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Wood floor, tile floor, I just can't decide! Help?

July 9, 2012

Our current tile (15yo) has a few cracks and my feet absolutely kill me after a full day in the kitchen. Had decided to do wood (engineered as we are on slab), but after cleaning my tile today, I am having second thoughts. It really worries me 1) to have wood next to two exterior doors, and having to deal with water when someone comes in when it is raining, 2) having wood under the washer, dishwasher, and refrigerator, 3) keeping it clean if it can't be mopped.

If you have engineered wood on slab in your kitchen, how do you deal with the above?

We were at a flooring store this weekend and saw some 12" wood look tile planks. Maybe that would be a better choice?

Comments (22)

  • lavender_lass

    Marti- I've read on the forum that wood can be extremely durable...it just depends on the finish. If you're really concerned, you might want to consider a very nice 'wood' vinyl, but I'd get more information first.

    I've been thinking about vinyl for my kitchen/laundry floor. Being on the farm, vinyl might be the easiest to keep clean...and water/mud/snow won't be an issue.

    Good news...aren't you excited you're choosing floors? You've done a great job with your reno and I know you're going to love it! :)

  • TxMarti

    Yes, the end is finally in sight. We need to do ceilings first, but we thought we should probably think ahead to the floors.

    I briefly considered vinyl, but I didn't like our last vinyl at all, so I'd rather have tile or wood. I really prefer the ease of tile, but I don't know if my feet can take it.

  • lalithar

    I would vote for tile and if you wish you can get one of those nice kitchen gel mats to stand on. I had wood in my old kitchen and it started to look quite dinged in 5-6 yrs. We did take good care of it but just does not seem practical. But I guess it depends on how you cook. I am more in the tornado school of cooking :)

  • itsallaboutthefood

    I prefer tile floors for the reason you specified. I know it's hard on feet, but I decided that if it becomes a problem for my feet, I'll just invest in some expensive shoes engineered to give you feet a break for wearing in the kitchen. If this idea appeals to you check out a local shoe store that specializes in shoes for comfort.

  • tanajo

    Armstrong vinyl tiles. soft on feet but not squishy. I'm in love with my new floor! Much warmer than my porcelain tiles and easier on my knees.

  • honorbiltkit

    Marti --

    If you really want the look of wood but are worried about its durability around water, I recommend that you check out TrafficMaster Allure wood plank flooring.

    I manage two "English basement" apartments, and a decade ago I had put Pergo in both of them because of possible dampness. It was the closest look to wood available at the time.

    Last year, when I looked for flooring for the basement of a house we were renovating, I saw this Allure stuff at HD. Unlike the Pergo, it has texture, it does go down in plants, and the rustic look I chose was quite realistic. It has now been in for over a year and had some hard use, and it is holding up well.

    I will be using it over the Pergo when the current tenants move.

    Cheers. hbk

  • andreak100

    If you aren't matching up flooring in another part of your house, I would definitely suggest looking into laminate type flooring. Almost 15 years ago, I put down a Pergo laminate in my mom's bathroom (Pergo was the only one at the time that was water-rated), and while it is now starting to show it's age a bit, it was wonderful for many, many years, and the laminate floors weren't nearly as advanced as what they are now. I would definitely look into that as an option if you are concerned about water and wear. The laminates have a bit of give to them, unlike tile.

  • ae2ga

    Since comfort is the reason for the change, have you considered cork? Either planks or tiles - there are a few people here who have cork flooring and find it durable and comfortable.

  • TxMarti

    honorbiltkit, I had considered Allure, and still am. The only drawback with it are that it will be next to my wood floor in a couple of places and there will be a height difference between them.

    tanajo, I haven't considered vinyl tile, but I'll check it out.

    andreak, I'm not a fan of laminates. I've walked on them in other houses and can't stand that hollow, clicking noise when walking on it.

    ae2ga, I came across a photo on houzz just a few minutes ago with a cork floor and liked the way it looks. I need to find out more about it too.

    To those who say to stick with tile, I'm swaying that direction, especially if I could have a smaller grout line with it than the 1/4" I have now.

  • andreak100

    Oh, I thought that Allure was a laminate and when I saw it being suggested, I was kind of following up on that vein saying that a laminate would probably give you the benefits you were looking for. Is Allure vinyl instead? Again then, it can give you the features you are desiring without the downside of tile. You would need to use a reducer for your transition, which may or may not be a big deal to you.

