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Old 09-22-10, 09:58 AM   #1
Bob Ross
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Kitchen floors

We're re-doing our kitchen, complete gut renovation...thought we'd picked out our flooring material/design months ago, but now, a week before the contractor shows up for Day 1, the missus is having second thoughts.

So... ceramic tile versus wood (specifically, bamboo). Pros/Cons? Experiences that might cause us to lean one way or the other?

I'm already aware of the substantial price differential. For the sake of argument, let's disregard that for now.

Thanks.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:05 AM   #2
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Ceramic tile will not shrink, swell, delamintate etc when exposed to moisture from a leaking sink or other kitchen appliance. Not sure about bamboo, but other wood products can and will. Also easy to remove and replace one broken tile.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:10 AM   #3
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Ceramic tile will not shrink, swell, delamintate etc when exposed to moisture from a leaking sink or other kitchen appliance. Not sure about bamboo, but other wood products can and will. Also easy to remove and replace one broken tile.
Good points, but...

Wood is warmer on the bare feet, which might not be an issue is you live somewhere like Phoenix, but it's nice here in the winter.

You also have a slightly better chance of a dish not breaking if you drop it on wood, vs. ceramic tile.

Oh, and grout. Don't expect white grout to stay white; probably best to just start off with dingy gray or, even better, try to match the grout to whatever you usually track into your house from the outside. Dingy gray, probably.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:31 AM   #4
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grout can be sealed.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:34 AM   #5
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What about that Pugot[?] stuff? I had it in a remodeled kitchen where I lived for a few years and I thought it was simply amazing. But what do I know, really?
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Old 09-22-10, 10:37 AM   #6
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When you drop a large pot on ceramic the tile breaks and wood dents.
My sister learned the hard way and now has wood floors in the kitchen.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:37 AM   #7
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dirt floor....if it gets dirty, who will notice?
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Old 09-22-10, 10:39 AM   #8
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dirt floor....if it gets dirty, who will notice?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/garden/08dirt.html
^^^
Big money for dirt floors. Seriously, new modern rage.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:46 AM   #9
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/garden/08dirt.html
^^^
Big money for dirt floors. Seriously, new modern rage.
I would call that a concrete floor (stained concrete).
I'm talking a dusty old dirt floor. You know, red clay in these parts.
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Old 09-22-10, 11:11 AM   #10
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Polished concrete is what I'm doing in my kitchen when I remodel it.
Polished crete floor, and polished crete countertops.
Dito for the bathroom.
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Old 09-22-10, 11:23 AM   #11
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What about that Pugot[?] stuff? I had it in a remodeled kitchen where I lived for a few years and I thought it was simply amazing. But what do I know, really?
Pergo...I have a similar product in my kitchen. It looks very nice and installed easily. I installed it diagonally. It is susceptible to water damage too. My now 10-month old pup had her share of accidents when I was gone so the puddle didn't get cleaned up right away. This resulted in a rise/bubble in where the liquid seeped into the seam. The damage can be repaired by placing a heavy flat object on the area but it's a pain since I have to walk around the object for the time it takes to press that area down.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:02 PM   #12
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Bamboo is an engineered product, this will lessen the chance of water damage from spills, washing and, puppy accidents. It has a warmer feel on the feet, and a softer feel as well. Installation is a little easier, it's easier to cut, one less step to install, once it's down, you are basically finished with it, except for trim. The down side is if there is a real flood, the floor is toast, may not be as durable as tile, but it may be able to be refinished(depends on the type). A factory applied finish will be more durable than a field applied finish. It will scratch.
Tile is hard and cold on the feet. There is more to installing a tile floor than a wood floor, the grout will stain and discolor, even if sealed. Sealing grout is not a onetime thing, it should be done twice a year, nobody does that. Replacing one broken tile, and they will break, is not easy, and difficult to get it to look right. and the grout will not match for a while. Be sure you save some unused tile from the initial install. The larger the tile, the more likely one will crack. On the other hand the patterns and design if a tile floor is limited only by your imagination, more complicated designs will cost more to install. If you do go with tile, get a tile that is through body porcelin. This is a harder tile that has the color all the way throough the tile. Chips will be less noticable.

You have other options, Pergo(or other laminate), make sure you get one rater to use in a wet area. But even the best still look fake, they are a picture of wood. And they all have a particular sound when you walk on it.
There is also vinyl, look at a product called Amtico. It still looks fake, but better than Pergo(et. al.)IMHO. This is better left to be installed by a experienced pro. Any flaws in the substrate will telegraph through, just like any other vinyl. It is very durable, it will last a life time. The feel is between wood and tile, it depends on the substrate.

