Profile picture for user5934205

Kitchen flooring for new home- Hardwood versus Tile

Hi Everyone,
I am in the process of getting my new home built from scratch and am torn between choosing hardwood or tile flooring for the kitchen. Personally I love the look of hardwood and if I did get hardwood I would only get the Brazilian Cherry because of the high quality and durability. However I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and since I'm Asian I use a lot of oil and am frying a lot of spices constantly. This makes me wonder if I should go for tile instead..it is so confusing! Is there anyway I can use HW for the kitchen and just cover the space beneath the stove and sink with area rugs for easy cleaning? Also does HW add better resale value for the home compared to tile? Pls help!!
  • August 07 2012 - Town of Horseheads
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Answers (31)

Profile picture for sunnyview
I am a bad one to ask because I loved having a wood kitchen floor. It was easy on my feet when I stood cooking and I loved the way it looked. Although some people do, I never had any issue with cleaning, oil/grease or water intrusion at all. I did have two small rugs with one by the stove front and one by the sink to bring a little color into the room

Now I have a tile floor. It looks nice and is easy to clean, but I miss my wood floor. Tile vs wood in a kitchen is a preference and I doubt that one would bring more on resale than another unless you were in the Southwest where there is a strong preference for tile. You could ask several agents in your area about what they think would appeal to someone buying your house. Ultimately, I would choose the one that you like best and that fits the style of your home.
  • August 07 2012
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I personally think people prefer hardwood over tile.  It's not as cold! Depends on your climate. 
  • August 07 2012
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As it was mentioned here, in general, hardwood floors are prefered. But from practical point of view,tile floors seems to work better in the kitchen. Since you like hardwood floors, I would choose them and put area rugs where needed. Good luck!

  • August 08 2012
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Will the kitchen be open to the other rooms? If so, what flooring are you using in the adjourning rooms?  A nice flow will definitely add value.  Hardwood floors do seem to be in the preferred choice nowadays.
  • August 08 2012
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I have hardwood and love the look but is really hard to keep clean. I would rather have tile. It boils down to your taste and life style! Have childre? Go with tile!
  • August 08 2012
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Hard to beat the ease of maintenance and durability of tile. Any wood floor will get "distressed" over a period of time even under normal usage but kitchens will with out a doubt put a wood floor to the test. Either one has roughly the same resale value and it comes down to what you prefer.   
  • August 08 2012
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I have sold flooring for 25 years and I am a real estate broker as well.  I have wood in my kitchen because I love the look and feel.  I have no regrets.  I do have some scars of living on my hardwood but that is simply managing your expectations to know this is furniture on your floor.  There are some styles that are more user friendly than others.  Handscraped styles offer a fashion which is current as well as a look that will endure the bangs of life happening without "ruining" your new floor.  I clean mine with Windex original formula only and no knock off brand.  It doesn't leave a film and will typically work well with any greasy mess. 
  • August 08 2012
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Profile picture for Nikki.Dye
Both hardwood and tile are a lovely choice. Tile would definately hold up better under heavy cooking oils and odors from spices. As far as resale value, both types of flooring have great resale potential, but the key is going to be the condition of the fooring at the time of resale. A hardwood floor damaged by oils and other cooking hazards/odors will make it less marketable. My vote -  The tile is the better choice all around for your circumstances. There is some beautiful high quality tile to choose from that will allow asthetic beauty as well as functionality. Good luck!
  • August 11 2012
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If you have pets  then go with tile. if no pets then hardwood is the way to go. Brazillain Cherry is a beautiful, One thing I would recommend is buy unfinished 3/4" solid wood. Finishing in place creates a solid one piece floor, impervious to spills, "big deal in the kitchen". Prefinished hardwoods in other areas of the home are fine.
Doing it this way is more costly and you will need to rescreen and recoat you floor every 10 years or so.
  • August 11 2012
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Hands Down go for Hardwood floors -

1. You Like it.
2. It is more neutral than Tile for colors and design choices.
3. Same floors throughout a house looks great and makes the place look Bigger.
4. It's better for resale.
5. It's easier to change out a wood floor to Tile than Tile to wood if you sell.
6. YOU LIKE IT ! :-)

Enjoy your new house!

Deirdre
[website removed by Zillow moderator]
  • August 31 2012
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I recommend hardwood and area rugs, depending largely on your area. Congratulations on your new home.
  • August 31 2012
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We recommend hardwood, however in Florida, it is not uncommon to have a mixture. Florida Design Magazine has some excellent examples of how this can be integrated into your new home. Best of luck.

