New flooring can be an excellent means of giving your kitchen a new look. The choices for kitchen flooring are almost endless, depending on what best suits your sense of style and your pocketbook.

Style and budget aside, upkeep and lasting quality are the factors that most influence the end result.

When it comes to wear and tear around a house, few finishes are subject to the kind of beating that a kitchen floor must withstand. Endless traffic from appliance to appliance and falling food and the occasional table scrap slipped to the dog are just a few of the day-to-day event a kitchen floor absorbs.

Shopping for new kitchen flooring can be a chore. Most people begin by searching for a product that they’ve seen in a showroom, a model home or decorating magazine. Not a bad place to begin as long as you realize that these floors are generally viewed under the best of circumstances without “real life” conditions.

Make sure to take a serious look at your lifestyle before choosing new kitchen flooring.

More than ever, consumers are looking for the best of all worlds — a floor that looks good, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, is easy to maintain and will last forever. When you find it, let us know because we’ve yet to discover such a finish.

However, we can say that today’s choices are greater than ever.

All things considered, the product that offers the best bang for the kitchen-flooring dollar is sheet vinyl. It is kid- and pet-friendly and “no-wax” sheet vinyl is among the easiest to maintain.

As is the case with most building products, there are good, better and best levels of quality from which to choose and flooring is no exception.

Floating floors continue to grow in popularity as an option. As the name implies, a floating floor is neither nailed nor glued to the substrate. Instead, the material — planks or tiles — is installed over a foam pad. Most floating floor styles consist of tongue and groove construction for easy do-it-yourself assembly.

Natural wood flooring still ranks as one of the most popular finishes for a kitchen floor. It is warm, durable, and easy to keep clean and is available in a host of colors, patterns and finishes. Traditional options such as oak, cherry and maple have been joined by new “eco-friendly” choices such as bamboo and cork that are available in both tile and planks.

As with a floating floor, wood and water don’t mix. Therefore, you can end up spending a pretty penny to repair damage resulting from a leaking dishwasher or defrosting freezer.

When it comes to abrasion resistance and design possibilities, it’s hard to beat tile. Tile is an especially popular choice over a concrete slab due to the stable base that it provides.