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Old 12-15-2010, 08:35 PM
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Default thoughts about ceramic tile in the kitchen

Have vinyl now that has water damage from a pipe leak while on vacation. I know it is durable, but so cold in the winter. I do not think wood (tiles) is such a hot choice either.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:43 PM
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We have ceramic tile in the kitchen and dining area. It's cold, the grout is hard to keep clean and if you drop a glass jar or bottle you can count on it breaking. Dogs don't maneuver well on it.

The tile is fairly thick and they lay the grout down pretty heavy, so you'll probably have to raise the cabinets and doors.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:50 PM
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I put down wood laminate in our kitchen and entryway about 15 years ago. It still looks OK, but I'm starting to wish I had sprung for the Pergo.

Several companies are now making a floating tile system. The Avaire looks really nice, and I'm thinking of putting it in the bathrooms. You might see if you can put an under-floor heating system in with the Avaire to keep your toes warm.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:54 PM
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Are you talking about the counter or floor? My wife wanted tile counters so I installed it. 3 years later I now have grante, that was a difficult switch let me tell ya.

If tile floor, got that too. Talk about slippery when wet!!! I about went tits up a dozen times on that sucker.

Joe
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:23 PM
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I've been in the flooring business for about 15 years, and I'll tell you what I think. My opinion is worth every cent I'm charging you.

For a kitchen floor:
Wood is a bad idea. What happens when you leave a glass sweating on the end table? Same thing happens when somebody drops an ice cube on the wood floor and 'forgets' to pick it up. Dishwashers and ice makers all leak. It's only a matter of when. The same chicoms who sell us bad drywall and toxic glassware are in the wood business. It would blow your mind to know how much name brand wood is imported for flooring.

Ceramic, or its stronger cousin porcelain, is great stuff. Strong, durable, and waterproof. Get a textured finish for slip resistance. Cold only if you are on a slab or over a crawlspace. Over a heated area, it conducts heat up very well. Tends to increase resale value if done well and tastefully. Use dirt colored grout, seal it and it will look great for years. Avaire avoids most of the tedious prep work, but is rather expensive. Underfloor electric mats like Suntouch are a no go with Avaire. You'd have to go with a plumbed system.

Laminate is good stuff too. Pergo lost their design and quality edge years ago. Look hard at Armstrong/Bruce (same ownership) Shaw, Mohawk, and Berry. The realism will surprise you. Impervious to moisture UNLESS it is allowed to seep into the joints. Then you have problems. Laminate tends to be resale neutral.

Vinyl has come a long ways in the last 10 years, but next to carpet (which is wrong in a kitchen on SO many levels) it is the least expensive, and negatively affects resale. Still not a bad way to go, though.

Look hard at cork flooring. Wiccanders and Qcork brands come to mind. It installs like laminate, heals itself if punctured, (think bulletin board) water resistant, (think fishing bobber) easier on the old joints to walk on, insulates well, and is the most quiet hard surface you can buy. The Library of Congress has a cork floor. Priced more than laminate but less than most wood. My favorite style looks like burl walnut. Cork can be harvested without killing the tree, so your bunny-hugging inlaws will be impressed.

Last edited by Rugskipper; 12-15-2010 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:31 PM
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We have ceramic tile floors and granite counter tops. There is an entrance to outside and one to the garage off of the kitchen. We live in SW Montana where -40 is occasional and -30 is a regular occurrence. The floor is comfortable. Hot water baseboard heat and the basement is heated also.
If you drop anything that is breakable it will break. SWMBO runs a bathroom tile cleaner on the grout annually. It looks good by my eyes.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:42 AM
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Had friends over for a swim. One walked into the kitchen from the pool with damp feet. Slipped on the tile floor and broke her arm in the fall.

Less than a yr later, I got out of the shower in the master bath. Slipped on the tile floor and my foot was cut to the extent it needed 12 stitches as it went under the counter.

Moved from that house and into this one with a marble tile master bath. Wife slipped on the floor after a shower and tore her knee up and will eventually require surgery for it.

Tile is slippery when wet. Notice stores do not use tile flooring often due to the risk of falls.

Also, in the event of a fall, the head hitting the tile floor stands a good change of being split open.

Tile looks good but has a lot of drawbacks. Another issue is the grouting between the tiles gets dirty with age and is tough to clean.

If a tile is broken some way, it is tough to replace.

Tiles can become loose with time. I have one in my entry foyer that is loose. A person will not notice it unless they walk on it. Repairing it is a major expense due to the labor involved and then the grout will not match the older grout around it.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:09 AM
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I tiled our kitchen and baths floors. As Rugskipper states, use a tile that has a texture. Ours looks like cut stone. I used pretty large pieces so there is less grout lines. Clean up is a breeze.
I think 99% of the homes in Florida are tiled by now.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:28 AM
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We installed porcelain tile on our kitchen floor about 5 years ago using 18" tiles. To keep it from being cold we used a radiant heat under the tile.
This was very efficient because once 3000# of tile was warmed it stayed warm. The oil furnace became a backup heat source.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:46 AM
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If going ceramic tile, get something that goes with dark colored grout. Don't be a bonehead like me and choose off-white grout. Even when sealed it got dirty from mud, dirt, etc.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Vinyl has come a long ways in the last 10 years, but next to carpet (which is wrong in a kitchen on SO many levels) it is the least expensive, and negatively affects resale. Still not a bad way to go, though.
Much to the chagrin of my trendy relatives, I put commercial grade vinyl time in my kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms. It is easy to change a tile that is damaged, they are warmer on a slab than ceramic, and easier to keep clean. Use the right wax and they are not slippery when wet.

