New (old) kitchen - what to do with the floor?

ideagirl2July 4, 2013

Ok so, after spending like two years on this forum talking about our kitchen remodel, what did we do? We moved! Of course. And all we did with the old house's kitchen was paint it, do minor repairs and replace all the appliances with higher-end stainless ones (though that alone was somehow enough that a buyer's realtor referred to it as an "updated kitchen"--despite having 70-year-old steel cabinets!).

Anyway, now we have a new kitchen to remodel, because here's the situation:

- No cabinets whatsoever (we are using the butler's pantry for cabinets)
- No counter other than a large table (again, we're using the butler's pantry)
- Enormous ancient commercial stove that I am lusting to sell, because it has like 14 pilot lights and zero modern safety features, and as of now the gas line is kinked so we can't even turn on the gas safely... so yes... we have no stove. We're "cooking" in our Breville and our microwave.
- Three, count 'em three, sinks... all conveniently located right next to each other! This used to be a commercial kitchen so that's how it's set up.

On the plus side, the kitchen's enormous: 20'7" by 14'9", with 12-foot ceilings. Lots of big windows, not too many doors, nice bones. We already got an all-fridge and all-freezer, since we had the room and AJ Madison was having a sale (we got Frigidaires--so far so good). I'll post a layout later, but our first order of business is:


Right now it's old vinyl 12x12's. We think the floor is cement because the basement ceiling is cement, but there must be some kind of subfloor between that and the 12x12 tiles. Personally we're not into ceramic, stone or other hard tiles... so here's what we're looking at:
- Marmoleum click in a checkerboard pattern, or possibly just Marmoleum tiles (without the cork backing of the "click" ones);
- Bamboo that looks like wood (i.e. stained/treated to not look so extremely bamboo-ish); or
- Wood.

Do you have any comments on those options, or thoughts for options we might not have thought of? My first inclination is bamboo, but I read somewhere that it doesn't like constant sun exposure, which it's going to get since we have giant windows facing south. However, we're putting in storm windows with low-E glass everywhere (apparently this should cut our heating/cooling costs by 20%+), so maybe the low-E aspect will make sunlight less of an issue?

FYI, the house is about a century old and there's some woodwork in the kitchen (door frames and two doors) that's about the color of clover honey. We haven't decided yet if we're going to go with white/cream or wood cabinets.

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I would love the marmoleum but only if you know, for sure, that the installer is experienced, You didnt mention cork but is comes in cool colors now and is something to think about. I don't know about the low e glass helping with sun exposure. I have a glass ceiling in my sunroom and we replaced the glass with low e last year and we still experience fading(even sunbrella fabric has faded). Friends put scraped bamboo in their house and it does look awesome. Of course, you can't really go wrong with wood. It's timeless.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 4:12PM
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I'm curious about cork but my mom had a bad experience with it. The surface got all messed up from some water dripping (not much water) and from her wheelchair wheels on it... the wheels are just rubber, nothing special. It made the cork just seems not super-durable to me, especially for wet areas. Do you know people who have it in their kitchen and are happy?

Also I thought the Marmoleum Click was more DIY-friendly, with the installer issues being really important only if you go with the sheet Marmoleum. Am I wrong on that?

It's interesting that your low-E glass didn't prevent fading in the sunroom. Hmm. Something to think about.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Our sunroom is very bright, direct southern exposure though we live in the upper northeastern corner of the US, ie Maine. It is actually built to be a heat trap in the winter and it does greatly contribute to heating our house in the winter. The Sunbrella fabric hasn't faded horribly, it is one of those, 'only I can tell' situations. Our braided cotton rug from Crate and Barrel is a different story!
Back to your flooring choice... I don't know a lot about the different types. I really wanted it but I couldn't get the transition in my open floor plan house to feel right. There were a couple of horror stories posted around the time I was considering too. One I recall was Deedles, so google 'gardenweb deedles marmoleum' and you will probably find it.
I have a good friend, who is also a KD and she has cork in her kitchen, She has two dogs-Labs, 2 cats, and 2 boys: it is holding up great. I think when cork just came out there were issues but I don't think cork in the last 5-7 years has the same problems. Why dont you do a post with the title- cork in the kitchen, are you happy?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 7:45PM
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I love cork, but it can be water damaged. A checkered linoleum floor would be great, and good stuff is tough as nails, but don't forget to consider sheet linoleum. It makes a terrific floor; the decades roll on, and hospitals are still installing it, for instance. And Marmoleum is only one brand.

Your house sounds lovely. BTW, if you don't hate the idea of an old stove, you might look into retrofitting that one with modern starter mechanisms before you get rid of it, putting new finishes on handles, griddle, etc.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 8:29PM
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