For this installment of Ten Easy Pieces, we consulted the experts—architects from the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory—for their top kitchen flooring picks. Have an experience you'd like to share? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Wood is an obvious choice for its timeless, classic look; it's also easier on the feet than stone or tile.
Above: Jennifer Weiss of San Francisco's J. Weiss Design chose to stain the floors in this kitchen remodel. "I love that adjusting the stain can make a wood floor seem more—or less—dramatic and modern," says Weiss.
Above: In this beach house, Celeste Robbins of Robbins Architecture in Illinois used an engineered wood floor by DuChateau Floors, which comes prefinished in a driftwood color with a hard wax-oiled finish.
Above: When it comes to remodels, Jonathan Feldman of Feldman Architecture in San Francisco likes to match the kitchen floor with the flooring in the rest of the house. "When we are retaining the existing floors in a house, we stain both the original surfaces and any newly installed floors the same shade to unify the palette."
Above: For remodels of historic homes in San Antonio, Texas, Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects favors salvaged local longleaf pine, "which holds up well to kitchen traffic."
A renewable material, cork provides a springy cushioned surface (important if you're standing for long periods of time). Modern cork flooring is sealed against water, so it is no longer uncommon to see it in the kitchen.
Above: In modern homes with concrete floors, Jonathan Feldman occasionally will switch to Versacork penny tiles in the kitchen. "When we use a cork mosaic, we make sure that the grout color matches the color of the concrete floor in the rest of the house. That way, the seam between the cork floor and the concrete floor disappears."
Above: "Polished concrete—with no added color—makes a great low-maintenance kitchen floor," says Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects. In loft interiors, Poteet likes to polish the concrete floor of the entire space to a reflective sheen.
Above: Matte honed concrete is a favorite kitchen flooring surface of San Francisco-based CCS Architecture's kitchens.
Above: Butler Armsden Architects favor stone for its natural elegance; one favorite is black slate. "We like to use stone slab or tiles in the kitchen," says the firm's Caitlin Stuart.