Not talking about food here, we're talking flooring. The kitchen floor sees a tremendous amount of wear and tear, but if you're thinking about redoing your kitchen floor before your put your home on the market, or you're in the market for a home and you're wondering what to look for, there are several things to consider.
The primary factor to think about when you're talking about kitchen floors is traffic/usage. Who is in your home and what kind of wear and tear are you expecting? If you rarely cook, hardwood is a beautiful choice for a kitchen. Cork can also be a great addition, with its sound and heat insulating properties and its ability to cushion your feet while you cook. Tile is durable, timeless, and can be very cost effective. Linoleum is a retro material that is making a comeback because of its environmental sustainability and new colour options. But each of these materials has its downsides.
Are you clumsy? You might want to rethink tile flooring, then, given its propensity for breaking almost anything that it comes into contact with. While we're at it, hardwood might also be better left in the living room, where it won't be exposed to so much moisture and potential run-ins with pots and pans. Cork, unlike tile, won't cause dropped dishes to shatter upon impact. However, some types of cork as less resilient than others when it comes to wear and tear. Lino is another great choice because it is manufactured from renewable resources and is durable as all get out. Beware of the hefty price tag of the latter two, though.
Above all, look for something that speaks to your home, the market you're in, and is fairly neutral in appearance and material. You don't want to install an exotic wood in a suburban family-oriented neighbourhood where tastes run neutral. Nor will you likely put in stick-on vinyl tiles when the rest of the home is outfitted with carrera marble. You should also be realistic about your usage. If you have pets and children, an expensive and high-maintenance material just might not be in the cards. As long as you remember that you (and/or your future buyer) must be happy with the look and value of the flooring you've installed, you'll be just fine no matter what choice you make.