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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with flooring option: all wood or tile in kitchen?

kristianmartinJanuary 14, 2013
Buying a new home. Cabinets and countertop were already picked (sarsaparilla, granite). Need to choose flooring for first floor. Should I have wood flooring throughout or have it tiled in the kitchen? If tile in the kitchen, what color? I'm attaching a sample of the cabinet and countertop for reference. I go back to the design center Wednesday! For wood flooring, I was told a lighter wood would be best. The model home had long, narrow planks which seemed to work well.
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Have wood flooring throughout. I've never understood why anyone would install timber floors everywhere, then abruptly change to tile for the kitchen! Stick to one or the other I reckon!
:) Elise
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 2:33AM
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Wall, cabinet & counter can be tied together well with light or dark shades of each color you have so far. But you may want to consider how your choice of material, color & shade will impact the other rooms. Try to visualize the patterns of contrast that are created/removed by the cabinets/walls/counters/your furniture & various objects when the shade of the floor lightens/darkens. Perhaps one color, shade or material will help make it easier to get "the look" & "feel" throughout your home when you look at the big picture. If all else fails,
-Imagine of the home of your dreams...
-Find a photo of it on Houzz...(it's there...)
-Create & enjoy.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 3:26AM
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Wood throughout.

Floor colors/finishes that might look nice:
Grand Stair · More Info

New Mood Design · More Info

dining room · More Info

San Francisco Whole House Remodel · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 3:44AM
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I wonder about black and white tile.... alternately, if you are a cook and spend lots of time in the kitchen, what about cork?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 4:41AM
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Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
Is your kitchen open to other rooms? If so, then keeping the flooring consistent with the rest of the house would look best. The problem with wood in a kitchen is that it can become worn and beat up faster than the adjacent rooms and then it's difficult to refinish just the one room.

If there's a natural break between the kitchen and the adjacent rooms, then I'd select a rectified porcelain tile in a medium gray tone. There are some very beautiful porcelain tiles that look like slate, which would work very nicely with your cabinets and countertops. These tiles have clear 90 degree edges so the grout lines can be very narrow, 1/16" or so. They come in large sizes to minimize the grout lines too--either long planks (4" x 24") or large squares (18" x 18") or even multiple sizes to get a random pattern look.

If you go with wood, a medium tone would be best, just make sure the wood is stained in a cool color, like a grayish or ashy tone. Your kitchen has a cool color palette, so bringing in a warm, honey tone would not look good.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 4:45AM
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Jayme H.
I think wood would look great.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:18AM
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There are several tiles available that look like wood but give you the durability and ease of cleaning. They come in plank sizes usually as well.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:35AM
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I would recommend going with a hardwood flooring if the adjoining rooms are going to be hardwood. Otherwise, you could do tile or hardwood if the adjoining areas are carpet. A grey stained hardwood floor would look nice with the sasparilla cabinets. Definitely want to contrast the floor as the biggest issue that I've seen is when clients try to match the flooring to the cabinets but don't get it exact as it than looks like you tried to match but weren't successful.

Tile is going to be best if you're worried about a potential water damage but the hardwood floor is what most of my clients go with as they tend to do hardwood in adjoining areas as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:44AM
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Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
Artistico, you are correct that there are porcelain tiles that are wonderful replicas of wood. However, if there is genuine wood in the adjoining areas, I wouldn't recommend faux wood in the kitchen. Either keep the same wood or go for something completely different.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:53AM
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Sorry I forgot to say do the wood tile thru-out instead of the genuine wood all together. Otherwise I agree contrast the tile if keeping genuine wood.
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:03AM
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A Crew of Two
Cork flooring would be amazing....it is easier to maintain in a kitchen- water etc. It also is quieter if you are doing it everywhere- it helps absorb some of the noise. It also retains warmth. You can choose a color for the entire floor, but then get an insert of color or pattern if you would like. There is not limit to color or ideas.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 6:52AM
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Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I will look into the cork flooring as I've never heard of it before (novice here). The kitchen does connect to the dining area and living area (it is a small townhome).
    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:00AM
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    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 3:41AM
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Just to say, your kitchen is so pretty! I am like SO JEALOUS!!!! But I think you should probably buy a white marble floor because I'm all about marble, I have a black and grey marble table in my kitchen. So like a marble that is white with some grey parts in it!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 4:21AM
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I love the black cabinetry. Stick with wood throughout, I hate floor transitions. You will be happy with the look. You also don't need to go super light on the stain either just don't go really dark.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 4:53AM
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    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:52AM
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It is always good to have a wood floor.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:11AM
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Jean Tuck
I love wood floors and the laminate that appears to be wood may be a substitue for kitchen area because of the frequent cleanp needed in this area as in the bathrm where there is moisture to deal with which can be a problem with your wooden floors.Id love the wooden floor to remain beautiful for as long as possible so need to place them where moisture is not always introduced to cause deterioration. Keeping colors contant throughout the home does give a more spacious element to design and oddly enough is relaxing to me. and I am working on this within my budget.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:39AM
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Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
Re laminate floors, Jean Tuck, they are also not going to react well to water or moisture. They will swell and "cup" at the seams if water is left on them, so really the only reason to install them is that they are less expensive than wood. They certainly don't look like wood and because they are "floating" floors don't sound like wood either when you walk on them.

