Kitchen Flooring

For many families and businesses, the kitchen is the heart of all the activity. When selecting kitchen flooring, there are special considerations to keep in mind to ensure your floors can stand up to years of wear and continue to shine. These are the main flooring types to choose from when redoing your home or business’ floors.

Choose The Best Kitchen Flooring For You

Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic TilesShop all
The glazed top layer of ceramic flooring makes it impervious to water and most stains.
Ideal for high-traffic areas of a home or commercial building, such as the kitchen.
Easy to keep clean.
Endless design choices.
Beautiful ceramic mosaic options for walls.
Wall Tile Mosaics
Wall Tile MosaicsShop all
Available in a wide variety of colors and styles
Extremely durable and easy to install.
Stone tile options are great for high moisture areas.
Porcelain is highly resistant to stains and scratches.
Get creative with contrasting grout colors for a one-of-a-kind look.
Vinyl Waterproof Flooring
Vinyl Waterproof FlooringShop all
Surface water and spills won’t affect the flooring.
Wear layers that can withstand moisture and heavy traffic.
Regular sweeping and light mopping is all that is needed to maintain the flooring.
Comfortable underfoot.
Available in realistic textures, unique designs, and trendy colors.
Engineered Waterproof Flooring
Engineered Waterproof FlooringShop all
Designed to reduce the moisture problems associated with conventional hardwood.
Waterproof layers block moisture and add extra stability to the floor.
Won’t swell and warp.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Available in a wide variety of looks to match your kitchen cabinetry and decor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there kitchen flooring that doesn’t require grout?
What kitchen flooring is easy to clean?
What is the most durable kitchen flooring option?
Can laminate flooring be installed in a kitchen?
How many subway tiles do I need?
What are subway tiles for the kitchen?
What color should floor trim be?

What BuildDirect Customers Are Saying

Verified Purchased
Beautiful light but varied color; easy install (by contractor) ; great customer service. Highly recommend!
Eeva S.
San Diego, CA
Verified Purchased
This being a new product to me, I had lots of questions, everyone was extremely helpful. I ordered samples and received them the next day each time. The product came in less than a weeks time and with the help of some videos on the website my nephew was able install it very quickly. It looks totally awesome. Thank you!
Bev M.
New Port Richey, FL
Read More Reviews
Buying Guide

7 Tips and consideration for choosing kitchen flooring

Flooring is a major consideration when choosing a design for your space because the right style creates a look that is both appealing and functional. The kitchen is a high traffic area, so the flooring for the kitchen must be something durable that can prevent floor failures from kitchen furniture, splashes and spills.

To decide the most suitable flooring, consider the features and benefits of the options and how they meet your specific needs and situations. Budget, installation, taste, and objectives should shape this decision.

Here are points to consider:

  1. Coordinating the flooring aesthetics to align with the entire home or office layout should be a top priority. Flooring is a worthwhile investment to make for any property, whether you are revamping a home or office.
  2. Engineered hardwood flooring is resistant to some temperature fluctuations, providing a similar natural beauty appearance as solid wood flooring. Vinyl waterproof flooring is a less expensive alternative and can also mimic the appearance of other floorings. Ceramic flooring is resilient when it comes to staining and wear.
  3. Maintenance and environmental factors for flooring options vary. Vinyl waterproof flooring is not only aesthetically pleasing and available in all the latest color trends, but it is also exceptionally durable. As far as cleaning goes, nothing beats the ease of vinyl flooring. It only takes a few simple maintenance steps to keep the flooring looking great for years to come.
  4. Ceramic tiles are back to their sparkle when cleaned with simple household cleaners.Engineered hardwood floors tend to show off dust and dirt more than other flooring, depending on activities on it. Periodic sweeping and mopping helps. It is best to stick with manufacturers recommended cleaning products.
  5. Consider potential radiant heat exposure to the floors. Some flooring materials are not heat compatible, so make it known early in the shopping process.
  6. The ease of installation should be considered if you are doing the job yourself.
  7. Besides aesthetics and durability, comfort is for the time on the feet slicing and dicing in the kitchen. Flooring with a bit of softness and resilience will prevent some cushion. Engineered wood and vinyl flooring is better at reducing leg fatigue.

In conclusion

The best kitchen flooring is the one that best fits your client’s needs and budget. Vinyl's advantage is the fact that it is waterproof and affordable.

Pros and cons

Vinyl Flooring


  • It is a budget-friendly flooring option.
  • You can find a wide assortment of colors and styles.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain.


  • Vinyl could be susceptible to scratches and gouges. (depending on the wear layer thickness and environmental factors such as pets.

Ceramic floors


  • Easy to clean and nontoxic.
  • Offers consistent color throughout the title, not just on the surface.
  • Durable, extremely wear-resistant, and long-lasting.