I predict as more and more people age and get thoroughly sick of slick rock floors, vinyl will make a comeback.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:54 PM
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Our house (on a slab) is almost all ceramic tile and I wouldn't have it any other way. But that's relatively common here in AZ. I don't actually recall breaking anything in the kitchen from dropping.

As said, dark is good to hide dirt. Our tile is smooth (no texture) and all our friends who have textured tile say they wish they had done like us as the rough surface captures dirt and is harder to clean.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:59 PM
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My wife and I tore out the wood laminate flooring in our kitchen/dinette/laundry/powder room/foyer. We lay down a floating subfloor (Schluter Ditra) and installed 450 square feet of marble, butting the tiles so there's only a bevel grout line. Looks fantastic and I got mighty good with a wet saw. Took pretty much the whole summer though.
Down side is that I had to recut the doorways and replace the baseboards. It's not as slick as tile and is hard as ... well ...a rock.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anoblefox View Post
I know it is durable, but so cold in the winter. I do not think wood (tiles) is such a hot choice either.
Vinyl is the cheapest and most easily replaced if there are future issues
Wood/Pergo: nice, but sounds like you're not interested
Textured tile is an option.

If winter cold is a concern, and money isn't, there are heated subfloors for both ceramic tile and wood floors.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:30 PM
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Don't wish to argue with anyone but we spent $2600 several months ago to have our kitchen and dining areas tiled. Its a neutral tan with corresponding grout. It is textured and no one has slipped and the dogs seem to manuver just fine. The wife loves it and says it much easier to keep clean than the vinyl that we had. I think it was a good investment.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:53 PM
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My vote would be to replace your vinyl with vinyl! Now, I'm not talking cheap do-it-yourself stuff. We had our home built 15 years ago, and we had the kitchen floor covered with the highest quality sheet vinyl that was available (actually an industrial grade). Today it looks every bit as good as it did when installed, despite the occasional and unavoidable dishwasher and refrigerator malfunctions. I would stick with sheet vinyl, not tiles, so there is little chance of water seeping into the subfloor.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don95sml View Post
I would stick with sheet vinyl, not tiles, so there is little chance of water seeping into the subfloor.
Where's the water line to the fridge? How about the dishwasher? Right next to the wall. It's not the gushers that get people into trouble, those get fixed quick. It's the little drip that you never notice until the floor starts feeling soft. There's no such thing as a damage-proof floor.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:11 PM
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When we built our home 5 years ago we went with 20" Italian porcelain tile in the kitchen, dining room and entry way. It has a fairly smooth surface which makes it easy to keep clean (vs a textured surface that traps and holds onto the dirt - my bride explained that one to me). The grout is fairly dark but is very easy to clean. Just buy a strong acid based cleaner, use generously and lightly brush with an old toothbrush, comes out like new in just a few minutes. I don't think the tile is any slicker than wood or vinyl but whatever drops on it will break. As far as repairing future damage we were left with a dozen extra tiles and a bag of the original grout. Replacing and matching should be no big deal.

We deliberately did not put tile throughout the house as many of our neighbors did. The echo from an all tile house has to be heard to be believed and is very hard on aging joints. I bought a large gel mat for the kitchen and placed it between the island and the sink. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen do yourself a favor and invest in one (about $100 at Costco), your back, knees and ankles with thank you. We carpeted the bedrooms and living room with a good quality Stainmaster and spent extra for the top of the line pad (highly recommended). Nearly 5 years later both the tile and the carpet look good and keep us comfortable winter or summer. YMMV
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:18 PM
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When we bought a new home 15 years ago, my wife insisted on vinyl in the kitchen even though we had wood throughout the rest of the house. I protested, don't care for vinyl, she won.I ripped out my vinyl floor about 6 years ago and installed real wood,she admitted the vinyl was a mistake. I love the "look and feel" of real wood. Wood is a breeze to keep clean.Don't worry about leaks or damage, my BIL has been in the business for 30 years.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:24 PM
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I would have nothing but wood or carpet on the floors and formica counter tops. A few years ago we installed wood floors in some areas and tile in the kitchen. Tile is cold slippery and anything breakable will do just that when it falls. Wood floors are easily scratched or stained bu water. We also added corian counter tops which look nice but are scratched very easily. All crazy fads!!!!
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:06 PM
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My daughter just put ceramic tile throughout their house and is very satisfied. Says it cleans easy. It is on slab and is a liitle cold on your feet.
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman45 View Post
Had friends over for a swim. One walked into the kitchen from the pool with damp feet. Slipped on the tile floor and broke her arm in the fall.

Less than a yr later, I got out of the shower in the master bath. Slipped on the tile floor and my foot was cut to the extent it needed 12 stitches as it went under the counter.

Moved from that house and into this one with a marble tile master bath. Wife slipped on the floor after a shower and tore her knee up and will eventually require surgery for it.

Tile is slippery when wet.

+1. I had a house in OH for a few years and it had ceramic tile in the kitchen. If water got splashed on the floor and anyone was barefoot, they were going skating. I fell on my elbow and messed it up for a few months. Had I not got a smoking good job offer and we stayed there, that tile was going in the dumpster.

Noah
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:00 PM
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We have big dogs, and their claws will tear up an oak floor after a few years.

When we remodelled we wnt wit a textured Italian ceramic tile that is an earth tone with a complemantary dark grout.

Not a sign of wear from the Dobermans, even in front of the back door. I think the rough surface keeps their nails trimmed too!

An electric heating coil installed under the tile keeps the floor nice and warm.
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