If you want the look of wood with water repellancy, get the porcelain tiles.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 3:46AM
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Have u considered the vinyl planks that look like wood? They can handle water, are hard wearing and cost effective. They usually have at least a 10 year warranty also.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:44PM
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I have wood (maple 3/8" engineered planks) and porcelain tile. In terms of maintenance, I much prefer the porcelain tile, which we have in our kitchen and eating area. We adopted a stray puppy that grew to be an 80 lb dog. Since she was at least 50 lbs, she has wreaked havoc on the hardwood floors by leaving scratch marks when she inevitably runs in the house. Maple is one of the hardest species of wood but apparently no match for dog nails. We tried to keep her nails clipped enough but they grow too fast for us to keep up with. We now use area/strip rugs as much as possible to protect our "hardwood" floors. Just another consideration if you have larger sized dogs. Also, I have found that cleaning hardwood floors is much more of a chore than cleaning porcelain tile. It is recommended to only use a damp mop to clean hardwood floors when they need extra cleaning besides vacuuming. However, I have found it necessary to follow up with hand drying (on my hands and knees) after mopping a small area at a time to eliminate streak marks left behind if the damp mopping is allowed to dry on its own. I have tried products claiming to produce streak free results, but they do not. We have wood laminate in a small apartment we built at the back of our lot and it holds up very well to dog nails and is as easy to take care of as porcelain tile. It is a floating floor but I think our installer used a special underlayment material to eliminate the hollow sound and the average person probabaly wouldn't notice it was laminate just by looking at and walking on it. It pays to go with the more expensive laminate flooring to get the more realistic look. The porcelain tile is nonporous, so I don't have to worry about it staining like some natural stone floors can. Also, it doesn't show dust like wood floors and its imitations (laminate and vinyl) seem to do. If you live in a dry, dusty area, it may seem like you have to dustmop every other day. I don't have practical experience with cork or bamboo floors, but I like the fact that they are made from renewable sources. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but I don't believe I will ever be a repeat hardwood floor customer. I like Diana Biers suggestion for gray or slate looking porcelain tile with your colors, something a little bit darker than the lighter parts of your counter color.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Hi---110% positive the floor should be wood... Good Luck!
San Francisco Whole House Remodel · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Chameleon Power
Instantly visualize different types of flooring at http://arizonatile.chameleonpower.com or http://congoleum.chameleonpower.com. You can even upload your photo to redesign.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
Cork is a fascinating element in a kitchen/house. You can have a floor that runs throughout or you can work room by room. We have over 40+ cork floors. I have everything from a beautiful "Maple
Burl" (which is what I'm seeing in the photos above), to a "white washed" paneled oak, to black marble or even slate blue!

Choose the look that you want to achieve for the REST of the space (your kitchen is beautiful but small). That will set the tone for what you want to happen. You can always "adapt" the idea of the larger space to fit the kitchen.

Eg. Do you want "white" flooring throughout your space? Do you want "red" wood in your kitchen? Is there a compromise? You may find that it might be easier to compartmentalize the flooring (the kitchen does not appear to open directly into a large space...it seems pretty isolated) - like the rooms - and go with two colours of flooring.

Do you live in a cold climate (Canada and all of the northern states/midwest count as "cold")? If you do, do you want tile? These are just 4 of my floors.

www.icorkfloor.com (USA clients)
www.corkfloorsales.com (Canadian)
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Love the wood throughout - always makes the space look much larger than it is.
Nice start - wish you hadn't returned the granite on the backsplash though - I'd add mosaic tiles there instead.
Great Job - good luck!
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Linda Peterson
I would do all wood in a limed, taupey French oak finish. By the way, beautiful kitchen so far! Keep the clean, sparse look. So many people put too many decorative things on their counters. A sleek stainless coffee maker and a cool bowl of lemons or green apples and that's enough. Good luck with your new home.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 12:19AM
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Vikrant Sharma Homez
Maintain the same floor throughout , but if you want to add a little interest in the kitchen go for a tiled floor .
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 1:39AM
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Marilyn Wilkie
Do tile. There are thousands to choose from. Variety is the spice of life! You also don't have to worry about matching the rest of the wood floors. Tile is pretty much bullet proof. We have a porcelain tile that looks like river stones...it's 3-D. People love it and so do we. Oops! Just read where you don't already have wood so the matching part would not be a problem. I love black and white tile floors.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Chameleon Power
Yes, do tile and you can instantly visualize different tile options in a real room scene at daltile.chameleonpower.com
1 Like    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 6:10AM
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