OVERVIEW on Kitchen Flooring:
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, and the right choice for kitchen floors is key to the style of the space as well as the maintenance time and your ongoing comfort as you cook for yourself, your family, and friends. Now more than ever, you can choose from a diverse range of kitchen flooring materials. For each aspect of home design and remodeling you can also strive to make choices that are 1) Functional, 2) Stylish, 3) Cost-Effective, and 4) Environmentally Sustainable. These are the four key guiding principles in the GREENandSAVE strategy. You will find that in certain cases, one or two of the criteria take precedent over others. However, as you review the home improvement options that are right for your home, you may be surprised to learn that reaching all four is more achievable than you thought.
Selection Tips: In choosing a kitchen floor material make sure to think through its durability, maintenance needs, and its integration with your kitchen countertops, cabinets, appliances, and the paint color for your walls and ceiling. Your kitchen floor will then work well with your overall kitchen design and ongoing use. The best kitchen flooring solution for an active family is often one that is low-maintenance, while higher maintenance floors work better for quieter lifestyles. To find the right kitchen floor for your home, review the different options in this article section that will give you perspective on the advantages and the disadvantages of each flooring material. From green flooring like cork and bamboo to traditional hardwood, stone, and tile, you have a lot of great options to choose from. Make sure to also consider the advantages of radiant flooring to generate heat that rises up through almost any surface material. Stone or tile has a thermal advantage of storing the radiant heat more than other surfaces. Since gourmet kitchens are increasingly popular and many cooking enthusiasts spend quite a bit of time on their feet, you may want to consider the hardness of the surface. If you love to cook and also want the comfort and energy saving advantages of a radiant floor with a stone or tile finish, you can buy professional chef cushioned mats or area rug underlayment for a few key work areas. Now, you have helped your feet also enjoy the kitchen floor experience.
DETAILS on Brick Kitchen Flooring Maintenance:
Interior bricks may be dusted with vacuum cleaner dusting attachments. Freshen periodically with commercial brick cleaner. Brick may be purchased unsealed or sealed. If it has been sealed, it will be much easier to keep clean. Vacuum regularly, and occasionally damp mop with plain water to remove soil. Occasionally for heavier soil use a mild detergent solution, rinse well, and wipe dry for more shine.
To seal a brick floor, place folded towels next to carpet areas adjoining tiled areas to absorb water. Using a scrub brush or large sponge and detergent, scrub the floor surface and rinse with clear water. Be sure any dirty wash water is completely removed from crevices. Allow floor to dry thoroughly. From a reliable hardware or paint store get a brick masonry sealer; usually sold in gallons. It is a clear solution so it does not change the color of the tile or bricks and grout, but it will give a gloss to the surface. Paint the sealer on the dry tile or brick, being sure to cover all crevices and cracks in bricks and grout. Let it dry and apply a second coat. Thereafter, apply one coat about every year to maintain the seal. The sealer prevents dust from grout being tracked into the house, and makes cleaning very easy with a damp mop. Some people prefer to use a wax over the sealer. Experiment with a sample tile or an inconspicuous corner as some waxes leave a streaky undesirable finish.
Brick floors may be cleaned with a solution of a moderately strong alkali such as washing soda or trisodiumphosphate. (Or you may also use a cleaner containing TSP." Use about 1 tablespoon in a gallon of warm water, stronger if needed.) Rinse well to remove all solution. If the bricks or tiles have been sealed, there still may be white or gray dust track over both that surface and into carpeted floor areas. The whitish dust will be from the grout used in laying the floor. A bricklayer may use muriatic acid to clean up floor surfaces when he completes the floor. (Dilute the muriatic acid, 1 part acid to 10 parts water.) If the floor is not flushed thoroughly with water after clean up, the muriatic acid will continue to leach lime from the grout causing the whitish dust. Most bricklayers today use a commercial product that is easier to wash off, but also more expensive.
When it comes to cleaning your kitchen floors look for products that have ingredients that are not hazardous to humans or the earth. Many cleaners are now produced without phosphates, chorine, borates, phenol, ammonia, formaldehyde and nitrates Also look for cleaners that have low or zero volatile organic compounds, the chemicals that produce noxious toxins and air-pollution. Make your home the safest place in the world without sacrificing cleanliness. Finally, help save the environment by looking for concentrated cleaners so that we collectively reduce the shipping and transportation cost of moving heavier products that are pre-hydrated (just add water!). Overall, this new generation of concentrated, toxic-free, and biodegradable cleaning agents save the environment, you family's health, and your money.
Click here to see the range of top choices for environmentally friendly cleaners.