The Best Flooring for Kitchen and Bathroom: Expert Picks

When choosing a new kitchen floor, there are many factors to consider. You must balance cost, comfort, style, and durability.

Fortunately, there are a lot of flooring options available that can satisfy your needs. Among the best are luxury vinyl tile (LVT), cork, and bamboo. Furthermore, as we explore the wide range of flooring solutions, Trends in Epoxy Flooring are capturing the attention of homeowners and designers alike. With its durability, versatility in design, and easy maintenance, epoxy flooring is becoming a popular choice for those looking to combine practicality with aesthetic appeal. These floors can handle moisture, resist dents from dropped items, and are easily cleaned.


Laminate is an excellent choice for kitchens because of its durability. The top layer of a laminate floor has a tough design that protects the surface from scratches, stains and fading. The core of a laminate floor is made of high-density fiberboard, which provides strength and stability. In a quality laminate, the core is moisture-resistant to protect the flooring from damage caused by humidity. A good laminate flooring will last 15 to 25 years, and most manufacturers have warranties on their products. A warranty is a great benefit for homeowners because it gives you peace of mind that the manufacturer stands behind their product.

Laminate comes in different styles, textures and thicknesses. The appearance of a laminate floor depends on the printed décor layer, which is available in many looks, including natural wood and stone finishes. A wide range of colors is also available to match any design scheme. Look for a laminate floor that offers a wide range of hues so you can find the right color to match your cabinetry and furnishings.

Another consideration when selecting a laminate floor is its thickness and durability. Thicker laminate floors will feel more stable and sound better than thinner options. The thickness of a laminate floor can be measured using an abrasion rating, which is an industry standard. A higher abrasion rating indicates the floor is more durable and suitable for high traffic areas such as a kitchen or mudroom. Look for a laminate with an AC rating of 3 or higher.

You should also consider the amount of moisture in your kitchen and if you have pets that could cause damage to the flooring. Laminate floors can hold up to moisture, but if you have a high level of humidity in your kitchen, the floors may expand and contract. This could cause gaps between the floor and walls and allows water to seep through to your subfloor, causing rotting and mold.

Lastly, you should look for a floor with a high fade resistance rating to ensure it can stand up to sunlight and other sources of UV radiation. You can test a floor’s fade resistance with an impact machine, which simulates the dings and dents that occur when furniture is moved around or dropped.


Hardwood floors offer classic beauty and durability. They can be refinished to restore their original shine, and they resist staining well. Woods with high hardness ratings such as oak and hickory are more durable, and their grain pattern helps hide scratches and dents better than softer wood species like cedar and pine. However, solid hardwood isn’t ideal for kitchens because it can warp and swell when exposed to humidity and heat.

Engineered wood is a good choice for kitchens, as it doesn’t expand and contract as much as solid hardwood. It’s also available in a wide range of finishes and can be treated with a sealant that enhances its water resistance. This makes it easier to maintain and clean than solid hardwood, although it still requires some maintenance.

Cork is a eco-friendly material that’s soft underfoot and has impressive durability. It’s also budget friendly and offers a decent return on investment when it comes to resale value.

Bamboo is another sustainable and affordable flooring option that’s growing in popularity due to its durability and beautiful finish. However, it’s important to choose a quality product because some low-cost varieties have a spongy texture that feels unforgiving underfoot and are susceptible to fading in direct sunlight.

For those with a tighter budget, vinyl plank and linoleum are both good options that offer the look of wood or stone at a more affordable price. They’re easy to install, but you’ll need to be prepared for the extra moisture issues that these materials can present.

For those who are willing to put up with a little more maintenance, wood-look tile is an excellent option. It blends the natural beauty of timber with greater water resistance than either engineered hardwood or tile, and it’s available in a variety of colors and styles so that you can find the perfect match for your kitchen’s decor.


Bamboo flooring is gaining in popularity, and it offers a great way to add an eco-friendly look to any space. This type of flooring is harvested from fast-growing, renewable resources that can be replenished in five to six years. This makes it a more sustainable option than hardwood floors that can take decades to mature and harvest.

It’s also harder than most wood options, meaning it holds up well to heavy use and can resist dents and scratches. High-quality bamboo is available in a variety of colors and styles to suit any décor, and you can choose from traditional blonde and amber tones or darkened options that have been carbonized by exposing the planks to high temperatures. The carbonizing process reduces the hardness of the floor, but it also makes it more resistant to moisture and humidity.

The toughness of bamboo flooring is one reason it’s considered more eco-friendly than wood floors. It also requires fewer pesticides when growing and harvesting, and most types are inhospitable to termites. Some brands are even treated with chemicals that make them inhospitable to dust mites and other allergy-causing particles.

Some companies produce bamboo flooring using a soy-based resin that doesn’t release formaldehyde, making it safer for indoor environments. You can find these products at many home centers or specialty stores, although they typically cost more than their traditional counterparts. Look for a GREENGUARD or FloorScore certification to ensure the product doesn’t release dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home.

While most bamboo is sold as floating planks that snap or glue together, you can also install it by gluing or nailing it down over a plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) subfloor. The best bamboo floors will come with a moisture barrier underlayment to prevent excessive swelling and warping. Some manufacturers will void warranties if bamboo is exposed to prolonged periods of wet moisture or humidity.

Bamboo is a moisture-resistant flooring, but you should still seal it with an appropriate finish when the time comes. It’s important to use a water-based sealant, rather than an oil-based one, since the latter can cause the bamboo boards to split.


The most durable and long-lasting flooring material is tile. It stands up to water and steam, is easy to clean and resists impacts and stains better than most other materials. Ceramic tiles are usually the best option, but porcelain is also a strong contender. Both are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and textures. Some porcelain tiles even mimic the looks of wood or stone for an elegant, high-end look at a fraction of the cost.

Unlike most other rooms in the house, kitchens require a special type of flooring to stand up to moisture and heavy use. Spilled food, dropped pans and heavy foot traffic can all damage floors that aren’t designed for the job. Fortunately, new designs and technology have opened up the possibilities for home flooring, and CR’s ratings reveal what options are best for kitchens in terms of performance, value and style.

Wood floors are popular choices for kitchens, but solid hardwood doesn’t do well in areas that are subject to frequent changes in humidity and temperature. Engineered wood, vinyl roll and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) are all moisture-resistant and more stable than solid wood. They can be a great choice for kitchens, especially when combined with an underlayment that adds insulation and helps to keep the floors warmer.

Another moisture-resistant option is linoleum, which comes in a variety of styles that range from simple black and white patterns to perfectly reproduced wood and stone. It is also less expensive than many other flooring options and has a warm, soft feel underfoot.

Natural stone floors aren’t as common in homes as they once were, but many people still love the way they look. Granite and marble are both hard, long-lasting materials that can hold up to decades of use in the right setting. They also provide a luxurious aesthetic that can act as an attractive selling point for your home when it comes time to sell.