Published at Wednesday, 16 January 2019. Kitchen Floors. By Gerda Andersen.
Although flooring choices run from ancient materials like stone to newer products like engineered floors, two of the best options remain: resilient materials including linoleum and cork, and ceramic and mosaic tile. For a variety of reasons, resilients work best in the kitchen, while tile is a natural in the bathroom.
Installing new vinyl, cork, or linoleum flooring in an old house usually means laying it over an existing floor. If that is the case, do not rip out the old floor if there is any chance that it contains asbestos. Instead, lay down new 3⁄8" smooth-face plywood before tackling the tiles or sheet goods (remove the kickboards from lower cabinets and scribe shallow cuts as necessary around door frames).
Wood floors are an old-house staple—but in the harsh environment of the kitchen, wood will splinter, flake, and warp when exposed repeatedly to water. That's why early Americans quickly learned to seal wood floors with whatever was available, from homemade paint to wax and tung oil. Similarly, Victorian homeowners jumped at the chance to install water-resistant materials like linoleum and mosaic tile as soon as they became widely available in the last quarter of the 19th century.
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