Hardwood Flooring vs Tile in the Kitchen
Marsha Wheeler Design
April 15, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I'd love to continue hardwood flooring into the kitchen (continuing the sight line from the main hallway), but I've gotten so much grief about upkeep, wear & tear, and it not being 'traditional' to have hardwood in the kitchen... coming from people who swear by tile. The majority of kichens featured in major decor magazines have hardwood flooring in their kitchens. Are the ones giving me grief behind in the times, or am I being untraditional? Would love your opinion!
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Manon Floreat
I love the look of hardwood floors in kitchens. I'd be reluctant to install it because of potential water issues, though. I'm curious to hear what others think about it.
April 15, 2012 at 10:09PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
jansgirl
When major water issues arise they damage any kind of flooring.........and sub flooring.
April 15, 2012 at 10:18PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
MGD
what about a good quality vinyl flooring? http://www.karndean.co.uk/en-gb/floors/wood-flooring/dark-wood-tones.aspx?link=mm

it looks well and will be ok with any water issues!
April 16, 2012 at 5:17AM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
lbohney
I am in the same boat here. I see this was posted 4 months ago, did you make your decision?
August 7, 2012 at 5:53PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
imsuzz
i love hardwood in the kitchen, we have remodelled several homes , if the design and the house suite it, i put it in.
August 7, 2012 at 6:05PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
feeny
The white oak hardwood floor in my kitchen (and throughout my house) is 90 years old and going strong. It hasn't been refinished in the 15 years we've owned the house, and we have a son and two rambunctious dogs. I'm sure, however, it was refinished a few times with previous owners over its lifetime. White oak is apparently the most durable hardwood, so particularly good for kitchens. I've lived in older houses with hardwood floor kitchens for the last 30 years and wouldn't ever choose anything else. They last a lifetime.
August 7, 2012 at 6:05PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Design & Decor By Shelley
I would certainly go with hardwood floors, keeping consistency throughout..When you choose the flooring talk to the professionals regarding type of wood that would be most durable and mention your application in the kitchen..I know hardwood does last a lifetime if you choose the right wood and take care of it..
August 7, 2012 at 6:34PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
armymover
I've had linoleum, tile, laminate (that looks like hardwood), and now have hardwood. Hardwood has BY FAR been my favorite. Linoleum.....don't use unless you absolutely have to because it's just blah. On the tile, I dropped a large can and guess what, broke a tile. Had to replace that tile and it was no easy task. The laminate (pergo type) looked ok but it can't handle too much water and it starts looking filmy. The kitchen floors are obviously cleaned more than other floors so that's where the water comes from that makes the laminate look filmy. In my newest house, which was built in 2004, there is hardwood in the kitchen that is the same as the den, dining, powder room and foyer. It's a semi-open plan so it looks really well. I dropped a large wooden shelf on the floor and it put a small dent but it is not easy to see unless you are looking for it. This is comparable to the can I dropped on the tile. I clean my floor at minimum once a day but sometimes twice a day and have absolutely no issues. I reallly love the look. Also, my Aunt, a designer, has hardwood in her kitchen in her $2million home. I think that the current trend is all about preference. Good luck!
August 7, 2012 at 6:58PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
feeny
armymover, you are a MUCH better housekeeper than I am! Our hardwood floor gets mopped once a week with Murphy's oil soap. Other than that we just spot wipe when something spills. One of the things I love about hardwood (at least in light and medium shades) is how little it shows dirt. So it's also good for those of us who are slightly less fastidious housekeepers.
August 7, 2012 at 7:24PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Bridget Merry
We built two years ago and are again in the next year. The last home we did has beautiful brazillian cherry hardwood throughout including the kitchen. It is a very traditional home. I love the floors. My only complaint is that we have two toddlers and a dog and the floors show every drip of water and are hard to keep looking clean. However, if you don't have the worry of kids and high traffic I would absolutely recommend them. While tile hides things much better, my personal opinion is that it is cold (unless you do radiant floor heating) and I have seen it crack from things being dropped on it just right. Tile may be in our future due to kids, but wood is by far our preference.
August 7, 2012 at 7:29PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
armymover
Feeny, I have 2 small kids and 2 dogs who all 4 tend to stay in the kitchen! I just fill a spray bottle with 2 cups hot and 2 Tablespoons of dawn dish detergent. I just squirt and sponge mop. I actually use that mixture as a counter top spray, table cleaner, etc. Once a week I will use Method wood floor cleaner in almond. Another day during the week I will use diluted Odoban since it disinfects, cleans, and smells really good. The Method I use to give it a shine.
August 7, 2012 at 7:33PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
feeny
I'm impressed!
August 7, 2012 at 7:37PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
armymover
Additional info, our floors are light colored and do not show dirt. I just clean them so much because I can't help it!Here is a picture with part of my black breakfast table and my oven showing so you can get an idea of the true color.
August 7, 2012 at 7:41PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
J. L. Powell & Co., Inc.
Traditionally wood flooring is/was the only material used above ground level.
