Wood floors or tile in foyer?

susanilz5November 8, 2009

I'm in the process of updateing the tile in my foyer. I have oak floors in the kitchen, living room, dining room and master bedroom. I love wood floors. I even considered replacing our carpeted staircase and upstairs hallway with oak floors but decided against it to help keep the noise level down.

I went to the tile store and brought home a bunch of tiles to see what went with my oak trim & doors, wasn't happy with any of my initial selections when my daughter came over and suggested just putting in oak floors instead of tile.

Does anyone have oak in the foyer and how does it hold up to the traffic and the elements? I have oak in the kitchen and love it, but I'm a little nervous about the foyer.

Your opinions please!

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We have mexican tile in our foyer, and hardwood flooring everywhere else on our first floor, except the master bath, where we have ceramic tile. I hate our tile foyer, now that we've lived with the wood all these years. It seems to break up the pleasant flow of the flooring by having this separation, and I wish it were wood. If you can't find a tile that pleases you, and you're so happy with your oak flooring in other areas, I see no reason why you shouldn't carry it into your foyer, as well. Oak is a very durable surface, and it should hold up well and be easy to clean.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 3:47PM
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We bought a house in Seattle in 1991 that had oak parquet in the entry. Bad idea. Had it torn out and replaced with tile. Got wet and discolored. Looked horrible.

If you live in a dry climate, maybe not a bad idea. But, the entry takes a lot of abuse. And, I don't ask people to remove their shoes. Where would they take them off and leave them - on the front stoop? And, if you ask everyone to remove their shoes, provide a bench for them to sit on to take them off and put them back on. I hate trying to balance on one foot while putting a shoe on the other. In fact, I hate being asked to remove my shoes - but that's another topic.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 3:50PM
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We have ash (close to oak) in the entry, LR, DR, kitchen and staircases. I like the continuity.

Just put a rug down.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 3:57PM
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We laid wood floors throughout our first level including the mudd room, two foyer areas and kitchen. We don't have dogs and we don't have small children but living in the Great Lakes area, we have lots of snow and wet weather. We use throw rugs with rubber backing religiously in all these areas and so far (4 years now) they have held up beautifully. Our traffic level is fairly low, but if your home has a lot of traffic and/or your in an area with severe weather you may want consider tile.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 4:25PM
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Thanks for your responses! I'll probably go with wood in the foyer and powder room instead of tile, and I might as well just do the staircase and upstairs hallway in wood too! If noise is an issue I can use runners. Why is every decison so hard? Now it's on to carpet for the kids rooms.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 5:52PM
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I agree about the wood - it makes for a beautiful entry although a marble entry is very beautiful too - especially in the right setting. We have a large wool rug in front of our door - a good wool rug will last your lifetime and it is so nice and cushy feeling - just vacuum regularly.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 5:57PM
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We have all wood floors except tile in the entryway, kitchen, utility room and bath. I'll try to take a picture tomorrow.

I'd go with tile. There are so many types and variations out there now, beautiful colors, and they really add to a room and adds more texture.

Our entryway takes a beating, no matter how good outside or inside rugs are, the area surrounding the rugs still manages to get dirty from grass, water, snow, etc. It just takes a minute to use a wet mop on it.

The best part is I don't have to worry about damaging the tile.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 6:52PM
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I have had real oak wood floors (as opposed to engineered) in the foyer for 20 plus years, raised 2 boys, endured countless friends and 2 springer spaniels without any complaints to how well they have held up. We just recently sanded and refinished them --they are once again gorgeous and that is the beauty of wood floors, they can be brought back to life with a little bit of work.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 8:50PM
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We have wood in our foyer now and it is OK. But, I MISS the brick we used to have in our old foyer--indestructible. Do you have kids? Pets? It can make a difference.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 9:14PM
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I really think tile is more practical in a high traffic area, but I have quartersawn oak hardwood in my foyer. We do have a rug down and while our guests use the front door, my DH and I use the side door on a daily basis.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 9:22PM
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Is this your primary entrance? I have oak in my foyer, but we don't use the front door. We use the mudroom entrance, and that has tile (Crossville Quartzite). I live in a snowy area and have a gravel driveway, a wood floor at my primary entrance wouldn't work.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 9:49PM
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When we built our house the builder budgeted for a tile entry, but we were putting oak floors in the adjacent hall, and in the kitchen and dining rooms. I put the oak in the entry as well for two reasons. 1. because I don't like to break up the floors with a lot of different floorings, and 2. because I knew that I wouldn't get tired of the wood. It's true that there are many tile choices, but different tiles go in and out of style. My oak floors are timeless. It's a lot easier to change the area rug in the entry than it is to chip up outdated tile and replace it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 10:07PM
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We have a mud room entrance, but usually use the front door. We have 2 small dogs, and our kids are adults and gone.

The reason the foyer was tiled in the first place was because when we built the house we had a young family and dogs and I thought the tile would be bullet proof. It did hold up, but so did the oak floors in the rest of the house.

Chicago winters can be snowy, but a rug should handle that. I think I'll go with the wood!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 10:41PM
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When my house was being built in TX, I was still living in CA. Every day my DS would come over and tell me what had been done and sometimes take a few pictures. The initial plan called for hand scraped wood in the DR, kitchen/eating area, and great room. When he called me one day, he asked if I had changed my mind about the foyer~seems they had installed the wood by mistake and were willing to throw it in free of charge.

I had always wanted black(black absolute)/white(creama marfil)marble and said if I ever built again I would have it. The builder was shocked when I called the next day and told him to rip out the wood.

I had the marble installed and absolutely love it. It was laid on the diagonal, and it's a very traditional, but beautiful floor. ;o)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 1:43AM
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Patty and Sue, I'd love to see pictures of your tile. Both sound beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 6:44AM
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Patty - you have my dream floor for an entry - a classic.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 7:20AM
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Now I'm considering the marble. It's a beautiful and timeless look! What happens to marble if your pet has an accident? Does it etch?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Marble is very pretty, but I don't think it's a good choice for foyers. It does etch.

Have you considered porcelaine tile that looks like marble or even wood for that matter? That would be your best bet if you're worried about staining or wear & tear. I've see the wood tile installed and it looks amazing.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 2:16PM
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