Published at Tuesday, 29 January 2019. Kitchen Floors. By Gerda Andersen.
Colonial-era homeowners created beautifully inventive floors when they had the means and materials. While painted styles range from a single color to grained designs that rival complex inlaid tile floors, most treatments in kitchens were simple: a deep yet cheerful solid earth color like dark red, ochre, or green, or a checkerboard.
Not all species and cuts of wood will adapt well to a radiant retrofit. Most vulnerable are soft woods like pine and hickory, especially if they are flat-sawn. If you are installing new flooring over radiant, opt for strip flooring rather than plank, and allow plenty of time for the wood to acclimate to the setting. Installing wood flooring with a high percentage of residual moisture over radiant heat can lead to early failure. For best results, look for a radiant product that puts out heat at a low, gentle setting, such as a low-voltage membrane.
Linoleum is still made using the original formula, which includes cork and linseed oil. Cork, grown on the tree of the same name, is almost wholly natural. Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is typically made of polyvinyl chloride chips, in a blend that usually includes a hefty percentage (20 to 25) of recycled or natural materials like limestone.
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