Using (and Not Using) Wood Flooring in Kitchens

I’m still here — and still pregnant! :) The good news is after weeks of hanging out breech, baby girl has flipped finally, just under the wire! Thanks for all your tips and tricks in the comments of my last post. It’s a bit of a waiting game now, but we’re so excited for her…

I’m still here — and still pregnant! :) The good news is after weeks of hanging out breech, baby girl has flipped finally, just under the wire! Thanks for all your tips and tricks in the comments of my last post. It’s a bit of a waiting game now, but we’re so excited for her to come whenever she’s ready.

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I took on a couple of design jobs before the holidays to help keep me busy the last month of my pregnancy and while I’m home with a newborn. Both involve full gut-reno redesigns of the kitchens, which I’ve not done a ton of in the past. It’s been really a really fun challenge and so far, so good! The cabinets are designed and the counter tops and appliances ordered, but I’m a little stuck on flooring.

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In both projects the home owners are feeling a little nervous about installing the same wood floors that we’re putting in the rest of their homes, in their kitchens.

I love the look of a warm wood floor against painted cabinets, so it’s hard to not push on this one, but I have to admit I feel some of the same apprehension as we’re getting closer to a big kitchen remodel of our own.

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Both clients have considered wood-look tile, but we are having trouble finding a style that we like enough to use throughout the homes. We sort of feel like our two real options are wood everywhere or stone in the kitchen and utility spaces and wood in the rest of the house. Which means transitions…which can be tricky with more open floor plans…which both homes are.

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(image from Domino. The slate flooring is in a bathroom and not a kitchen obviously, but the colors of the floors are almost spot-on for what we’re looking at in one of the houses and it’s helpful to see the transition.)
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Our favorite stone options are limestone and slate, though we’re still open to pattern. Here are some of the images we’ve been looking at to help us get a sense of what stone or tile can look like in a kitchen space:

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image – another bathroom, but I like this color, size and pattern!
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It seems like it comes down to personal preference and comfort level in the end, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Have you had any nightmare disasters with wood floors in your kitchen? Or is there a stone that you’ve used and loved? Or maybe you have tips for making a more smooth transition between the two materials?

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162 thoughts on “Using (and Not Using) Wood Flooring in Kitchens

  1. Have had wood, tile, laminate…and everything in-between! Hands down FAVORITE is wood! Never had any big probs…even in an almost 200 year old house (and the wood was as old) I HATE tile (have it now) it is loud, terrible on your feet and legs, everything breaks to smithereens….Do not like at all. I say do everything in your power to move them towards wood…

    Beautiful images, BTW.

  2. I LOVE to cook however I am an enormous slob when I cook. We put down white oak with a Belgian oil finish (Rubio Monocoat). There is no polyurethane finish – just the straight-up oil with the grayish-brown color we chose. We've been in our home for 13 months & the kitchen floors look great!

    The amazing thing about the oil is you can sand them down if you get a scratch or blemish, apply some oil, let it sit for a bit, then wipe off & buff. I dripped oil over the holidays in several big blobs & did not realize it until hours after. Followed those easy steps & you cannot tell that happened. I am constantly dripping water. Daily, several times a day, especially near the dishwasher. I wish you could come by & see how good the floors look.

    The other bonus with the Rubio product – you never have to re-oil if you don't want to. They will wear to a beautiful patina over timp. If you want to change the color down the line, they can be sanded & re-oiled.

    They are heavenly underfoot, too!

  3. We live in a house built in the 1920s and didn't want to spend the money to match the old floors (we had just stained to nearly black) to extend the wood into the kitchen. So… we went with gray ceramic rectangular tiles set in a herringbone pattern (using some of the exact some pins as inspiration)! The rectangular tiles were difficult to find for cheap but I did eventually find something that was incredibly cheap and has been very durable. Everyone that comes into our home comments on the beautiful floor in the kitchen. The transition from wood to tile is a simple thin piece of metal (there is a name for it which you probably know). It is hardly noticeable. Let me know if you want pics/sources!

  4. I have had the same solid wood, oak floors in my kitchen for over 30 years. After the first 15 or 20 years, with 4 children and one big dog running around on them, tricycles, skates, sand being drug in from the sand box, walking to and fro they looked a little worse for wear. I had them sanded and refinished, and they were back to looking fantastic. They still look great! I damp mop once a week. Easy peasy. Spills wipe up easily. Never had any water damage of any kind. Solid hard wood floors are very durable, yet comfortable. Wouldn't have anything else!

  5. Keeping warm in Phoenix is not really an issue, but as a Houstonian who has lived with tile in the kitchen, I can say tile still isn't worth it because of how it makes your back stiff (I'm not old).

    Have been checking in daily and praying re: birth.

  6. I had dark slate in a previous kitchen and hated it. Could easily sweep it four times a day and it still looked dirty (we have dogs). I've had wooden floors for 5 years and love them, will never ever go back to tile or stone. Good luck with the new baby!

  7. Am interested in purchasing wood floor,kindly get back to me with the price & seize available ,and i want it shipped to my ware house in Bahamas.

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