I have installed both wood and tile floors, wood floors generally go down quicker, it depends on the width of the material. Bamboo flooring can be either wide of thin, depending on the type. But either way bamboo won't need a cement board substrate, or grout, or sealing. The installer also has to be careful that the tile is supported by the mortar, this is why they crack, and the tile are level. One tile sticking up will ruin an otherwise good floor. This is less of a problem will a wood floor as the flooring fits together with a tongue and groove.
I have tile in my kitchen, I would prefer it to be wood. When(if) the kitchen is redone, it will have a wood floor.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:12 PM   #13
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^^^that's what I meant to say^^^

...except for the part about having installation experience.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:31 PM   #14
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I had oak floors in my last house and I grew to dislike them. My cat's water bowl had to be put on a plastic mat because the spills made the grain rise. Then the backing on the plastic mat discolored the wood. I had sliding doors in the dining area and the UV from the sun also faded the wood near the doors.

I now have ceramic tile in my current home. Brown/gray tile + brown grout = floors don't look stained and dirty. The tile and grout were sealed when it was installed 3 years ago and nothing has stained it yet. It is cold on your feet in the winter, but feels great in summer.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:42 PM   #15
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I love the bamboo,

When we redo the kitchen we will probably use either stone or tile.
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Old 09-22-10, 02:46 PM   #16
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I would go for a sheet of linoleum or vinyl before pergo or any engineered wood.

Linoleum is a really cool natural product actually. Vinyl manufacture is a nasty process.
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Old 09-22-10, 03:52 PM   #17
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We just finished installing new kitchen flooring. We swapped out our parquet flooring for porcelain tile. If you have any pets you'd know why. Moisture + wood = nasty looking floors. I also like the ease of cleaning the tile flooring. If you're worried about grout becoming grungy over time, simply seal it.

The downside of tile vs wood flooring is that your sub-floor needs to be quite level and even before installing the tiles. You also need to remove any flex in your flooring. When you install plywood over the sub-floor you need to make sure it's screwed down well. We spaced the flooring screws every 6 inches. Wood flooring is a lot more forgiving.
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Old 09-22-10, 03:54 PM   #18
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drop a dish or glass on a sample of the bamboo, then drop it on a ceramic tile
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Old 09-22-10, 05:00 PM   #19
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I would totally go for this floor
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Old 09-22-10, 08:47 PM   #20
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Granite tiles or Bamboo.(check big box store sales and Lumber Liquidators)
Both are hard and stain resistant while lasting forever.

Pergo or other pressed paper/vinyl products suck and cannot handle minute amouts of water.They cup,seperate,or just dissolve.
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Old 09-22-10, 08:49 PM   #21
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We just finished installing new kitchen flooring. We swapped out our parquet flooring for porcelain tile. If you have any pets you'd know why. Moisture + wood = nasty looking floors. I also like the ease of cleaning the tile flooring. If you're worried about grout becoming grungy over time, simply seal it.

The downside of tile vs wood flooring is that your sub-floor needs to be quite level and even before installing the tiles. You also need to remove any flex in your flooring. When you install plywood over the sub-floor you need to make sure it's screwed down well. We spaced the flooring screws every 6 inches. Wood flooring is a lot more forgiving.
Never install tile over plywood.
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Old 09-22-10, 09:18 PM   #22
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Never install tile over plywood.
Nothing wrong with it as long as you use a decoupler.
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Old 09-23-10, 01:12 PM   #23
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Nothing wrong with it as long as you use a decoupler.
Incorrect my frosty neighbor.
Might want to consult that company Mapei in Montreal first.
Wood contracts and expands as the temp/humidity changes causing any masonary product to slowly break bond or slowly crack the mortar joints.Water can also enter the plywood through the mortar joints causing the sub-surface to expand.It never was a building standard approved method.
There are plenty of cement board substrates nowadays instead of plywood/chipboard and the cost difference is slight so why use wood?Installing masonary/tile products over plywood is a short term product I would use to fix up and flip a house.
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Old 09-23-10, 02:41 PM   #24
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Incorrect my frosty neighbor....
Not my experience. I used screws and contractor cement to attach the plywood 16 years ago, the ceramic tile is still attached just fine (latex thinset). I do agree about the grout, after 5-6 years it's a new color. Drop tests are dumb, don't drop stuff
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Old 09-23-10, 04:04 PM   #25
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My parents have tile in their kitchen. It's been around a decade, and no broken tiles yet. We've dropped our share of pyrex mixing bowls on it, and surprisingly the bowls have survived as well, although there is a rug in front of the sink which is where most things get dropped. It gets a bit slippery when wet, but I always wear slippers inside (cold feet even in the summer), so the hard/cold doesn't bug me at all. When we make jam, applesauce, whatever it's always very easy to clean up. FYI, the grout is/was gray.
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