Porcelain floor in Maryland home?

Cindyloo123June 15, 2011


I have been agonizing over what kind of hard floor to put in my living room and kitchen. I have a split level home. The level that is over an unheated basement, is the 650' that are my kitchen and living room. I can't say that I've ever seen tile in a Maryland living room, but I have dogs and I feel like Porcelain is the way to go for the whole level.

As I read through this forum, I keep seeing references to how cold a tile floor will be, or to how people who live in cold climates might not want to use tile.

Is porcelain going to make the rooms colder? Will it actually increase my heating costs? Or will is just feel colder to walk on in the winter? I do plan to put a large area rug in the living room and probably the dining area of the kitchen too. So what is with the big concern about using tile in a cold area of the country?

Thanks for ANY info at all!

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Wow, before anyone else can even answer, I've changed my mind. I just spent a few hours reading about the glued down plank vinyl flooring. It seems this is the answer to so many of my issues!

I'm sure to some people it will look cheap, but I don't want to live in a house where I am worrying all the time about how my activities are affecting my floors! I can't wait to get to the flooring stores to start getting prices!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 3:26AM
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Cindyloo123 - I am in Maryland also. Thought I don't see it often, I have seen it in a friends home because her DH is a tile setter. They also have several dogs, and it always look good.

Personally, I would not, because I have ceramic tile in our kitchen, and I find it hard to clean.

I have used vinyl plank flooring in several bathrooms and I love it. It's not the glued down, but the Allure from Home Depot. I have used the wood & tile versions. I have found it very easy to maintain.

I am getting ready to install it in the kitchen we are renovating now.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Hi Cindyloo. I live in DC and have both in the house. I installed porcelain tile in the kitchen reno last fall and just finished tiling the foyer with the same tile. In the back part of the house (hallway/2 bedrooms), we have glue-down vinyl planks (whitewash from Lumber Liquidators).

Porcelain tile is fantastic. Bulletproof it seems. The corgi can't scratch it. But since it is polished, it shows doggie smudges and her fur. Oh well. And it's very cold, but that is expected with any tile. It's just not a warm surface. While it works well in wet areas like kitchens & baths, I wouldn't put it throughout the living space. This isn't Florida and a lot of people wouldn't get it (if you care about resale).

The vinyl planks are also very tough. However, they are ridiculously cold in the winter. To the point where I don't like sitting at my desk without some serious socks/slippers/on a rug/with a space heater all going on. But we live in a basement condo, so really any flooring for us is going to be cooler. We will likely cover the vinyl with an engineered hardwood in the next year. But I will say it is very strong and resilient to scratching. They even have some pretty nice colors now. I wouldn't do the whitewash again as it gets grimy too easily.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Thank you both for your thoughts. It's such a tough call and I can't afford to make the wrong decision. Going with porcelain will cost me over $8,000 and it sounds like I can go with the vinyl plank for about $1,000 (if we do our own installation).

I can use put some of the savings into really nice area rugs that might draw attention away from the vinyl.

Our local hospital installed the glued down vinyl planks in it's lobby a year ago. I was there yesterday and that floor still looks like new, in spite of the daily wheel chairs, walkers, crutches and high volume foot traffic. I am going to call them and find out what brand it is and also whether they have been replacing damaged planks very often.

I have heard people complain about standing on tile floors. I don't think it would bother me, but I'm 55 and things could change. Then there is the issue of dogs and children constantly falling on such hard floors.

It seems the vinyl is so cheap one can hardly go wrong by trying it. I was pushed over the edge on the decision when I read on this site that you can remove damaged planks and replace them! What other floor can you do that with so easily?

xand83, I have a thick, wall to wall carpet over my concrete ground level floor. My office is on that level. I have a footrest under my desk so that puts more space between my heavily dressed feet and the floor. During the coldest months, unless I use a space heater, I have to use a heavy fleece "sack" my mother made for me to put my feet in! I am sure that vinyl planks on that floor would be like ice, lol.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:06PM
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