Wood or Tile on the Kitchen floor?

Posted in Addition, Architecture, Finishes, Flooring, Interiors, Remodeling, Renovation on September 2, 2009 by shoopdogg

I can’t tell you how many clients have asked me over the years if they should install a tile floor or wood floor in their new kitchen. It’s often followed by a heated debate between homeowners. I typically take a neutral position and outline the pros and cons of each and let them decide. In fact, about half of my projects involving kitchen renovations are split between both materials. Here ‘s my take on the question.

Paper or Plastic?

113-1315_IMGYou’ve heard that many times, (probably not the husbands, because they don’t grocery shop) but it’s a similar debate with kitchen flooring. If your keen on being “green” and don’t want to dissect a few more trees, your tendency might be towards a tile floor. But if you consider much of the hardwood that’s used in household flooring , other than the obvious exotics, comes from tree farms, then it’s less of an issue. This post isn’t to debate the merits of if wood or tile are considered “green” products, but to discuss the pros and cons of each material under your feet.

Kitchen is where it’s AT!

In today’s fast paced lifestyle with kids running in and out, off to soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming, college, grade school, pets, and all that stuff, the kitchen is perhaps the most used space in the house. Just for kicks, take a day and keep track of the time you spend in your kitchen. It’s staggering when you really think about it. If this is where you spend most of your time together as a family in your household, what do you really want to put under your feet. That’s the $64,000 question.

Tile is King!

Not really, I think it’s a prince. Many people that are upgrading from a sheet vinyl floor tend to select tile for their new kitchen flooring. What’s so good 143-4365_IMGabout tile? Tile has positive attributes that can’t be ignored such as:

  • Durability
  • Relatively easy to maintain and repair
  • Resists staining
  • Resists water damage

The Con’s of tile are:

  • A cold surface to walk on, – socks, or bare feet
  • Hard on your feet
  • Can crack easily
  • Requires a strong floor and an extra tile backer subfloor layer. (remember never to install tile directly on one layer of ¾” plywood, you are asking for cracking)

Wood for everyone!

I know it’s not for everyone’s taste, but if you have hardwood throughout the house, it’s a much more natural choice. The benefits of wood flooring in the kitchen are:

  • It’s warm to the touch
  • It’s more forgiving and moves with the floor, so it’s far easier on the feet.
  • It doesn’t require an extra subfloor layer (can be critical in limited height and threshold situations)
  • It can match your existing flooring or compliment the cabinetry in unique ways.

The Con’s of a wood floor in the kitchen are:

  • Spills must be wiped up immediately or it will stain or cup the flooring (so pray your dishwasher or kids don’t make a liquid mess)
  • It damages easily (dropped pots, sliding chairs, dropped utensils, scraping shoes, etc)
  • Gaps can develop between the joints that collect all sorts of food stuffs.
  • Shows wear and tear much more quickly than tile.

Now, what’s your opinion?   Let me hear it so I can throw my two cents in.


Ask me anything – really!

Posted in Addition, Architecture, Interiors, Remodeling, Renovation with tags , , on September 1, 2009 by shoopdogg

Now that’s an awfully general statement.  I can’t answer everything, don’t expect me to, and you are not always going to agree with me, but if it’s architecture or project related, I’ll try to answer it.  If you have a question about your renovation, new construction, addition, remodel, or whatever floats your boat, we’ll try to help and I’m sure our community will too.

This is exciting.  It’s my first post on my first blog so feel free to send suggestions, comments and questions that will help us all out.  I’m a good listener.