below).

Vinyl flooring offers a resilient surface underfoot and is generally less expensive than tile, although the high-end vinyl products can cost nearly as much as lower-end tiles.

[Click any image or table to see an enlarged version with additional detail, commentary & source citation.]

Figure 6-29: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties (C) J Wiley S Bliss

Figure 6-29

Ceramic floor or wall tile is often chosen for its durability in both wet and dry environments such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Although a ceramic tile installation is not completely waterproof without the addition of a waterproofing membrane, the tile itself, along with the cement backerboards and thinset mortars used in quality installations, are unaffected by water.

Hickory flooring being installed (C) D FriedmanHardwood, too, has become popular in kitchens as kitchens have evolved into primary centers for recreation and socializing. Although not the most practical choice for wet areas or high-traffic zones, new harder finishes make it more resistant to scratching and better able to tolerate the occasional wetting.

The toughest finishes are available only on prefinished flooring, but seams between the boards could allow water to penetrate if exposed to standing water (see FLOOR, WOOD FINISHES).

At left we illustrate a pattern-selected pre-finished hickory wood flooring during installation. Courtesy Galow Homes. This is a 3/4" thick solid wood floor choice. We describe alternatives below.

A satin finish is preferable in a high-traffic area like a kitchen, since it shows scratches less than a glossy finish. With any wood floor, the homeowners should wipe up spills quickly and use water sparingly when cleaning.

Cork flooring (C) D FriedmanFor consumers seeking a resilient walking surface but reluctant to use vinyl for environmental or health reasons, newer options include a variety of cork products, newly introduced lines of traditional linoleum, and a variety of laminated bamboo products that perform essentially the same as solid hardwood flooring.

Our photo (left) illustrates a recently-installed cork floor in a Poughkeepsie N.Y. college classroom.

With proper installation and care, any of these materials can provide a durable, attractive floor in a kitchen.

More details about resilient flooring are found at FLOOR, RESILIENT VINYL or CORK (noting that cork flooring is not recommended for wet areas).

In a bath, the best option is a waterproof surface with few joints or seams to allow water penetration (Table 6-3).

[Click any image or table to see an enlarged version with additional detail, commentary & source citation.]

Table Comparing the Properties of Kitchen & Bathroom Flooring Options: Cost, Radiant Heat Use, Pros, Cons, Recommendations

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Table 6-3: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss

Table 6-3: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss

Table 6-3: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss

Kitchen and Bath Product Manufacturers, Sources, Associations

Ceramic Tile-Setting Material Manufacturer List

Bonsal American www.bonsal.com Setting compounds, grouts, preformed shower pans, curbs, and niches. Also, distributor of backerboards, isolation membranes, and other tile-setting products

Color Caulk, div. of Roanoke Companies Group www.colorcaulk.com Color-matched caulking

Custom Building Products www.custombuildingproducts.com Elastomeric and liquid-applied membranes, self-leveling underlayments, setting compounds, and grouts

Laticrete International www.laticrete.com Trowel-on membranes, self-leveling underlayments, setting compounds, grouts, and sealants

Noble Company www.noblecompany.com CPE sheet membranes, trowel-on membranes, clamping ring drains, and preformed slopes, niches, and curbs

Mapei www.mapei.com Trowel-on and sheet membranes, self-leveling underlayments, setting compounds, grouts, and color-matched sanded caulks

Ceramic Tile Backerboard Producers

Custom Building Products www.custombuildingproducts.com Wonderboard cement backerboard, Easyboard cement and polystyrene lightweight backerboard, and Rhinoboard fiber-cement backerboard

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum www.gp.com/build Denshield gypboard backer with glass-matt facing

James Hardie Building Products www.jameshardie.com Fiber-cement backerboard

National Gypsum www.nationalgypsum.com Permabase lightweight cement and polystyrene backerboard

Schluter Systems www.schluter.com Kerdi tile membrane goes directly over drywall or other substrates

T. Clear Corp./Fin Pan Inc. www.finpan.com Util-A-Crete lightweight concrete backerboard

U.S. Gypsum www.usg.com Durock cement backerboard

W. R. Bonsal www.bonsal.com Extruded polystyrene backerboard with fiberglassreinforced cement facing

Kitchen & Bath Industry Associations

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers(AHAM) www.aham.org

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) www.nkba.org

Ceramic Tile Institute of America www.ctioa.org

Home Ventilation Institute (HVI) www.hvi.org

Marble Institute of America www.marble-institute.com Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) www.porcelainenamel.com

Tile Council of America (TCA) www.tileusa.com

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.

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