  • August 31 2012
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Hardwood is the way to go. The majority of buyers (atleast from what I have seen) prefer hardwood over tile. It is up to you, however, go with the hardwood if you are concerned about resale.
  • September 02 2012
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Profile picture for NikoleD
Hardwood over tile is my vote
  • September 02 2012
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Profile picture for CarlsbadHomes
Quality hardwood floor should clean as easily as tile. Yes - check with local real estate agents to determine if tile brings any additional buyers when one goes to sell the home. If all things are equal - choose quality hardwood as that is what you like.
  • September 06 2012
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I would get the hardwood flooring. It's better for resale. Hardwood is also very easy to clean (as opposed to tile and dealing with the grout).
  • September 07 2012
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Profile picture for user8929002
We put a wood look tile in our bedroom last year.  It came in planks like wood, although a little wider and shorter.  With a grout slightly darker than the tile, it actually looks like wood floors.  My parents knew we were putting in tile but still asked when they saw it what type of wood it was.  We used it so we could have the same floor in the bedroom and bathroom.  It cleans and stays nice so much better than the laminate floors we have, although it is colder to the touch,  now we are deciding if we want that in the rest of the house.  Also, we have two dogs and live in the sand hills of Florida, so hard wood was not durable enough for us. The big box stores are starting to carry it, although you will find a better selecion at a specialty store.
  • February 09 2013
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Profile picture for Joseph F Murphy
I am an avid home chef, I also have hardwoods in my kitchen. I do not recommend  HW for this reason. When you drop a Chefs knife or any knife you are going to leave a mark or a gouge, If I had it to do over even though the floors are beautiful I would go with Sealed Travatine or Ceramic or Slate Tiles. They are durable and if one does crack it is easy to replace.
  • February 09 2013
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Even sealed travertine can get water marks if certain things get spilled, however this can be repaired fairly easily, but you will need to get a professional in to buff it out.  If you prefer the hardwood and it flows with the rest of the house I would go with that, you will be living with it for a long time.  You can use some kind of area rugs or decorative floor mats.  That is what we use in our kitchen and it really helps if something is dropped or spilled in front of the stove or work area and is also easy on the feet as well.
  • February 09 2013
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Profile picture for govagent1
Go for what you like or you will not be happy and wish you did.  Re-sale is Wood all the way.  Go for it.  If it's hight quality and a good finish you will not hurt it.  :-)
  • February 09 2013
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Personal opinion. We prefer tile, but like the look of wood better..the tile that looks like hardwood is best of both worlds. I think tile is less maintenance
  • February 09 2013
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Also does HW add better resale value for the home compared to tile?

No difference...
  • February 09 2013
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Well, even though this question is a few months  old, it is one I can relate to (and seems to be brought up often on RE sties).
 I can relate to it, because I am just beginning a kitchen renovation!

As an agent, I know how popular HW floors are these days...........and yes, they are easy on the legs, and warmer than tile to walk on barefoot....but, for ME -  I prefer tile in a kitchen as it can take wear and tear better - and I do like to scrub my kitchen floor -  I still think, overall,  it is a more practical choice for kitchen flooring.

The funny thing is - back in the 50's, 60's and 70's, most homes here were built with HW floors included -  that most buyers  immediately covered with wall to wall capreting! That was the trend then. When I list one of those homes, the good news is - usually the hw floors beneath the shag carpeting is pristine!
However,  is rare to find hw in the kitchen, even though it was installed on all levels in those older homes.

Now you usually pay for HW as an upgrade in new construction, depending on the price range,

Anyway..the look of hw is great - personally, I am still not convinced of the durability over the course of several years......and much of this depends on how much you cook and what traffic the kitchen will get.

Mine gets a lot of use, so I will be going with a porcelin tile floor!
  • February 09 2013
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Profile picture for JoshBarnettREIB
Tile, tile, tile especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  
  • February 10 2013
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Profile picture for MaryBeth Frye
I vote for hardwood floors!!!  
  • February 27 2013
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Hardwood! Tile is cold, and people tend to favor hardwood.Also, from the design point of view, if your kitchen ties in with the living, it is best not to break up the surfaces, as one floor tricks the eye into believing the space is bigger. You can just as easily clean hardwood.
You can take a look at some of the active listings to see what other homes have [website deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
  • March 05 2013
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Profile picture for BradNiemann
We build houses as well as sell them and in a wet area we use tile every time.  If it is a custom build we will do hardwood in the kitchen if the home owner signs a waiver excluding water damage from the flooring.  It has not been a problem but anytime there is water it is a concern.
  • March 06 2013
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We install all types of flooring, and over the last several years, hardwood seems to be most popular.  It should help you w/ resale value as well.  In fact, we have lots of people moving into new homes that rip up perfectly good tile to install hardwood in their kitchens.

I wrote a whole blog post on the pros/cons on both surfaces.  And, yes, I would recommend that you add some sort of a mat by the sink and/or key cooking areas.
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Hope this helps.
  • December 01 2013
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For design aesthetics and resale value, continuity of same surface type is always more desirable. 
  • December 31 2013
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Profile picture for cnrtool1
Any changes to flooring in a kitchen, especially so on a concrete slab, can have bad consequences.
What happens is when that p trap under the sink rots, or that disposer starts dripping, leaking sink sprayer, or any number of other leaks, and you wont know it until the bases of your cabinets rot from soaking in the pool created by the cabinets sitting below 3/8" the flooring level.

Still, understanding this, my pick is porcelain. Porcelain is the same color throughout, so minor chips do not stick out like a sore thumb as they do with ceramic tile. They also have porcelain that is nearly identical in appearance to travertine, immune to nearly everything, without the negative issues.

The time to pick flooring is the same time as you pick cabinets and counter tops.
  • January 01 2014
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