Soft, warm, quiet flooring for Kitchen/bath/laundry

lucas_tx_gwSeptember 18, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I normally lurk but am considering some enhancements and would like to get some flooring suggestions. DH is wildly enamored with stone or tile flooring, me not so much.

So what are some (hopefully green sustainable) soft, warm, quiet flooring options for areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms? Only the two of us so not a lot of water splashing but you never know when plumbing will break or something like that.

We live in Texas on black clay soil. With the exception of one upstairs bathroom, all the areas in question are on the ground floor on a concrete slab that sits on top of expansive black clay. So while our house is not nearly as bad about movement as some, it does tend to move a little so that needs to be taken into consideration.

Things I've considered:

Wood (engineered vs. solids, pros and cons there for our situation?)



High end vinyl (sheet or plank) (DH adamantly opposed to this one)

Anything else I'm overlooking?

Thanks for any input.

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Nosy, I know, but where in Texas? I am extremely familiar with blackland prairie soil, having just moved from Brenham!

My friend put vinyl wood look floor in her new house to help deal with all her animals, and it is not bad looking at all.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:39AM
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Soft, warm, quiet, and sustainable pretty much describes a wood floor, but there are a lot of variations.

Both my daughter's rental and a friend's house have laminate wood floors which look surprisingly great.

We chose engineered bamboo which we love, including in the kitchen, but not the bathrooms. Water splashes in the kitchen don't phase it at all. Our house is on red clay, so we do get a fair amount of movement. It hasn't bothered the floors at all.

We rent out a 1 bathroom house we inherited from DH's parents to a family with 3 teenagers. It has red oak floors throughout and the bathroom floor still looks perfect. That house did have a flood when my in-laws were still living there (washer hose broke in the middle of the night) which destroyed all the floors, but I think that would have been the case regardless of what they were.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:02AM
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I can only tell you what we have decided to go with, but we haven't installed yet. After much research, I have decided to go with solid Hickory in the kitchen. I was also going to run Marmoleum in the laundry room (glue down not click simply because of trap doors I have in that room and borders I wanted to do). I still would too, I think it comes in great colors, has a great feel, and extremely durable. Unfortunately it is open to the kitchen and leads immediately to the bath and I the colors I would do just wont transition so we decided to just run the same Hickory straight through.

I am also going to use cork in my master bedroom, however it was not an option for us in the kitchen. After reading and research I really don't think that cork will hold up in a kitchen that will take as much abuse as mine.

Vinyl was not an option for our kitchen as we are trying to stick with more natural material in our 1700's period home, however, my parents just put some down in their kitchen to deal with dog traffic and it does look good and has been taking the traffic of their over active lab very well with no scratches.

I had considered stone, but after one winter with porcelain tile on our bathroom floor... it is like hitting solid frozen ice when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night...I think the rest of the house is going to have warm materials.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Thanks everyone. I did also think about bamboo just forgot to add it to my list.

Has anyone used bamboo in a kitchen?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:59PM
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We're looking mostly at cork, bamboo, or hardwood. Our GC was very positive about bamboo, he put it in his kitchen a while back and loves it. The place I spoke to also said they did a decent number of kitchen installs. I'm still considering bamboo seriously, but leaning toward cork tiles (not click floating due to particleboard interior, swells when wet) at the moment.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:09PM
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lucas_tx, your dh sounds just like mine. He wants tile and that's probably what we'll go with, but I would like something softer and something without grout joints. I ruled out cork, dh is totally against vinyl or marmoleum, and I'm afraid of engineered wood - afraid it will be high maintenance. We've got engineered in the living room and hall, and it has some buckled in a couple of places. I try to remember that it wasn't put down right, but still, it happened.

We're on black clay too, and have had quite a few cracks in our sheetrock in the past two years, but nothing in the wood floors.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:07PM
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