Many homeowners are hesitant about installing hardwood floors in the kitchen. Fortunately, many clients have begun to value the beauty and durability of hardwood, and homeowners are now opting to install them in their kitchens.
Comfort and Temperature Differences
An extremely popular choice of flooring in the Northeastern United States, hardwood is often preferred instead of tile. Although tile is highly durable, it can be unforgiving and hard under the feet. In homes with active families, tile floors can be less comfortable than hardwood. Hardwood floors are also warmer, which is one of the reasons they are more popular in the Northeast. Heat is drawn away from tile, so tile flooring will almost always feel colder, especially during winter. You could always add radiant heating, but the cost of installation would considerably increase.
In Texas, tile is the more popular choice. This is primarily because the high temperatures in Texas warrant a flooring choice that will keep homes cooler – tile is the perfect choice for this. Unfortunately, tile dates much quicker than hardwood. Hardwood floors are classic and capable of withstanding the test of time. Very few people would look at hardwood and call it “dated,” and while color and stain trends change rapidly in regards to tile flooring, you can sand hardwoods so they can keep up with current stain trends. If you have outdated tile in your home, it can make your home feel much older than it really is.
In terms of water resistance, tile is the obvious winner. If you find yourself having frequent spills in the kitchen, you may want to go with tile – you will have to worry less. A hardwood floor requires slightly more maintenance than a tile floor, especially if it is installed in a kitchen or bathroom environment. Hardwood floors are not immune to water damage, and over time, hardwood can buckle and wear when it is frequently introduced to water. In general, tile can stand up to water, and the only time you have to worry about water damage is if it manages to seep into the subfloor. If you install tile on a plywood subfloor, you may have to worry about issues related to moisture and water.
Cleaning and Maintaining Grout Joints vs. Hardwood Planks
When comparing tile and hardwood, you must take grout joints, hardwood planks, and their spacing into consideration. Cement is the most popular type of grout, and unfortunately, it is exceptionally porous. This porousness makes it a magnet for stains, dirt, and grime. Over time, you may also notice the color of your grout changing and darkening from dirt and grime as well. Cleaning grout is not an easy task, it is often time-consuming and difficult. You can, however, reduce the impact of dirt and grime by sealing your kitchen grout approximately once every six months.
There are small spaces between hardwood planks where dirt and grime can accumulate, but these spaces can be easily cleaned with a hardwood floor vacuum. In other words, wood is much easier to clean than tile.
If you prefer wood in your kitchen, you should consider a site-finished floor. A site-finished floor can only be installed by a skilled flooring professional who will only apply a finish once the floor is properly sanded and installed. Site-finished floors over more advantages than pre-finished floors because the product the flooring finisher utilizes will seep into every crevice of the hardwood.
It is much easier to fix damaged hardwood than damaged tile. If you seek to replace damaged tile, you may be disappointed to find the style of tile you desire has been discontinued. Often, if only a section of tile needs to be fixed, the entire floor must be replaced along with it. If hardwood is damaged, you can use a weave-in process to repair the damaged area. The color of the new flooring area may differ from the rest of the floor, but to combat this problem, you can simply stain the wood a darker color. Over time, the new floor will oxidize and the colors will begin to match up.
Often, hardwood flooring is less expensive than tile flooring. This is not a hard and fast fact, but hardwood is usually less expensive, especially in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. When shopping for flooring material, it may seem like hardwood is the more expensive option, but you must remember that the price only includes the value of the material, not the labor. The cost of labor for tile is often considerably higher than the labor needed to install hardwood, so when you consider the cost of labor and materials together, hardwood is usually the winner. Of course, this depends on the type of hardwood and tile you compare, as well as the present condition of your floor.
Choosing the Right Flooring
The kitchen flooring you choose should be based on your own needs and taste. Hardwood does offer more advantages, but tile may be the best choice in some situations. Contact Blue Ridge Floors today to learn more.