Hardwood Vs. Tile Floors

Green island in a white kitchen looking into the colorful dining room beyondAs your plans for a kitchen remodel start to take shape, one question that tends to pop up is “What to do with the floor?” Depending on your previous kitchen and the rest of your home’s flooring, this question may be a simple one to answer or the decision may be more fraught than you might expect. 

“The question of how to treat your kitchen floors comes up most commonly among people who already have hardwood floors in the kitchen,” says Normandy Designer Bryan Brisky. “Economically speaking, hardwood floors are typically more cost-effective than tile floors for material and installation.  While tile is more durable than hardwood, if it is damaged through cracking, staining or chipping it needs to be replaced; whereas hardwood can be sanded and refinished.”

Hardwood has a few more distinct advantages over tile, one being its staying power. “Hardwood has a timeless appeal, and if you find in a few years that you tire of the color and would like to update it, you can simply have it sanded and refinished.” 

Gray painted cabinets and stained wood cabinets in a vintage inspired kitchen

Another reason people often opt for hardwood floors in the kitchen is due to the open floorplans that many homes are creating. “Hardwood that flows from the kitchen to the living space helps make the rooms feel more connected and cohesive,” notes Bryan. 

Lastly, hardwood can be a bit more forgiving on your joints if you stand and work in the kitchen for long periods of time.  

That isn’t to say that tile doesn’t have its merits, in fact this durable, long lasting flooring choice has a vibrant fan base. “Tile floors in the kitchen work well if you’re contemplating a stained wood finish for your cabinets,” shares Bryan. “By putting tile on the floor, you avoid having a sea of stained woods that can make the entire space look flat and uninspired.” 

black stained kitchen cabinets with gold hardware

There are also so many varieties of tile to choose from, including options that mimic the look of natural stone or incorporate a pattern or design. “The right tile can make a striking design statement in your kitchen,” says Bryan. “Just be sure what you choose for the floor doesn’t compete with your backsplash selection.” 

One final point that’s certainly in the favor of tile floors in the Midwest – your ability to add a heated flooring mat under the tile to keep the kitchen floor warm and comfortable year-round. “Heated floors are often considered for the bathroom,” notes Bryan “but particularly if your kitchen is on a slab you may find that the warmth you gain from a heated floor becomes a true luxury for your kitchen.” 

Selecting the right floor is just one piece of your kitchen remodeling puzzle. If you are considering a renovation project or contemplating more extensive changes to your home, you can set up a time with Bryan to talk about the possibilities. You can also browse our photo gallery or follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram for even more home tips and inspiration. 

 white painted kitchen with slab backsplash and metal hood pairs with dark stained island

 MCM kitchen with stone slab backsplash and metal hood


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