Ah, the kitchen. Although I love cooking and food and brewing, the kitchen has always been my least favorite room in our house.
With its caramel-pecan cabinets, marble-green laminate counters and linoleum floor, I always cringe when guests would end up hanging out in the kitchen.The kitchen is large and functional, but not the most beautiful room n our home.
This summer we are finally ready to do a small-scale kitchen remodel. Sources (magazines, the Internet) say that kitchen remodels are the most expensive home-improvement and offer the greatest return on resale. So, it’s going to be expensive, but it is worth doing right. Our first goal is to replace the kitchen floor. The linoleum is stained, ripped, scratched and downright ugly. Keeping it clean has also been a pain, since it is textured.
The first thing we had to decide was floor type. We needed something durable, water-resistant, stylish, easy to maintain, and comfortable. We also wanted it to coordinate well with the bamboo flooring, and offer some sound dampening. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) offered us everything on our list.
Pictured above are five LVT samples we brought home from the local flooring store. All five samples are from Armstrong Flooring’s Alterna line. Hopefully these samples make you a believer: LVT can look just as nice and realistic as ceramic tile. I won’t lie, I really wanted ceramic tile in the kitchen. In the end, LVT is (practically) superior to ceramic. Oh, let me count the ways:
1. Can be installed with or without grout – so it can mimic ceramic tile. Even when grouted, LVT can be walked on within the first 24 hours, unlike ceramic. Also, no cement board needed.
2. Although the LVT is thick (thicker than linoleum or sticky-tiles), it is flexible enough to be laid on uneven floors, and not crack.
3. LVT is warmer underfoot, and softer. These tiles won’t crack when you drop something on them. Also, that something should be unbroken as well.
4. Luxury vinyl tiles are easier to replace, if needed.
The downfall? It doesn’t have the reputation of ceramic. Despite it’s name, it doesn’t sound very luxurious when you say “vinyl tile”. Anyways, on to the fashion show!
In order of appearance: taupe-grey, charcoal, multistone white, gray dust and iron blue. After we decided on LVT, we had to narrow down the wide selection of brands, styles, colors and textures. LVT is pretty limitless – you can choose planks or tiles; wood grains, solid colors or stone. The local floor store recommended the Alterna line, citing several happy customers. After we narrowed our focus to a product, we knew we wanted tiles that coordinated with the bamboo flooring, our cabinets and the existing countertops. We are considering refinishing the cabinets and eventually replacing the counters, but we wanted something that would not only work for the future, but also mesh well with what we already had (who knows how long it will be until we “kill” those green counters?). We thought all the samples we brought home looked great with the bamboo. So, which looks best with the cabinets but also with our future vision?
For the answer to that question and a peek into the installation process, come back late this week for the big reveal!