    In the end, it sounds like you may need to decided if the functionality is more important or the form. If you cook a lot and are standing a good bit in there, do you want to continue standing on something that is currently causing you discomfort? If you're okay with the discomfort and prefer tile, then I would say go that way. But, if you want to work on reducing the discomfort, you may be well served looking at other options.

  • ginny20

    You should be able to have 3/16" grout, or maybe even smaller if it's rectified. I agree that tile is not as comfortable, but I didn't consider anything else due to 1)the door to the garage that we all use every day as our main entrance, 2)our dog, and 3)average 100" of snow annually. I used a medium dark gray tile that looks like slate, with gray grout. As I always say, dirt-colored tile with dirt-colored grout. DH and I love it. I am going to get a couple of gel mats to use for longer cooking projects, however.

  • sail_away

    We had a similar dilemma when replacing floors in kitchen/family room. Both rooms connect to where we have or will shortly have hardwood floors, so no laminate or vinyl wood-looking tile was even considered. We ended up with Downs luxury vinyl tile (LVT). It is a floating floor that clicks together very, very tightly. You really have to see it in person to appreciate the difference between it and other vinyl---definitely a huge step up from sheet vinyl. It's not tile or slate, but I am happy with the looks and easy maintenance of our floor.

    If you've had tile before and are happy with that option, that might be your preference. I have had tile floors before and didn't want them again, so the LVT provided the correct option for us.

  • labbie

    We had the same concerns, and we ended up choosing cork. I cook a lot, and wanted the comfort. We are going with planks. Surrounding rooms and our cabinets are all wood so we wanted a different material and loved the feel of it underfoot (showroom we went to had it installed in their desk areas).

  • Lake_Girl

    I just saw some of the wood-look tile at Lowes's this weekend. I thought it looked really nice.

  • dab07

    I vote for tile, and getting a comfy mat or shoes.

    My in-laws have an engineered floor on a slab. It gives in spots when you walk on it, and has a hollow sound. It doesn't feel solid.

    We have Costco's Kirkland laminate in our basement. I don't know how people get away with that kind of floor in a heavily used area -- it scratches. Two different wood-like floors wouldn't look right next to each other, and the height difference is another problem.

  • jjdcl

    I'm having wood look ceramic tiles put in my house next week. I really wanted wood, but with three small kids and the possibility of a pool in the backyard next summer I thought we would destroy it. We had the tiles laid out in the front entry and everyone that came over asked if it was our new wood floor. When I said it was tile they stepped on it and then eventually had to pick it up to see that it was ceramic. I've never noticed it being hard on my feet though so that wasn't an issue for us.

  • a2gemini

    Cork is comfy ( think Birkenstocks) but not sure a good choice for dogs. Anyone out there with dogs and cork?

  • chesters_house_gw

    We installed wood (actually bamboo) but left a cut out skirt at the entry which we'll get to tiling soon.

  • cparlf

    We went through the same process, and decided on Karndean's "luxury vinyl" flooring. We have mud, dogs, and a well lived in home environment. Certain of their wood plank flooring (DaVinci Line) even has beveled edges, and comes in 3", 6" and even 7" widths and up to 48" length. It has a 20 year warranty. It is not cheap though. Starting price will hover around $5.99 per square foot, plus installation. A great web site too. Good lluck.

  • wizardnm

    I had the same concerns as you. Since you mention liking Allure, I thought you might want to see the Starloc line, this is what we put down and love it. I have a big dog, direct entrance from the out side and wanted something easy on my feet and knees.

    Allure is made by the same company as Starloc but there is a big difference in thickness, finish, warranty and quality.
    Check out the styles and colors. The opening just shows wood looks but there are stone looks too.

    You might also search under Metro Flooring, it's another division of the same company.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Starloc

  • bosdiyer

    If you're concerned about clicking on laminate, there are a couple of ways to avoid that. You can get premium 12mm laminates that have padding on the back that really deaden sound and there are cork underlayments that do the same. One thing to keep in mind with laminates - if you damage the surface there's no easy way I'm aware of to repair them. That would include moving unpadded furniture around on them or dropping a heavy object (not that that could ever happen in a kitchen :) ).

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