What Flooring Is Best for Kitchens and Bathrooms? (Answered)

Kitchens and bathrooms take a beating like no other room in the home. From grit-covered shoes and raincoats to spilled food and heavy cans dropped on the floor, moisture is an ongoing threat.

Fortunately, today’s flooring materials are designed to be more resilient and easier to clean than ever before. Here’s what you need to know to make the best choice for your space and lifestyle.


Tile is a durable flooring option that can be laid in a variety of patterns and colors. It’s great for kitchen floors because it doesn’t attract or hold dirt, dust, and allergens and is easy to clean. It’s also heat-resistant, which is important for a room where people often prepare food and drinks.

Besides being beautiful and durable, tile is inexpensive, especially when compared to other types of flooring. It’s available in a range of colors, patterns and textures to match any decor. It’s also easy to install, making it a great option for DIYers.

Another benefit of tile is its resistance to stains, moisture and impacts. It’s also a great choice for high-traffic areas because it can stand up to constant use and cleaning.

Ceramic tiles are a popular kitchen-flooring option because they can be used in a wide variety of spaces. They’re water-resistant and come in a range of styles to fit any style. They’re also relatively inexpensive, ranging from $2 to $10 per square foot.

Porcelain tiles are a good alternative to ceramic and are much harder, which makes them more resilient against stains. They’re also water-resistant and are a good choice for a busy kitchen. They’re available in a variety of colors, patterns and textures to complement any kitchen design.

Luxury vinyl planks (LVP) are a good alternative to other types of flooring because they mimic the look of hardwood or stone and are extremely durable. They’re a good choice for kitchens because they are water-resistant and can withstand constant traffic and heavy cleaning.

Linoleum is another natural flooring option that’s gaining popularity. It’s made from all-natural linseed oil and comes in a variety of neutral and vivid colors. It’s environmentally friendly and easy to maintain, and it feels good underfoot, soft and springy. It’s a classic that was once trendy in your grandma’s house, but it has been given a modern makeover and is a worthy competitor to other kitchen flooring options.


Wood flooring offers a warm, natural look that works well in many interior styles. It also stands up to high humidity & is easy to clean with a mop or broom. It is more prone to water damage than other materials, however. If you want the look of wood but are concerned about moisture damage, laminate may be a good alternative.

The specific wood species you choose will determine how durable your floors will be. Harder species like oak & hickory hold up better against impact and dents. Softer woods like Pine or Douglas Fir tend to dent & scratch easier but are still a good choice for areas that don’t see much traffic.

Stain color is another consideration for hardwood kitchen floors. Lighter colors like maple & cherry can brighten up small rooms & work with more modern interior styles. Darker stain colors like cherry & walnut can offer a classic, traditional style. Hand-scraped textures & distressed finishes can also mask marks & add character to your kitchen floors.

Durability is a big concern for kitchen floors because of the amount of stress they take on daily use. To counteract this, choose a harder, stronger wood species like hickory or oak and select a finish that will hide scuff marks, scratches & other blemishes.

For a rustic but versatile floor, try reclaimed wood. This material is often more affordable than new hardwood & it can give your home a unique, one-of-a-kind style.

Other solid and engineered hardwood options include maple, hickory, ash & cherry. Oak & maple are a good choice for durability and they hold up well against moisture. Hickory is a good choice for high-traffic areas because of its toughness and a varied grain pattern that helps conceal scuff marks. Cherry is a warm hardwood with a red or orange hue that can lean rustic or contemporary depending on the stain color.

If you’re looking for a durable hardwood option that will stand up to moisture, consider engineered wood in 2024. This type of flooring has a real wood surface layer bonded to a plywood core for added strength & stability. It can be installed over underfloor heating & it is less likely to warp or expand and contract as a result of moisture.


Unlike kitchen floors, which face the stress of heavy foot traffic and direct sunlight, bathroom floors have to deal with moisture in liquid form. Bathers splash, showers drip, and toilets overflow, which can all stain and etch flooring materials. Water-resistant laminate is an excellent choice for these rooms, as it can hold up to splashes and dripping without losing its durability. However, not all laminates are equal when it comes to water resistance. Look for a product with an AC rating of at least AC3 to ensure your floor stands up well to moisture.

Laminate offers an array of style options that complement almost any decor. Since the flooring’s design is based on a printed layer, it can mimic nearly any traditional flooring material. Wood and stone are the most popular, but more unconventional looks are also available such as a chevron or herringbone pattern. Many manufacturers offer special laminates geared toward kitchens and bathrooms. These products tend to have more water-resistant layers and include a warranty guaranteeing the product against moisture damage.

Although laminate floors are not waterproof, they do have an advantage over traditional hardwoods because they can stand up to most spills and splatters. They are easy to maintain with regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping.

Laminate is an inexpensive option that’s good for DIY-ers because it doesn’t need to be glued or nailed to the subfloor. Homeowners who want to install their floors themselves should choose a click-lock laminate that can be clicked together and then permanent or floated over the subfloor.

Some manufacturers of laminate flooring prioritize sustainability and provide eco-friendly options with GREENGUARD certification or ultra-low emitting formaldehyde features. If you’re concerned about off-gassing, consider airing out the room during installation and masking up any areas where adhesive is applied.

Despite its man-made origins, laminate is an extremely durable flooring choice for both kitchens and bathrooms. Look for products with an AC rating of at least AC3 and a limited lifetime warranty. If your budget doesn’t allow for the more expensive solid hardwood flooring, consider using laminate with wider planks and lighter colors to help brighten your kitchen and make it feel larger.

Sheet Vinyl

Like tile flooring, sheet vinyl can be found in an array of colors and patterns to match any style. This type of resilient flooring is durable and stain resistant, able to resist abrasions and stand up well against heavy foot traffic. It’s also available in many different thicknesses to meet the needs of any space. Thicker floors are more durable, offering better protection against changes in temperature and humidity.

This type of floor can work in a variety of kitchens, from casual to elegant. It can even be used in open plan kitchens to connect multiple spaces and create a sense of unity. Sheet vinyl is also less costly than hardwood or stone, making it a more affordable option for most homeowners.

In a modern kitchen, sheet vinyl can be used to create a clean and seamless look that’s both contemporary and functional. Using large format sheets allows for little to no seams, creating an overall smooth surface that is easy to clean and maintain.

Vinyl is a great choice for kitchens because it’s durable and resistant to moisture, which makes it easy to wipe away food spills and stains. It’s also softer underfoot than tile or wood, which can be more comfortable for those who spend a lot of time on their feet in the kitchen.

Unlike the dated vinyl that your parents might have had, today’s vinyl floors are designed to look real and incorporate texture to add to their appeal. They can mimic reclaimed barnwood that would fit nicely in a rustic living room or Calacatta marble for a luxe powder room. In addition to color, the rotogravure process of vinyl now uses advanced technology that allows for more detailed patterns and images.

Sheet vinyl comes in wide rolls, typically between 6 and 12 feet. It’s easy to cut with a utility knife and can be laid over existing flooring for an easy upgrade. Some brands of vinyl are even pre-cut to make it easier for homeowners to lay the flooring themselves. Some of the latest vinyl is made with a waterproof layer to protect against moisture, while other varieties have anti-microbial properties to help keep germs at bay.