A contemporary kitchen is warmed up with flooring from Mirage.

What kitchen flooring products and/or services do you offer?

Joe Najmy (JN), NuKitchens, LLC, South Norwalk, (203) 831-9000; www.nukitchens.com: “We have wood flooring in oak, cherry, maple walnut, teak installed and custom stained to suit. Floor tiles in marble, limestone and porcelain. Cork, concrete and bamboo flooring are also available.”

Chris Mahoney (CM), Owner, Christopher Fine Floorings, Wilton, (203) 210-7112; www.christopherfineflooring.com: “We carry stone (marble, granite and limestone), prefinished and unfinished hardwood, custom hardwood, porcelain/ceramic tile, vinyl tile and vinyl sheets, bamboo and laminate flooring.”

Jim Tomaselli, (JT), President, Genuario’s Floor Covering, Norwalk, (203) 847-4571; www.Genuarios.com: “We supply and install cork, vinyl tile, sheet vinyl, linoleum, ceramic tile, prefinished wood and carpet.”

Steve Geoffrion (SG), Owner of the Fairfield County office, Mr. Sandless, Danbury, (203) 798-9663; www.MrSandless.com: “We are a full service wood floor company offering Mr. Sandless, no sanding service, repairs, installations and dustless refinishing as well.”

Raymond Svwec (RS), owner, Butler Carpet Cleaning, Norwalk, (203) 847-7424; butlercarpetcleaning.com: “Our specialty is carpet and upholstery cleaning, as well as emergency flood services, including standing water removal and drying out of carpets.”

What are the advantages to the various kitchen flooring products you carry?

CM: “Stone is a great, natural looking product, while hardwood is warmer and softer to stand on. Bamboo is a sustainable product, and homeowners can receive LEED credits upon purchasing and installing it.”

JN: “Wood flooring can be stained to match adjacent flooring which adds continuity and flow to the space. Tiles have the potential to be heated with heat mats which may be especially helpful when renovating an older home…plus it feels great on your feet. Cork has some resilience under foot. Concrete is a contemporary material and tends to be more of an option in new construction or a total ground-up renovation but rarely used due to expense and amount of time required to install. Bamboo is a renewable resource.”

What color/finish/style options are available when it comes to kitchen floors? Are there any particular trends today?

SG: “We offer three levels of sheen for wood floors — satin, semi-gloss and high gloss. I’d say about 90% of our clients choose a satin finish because it tends to be a more classic look. Most people have gotten away from the high gloss look, but we can make them look like a sheet of glass if they want.
“We have our own chemists and laboratory. We design and manufacture our own unique brand of finish. It looks like your typical urethane and lasts like it, but the difference is that it’s certified Green and dries in just 1/2 hour. This is why we can refinish a floor with four coats of finish in just one day.
“If a homeowner is installing wood flooring in a kitchen and not planning on sanding the other rooms with the existing wood floors as well, they need to understand that they will never get an exact match. Sometimes it’s better to choose a contrasting look rather than something that will come close, but not quite make it.”

CM: “Wood can be stained/finished in virtually any color…the design options are virtually limitless. Laminates and vinyl planks look a lot like wood, and are a little less costly. Most of my customers prefer real wood to those, however. Many clients are opting for large, rectangular tiles, in 1’ x 3’ per tile. Tile and stone are available in many colors and styles. I recommend that homeowners choose a flooring that is in keeping with the overall feeling of the home…wide plank, rustic wood in a colonial style home, for example.”

RS: “When looking at flooring options, most people choose based on what they think will look good. I would suggest they start with what is easy to maintain, and then choose a material/color/style. Each type of flooring performs differently in different areas of the home…homeowners should take this into consideration when deciding on a floor.”

JT: “Most clients coordinate products with adjacent rooms to achieve a good flow. Joining floors with an adjacent space isn’t always easy, however…certain types of transitions are often needed.”

Hardwood flooring, like this one from Anderson, requires little maintenance and is comfortable to stand on.

What are some typical questions you ask your clients?

JT: “We ask them what kind of look they want, what type of traffic they have in their house, if they have pets and how big, whether there’s an eat-in kitchen, what kind of chairs they have and if they have children.”

JN: We try to achieve the smoothest transition between spaces. What is the adjacent flooring to the kitchen? Do they have pets or large dogs? Durability is important. Does their kitchen open directly to the outside spaces?

SG: “During a kitchen renovation an important question is whether the footprint of the cabinets is going to change. If you remove a kitchen island, for example, you will likely have a bare wood spot there. This type of thing can change the scope of the job and determine what type of refinishing service is needed.”

Do certain colors and finishes work better with certain types of homes (i.e., colonial, contemporary, mid-century, etc.)? Do you recommend dark or light finishes for particular style homes?

SG: “In terms of color, the trend tends to be the mid to darker browns; however, the homeowner should give this some thought. Many homeowners who have these darker color floors say they wish they stayed lighter. Having dark floors is like owning a black car; it looks beautiful, but is very high maintenance. Dark floors tend to show more scratches and dirt such as paw prints.
Generally my recommendation to clients is definitely lighter colors if they have lots of traffic in the home such as pets and kids. Quieter homes can get away with the darker colors.”

JN: “With proper design and a vision for the final look and feel of the space, most flooring materials can be used in colonial, contemporary and mid-century. The size and texture of the flooring material is important when incorporating it into an overall kitchen design.
“The two main factors that drive our recommendations are simplicity…and consistency. We believe the simplest choice is the best choice which will make you happy for many years. We believe that consistency will guide you to the right selection. The answer is usually somewhere in the architecture of the home.”

What is the maintenance/care of the flooring products you carry?

RS: “I tell my clients to keep up with vacuuming and sweeping, as dirt is the enemy! It’s the tiny particles of sand that are abrasive and can scratch a tile or wood floor, or even carpet fibers, which results in dull looking carpet.
“When it comes to tile, it’s the grout that’s really the problem, and which always seems to underperform the tile. There are contractors who can clean grout and apply grout sealer…if you want to keep your tile floor looking good, pay special attention to the grout.”

CM: “Sweeping or using a damp cloth to wipe away excess dirt and/or grime…avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your floors.”

JN: “Regular cleaning with mild soap and water is good for most flooring materials…and dry it when done. Also, the Bona floor cleaning products seem to work well.”

JT: “Most floors today are produced with ease of maintenance in mind. It usually depends on the household lifestyle, as to how much care a particular floor will require.”

SG: “Not many homeowners will do this but a huge help in prolonging the beauty of a wood floors is taking your shoes off at the door. Other than that, keeping the wood floor surface clear of debris and sand will help as well. When cleaning floors, use a non-acid cleaner which will usually say ‘green’ on the label. Stay away from any cleaners that have oils or waxes that leave behind a residue.
“Make sure to choose a durable surface that will be able to withstand the high traffic conditions of most kitchens. If you do have wood floors in your kitchen, be sure to use throw rugs in the high traffic spots such as in front of sink and refrigerator.”

A traditional kitchen gets a non-traditional floor treatment with “Tempest” tile flooring from Mannington Mills.