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What’s Under Your Feet?
Wood Kitchen Floors
An old wood floor is a good pick for your cottage style floor.
Flaws that would mar another floor look good in a cottage style setting. I suggest using light colours to give an airy feel to your kitchen.
High gloss finishes do not go well in a cottage kitchen. A hand polished or waxed look is a better choice.
Pine wood floors and reclaimed wood are ideal choices. Among other hardwood species Mesquite with its high janka (hardness test) rating and unique rugged looks is an ideal pick. You could either opt for solid hardwood or choose engineered wood flooring.
Hardwood kitchen floors can last a lifetime. They make a pleasing visual blend with just about any kitchen decor. Warm, natural, and hardy, wood floors only gain charm and character with life’s fated nicks and dents.
Rustic oak, with its strong grain, is great for laid-back or country traditional-style kitchens; fine-grained maple and cherry create richly elegant looks; ash, beech, and birch are sleek and used in modern kitchens. Other handsome picks are hickory, pecan, walnut, mahogany, and teak. Soft woods, most often pine, have a country-style charm but do show wear and damage more than hardwoods.
Wood Flooring Comes In Several Forms
Plank flooring features boards three to seven inches wide and three-quarters of an inch thick cut in lengths up to about eight feet. Wide planks show off the grain of the wood and are linked with traditional looks, especially when wood dowels, plugs, or decorative nails are used to anchor the boards.
Strip flooring features narrow boards (under three inches wide). All-purpose and attractive, strip flooring works for both casual and formal, traditional and modern rooms. Ideally, boards should run parallel to the room’s long axis. Using only “shorts” (boards shorter than 18 inches) makes a room look larger. Special effects can be created with borders of different woods.
Parquet, not normally used in cottage kitchens, is patterned wood flooring made of 5/16-inch-thick geometric shapes made to create larger pieces about eight to twelve inches square. More pieces mean more chances for moisture to seep in and warp or loosen flooring. With its multidirectional patterns, parquet is less likely to draw attention to a floor with many dimensions.
While historic purists promote natural oil treatments to resist moisture and staining, I suggest a polyurethane, moisture-cure urethane, or water based urethane finish. Some wood floors are given an aged, distressed finish at the factory or after installation; for real aged floors seek out dismantled barn planks to plane and install as flooring.
Rubber Kitchen Floors
A popular flooring in health-care, restaurant, and other commercial settings, rubber floors are a clever way to have commercial-style kitchens at home. Among the most resilient and comfy floorings to walk and stand on, rubber floors are easy to clean and are highly forgiving of dropped glassware. Offered in textured sheets or tile, rubber floors may last 20 years of high use.
Ceramic Tile Kitchen Floors
An ornate building material since ancient times, ceramic tile retains its colourful charm close to forever. Made of clay that is pressed, glazed, and fired, ceramic tile has many stone like traits: It stands up easily to hot pots and is cool to the touch, but it is tough on dropped glassware. Ceramic wears for ages but, like stone, can chip or crack under heavy abuse.
Colours and designs are without limit. In addition to a vast choice of striking patterns, you can custom-order tiles that are hand-painted with colour schemes and motifs you specify to work with your kitchen.
High-gloss finishes make it easy to clean. For floors, it’s safer to select matte or textured-glazed tiles to reduce slipping when wet. To reuduce grout staining caused by mildew and food, specify a grout with mildewcide in the mixture or a mid tone grout.
Quarry and Terra-Cotta Tile Kitchen Floors
Rustic and handsome, quarry tile is a mix of clay, shale, or earth extruded to produce an unglazed tile. Terra-cotta (literally “baked earth”) tile is made of clay that’s been fired but left unglazed. Some terra-cotta tiles come with a baked-on sealer; other terra-cotta tiles and quarry tiles should be sealed to prevent permanent staining. These tiles may also be glazed for more lustrous colour and a more refined look.
Natural Stone Tile Kitchen Floors
Stone and hardwood flooring are two of the most popular flooring materials for cottage kitchens. Limestone, tumbled marble, and slate tiles are among the most elegant flooring choices. These tiles share properties with marble, granite, and other stone materials which makes them valued for their textures. Natural stone tiles must be sealed to prevent stains.
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