Vinyl sheet and tile are particularly good flooring choices for kitchens because they are able to withstand the common rigors of the space. Durability will vary based on the quality of the material purchased, however, vinyl will generally be water-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain. This functionality can be combined with advanced print and textural techniques, which allow you to achieve the look of a variety of flooring options.
Vinyl is a water-resistant material that is impervious to penetration from moisture. With vinyl tiles, the seams between pieces will be weak points that will have to be sealed in order to prevent water from seeping down through them. This seal will wear down over time and will need to be reapplied periodically. With a vinyl sheet, you are able to create a single consistent covering over the entire surface of the floor, with the edge seams heat welded to the base of the walls.
Maintenance is key in a kitchen where spills and splashes of various foodstuffs, are going to occur on a regular basis. Vinyl tends to be relatively stain proof and easy to care for, but some regular cleaning is required.
Mopping can be done with warm water or, in some cases, water mixed with a mild detergent specially formulated for your vinyl type and surface treatment. Rinse the floor thoroughly to remove any soap residue that may linger.
Prolonged standing on hard surface floors can be fatiguing and painful to legs and feet. With vinyl, you have the option of placing a sheet of padding beneath the surface covering in order to soften the impact of footfalls. The thickness of the padding will determine how soft the floor is, but thicker material will be more expensive.
Cooking is kind of a juggling act and whenever you drop something, your floor will be there to catch it. With vinyl the surface that a dropped dish or glass hits will be relatively soft, making it less likely that accidents will turn into dangerously shattering housewares.
This is where vinyl really shines. Modern manufacturing processes have led to the creation of vinyl flooring which can simulate nearly any other material, whether its tile, natural stone, or hardwood. It is even possible to get textured elements in the surface structure of the sheet or tiles in order to simulate the natural feel of the material. You can also use real grout in between tile pieces to create the appearance of a real installation.
The caveat to this is that no matter how good vinyl looks, the feel will always be slightly artificial. You can mimic texture and patterns, but the way that your foot feels pressing into the floor will give away subtle hints as to the true nature of the material.