Kitchen Remodeling: Counters & Flooring

Part 2 in 4-Part Series

Kitchen Renovation Story

In this second part of a four-part series about kitchen remodeling, we will discuss surfaces for flooring and countertops and provide you with some pros and cons of different materials. We've already covered how to incorporate color trends into timeless kitchen design. Check back next week for our final post in the series, about fixtures and appliances.

Kitchen Surfaces

History has shown us a multitude of flooring and countertop surfaces, from the linoleum and Formica of the mid-century, to the current day natural stone, tile and hardwood choices. The earliest counter tops were of wood or stone – think back to the old farmhouse table. In the 1800’s, soapstone and slate became more plentiful and developed into the standard for kitchen counters. Other stones were soon being used, but the great leap for materials happened after World War II with the housing boom. New and less expensive materials with a wider range of colors were introduced with laminates and stainless steel counters.

In choosing the right countertop and flooring for your kitchen remodel, it’s important to take into consideration the way in which you use your kitchen and the type and amount of daily household traffic in and through your kitchen, so your remodel can be enjoyed for decades to come.

Kitchen Flooring

This kitchen remodel features wood flooring as well as solid surface countertops.

This kitchen remodel features wood flooring as well as solid surface countertops.


Durable hardwoods feature striking natural colors and richly-detailed grain patterns. Hardwoods reflect timeless design and versatility even when flooring trends change down the road. Over the long haul, hardwoods are cost-effective in that they can be refinished several times over the years bringing a fresh look each time, with minimal cost. We installed hardwood floors in a Pasadena kitchen remodel to compliment the Tudor style of the home.


Sustainable and eco-friendly cork has quickly become a popular choice for flooring surfaces, especially in kitchens, given that it is stain-resistant and easy on the knees and ankles. The durability of cork flooring depends on the finish used – an important consideration when choosing cork.  Check out the cork flooring in our recent Claremont Kitchen remodel.


Natural stone is durable and its appearance oftentimes improves with age, but can absorb stains easily.

Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring is resistant to moisture and easier to install, however, it lacks durability over the long term and can only be sanded and refinished once.


Easy to clean and durable tile continues to be a popular choice for kitchen flooring, with an endless variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

Kitchen Countertops

Butcher Block

Featuring a warm, timeless appeal, butcher block is ideal for chopping and food preparation, however, a hot pan can scorch the surface.  It’s 100% natural so it’s easy to restore with regular refinishing. To add versatility and interest, we love combining butcher block with other surfaces such as granite, a combination which we installed in a recent kitchen remodel in Claremont. 


No longer relegated to a dull gray appearance, today’s concrete countertops can be ground, polished or stained, and are often used to create a sleek, minimalist, industrial look.    With concrete, a good sealer is necessary to prevent chipping and scratching.


Combining materials such as fly ash or recycled paper, composite countertops inhibit the growth of bacteria and resist stains, scratches and heat. Most are free of VOCs, do not emit radon gasses, and are food safe. These countertops are attractive but can be expensive and sometimes require sealing as well as special maintenance.

Engineered stone

Composed of hard materials, such as quartz particles, manufactured surface is gaining popularity, with good reason. Quartz countertops are attractive, scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant, and low maintenance. They also come in a variety of colors, from subtle and natural to bright and bold. That makes them the ideal choice for modern kitchen renovations or new kitchen construction.


Each slab of granite is unique with no other one like it, so it’s ideal for expressing your personal taste. Granite is virtually indestructible – it can withstand hot pots and pans, and most stains are repelled. Granite requires periodic refinishing, as it can etch if acids are left on the surface.

Stone countertops come in a variety of colors and styles.

Stone countertops come in a variety of colors and styles.


Like granite, each slab is unique, however, marble is softer than granite and more susceptible to scratches and chips. Still, marble is a must for the serious pastry chef due to its smooth surface and cool temperature.


Naturally resistant to heat, stains and discolorations, this surface does not require sealing, is durable, and improves with age. Soapstone is more susceptible to nicks and cuts, which can easily be sanded away. Check out the slab we installed in a client’s laundry room.

Check back next week to read the final post in our three-part series about kitchen design trends for 2017. When it comes to complex projects like custom homes, kitchen renovations, additions or whole-house remodeling, Lotus Construction Group uses cutting-edge materials and construction techniques, and offers innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project’s needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complementary appointment.