August 7, 2012 at 8:07PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Custom Home Planning Center
Let not forget the issue of "do you run the hardwood under the cabinets". If like many builders who believe it is a waste of money, it does offer the opportunity to put in a drain pan on potential water problems either simply to the crawl space or via .75" pvc to an area outside where you will notice even a small leak. I had a client that lost 1200 sq foot of flooring and sub floor due to a very slow, but persistent leak. The insurance company said they would not cover the loss because it was over a long time and not a catastrophic failure.
August 7, 2012 at 9:37PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
lbohney
ill talk to the flooring supply and see what they suggest but I have not seen any tile that I have liked yet, however if I go with dark wood floors im afraid ill regret it later when I look at the scratches that are not preventable.Now today I just ordered cabnets, does the floor go under them or not?i read the last post regarding the matter but whats the norm?its something I had not even thought of until the last post.
August 15, 2012 at 8:37PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
mzlove
We love our wood floors - including in the kitchen. No the wood does not under the cabinets. At least we've never seen them. We have a lighter maple and it's very user friendly. Doesn't show dirt easily.
August 15, 2012 at 8:47PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Design & Decor By Shelley
Hi lbohney, To answer your question regarding dark wood floors it just depends on your preference in stain color..Do you like the richness of the darker wood or the lighter blonder color..I have brazillian cherry in my home and it does show every little mark especially water, if you have a dog ( I do) when they have wet feet this leaves marks on the floor and it drives me crazy so maybe keep that in mind..I do love the look of my floor when it is nice and shiny and clean..
No the wood does not go under your cabinets..You have to install your cabinets first and then the wood floor butts up to your toe kick..You can either have your toe kick the same as your floor or you can have the kick the same as your cabinets..
Hardwood is very durable and beautiful and I hope you choose wood over tile..
August 15, 2012 at 9:25PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Vikrant Sharma Homez
Wood is the answer but since you have second thoughts why not have tiles laid in wooden finish .
August 15, 2012 at 10:01PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
cranberri99
I've not read anyone commenting on comfort. If you use your kitchen to really cook and bake, finding yourself standing at counter for hours for prepping for dinner parties, then think aching legs and back if you have tile or other hard surface. I find wood much easier on my body. Now I've dropped the pasta maker on Brazilian cherry and did dent it. On second house with Brazilian cherry which I did not select it myself. Beautiful but hard to kept shiny looking.
August 15, 2012 at 10:38PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
lkl747
I agree, our last home had tile and it is hard on the legs and very cold cold on the feet. We had wood in home before and are going back to wood in the home we are now building. It is much more forgiving and warmer.
August 15, 2012 at 11:12PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Every flooring has its drawbacks, just figure out which ones you are willing to live with. Wood floors are a great option, but they will scratch and show water damage over time. Tile is very durable, but yes a harder surface. Probably better to consider your budget and overall desired style. Then figure out which set of challenges you are willing to tackle. All floors require maintenance. I know in my own home I chose hardwood for the areas that are not high traffic with kids and my dog. In the kitchen and family room where everyone hangs out, I have travertine. They transition just fine from one space to the next. Hope that helps. Charmean Neithart
August 15, 2012 at 11:20PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
nina47
My house is 18 years old now and when I had it built I had a real row with the architect who thought the continuation of wooden flooring (maple) into the open kitchen was unpractical. Of course it has suffered some dents and scratches over the years, but tiles chip too if you drop something hard on them. Anyway, I've never regretted the decision to have wooden flooring throughout the house.
August 16, 2012 at 4:35AM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
feeny
In re the question about whether the hardwood floors run under the cabinets. In older houses the hardwood floors run under the cabinets. In newer houses builders save money by putting the cabinets in first and then the floors after (though I'm not sure how universal this is). I have to say I think this technique is short sighted. If you run the hardwood under the cabinets then any future remodeling or reconfigurations of the kitchen won't necessitate putting in a whole new floor. When we recently redid the kitchen in our 1920's house, it really helped that there was wood flooring throughout and we could change the layout of the cabinets without worrying about patching or reconfiguring the floor too. But I'd be curious what the professionals have to say about this. I'm just a homeowner who appreciates houses that are built to stand the test of time and multiple owners.
August 16, 2012 at 4:50AM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Beth Morrow
GO WITH THE WOOD! I just remodeled my house 2 years ago and put wood everywhere except the kitchen and den which are combined. I can't tell you how many times I wish I had used wood in that area too. Just so much easier on the feet and easier to clean, etc. hope this gives you the push you need:)
August 16, 2012 at 5:21AM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Darla
I agree with majority... wood floors in the kitchen is such a beautiful look..especially the hand scraped kind. I would make sure the cabinets and the floor are not the same shade as it creates a dated look. Check them out on houzz pictures and see for yourself.
August 16, 2012 at 7:19AM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
ctirone
i love my wood floors. They are warmer both physically and visually. Things don't break as easily when dropped. And more importantly, nothing chops up and cheeses up an open floor plan more than varied floor finishes.
