Kitchen flooring

homehuntressJune 9, 2013

If you have an open floor plan do you have hardwood or tile flooring in your kitchen? Pros and cons? Our kitchen will open into the family room, so I feel a continuous flow of hardwood will look nicer. However I wonder if kitchen spills will be more difficult to clean. Would crumbs and liquids get trapped between the planks? We have a transition from vinyl to carpet in our current house and I hate that little metal strip that separates the two.

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We have an open floor plan with hardwood through all the open spaces (kitchen, family room, mudroom, dining room, foyer, powder room). Spills are no big deal--use paper towels to soak up the mess, then pull out a mop and spot mop the area. When I don't notice someone dripped something on the way to the sink, I just spot mop that area. No big deal. We use a Swiffer Vac for routine vac & dustmop (I love my Swiffer Vac) and a Libman spray mop for mopping (works great for spot mopping--I keep a vinegar/water mix in the attached spray bottle for quick spot mops in between regular mopping).

You asked about crumbs getting caught between the planks--that can happen if you have beveled edges which are usually used to add dimension to prefinished flooring. If you go with traditional site finished hardwoods or even a non-beveled laminate, this is not a problem at all. Our floors are smooth and the poly finish on top has filled any minute spaces between planks. The crumb thing was why we steered clear of beveled edges even though I thought they looked really cool. In the end, we paid about the same for site finished HWs as we were quoted for prefinished.

The only con that I really see to having HWs throughout is the possibility of water damage if your DW, refrigerator water line, etc should leak. Other than that, HWs are easy to clean, easy to keep clean, give a continuous look throughout the open space, and they are not cold like tile can be.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We went with all amtico...high end luxury plank vinyl. We went with garcia stone in the kitchen area and rosewood in the family room area. There is no transition as it is all the same material. It warm, quiet, durable, and wonderfully easy to clean, and will never need to be refinished.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Our kitchen is open to our family room...we used site finished, 5" white oak throughout our house (except mudroom and baths.) I love the way it looks, and it is very easy to care for. There are no gaps b/w the planks, so there is nowhere for crumbs to get stuck. I had hw in my old kitchen, and had no problems there, either. I guess they could get messed up if you had a leak...but I wouldn't choose another material based on fear of that...that is what homeowners insurance is for.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Thank you all for your responses thus far. You have some beautiful homes! Site built oak is in our plans now. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't something I hadn't considered before it's too late since our flooring should start within the next several weeks and my kids and dog have to be the messiest eaters on the planet.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Not a fan of tile in kitchens, obviously it is hard but also quite cold unless you run infloor heating which jacks the install price and ongoing costs. We went with cork plank which is similar in color to our hardwood. Has been ok so far and is comfortable to walk on.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:05AM
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My kitchen/living/dining area is one big room and will have hardwood in the whole space. We couldn't find a good transition spot for the tile to start and I hate grout. Haven't live with it yet so can't give any input on that part of it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Over the years, in various homes I've installed ceramic, roll vinyl, linoleum tiles, rubber, polished slate and hardwood.

Rubber was the most delightful to walk on and you'd have to bend down and deliberately cut into it with a sharp knife to damage it.

Polished slate tile flooring (source: Olympia Tile) throughout kitchen, breakfast area, family room. Quartzite counters (Zodiaq by Dupont)

Typical red or white oak will dent with high heels. I once tracked the spoor of a 100 lb hottie who spoiled a client's first floor hardwood at their first home party.

Tile with tight grout lines will still shatter any dishware that hits it. Ditto granite.

My personal favourite was the polished slate. It's warmer and softer than ceramic/granite, and so damages more easily.

In a modern or retro decor, the new linos should be in the running. Easy to clean, easy on the feet and, if it matters, they're "green".

This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Jun 10, 13 at 12:43

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:14AM
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We've got an open floor plan and I'm thrilled with my Marmoleum choice in the kitchen, half bath and rear entry.

Quarter and rift sawn oak in the adjoining foyer, den and dining room and then it transitions to the Marmoleum at a cased opening from the foyer, another from the dining room and another from the den.

I had tile at a previous house; for me it's too hard, grout traps dirt (yea I know you can use dark grout, but it's still dirty) and is too cold.

I don't want the wear issues (there are definite set traffic patterns in a kitchen) and possible water damage of wood especially since we have a half bath involved.

From an aesthetics point of view, I've got QSawn oak cabinets, oak trim etc and it would have been wood overkill with the cabs on top of the floors!

Love the Marmoleum... the matte look and the earthy shades are a perfect neutral blend against the oak.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:10PM
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I'd look close at the LVT options like Annie has posted. As you can see they look lovely and you mentioned pets. Havn't met a dog alive that doesn't have the occasional accident on the floor and that is what you have to worry more about with wood than their eatting habits. Do some googling for pet friendly flooring and you'll find hardwood (while I'm sure it can work depending on how you manage your pets) really isn't anywhere near the top of the list.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:31PM
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I'm sorry, but I'm still laughing at "high end luxury plank vinyl" from above.
As someone who is intimately familiar with PVC compounds, I assure you there is no such animal. You've been "marketed". I'm sure it's a fine product, but...!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:57AM
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If you do a search on gardenweb you'd come up with some very high reviews of amtico flooring in particular. I believe those that have it in their homes and are happy with it, and being a pet centric household I intend to use it in my home. But I'll be able to say more of course after we move in!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well, we purchased amtico after seeing it in Expo. If you may recall, Expo was a high end Home Depot store. They laid this flooring down throughout the store...people had no idea that they were walking on vinyl, not wood or stone. The traffic was heavy and they were driving tow motors over this stuff and laying down skids and it stood up beautifully to all of that. I figured our little house was never going to see that kind of abuse, so we were good to go.

There is a big difference between the thinly cushioned sheet vinyl congoleum type stuff that is easily cut by every unfortunate spike heel or metal chair leg and this stuff. It is not a single layer of vinyl, but a composite material with a rubber-like backing, a pigmented layer and a wear layer on top with a urethane coating. It also has a 25 year warranty.

I was just looking at their site and I don't see that they are making the borders anymore which is too's why i specifically went with amtico, and they customized the borders for my purpose.

But it does look like they've really upped the colors and style of their stone products over what was available when I was making my selection.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:06PM
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