Tile vs Hardwood: Choosing the Best Kitchen Floor for Your Home

Leah Dean | Discovery Team | Dean Cabinetry

By Leah Dean

You are renovating your kitchen and you have narrowed your flooring material down to hardwood and tile, but you still can’t decide. This article is written for you, to help you understand the beauty and benefits of each material.

Tile Floor With Kitchen Island

Why choose tile flooring?

If you are looking for versatility, this might be the choice for you. 

Tile flooring is perfect for all climates and all spaces within the home. They are easy to maintain, are water-resistant, and provide a smooth surface that repels moisture. Tile is typically very easy to clean.

Do I have lots of design options with tile?

There are endless options when it comes to choosing tile. Whether you’re looking for ceramic, vinyl, or wood-look tile kitchen floors, you can mix and match sizes, colors, patterns, and textures, to create a unique design. 

Is tile less expensive than hardwood?

Tile flooring is an excellent, cost-effective option for homeowners who don’t want to spend money on real wood floors. Little details such as grain, knots, and tone, can be replicated on tile floors. Meaning you can get the same look as a costly, exotic wood floor at a more affordable cost.

Is tile easy to clean?

Wood-look tile flooring is easy to clean, so no more worries when it comes to stains and scratches that can result from poorly maintained hardwood floors.

Is tile easy to replace?

Tile that may have a chip, crack, or is broken, is easy to replace. If damages occur, you can easily replace a single tile (or multiple tiles) without ripping up an entire section of your kitchen floor.

How do I keep my grout clean and new?

Although tile is easy to clean, tile grout is not so easy to keep clean. Grout can discolor over time as it absorbs stains and dirt. It is therefore very important to make sure to add a grout sealant after installation. You will want to do this again every 3-5 years to prevent staining and moisture from leaking into the tile or grout.

How much does tile cost?

Costs of tile can vary considerably depending on the type and style of tile you choose. The average price range is $2.50-$25.00 per square foot.

Professional installation adds $5 to $10 per square foot, depending on the amount of prep work required. Removal of your existing floor averages about $2 per square foot, but this can increase drastically depending on your floor.

Wood Floor With Custom Kitchen Island

Why choose hardwood flooring?

Solid hardwood flooring is wonderful for homeowners looking to add a timeless touch and beautiful warmth to their kitchen space. 

Will my space look larger with hardwood flooring?

If you have hardwood floors in your adjacent rooms, adding hardwood to your kitchen can help make your kitchen space look larger, especially if it’s the same type and color as the hardwood flooring in surrounding rooms. By using the same surface and color hardwood, your kitchen space will blend seamlessly throughout your home.

Will hardwood flooring go out of style?

It will never go out of style.

Done correctly, a classic wooden floor can add natural beauty and warmth to your kitchen. High-quality hardwood floors that are manufactured, installed, and finished, offer strength and durability for an excellent long-term investment.

Is hardwood flooring easy on my back?

Hardwood provides you with a softer, more resilient surface to stand on than most tile and hard surface flooring options.

Is hardwood flooring easy to clean?

Kitchens typically are the highest-traffic area in the home, therefore your hardwood floor will need more upkeep than tile. Hardwood is generally very easy to clean as it does not accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and debris. A weekly routine of sweeping and/or vacuuming, and mopping, should keep your kitchen floors looking new. Remember to promptly clean up any spills to avoid stains and costly damages. With proper maintenance, hardwood floors can last a lifetime.

Avoid potential damage to your wooden floors by keeping your kitchen appliances well-maintained and free of spills. Beware of pet’s claws, high heels that might scratch or cause indentations in your floor, and remember to never leave standing water. Limited sunlight is recommended for prolonging the life of wood flooring.

Are there lots of options with hardwood floors?

You can choose from a wide variety of styles and surface finishes that help prolong the life of your floor. Hardwood is available in a wide range of styles, colors, stains, and surfaces.

What is engineered hardwood?

Engineered hardwood is a great choice for homeowners. This type of wood floor has a veneer of real wood reinforced by layers of less expensive plywood. This construction provides dimensional stability that makes it less susceptible to movement caused by changes in humidity and temperature in the kitchen.

Most flooring companies will let you choose between pre-finished and unfinished flooring. 

Wood Floor With Kitchen Island And Leather Chairs

What do I do if my hardwood gets damaged?

For minor damages, solid hardwood can be lightly sanded.

If your kitchen is located in a sunny part of your home, you may want to take extra precautions when selecting flooring, as sun bleaching may occur. Avoid sun bleaching by using runners and throw rugs to help protect your floor from direct sunlight.

Hardwood floors can dent and scratch over time, so it’s important to consider refinishing your kitchen floor every ten years or so.

How much does hardwood flooring cost?

We reached out to a local flooring guy who we like to recommend, to get up-to-date pricing on hardwood flooring. Jackson Hardisty, of Jackson Hardisty Flooring, shared that as of this writing, hardwood costs $2-$6 per square foot. Oak is on the lower end of the spectrum at about $2 per square foot, with cherry, quarter sawn oak, walnut, and pre-finished floors being closer to the $6 per square foot range.  

Installation adds $2 per square foot. Sanding flooring is an additional cost; new flooring ranges between $1.50-$2 per square foot, old flooring $2-$4 per square foot. Keep in mind that water based finishes are 3-4 times more expensive, so these may add cost as well. 

Whether you choose tile or hardwood flooring, we know you are going to love your new floors!