Knowledge Center

Kitchen Flooring - Hardwood or Ceramic Tile?

December 18, 2015

Whether you are building a brand new home from the ground up or you are considering a full-on kitchen remodel, you might find yourself wondering about the best flooring options for your kitchen. Two of the most popular options are hardwood and ceramic tile. Both offer benefits, but both also have their downfalls. Which is the right choice?

Hardwood Floors in the Kitchen - The Pros

When it comes to hardwood flooring in your kitchen, there are several unique advantages. First, hardwood has some give, which means it is easier on your feet and joints over time. You are less likely to feel the strain after standing at the stove for an hour or two. What’s more, in most cases, traditional non-exotic hardwoods typically cost less than tile flooring. Hardwood retains more heat than tile, which might help keep you more comfortable, and hardwood planks can also help your space look larger, particularly if it is the same color and style and the flooring in adjacent rooms.

The Cons of Hardwood in the Kitchen

No matter what you do to hardwood, and no matter what you use to treat it, it is never waterproof. If something spills on your kitchen floor, you have to clean it up right away to prevent damage. What’s more, you will have to refinish your floors periodically in order for them to last. Depending on the way you treated them, you may only need to refinish them once per decade. However, if your kitchen experiences a lot of traffic, if you have dogs, or if you have kitchen accidents, you may need to refinish your floors more often.

Tile Floors in the Kitchen - The Pros

Tile flooring is extremely water resistant due not only to the material used to craft the tile, but also the materials used to install it. That’s why you often find tile in bathrooms around the world; it keeps moisture out of the home’s structure. If an appliance springs a leak or you drop a bottle of ketchup on the floor, you do not have to scramble to clean it up, lest your flooring be ruined. What’s more, if you are into unique design, the possibilities with tile are virtually endless. You can create mosaic patterns and other designs to accentuate your home’s décor and your personality.

The Cons of Tile in the Kitchen

While hardwood can take quite a bit of a beating thanks to its resiliency and “give”, tile can actually crack upon impact. What’s more, unless you have a competent company install your tile floors, just the give of the house itself can cause areas of high pressure which will cause your tiles to crack over time. Another downfall is in the grout used to lay and seal the tile. It tends to become brittle over time, and may even begin to chip away. To prevent this, you should aim to reseal your grout once per year.

When determining whether hardwood or tile is the best choice for your kitchen, it all comes down to your personal preference. Tile is colder, requires more maintenance, and is often more expensive. Hardwood can ruin when exposed to moisture, and in a high-humidity area like a kitchen, buckling is a real possibility.