Currently remodeling your kitchen? You may be wondering which type of flooring will best suit your space! Both hardwood and tile floors are extremely popular, and they each have their pros and cons. So, what’s the right choice? Well, like anything… It depends!
Luckily for you we’re delving into the positive and negative features of both hardwood and tile flooring, so that you can choose the best style for your newly renovated kitchen.
All About Kitchen Floors: The Pros and Cons of Hardwood and Tile
Gone are the days of tiles in every kitchen! Hardwood floors are becoming an increasingly popular option for kitchens. Although they may seem a tad unconventional at first – hello, what about kitchen spills?! - hardwood floors offer a stylish, classic look that go with just about any style of kitchen! So… let’s get into the pros and cons of hardwood kitchen flooring shall we?
Versatility - Hardwood is an incredibly versatile floor material. From the shade to the wood species to the surface treatment, there are so many things to consider! Whether you want a bright, contemporary light stained floor, or you’re after a dark, more traditional look, hardwood has got you covered. Plus, there are plenty of different species of wood to choose from. White oak, walnut, cherry, reclaimed elm, European oak… the options are positively endless. And don’t even get us started on treatment finishes. But that’s for another blog ;) Looking for wood inspo? Two of our go-to flooring companies are Northern Wide Plank and Gaylord Flooring. Northern Wide Plank’s exclusive wood flooring and wall surfaces are at the cutting edge of design and craftsmanship. For over 25 years, they've sourced one-of-a-kind woods from across the globe to exceed their client's expectations. Since 1985, Gaylord Flooring has been working with high quality products like their pre-finished domestic, exotic, and engineered hardwood floors. Their websites are seriously swoon worthy!
Easier on joints – From a practical standpoint, hardwood has a bit more give than stone or tile flooring. What does this mean? It means that, over time, wood materials are going to be easier on your joints and feet… which is especially important if you tend to spend hours cooking or entertaining in the kitchen! Definitely something to consider.
Warmth – Another practicality point? Warmth! Hardwood absorbs and retains heat more effectively than stone or tile, meaning that it won’t become overly cold on the feet.
Continuous flow for open concept rooms. If you have hardwood in your living/dining spaces, with an open concept layout you want the flooring material to flow naturally throughout, rather than a hard line between tile & hardwood in the middle of your beautiful open concept space. Hardwood will be a better choice to run throughout.
Maintenance & Durabilty - Hardwood floors are sometimes a little more maintenance. Depending on foot traffic, pets and the frequency of kitchen accidents, hardwood floors may require re-finishing every 5-10 years. Routine care and making sure to wipe up any spills soon after they happen can prolong the life and beauty of your hardwood floors.
Spills – We mentioned it above… but hardwood is never waterproof. No matter how you treat your hardwood, there’s simply no way around it. Unattended spills WILL damage hardwood floors. So if you’re particularly prone to kitchen spills this may be something you need to consider! Engineered Hardwood with a plywood backing will weather better than traditional hardwood against spills & water damage. They are less prone to warping/twisting and high quality engineered hardwood can also be refinished 3-4 times in its lifespan. Great alternative to give you real wood in the kitchen, but with less hassle and worry (but you should still wipe up those spills as soon as you spot them! Just to be safe and protect your floors).
From stone to ceramic, tile is a tried and true classic. It’s a low maintenance option that creates an interesting, eye-catching look in your kitchen! But what about the pros and cons? Read below!
Maintenance - Tile floors are fairly easy to maintain once they’re installed. Unlike hardwood floors, tiles don’t require refinishing… regular vacuuming and sweeping will do! Now while they should receive a deep clean to remove dirt and grime from the grout, tile floors don’t require any refinishing like hardwood floors do. Oh, and did we mention… spill away! Tile flooring is extremely water resistant! Note: natural stones, especially marble, should be sealed to protect against staining. And natural stone tiles will still etch with wear & tear, just like your marble counters! Want to know more about marble counters, check out our countertop blog for more details! For low maintenance options, look for porcelain tile that mimics the look of natural stone, but without the issues of staining & etching.
Durability - Tile floors have excellent durability. Tile is a tough, resilient material that doesn’t easily crack. Not to mention, if one tile does crack, you’ll only need to replace that one tile rather than replacing the whole floor.
Design - Large tile floors tend to look modern, sleek, and stylish, while small mosaic tile floors lend a more traditional, French Bistro vibe to the space. While tiles don’t have the same timeless feel and warmth as hardwood, it can look beautiful and luxurious in the kitchen. What we also love about tile is the ability to play with unique, eclectic patterns. Create tile mosaics or interesting designs and shapes that accentuate your home’s unique personality.
Cold – Tile doesn’t retain heat as easily as hardwood, so it can get very cold, especially in the winter. If you have your heart set on tile flooring you could always consider heated flooring! In-floor heating systems are ideal solutions for kitchens with tile as the gentle warmth beneath your feet will keep the space feeling inviting and enjoyable to use - even on those cold winter days!
Slippery – Certain tiles can be very slick and frictionless, which means it can become quite slippery. If you have small children, these hard, slippery floors may become hazardous. Bloomsbury Tip: look for tile with a natural texture, smooth enough not to trap dirt in tiny holes/divots yet textured enough to provide a bit of anti-slip grip!
Grout – Not only will you experience dirt build-up in your grout, but the grout does tend to become brittle with time. You should try to reseal your grout annually to help prevent this from happening! And you may need to top up the grout overtime. Bloomsbury Cleaning Tip: Universal Stone’s all natural cleaner is an easy and chemical-free way to remove dirt & grim from your tile grout. It's fast, easy and safe for your whole family!
When it comes down to it, personal preference and careful design considerations are going to be the true determining factors between hardwood and tile flooring for your kitchen. From designing to installation, our Bloomsbury Designers take great pride in overseeing your kitchen renovation or remodel, and will happily guide you in the right direction when it comes to kitchen flooring. To book an appointment, click here!