June 22, 2013 at 7:17PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
gjohnson1213
We have two homes. Our main home has hardwood throughout. It is not the manufactured type that is finished before installation, but the unfinished oak flooring that has a Swedish finish applied after installation. I haven't seen much about the difference between these two very different types of wood floors. In twenty years we have had it refinished once (at a cost of about $5000) Our other home has tile. The tile is much more durable and very easy to maintain.... no scratches, dents, etc. It will never need to be refinished! The only downside is that it can be cold. However, depending on your climate, the cool tile can feel great in warm climates. My daughter has the manufactured hardwood, and the problem is that it just doesn't seem to hold up as well as the traditional style. IAnd I don't think there is an option to refinish it since it isn't solid hardwood. I guess my opinion would be to weigh all the options but be aware that if you decide on manufactured hardwood, getting a high quality solid hardwood product will probablly be worth it if you go that route.
September 21, 2013 at 5:03PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
tnelson1984
Glad to see this question! We are the 2nd owners in our house, original hardwood floors all throughout top level. Hurricane Katrina pulled shingles off 2 bedrooms and had water. Didn't buckle at all! Linoleum in the kitchen and just found out there are hardwood floors underneath! Can't wait to start pulling the linoleum up to see what it looks like!
September 21, 2013 at 5:55PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
The Flooring Girl/Floor Coverings International
There are pros and cons to both hardwood and tile in the kitchen, but personally I prefer hardwood, not only for the reasons you gave, but also because it's easier on feet, warmer and easier to clean.

Here's a whole blog post I wrote showing the advantages of each. http://theflooringgirl.com/blog/kitchen-floors-is-hardwood-flooring-or-tile-better.html

Good luck with your project.
December 1, 2013 at 4:12PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
souzzie
I wanted wood so bad! I got a sample, put it on the floor, and dropped a butter knife on it. GOUGED IT! I'm going with tile. Sigh.
December 1, 2013 at 4:48PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
amymthornton
We had wood in our kitchen and it looked beautiful and we never had any problems. I did do a semi gloss on it though as it is a high traffic area and I did not want it to look dull and scuffed right off the bat. The people who tell you no wood floors in a kitchen also tell you no marble counter tops in a kitchen - Get what you like!!
December 1, 2013 at 4:55PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
atrice
Yes for wood. We have always had in kitchen so entire house flows visually. I agree any floor can be damaged by spills - I have young children that spill ice and water from the frig almost daily and, dry it up right away. No big deal ;)
December 1, 2013 at 5:08PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sbrustein
I had tile in my last kitchen and every time I dropped a glass or plate it shattered into a million pieces. It was are and cold and I swore I would never do it again.
I put oak floors in my kitchen. I used a slightly lighter color than the floors in the rest of the house for easier maintenance.
There are gouges and dents from wear an tear and moving my huge French door fridge out several times When I had a leak ( which didn't ruin the floor ( just he ceiling of the basement below it).
I would suggest an unfinished floor with stain done after it is installed and multiple layers of satin finish polyurethane.
December 1, 2013 at 5:22PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Piff
My mom did it in her custom home and has been living with it for 4+ and adores it to this day. I just renod my apartment with hardwood continuing everywhere but the bathroom. I haven't lived with it yet but man the look is great.
December 1, 2013 at 5:51PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
FINNE Architects
I have designed many high-end custom homes with wood floors in the kitchens, and my clients love it! Here is a photo of my own kitchen in Seattle:

December 1, 2013 at 6:38PM     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
riverpond
You have a beautiful kitchen! Unfortunately, we have had so many issues with our hardwood floors in the kitchen that we intend to go with either slate or limestone in our next house. What about a dark slate or tile for the floors? I try to go with natural material always.
December 1, 2013 at 6:42PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
sbrustein
Finne- I am so happy to see your wood cabinets and wood floor in similar tones. Mine are too and sometimes I feel bad about the lack of contrast in the wood, but I don't have much natural light and so darker tones would not have worked. Yours look great !!!
December 1, 2013 at 6:51PM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
logik17
Kitchen hardwood floor or tile?
March 3, 2014 at 11:44AM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
logik17
Kitchen tile or hardwood?
March 3, 2014 at 11:48AM   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
PRO
Timeless Interiors
There is some stunning tile out there that is made to look just like wood...give you the best of both worlds!! Check out some options in my projects under Eleganza. Also, in project "TopGolf"....both photos that look like wood are actually tile. Great option! Easy to care for, more durable, with the look you want.
March 3, 2014 at 12:55PM   
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Kitchen remodel : hardwood flooring vs. tile
I am remodeling my kitchen and have decided to go with...
Porcelain Wood Tile vs Hardwood in the Kitchen
We're renovating our main floor, and are trying to...
hardwood/laminite flooring vs. tile in lower level bar area?
we are finishing our basement and 2/3 of it will be...
Hardwood floors vs Tile
Working on remodeling the entire home with a contemporary...
More Discussions
Removing stain
HI! I was wondering how to remove the dark stain on...
What kitchen style goes with octagon & red dot floor tiles?
We're buying this contemporary house built in the 80s...
Need a rug for sunroom
I am looking for a rug for this sunroom. I have white...
Need Help for How to Paint Nursery
Hello! My husband and I are expecting our first child...
Biggest household bone of contention?
Is it the direction of the toilet paper? Someone leaves...
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™