  • Can be cold underfoot in winter.
  • Unglazed tile and grout need to be sealed.
  • Vulnerable to chips and cracks on heavy impact.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring


  • Engineered flooring is more resistant to swelling and warping than hardwood floors.
  • Durable and holds up well as the year's pass, looking like real wood flooring.
  • Hardwood flooring increases your home value. It transitions well in open-concept homes.


  • Engineered flooring is susceptible to scratches and dents.
  • It can be difficult to replace a damaged plank.
  • Thin Veneers can warp or fade prematurely.

Installing kitchen floors

The kitchen flooring installation is as important as selecting the right flooring type. The installation will require attention to detail and preferably some experience. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Compatibility with a pre-existing surface is vital to a successful installation, the method will vary depending on the flooring material that is chosen. We offer a range of floor moldings that will help you transition to different floor types within a space.The easiest way to be efficient and reduce the cost of kitchen flooring installation is to plan carefully.

Installing ceramic floors in the kitchen

Tile can enhance the ambience in your kitchen while providing a long-lasting, waterproof surface that is easy to clean. Here is how to get started with installing ceramic flooring:

Step One: Measure and prep

Installing standard-sized ceramic tile requires a commitment to careful measurements. Make sure you calculate your area thoroughly before you choose your tile.

Next, clean the surface so that it is ready for adhesives. Without a clean floor, your tiles will not stick over the long term because dirt left behind will cause grout or bubble.

Step Two: Create a basic layout.

Measure out the length of the wall or floor, as well as the center point of the room or space. Lay a row of tiles out with plastic spacers in between to add future grout lines with a chalk line, starting with one tile beside the centerline; the centerline should be a grout line.

Step Three: Mix the thin-set or use mastic.

Thin-set is an adhesive mortar (powder) used to attach tiles to the underflooring. Use a mixing tool to add water to the powder so that it reaches a putty-like consistency. You will need to apply the thin-set and smooth it carefully with a trowel. At the same time, make sure to preserve your chalked lines.

Step Four: Start setting your tiles.

Place your first tile in the center of the room, not against one of the edges. Set the next tile beside the existing tile using a spacer to separate it evenly. Make sure that you use the same amount of thin-set for each tile, and remember, once it dries it can be very difficult to remove. Continue laying tiles in rows.

Step Five: Cutting tiles for corners and tight spots.

Cut end pieces using a tile cutter or wet saw. Measure where the cut should be and score it with a tile cutter then break by bending it carefully. If you are using a wet saw, turn the water on and place one hand on either side of the tile while you are moving it through the saw for an even cut.

Installing vinyl waterproof in the kitchen

Vinyl plank flooring requires careful preparation prior to installation. The product conforms to whatever is underneath it, so if you leave a protruding nail in your subfloor, the vinyl will form a bump over time. As such, you want to make sure the surface upon which you install your vinyl plank flooring is completely level and free of debris. Arrive at that clean slate by doing the following:

Step One: Remove the Baseboards

Replacing carpet with vinyl? Or what about tile? While some vinyl products allow you to place the material over old flooring, others require you to install it directly on top of the subfloor or underlayment. Because old floors can be uneven, placing vinyl on the underlayment is generally ideal. So, your first installation step is to remove old flooring. If you use a scraping tool to remove tiles, for instance, apply pressure horizontally rather than downward. That way, you’re less likely to dent your subfloor.

Step Two: Prep Your Subfloor

Level the subfloor before vinyl plank flooring installation. Prep the subfloor so that it is clean, dry, and level. Use a self-leveler on low spots and/or sand high spots of wood or concrete. Do not sand vinyl flooring as it may contain asbestos. Use a Self-leveler to create a flat, smooth surface for installation.

Step Three: Clean the floor

Because dust, debris and wood chips can cause bumps in vinyl plank flooring, you should thoroughly sweep before moving on to the next step. Use a broom first, then pull out a vacuum with with a hose attachment to pick up the remaining particles.

Step Four: Clean the Floor

Because dust, debris and wood chips can cause bumps in vinyl plank flooring, you should thoroughly sweep before moving on to the next step. Use a broom first, then pull out a vacuum with with a hose attachment to pick up the remaining particles. Avoid tracking new dust and dirt once you’ve cleaned the subfloor. In fact, if you’re doing the project over the course of several days, you may want to stop after leveling the subfloor, then start the next day by cleaning.

Step Five: Measure and Plan

Take measurements of your room in order to properly install vinyl flooring – you may have already done this when ordering your planks. Then, decide how you will lay out your tiles. You can stagger where breaks fall (kind of how bricks are stacked) if you want. In many cases, you may need to cut some of the boards to fit into the room. Per the old adage, you should measure twice (or more) and cut once. You may want to leave the cutting for later in the installation process – that way, you can see exactly where pieces will fit. To cut the boards, score a line on either side using a box cutter, then fold the pieces and pull them apart.

