Pros & Cons of various floor materials

My wife wants to replace the kitchen floor which is currently sheet vinyl directly over the concrete foundation. We built the house ten years ago. She is thinking tile, a good quality, not HD el-cheapo stuff. It seems to me that tile would be rather hard to stand / walk on for any length of time. I suggested wood. Her concern about that is that we have two dogs, about 40 pounds each, and she fears their toenails will dent and scratch it. Perhaps she has a point.
Also, we are going to replace the carpet in the den this year, and again we are thinking of wood, but her concern about the dogs applies there as well. I also have a concern about furniture denting it, and I really don't like to have to put rubber coasters under furniture legs. Also, does furniture have a tendency to slip / slide on a wood floor?
Another concern about wood is the care required. We really don't know what it entails.
I intend to go to a floor store and check out various materials but it is always mice to go in armed with as much information as possible, so I'd appreciate any experiences and advice you may have.
Thanks in advance, Bob
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I strongly feel that tile is the best choice for a kitchen over wood. The other good choice is vinyl, which are are changing from (I did, too, but I still think it's a perfectly good practical good-looking option.) I haven't found that the tile is too hard to stand on, and our kitchen gets a lot of traffic and use. Wood has concerns with upkeep, and isn't a good choice where water is. Since I got my floor tiled, I can better see the water droplets from rinsing, filling pots, etc., and it's amazing that there are quite a few. Even without spills, there is a lot of water exposure in the kitchen. Frankly, IMO wooden kitchen floors is a current fad, coming from a reluctance to have different floor materials on the currently fasionable open floor plans. Five years from now those sticks are going to be removed from a lot of kitchen floors, I predict.

The funny thing about this is that wood is harder on the feet than carpet - if you're concerned about the kitchen tile floor for this reason, then you'd want carpet in the den ;-)
In the den, carpet vs. wood is more of a personal taste and preference thing, each has advantages and disadvantages. You dislike coasters under furniture; I dislike area rugs. Dog nails may mar a wood floor, but may catch on carpet. Wood takes some care, carpet is harder to keep clean. No one I know of with a real wood floor (vs. something like Pergo) has had a problem with furniture slipping. Furniture is far more likely to dent rugs than wood (or is that what you meant?) I like the "warm" look, softness, and quiet of a berber carpet so that's what I'm getting, but that's a personal thing.
How about wood in the den and tile in the kitchen as a compromise? They look good together if you have any transition. Less to refinish if the dog nails do prove to be a problem.
Banty
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I like vinyl for kitchens. Tile can be a pain in the kitchen because of the grout. In my rentals I use commercial vinyl tile because of its durability, and the fact that you can replace a tile or two if it gets gouged for some reason. The down side is that you have to wax and buff a couple of times a year.
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wrote:

I agree with your wife about the dog scratches. A house across the street sold recently and the damage to the wood floor was evident. I got to visit during an open house. As soon as I walked into the front door I could seem the scratches.
A warning on MOHAWK hardwood flooring: "Vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary head can damage a wood floor and never should be used."
We removed vinyl flooring in the kitchen and replaced it with large tile (16x24). I enjoy it until a drop a glass jar. They seem to shatter in a million pieces. The tile is easy to clean IMO.
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wrote:

Sensible shoes, or some kind of mat/throw-rug in front of the sink ought to solve the hard-floor problem.
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If you want a wood floor Google "wood hardness" and choose a wood that has the hardness to stand up to the traffic. North American hardwoods are not all that hard. Coupled with a real good quality pre-finish wood will stand up to a lot. Even vinyl can be scratched, cut and gouged with untrimmed dog nails.

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will get on the floor go unnoticed and now your pulling up flooring. If you do decide on wood I believe if you get the kind with groves the dogs will not slide as bad, also buy a couple extra boxes if your going with a pre-finished. Also you will have to go with an engineered flooring on concrete. It's more like a plywood nothing wrong with it, a good flooring supply can explain it better. The one problem with tile if you drop something on it, it will most likely break but wood will dent. Also if you go with tile you might be able to go right over the vinyl if it's in good shape. As you mentioned stay away from the big box stores but the one thing they do have is bad advice and if you special order from them good luck. When you get into quality flooring the big box stores prices are way over priced. Find a good mom and pop shop they point you in the right direction.
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REAL wood doesn't self-destruct just because it gets wet occasionally.

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REAL wood doesn't self-destruct just because it gets wet occasionally.
Put some real wood in your house poor some water on it leave it sit for about 30 minuets, then tell me what happens. Wood expands when it gets wet engineered or solid its all real wood. The water will also get under the finish and cause it to bubble and blister. Engineered wood flooring is solid wood , If you do some research you can not put solid wood on concrete.
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wrote:

For the kitchen, I'd choose tile. It's tough, durable and not prone to moisture problems. Select a grout color that won't show stains and seal it well. The risks of cracking are pretty minimal, IMO. I've had tile floors for years, dropped plenty of things and haven't cracked a tile yet.
For the den, I'd normally go with the wood. But you might want to consider laminate too. It will probably withstand the dog toenails better than all but the hardest hardwoods. However, it won't tolerate much urine if that's likely to be an issue.
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wrote:

I think so too. Even the small amount of padding inherent in even thin vinyl floor is probably a lot compared to the no padding nature of tile.
Also, I drop a glass or dish now and then and usually they don't break, on my vinyl over plywood floor (with basement underneath) I would think ceraminc tile would break whatever is dropped on it.

In addition, water will get in the cracks when you spill things. I forget the consequences of that, but some thread discussed it.
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