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Two Top Choices for Kitchen Flooring: Wood vs. Tile

Although most any flooring can be used in a kitchen, when you come down to the top choices, you’ll find that tile and wood are the two overwhelming favorites. Both kitchen flooring choices rate high on all four fronts: Durability, ease of care, style and variety of choice. On the price factor, they are on the higher end, but it is their long-life that balances out any additional costs over some of the less expensive options.

Though wood and tile flooring options are both frequent choices for North Virginia kitchen remodels, educating yourself on both products can assist you in making the flooring choice for your own kitchen remodel.

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring can be ceramic, porcelain or natural stone. All three are quite durable, though natural stone will generally be considered to have the longest life of the three types of material. Installation methods will vary slightly depending of the material, but with all three, a layer of adhesive will be applied to the floor backing to set the tiles in place and then a grout will be applied to fill the joints in between the tiles.

Color and Style Options. The color choice and finish options available in tile kitchen flooring are truly limitless, from the shine of elegant marble to the matt finish of a earthy travertine, whatever color and finish you desire can certainly be found. In addition you have the option of tiling the entire floor with the same color tile, doing a classic checkerboard of black and white or created a detailed mosaic design with multiple colors, sizes and shapes. Tile accents that coordinate with your flooring tile can be also applied on your kitchen backsplash to tie the whole look together.

Care and Maintenance. Cleanup is as simple as sweeping and wet mopping. Tile grout should be sealed when installed to protect against staining. Periodic resealing of the grout will help maintain that stain protection. There are rare circumstances where a single tile might crack or chip, if the damage is serious enough, the individual tile can be removed and replaced if leftover matching tiles are available.

Prices. The cost range for tile flooring has a wide range. The cost of the tile itself can vary greatly; in addition, the smaller the tile size and the more complex the layout, the higher your installation cost will be.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is naturally not going to have the broad variety of selections available with tile. There still remains a wide range in stain colors, wood grains and styling. There are also different types of wood flooring available. There is engineered wood floor, which is usually installed prefinished and there is solid wood flooring which is sanded, sealed and finished in place, following installation. Both types are available in a variety of wood species and plank widths.

Wood Species. In Washington DC kitchen remodels, oak, maple, hickory and cherry wood flooring are all popular choices. All are natural hardwoods with their own distinctive grains and coloring. Maple is a smooth grained blond wood; oak provides deeper base color and is much grainier. Hickory has a very wild and unruly grain. Cherry wood is a deep rich wood with a reddish tone. These are not only options of course, pine flooring is a light colored wood like maple, but it generally has more knots in the wood and is also a softer wood. That means that pine flooring can be dented and gouged much easier than hardwoods mentioned above. Any of the above floorings can be finished with a clear finish or stained a wide variety of colors.

Plank Styling. Wood flooring also provides options in the sizing and style of the planking. Wood flooring can be chosen that has consistent sizing in the plank widths, such as 2 inch, 3 inch or 5 inch widths for the entire floor. You can also select plank flooring that has mixed widths.

Care and Maintenance. Wood flooring can be dusted clean and occasionally damp mopped with a mixture of water and vinegar. It is extremely durable. Engineered wood flooring is available in different grades of finish, which will affect its durable life, but generally the finish will last 30 to 40 years. Solid wood flooring, which is finished in place, is what you find in 100 year old homes and can be refinished to restore life after many decades of wear.

Prices. Wood flooring costs can be similar in range to that of tile. Solid wood floors will be generally a bit more than engineered wood flooring and the sanding and finishing process makes for a longer installation process.

Tile or wood? Either is an excellent choice for a Washington DC kitchen.