Frugal Kitchen Flooring

I heart VCT!  Vinyl Composition Tile, that is!  VCT is a finished flooring material that thusfar is used primarily in commercial and institutional applications.   Think schools, hospitals, and churches.  But it is a fantastic economical option for residential kitchen flooring.   You just have to think outside the box in regards to colors and the design you choose to lay it in.  This example required cutting the 12-inch tiles in half, then installing a random pattern of 6 colors.


 

 

 

 

 

Vinyl tile is favored over other kinds of flooring materials in high-traffic areas because of its low cost, durability, and ease of maintenance. Vinyl tiles have high resilience to abrasion and impact damage and can be repeatedly refinished.   Not only is VCT easy to install (I’ve done it myself!), individual tiles can be easily removed and replaced when damaged.

 

 

It’s available in a variety of colors from several major flooring manufacturers including Armstrong, Mannington, and Farbo.  Tiles can easily be cut and assembled into colorful and decorative patterns.  It’s really all about the colors chosen and the design assembled.

 

 

In simple designs of 2 colors, I think that tiles laid on the diagonal are your best bet.  The diagonal placement increases the visual perception of space, making your room appear larger.

 

 

Vinyl composition tiles took the place of asbestos tiles, which were widely used in schools, hospitals, offices, and public buildings up until the 1980s.  Use of tiles and adhesives containing asbestos were discontinued when it was determined to be hazardous. Tiles free of asbestos are easily distinguished by their size – asbestos tiles were commonly manufactured in 9-inch squares.

 

 

It works great in modern and contemporary settings when laid in a confident, modern design.

 

Or in a traditional setting, like this one.  Again, on the diagonal takes it up a notch.

 

 

 

 And it works perfectly in vintage/period settings.  My husband and I installed ours in one night 8 years ago.  I chose 3 colors and experimented with lots of designs until I finally decided on this one.

 

 

 

This flooring is CHEAP.  Less than $1 a square foot (!)  It’s warmer and easier on the legs than ceramic tile, looks a ton better than vinyl sheeting (ugh), and is more water resistant than hardwood.  And you can insert YOUR creativity and personality into this versatile flooring.  Hey, it even works in bathrooms, playrooms, and rec rooms.  Are you convinced yet?

 

Photo Credits:  KeepDominoAlive, ApartmentTherapyDJC, SeattlePi,  Elle Decor, TinyPics,  DeesDesignBlog,  StoneBrookStaging

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Dianne Tant
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Dianne Tant

interesting flooring option….love the look

Angela Estes
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Angela Estes

I love this flooring! We’ve looked at it and talked about it for a while. I have two questions. How do you apply the tile (and what prep work needs to be done)? Where did you buy it?

Lee
Guest

I love the blue and white kitchen floor. I’ve been looking for something to replace my vinyl sheet kitchen flooring and love the look of tile but keep thinking every time I drop something and it DOESN’T break that if I had tile it would have broken. Also thinking about the comfort factor since I do a lot of standing in my kitchen. Something that looks good AND is comfortable is definitely something to consider!

Daniel
Guest

Guess what I’m suggesting to Walt about the kitchen floor? 🙂

Kristie
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Kristie

Angela,
Check out this link for instructions on laying VCT. It’s the easiest flooring to lay, in my opinion. Much easier and less messy than installing ceramic tile (which I’ve also done). http://www.rd.com/18143/article18143.html

Jana @ Weekend Vintage
Guest

Oh…I just love this so much. We currently have finished concrete floors all over downstairs. I love that they are so practical-no yelling at muddy children’s feet but they do need to be refinished every couple of years. I’m fearful of spending a bunch on wood and then either not liking it or having to worry about water spots and such. How does it adhere to the subflooring?

Jana

kristiebarnett
Guest

Jana, there is a specific adhesive appropriate for VCT – check out the link I listed in the comment before yours for instructions. It’s available at Home Depot and Lowes. Oh, and Angela, we actually got our tile at Corlew and Perry on Nolensville Rd in Nashville – they had many more color choices than Home Depot/Lowes.

Harriett Trepanier
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Harriett Trepanier

Nice post, cool site, keep it up.

Ryan McD
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Ryan McD

One of these patterns is NOT frugal! OK–so we totally bought into the VCT thing–budget + aesthetics = big win for people renovating really cheap house in very old working class neighborhood to raise 5+ kids in. Sounds perfect, right?? We bought an entire early 80s yellow hardwood kitchen cabinetry off Craigslist for $1000. What would go with that? Some kind of blue tile! But it has to be cheap and fittingly retro: VCT! But normal VCT patterns would just look like our kids’ school floors. So we want to jazz it up, right? We searched many Web sites, saw… Read more »

Bridget
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Bridget

Kristie,

Please tell me about the maintenance and cleaning of VCT in a residential space. I want to recommend it to a client, but I know when it’s used in commercial spaces it needs layers of polish, buffing, etc. I don’t want it to be shiny bc it would spoil the farmhouse kitchen look. How do you care for and clean it?

Thanks!
Bridget

Vicki
Guest
Vicki

I especially love the top design that you did. What brand of VCT did you use and could you tell me the colors? Yes, I think I want to be a copy-cat!

Rebecca Mattis
Guest

Kristie, help! I really want to put in a brown and white checkerboard (on the diagonal) Mannington VCT floor in my kitchen. But I really don’t want to work hard to maintain it! The lady at the flooring store said I could go without polishing it at all…just leave it matte. Have you ever heard of this? I’ve heard people say that would make the floor very vulnerable to stains. I would do the whole polish/buff thing if I only had to do it every 5 years or so. There’s only two people at my house; no kids or dogs.… Read more »

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

Hi, Kristie, could you tell me the name of the colors used in that traditional kitchen above, the one with what looks on my screen like cream and yellow, with brown accents.

I love your site.

JJ-D