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 Stone Kitchen Flooring Maintenance:
No other floor covering can surpass the beauty of stone flooring whether it is made from marble, granite, limestone, slate or the artificially made terrazzo. They all have a natural beauty that exudes richness. The alternatives; carpets, linoleum, laminates, wood and ceramic tiles are often cheaper and most people know how to care for them and maintain them. However they eventually wear out or otherwise become damaged and have to be replaced. Natural stone flooring should last for several lifetimes if properly cared for and maintained and provides you with that luxury feeling.
However few people know how to care for their natural stone surfaces in order to get the best out of them. The stone seller will give advice and the builder or tiler who lays your flooring will quite often know very little about the product. Some natural stone wholesalers will also lay the stones for you and if you can get one of these firms then you are in a better position, as these know how to treat the product they are installing for you.
Never use a chemical product to produce a shine on the stone. If you want to cover your stone in a polish then you are better of getting a man made product. Stone produces its own shine by being ground down until it is perfectly flat. Once the crystals in the stone are flat they reflect the maximum amount of light uniformly producing the high gloss finish associated with marble and granites. It is not an artificially applied polish that can periodically be buffed to restore the shine.
What removes the shine from the stone? Most stones except granite are relatively soft and can be easily scratched by small particles of dirt. The more the dirt builds up the more they scratch as they are walked over. These scratches disturb the flat surface of the stone and light reflection ceases to be uniform so the shine gradually disappears. The only way of restoring it is to have the stone reground flat a straightforward but time consuming process.
By following a good care and maintenance program this situation can be delayed for many years. Dust mopping the floor regularly rather than vacuuming it. How regular this is done depends on the no of people going over the floor. In high usage entrances to buildings it should be done two or three times a day. In a domestic lounge once per week may be sufficient. It should also be wet mopped every so often using a neutral soap solution, stone soap being the best. Never use detergents of other chemical cleaners on the stone. The stone soap will help to maintain and enhance the natural colors of the stone. Every two or three years, again depending upon usage have the stones repolished. If this is done as the shine just begins to fade then regrinding becomes unnecessary. The repolishing can be done quite quickly and relatively cheaply.
If the flooring has spillage marks or deep scratches then get these attended to as quickly as possible. Regular maintenance using the correct techniques and products will ultimately preserve your flooring and reduce need for very costly refurbishment.
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.