Selecting design elements for a new kitchen, whether it’s the renovation of an existing kitchen or a ground-up new construction, requires you to make a variety of decisions. From the finish on custom cabinetry to faucets and lighting fixtures, you have the opportunity to combine trendy elements with your own unique, personal style. While you’re looking for the perfect appliance finish and wall treatments, be sure that you don’t neglect the foundation of the room. The right flooring choice can turn an array of seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive and trendy design, a fact to which your Virginia kitchen design specialist can attest.
You want an aesthetically pleasing kitchen, and one that’s warm and welcoming to friends and family. You also want a kitchen that’s fashionable and on-trend, not dated or bland. If there’s one design trend that’s only picking up more steam with every passing year, it’s eco-friendly elements in home design. Being kind to the earth never goes out of style, and kitchen flooring materials are no exception. One of the hottest elements you can integrate into your overall design is a running theme of green, earth-conscious decorating. These are some of the hottest and most fashion-forward kitchen flooring materials, each of which is low-impact and stylish.
Look for products made from recycled materials, like glass tiles and recycled stone agglomerate. Cork is another favorite, as it’s a rapidly renewable resource that’s naturally hypoallergenic, and resistant to mold and pests. Cork flooring is made from tree bark, which can be harvested repeatedly without killing the tree. It’s also a great option if your kitchen tends to be a noisy space, as it’s capable of absorbing ambient sound and acting as a natural noise barrier.
When you think “green,” linoleum may not be the first flooring material that comes to mind. While synthetic flooring made to mimic linoleum may be far from eco-friendly, real linoleum is actually an all-natural material made from linseed oil, cork dusts, ground limestone and tree resins. Just be sure that you’re selecting real linoleum made from recyclable and renewable ingredients, and you’re on the right track.
Consider Look-Alike Materials
There are some materials that, while they’re attractive and appealing, are just too expensive to work with some budgets or require a tremendous amount of energy to manufacture, ship and install. This is where look-alike materials come in handy, as they allow you to build the kitchen of your dreams without breaking the bank or taxing the environment. Porcelain tiles, for instance, can be fabricated to mimic stone and marble for a more cost-effective, greener alternative. Glazed and stained concrete are also fashionable choices, which can be designed to mimic more expensive flooring at a fraction of the cost.
Wood is Making a Comeback
When it comes to flooring, few materials are as timeless and perennially popular as wood. While trees do have to be harvested through logging in order to create wooden floors, there are options which will allow you to bring the classic elegance of wooden floors into your kitchen with minimal environmental impact. Make sure that you look for reclaimed and salvaged wood flooring, or that purchased flooring is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Some wooden floor treatments also contain formaldehyde, so verify that your top pick is free of this potentially dangerous chemical.
After your new kitchen floors have been installed and the project is finished, make the effort to keep them green with environmentally-friendly cleaning products with a low level of volatile organic compounds. Not only will your kitchen be a beautiful, inviting place, but also a healthy one for your family that doesn’t contribute heavily to further damage to the environment.