Step Six: Installation - determine the board direction

The vinyl plank flooring boards should lay parallel to the longest run of the room. For instance, if the space is 5-feet-by-8-feet, the boards should run along the 8-foot wall. This layout will look best. Start on the left side of the room and work right.

Step Seven: Lay the flooring

Many vinyl products have adhesive on the back already, saving you from having to place it on your floor first. Peel the coating away from the boards, revealing the sticky side. When you install the boards, place the back end against your starting wall. You should bend the board as you place it down so the end you’re installing is against the floor while the part yet to be placed is in the air. Roll the board down and onto the floor. This technique prevents the formation of air pockets and gives you an even final product. Use your hand to press the boards to the ground.

Most vinyl plank flooring boards have a lip that juts out. Place each successive board on top of that lip so the flooring fits together like a puzzle. Remember to stagger board lengths when you install vinyl flooring.

Step Eight: Trim and molding

After your floor is set (you’ve cut pieces to fit in the remaining spots and each board is in place), you can return door jams and molding to their original places. Doing this last gives the room a finished look.

Installing engineered hardwood in the kitchen

Engineered wood flooring can be installed directly over most existing floor coverings except carpet. Any wood flooring or subfloor glued to concrete must be removed before installation. Here is what to know before installation.


Products must be acclimated in climate-controlled conditions at least 48 hours before installation.

Step One Sub-floor Preparation

When installing and fastening approved plywood, always refer to specific structural panel manufacturer’s instructions.

Subfloor must be:

Clean – Scraped or sanded, swept, free of wax or other debris.

Smooth ⁄ flat – Level within 1/8″ in a 6-foot span.

Structurally Sound – Nail or screw any loose areas that squeak or reveal the movement.

Dry- moisture content of a wood subfloor must not exceed 12% before installation of wood flooring.

Wood Substrates: Test the moisture of the wood substrate using a calibrated moisture meter which has been approved for testing wood moisture.

Concrete Slabs: Before installation of the hardwood flooring, all concrete subfloors must be tested for moisture content. The moisture content of the concrete subfloor must register as dry by any test method used.

Use an approved calibrated concrete moisture meter as a preliminary measurement for moisture.

Installation on Plywood and Wood Substrates

Subfloors should be constructed of 5/8″ or thicker plywood when installing directly over 16″ on center 2″x10″ joists. Plywood sheets should be laid with grained outer plies at right angles to joists. Adjacent rows should be staggered every four feet and nailed with 7D or larger nails every 6″ along each joist.

Guidelines for a successful installation over radiant heat:

Newly installed water type radiant heated flooring systems should be in operational mode with the temperature set between 64°F – 72°F for a minimum of 4 weeks.

Older water type radiant floor heat systems should be fully pressure tested, properly maintained, and set to a minimum of 64°F for at least 4 days.

Installation glueless click-lock vinyl in your kitchen

1. Facing the board, begin the tongue 1/4″ spacer wall tongue installation in the left-hand corner. Place the plank a minimum of 3/8″ from the left wall.

2. Assemble the starting row of planks by applying a 1/8″ bead of tongue and groove adhesive on the bottom groove lip of each END seam plank.

3. Scribe the contour of the wall onto the first row of planks using a 2″ square block and a pencil following along the contour of the wall. Do not forget to allow for the minimum 3/8″ expansion space from the wall.

4. Now, remove the first row. Lift the planks a few inches and tap along the joint. Cut the planks as required. the tap along the joint.

5. Replace the first row by inserting planks from left to right. Press the first board with the groove toward the edge of the planks that are already in position.

6. Place the plank face down with the short side (without the locking strip) towards the wall. The remaining expansion space should be at least a minimum of 3/8″ from the wall.

7. Place the final plank face down on the work surface and cut to size with a power saw. If you are using a hand saw, use a fine-toothed blade, and cut the planks face up.

8. Use a cut piece of board from the previous row to start the next row. This starting plank section must be at least 8″ long. If the piece is too short, start with a new board.

9. Place the plank at an angle against the plank in the previous row. Press the edge forward against the previous row, and then fold down at the same time.

10. Connect the planks in the following rows by aligning the end seam of each plank directly above the end seam at the preceding plank Insert the long side seam at a slight angle first, and as the top surfaces meet, rotate the plank down into the locked position.

11. The distance to the walls can be adjusted when three rows are completed. Remember to place the flooring a minimum of 3/8″ from all walls or other vertical obstructions such as cabinets, pipes, or columns.

12. Apply a 1/8″ bead of tongue and groove adhesive to the bottom groove, and gently tap the plank into place using a pull bar and hammer. Next, apply enough strips of painter’s tape across this seam to hold the joint securely in place until the adhesive sets.