There are many different flooring materials we have used for kitchens in Westchester and Fairfield counties – concrete, rubber, cork among others. But the two most common materials are hardwood and tile. Here is a quick breakdown of how our clients select between these two materials.
Tile will hold up better than hardwood over the long term, specifically porcelain. It won’t wear, and it is very strong. It won’t dent or scratch when items are dropped. In time the grout will discolor and stain, but that can be refreshed. Some natural materials are softer, such as slate or marble, but they are not used in kitchens as much as in the past.
Wood is much softer. It will dent and scratch from normal use, and as time goes on it will wear in high traffic areas. It is also susceptible to water damage, so you may find excess wear in front of the sink due to splashing. The benefit is that wood can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over its life. This allows you to remove scratches and even change colors.
Your options are limitless with tile. The available choices of color, texture, pattern and scale can be overwhelming at times– but there is no look you cannot achieve.
You have fewer choices with wood. You can change the species, the pattern and the plank size, but the most common variable is the stain color. As we talk about with cabinets, there are only so many tones you can achieve with stain due to the natural characteristics and minerals in the wood. That said, there is a warmth you can capture in wood floors that are hard to achieve in tile.
This is the most important thing to consider when deciding between wood and tile for your kitchen. Most designs we work on are open plan, combining the kitchen and eating areas with a living room or great room. As our goal is to create continuity, the flooring material should be the same throughout these areas.
Tile or stone can be beautiful in a large open area, but this often leads clients to selecting wood. It allows us to tie the flooring in with the rest of the house, and provides a nice and warm feel in the open space.