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Kitchen flooring dilemma: Hardwood or tile?

As the social media and content manager for eieihome.com, it’s my duty to provide you, our valued readers, with expert advice and tips on all things home renovations. But now I need help! I’m moving into a new home and need to pick out a flooring option. Do I choose hardwood or tile? Before I hire a flooring expert to do the work, I did some research for myself.

Why this is a dilemma

My home is open concept, which means the kitchen itself opens up into the family room. Since the two rooms are right beside each other, I’m trying to decide if I want to install a threshold (a transitional element from one flooring material to the other) or put hardwood in both rooms and streamline the look.

flooring_options

See the difference?

A kitchen flooring dilemma is a good dilemma to have, right? I mean, it’s just a floor! But I want to make the right decision the first time so I don’t regret it.

Hardwood flooring in the kitchen

Let’s evaluate my options. Here are some pros with choosing hardwood:

  • It’s a classic and rich look that will never go out of style.
  • They’re less prone to damage in comparison to engineered floors should a heavy object fall onto the floor.
  • It’s comfortable to walk on.
  • They don’t attract allergens or moulds in comparison to rugs or carpets.

It’s enough to convince me – that is, if I don’t evaluate the cons of going with a hardwood floor in the kitchen:

  • Hardwood needs to be polished every three to for years. Yikes!
  • They do require some maintenance.
  • Hardwood can be easily damaged if there’s water seepage.
  • It can be mopped with a wet cloth, but not dripping either.

My fear is that I’ll be cooking something in the kitchen (or my husband and he’s a messy, messy cook!) and I’ll drop something on the floor. Perhaps it’s oil or a pan. I’m afraid to damage the hardwood! But I do love the look, hence the dilemma.

hardwood

What about tile?

There’s nothing wrong with putting tile in the kitchen. In fact, it’s pretty common, wouldn’t you agree? I only considered hardwood in order to make the two rooms flow better. Alas, I still have this dilemma. Here are some of the benefits of choosing a ceramic tiled floor:

  • It’s water resistant.
  • It’s durable and replacing a broken tile is a simple job.
  • You can choose a tile that resembles hardwood anyway!

There’s always another side to the debate. Here are some cons I must consider:

  • It’s easy to clean and maintain, but hard to stand on, especially if you’ll be cooking for long periods of time.
  • They are heavy and will need to be installed by a professional.

tiles kitchen

The cons aren’t too bad! But before I make my final decision, I decided to ask our community of eieihome.com followers what they thought!

Here’s a variety of responses I received through social media.

Yay for hardwood!

“I’m in the process of remodeling my kitchen/ living room to open concept. My kitchen had tile and my living room had the small light colour hard wood. My choice is hardwood, ceramics are hard to stand on for a long period of time, then when you have spills the grout can discolour. And hardwood is an easy clean up, lite mop does wonders for hardwood.” -Tricia Jennings-Panunte.

“I would go hardwood and have the same kind throughout the main floor. It will make it look bigger and cleaner, when you mix tile and hardwood sometimes it can look busy.” -Angela Kellar.

“Definitely hardwood, it’s gorgeous! And it flows beautifully throughout the house.” -Tammy Haddow.

“I’ve heard hardwood is wonderful. Easy to maintain & beautiful.” -Glady Wheeler Martin.

“Hardwood floors with a hand-scraped finish are always nice and give a warm, homey feel to the kitchen!” -Atlantis Bath Centre

Opt for tile instead!

“It depends who is cooking! I recently built a house and had the same debate. I hesitated about hardwood because I cook a lot and was worried [about] spills causing stains or damage so I ended up doing a great linear tile in a 12 x 24 inch size and I love it!” -Yvonne Nasri.

“I recommend the traditional tile instead to ensure a beautiful tile job. No matter who is cooking, hardwood tile isn’t the best choice for a beautiful kitchen. I have handled few projects in kitchens here in my location using the traditional tile and it stood out from the mundane to the satisfaction of my clients, as it made me exhibited my work to the best of my ability. The jobs undertaken were done satisfactorily and commendable. I wholeheartedly recommend them because you would be amazed when the job is complete.” -Oritsegbemi Enemigin.

“We put porcelain tiles that look like hardwood. You get that earthy tones, but great to clean and durability!! -Despina Lanaras.

I could opt for a tile that looks like hardwood, like in this video:

Stay tuned for my answer in the near future – I promise you’ll all be the first to hear about it!

More in Flooring

Real or engineered hardwood flooring?

From the editor: What I learned about flooring this month



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