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Q: Bad Back and Flooring Choices ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Bad Back and Flooring Choices
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: lstein0-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2002 19:37 PDT
Expires: 09 Sep 2002 19:37 PDT
Question ID: 53126
I suffered from debilitating back aches for almost tow years. Many
doctor's and chiropractor's later, I got some relief, but no cure.
Then I moved. No more back ache. The old house was all tile flooring,
except the bedrooms. This house is linoleum in the kitchen. The
doctors were amazed at the difference, but not shocked. The
chiropractor said that he just built his house with tile and was
already considering changing the flooring after 3 months.

Here is my question:

We are renovating our house here. This includes the kitchen which
presently has linoleum. I want to change the flooring, but need to
know what types of flooring are best for my back. I would like
hardwood laminates. I take that to mean laminate flooring that looks
like hardwood. How will this treat my back?

I already wear shoes when I'm in the kitchen, and shoes don't make the
difference. The floor does.

We're going to spend a significant amount of money redoing the
kitchen, I want to do it right the first time.

Please provide an answer along with relevant links to sources. What
type of flooring is best for my back, especially when I spend lots of
time in the kitchen on my feet?

Thank you.

p.s. I am in Phoenix Arizona, so please make sure that I can find the
right flooring here. Thanks.
Subject: Re: Bad Back and Flooring Choices
Answered By: mother-ga on 10 Aug 2002 21:54 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello, and thank you for your question.

So often in kitchen remodels, the flooring is an afterthought or saved
for the last line in the project budget. You are smart to consider
your own health and comfort first in your remodeling project, and
fortunate to have the budget to provide yourself with a comfortable
and attractive floor for your kitchen.

I have two recommended options for you - one that you mention and one
that you didn't but may have heard about. These are based on my own
research conducted during my own minor kitchen remodel.

My first recommendation is natural cork flooring. Relatively new on
the market, cork is gaining in popularity. Cork is known for its
comfort underfoot, ease of installation, noise reduction, and allergy
benefits. Cork flooring comes in parquet-style tiles that have a
natural, variegated style to them, similar to linoleum and some styles
of stone flooring. You can have cork flooring installed for around
$10/sq ft ($5 average per sq ft, then doubled for labor costs).

"Natural Cork Flooring" (EcoByDesign)

"The cork’s soft surface makes for a very comfortable, springy floor
to stand on for hours on end, Hazan notes. ... The cork is sealed with
polyurethane, and has to be resealed once a year."

"Gourmet Kitchen Features Amenities Fit for a Chef" (Kitchen and Bath
Design News)

"Cork Floor Material" (,1158,DEID_project_20179,00.html

Cork information at

My second recommendation, one that you prefer, is a "floating"
laminate floor. Available in a huge variety of styles, a floating
laminate floor is installed over a high-density foam or cork cushion
to provide comfort and noise reduction. Laminate floors are known for
how easy they are to maintain and keep clean, even in the kitchen.
Another benefit is that this floor could probably be installed over
your existing linoleum, adding another comfort layer between your feet
and the concrete slab. The following brand review at is a
great place to start, since your biggest challenge in choosing a
laminate floor is the number of choices and brands you face. Pergo,
Inc. laminate flooring usually gets rave reviews for durability, style
and warranty, and is coming out with a new "Comfort" line soon.

"Brand Wars - A Laminate Showdown" by Steve Simonson (

"Pergo, Inc.: Laminate flooring that keeps performing" (This Old House

With any flooring, take note to see how much and what kind of water
damage is covered in the warranty. Different product lines within the
same brand will have different coverages and exclusions.

Any professional remodeler or supply store can get these materials for
your project. Start with the showrooms (Kitchen & Bath Depot, Home
Depot) and work off of their recommendations for skilled installers in
your area.

Additional resources:

"A Look at What’s Going on Underfoot" (Kitchen and Bath Design News)

"What's underfoot? Plenty of 'Flooring Options'" by Clyde Noel (Los
Altos Town Crier)

"Kitchen Update: Part 2 of 3: Flooring" (CHW Online)

National Association of the Remodeling Industry - Arizona Chapter

National Kitchen & Bath Association

Search strategy:

comfort flooring kitchen standing

I do hope this answers your question. If you need further
clarification, please don't hesitate to ask.

lstein0-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Through research, and intimate knowledge! I had considered cork, even
thought of mentioning that in my question. The resealing part didn't
thrill me, and I hear that cork isn't too forgiving of golden
retrievers! So, it's laminate lane for me. Thanks very much!

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