Hardwood Floors in the Kitchen…Yay or Nay?

For years, I’ve been babbling on about doing a kitchen renovation and now it’s becoming a reality!

First, I need to decide if I want to switch from tile to hardwood floors in the kitchen…As always, I like to make a list of the pros and cons.

If you are considering installing hardwood floors in your kitchen, you might find my list helpful in making your decision.  

First, let’s take a look at my current kitchen floor:

tile floor in kitchen - vs hardwood floors


As you can see, we have ceramic tile in there now.  The tile extends down the back hall and then up to the front foyer.

View from stairs into foyer with tile floor and red rug

The tile breaks up the dining room and living room which both have pre-finished Bruce hardwood floors.  The hardwood floors have faded over the 15 years of living here.

So, one option would be to rip out the ceramic tile in the kitchen, back hall and foyer and replace it with another tile.  Yes, practical with a dog and kids but I am not sure I still want tile.

Then there is the other option...When our contractor priced out the tile for us, he also priced out replacing the old tile with hardwood AND replacing the hardwood in the dining room, living room plus the family room (where there is currently white carpet that’s way past its prime).

Well it turns out, it doesn’t cost that much more to change everything over to hardwood than it would cost to just replace the tile.  He suggests that we go with the finished on site floors instead of the pre-finished boards.  This way the kitchen won’t have any grooves in the floor which is a concern of mine because of spills and things that happen in a kitchen with boys and a dog.  Plus, my husband said the only way he would do the hardwood floor option is with the finished on site floors.  That’s definitely the look he prefers.  We are thinking a light to medium stained oak floor.

Of course, since I love lists I have to list out the reasons for both options.  Here is what I am thinking….

My Reasons to Install Hardwood Floors:

1.  I love the look of hardwood floors in the kitchen.  If you hop over to my Kitchen Pinterest Board, you can see that the majority of my pinned kitchens have hardwood.

2.  I really need to do something about that white carpeting in my family room.  I think having wood floors run from the kitchen right into the family room would be beautiful!

3.  I love the thought of having the same floor in most of the downstairs.  I say “most” because I will keep the tile in the bathroom and laundry room and since my office has a door, I will keep those pre-finished hardwoods.

I love the floor in there but with a golden retriever, I think I really need to go lighter in the rest of the house.  I vacuum enough now!

4.  Wood floors don’t have grout!  I hate cleaning grout and even though we get it professionally cleaned every now and then, it still gets dirty looking.

My Reasons NOT to Install Hardwoods:

1.  I am not going to lie.  My absolute biggest fear is the fumes.  I know this is short term (I hope) but I can’t even handle bringing a new piece of furniture into my house when it smells like stain.  The contractor told us we’d have to move out for about a week while the floors are being finished.  Ugh.  I hope the smell doesn’t linger longer than that week!

2.  And speaking of moving out…how on earth will we live in this house with all those rooms being torn up at once?  I know – short term problem again but I am just dreading that!

3.  Rosie.  Yeah I know, plenty of golden retriever owners have hardwood floors but I worry that her nails will end up scratching the floors when she runs down the stairs into the foyer every morning.  Maybe I can buy her some doggie slippers…

4.  My husband is not the neatest cook.  Sure, I am the one who cooks 95 percent of the time but on Christmas and a few other occasions, he will cook something like bacon and get grease and all kind of mess everywhere.  Ceramic tile is pretty easy to clean up, but how will the hardwood be?

So here is where you come in, my blogging buddies, readers and friends with great taste…

Please answer as many questions as you like.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Do you have hardwood floors in your kitchen?  

If so, would you do it again?…Are they pre-finished or finished on site?

Do you have dogs and hardwood floors?  If so, any issues?

If you have installed the finished on-site type of hardwood floors, how long did the fumes last?

Did you use an oil based or water based stain/poly?

Any other thoughts, comments, suggestions?



Thank you so much for your input!



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  1. I love my wood floor in the kitchen and have had no problem with it. I do keep a rug in front of the stove and sink since those spots are stood in the most.

  2. I am worrying about the same thing. I am replacing carpet and do I replace the tile too. The kitchen is definitely a worry.

  3. We put hardwood floors in the Beaufort beach house and absolutely love them. They are so easy to clean (ours were laid on site and stained) and the odor did not last long – though we were not living there while there renovations were going on – no dogs, but a 3 year old, many parties and lots of activities and they are no worse for the wear. And to me, a few little scratches would only add a little character…love the idea of the continuity throughout – can't wait to see what you choose!!

  4. I took all of the tile out of my kitchen last year and installed real wood flooring. I love it! It is easy to clean and doesn't show everything the way tile did. You will love it!

  5. You know we just replaced our whole first floor last year with pre-finished flooring from Bella Wood and absolutely LOVE them!! I was surprised to hear your contracted recommended you not go with prefinished floors?

  6. Forgot to add…I added an 8ft runner in front of my sink and dishwasher and it keeps the floor clean and spot free.

  7. If you go with hardwood, just put down thick rugs and pads everywhere that Rosie might scratch them, like at the bottom of the stairs in your foyer. Our Tucker ruined our floor all around the front door where he prances around with excitement whenever someone knocks. A larger rug there would have saved them, but we didn't notice the scratches until the damage was done. 🙁 We also found out the hard way in our master bedroom that shinier finishes are most protective. We chose a beautiful matte finish there that doesn't protect the wood very well. Next time, we'll go with a shinier finish. We went with tile in our kitchen, but only because it's also the main hallway through our house and from the mudroom, so lots of moisture from snowy shoes, etc. I would have loved hardwood in our kitchen otherwise. I think it will look gorgeous to have hardwood flowing throughout your entire first floor. I can't wait to see your remodel!

  8. A few years ago I would have suggested tile, but after living with wood in my kitchen, I have to say I love it. As others have said, I also have a rug in front of the sink and stove. A quick "stem clean" and the floors are clean. The sun has faded my floors a bit, but not too noticeable. I would be concerned about the dog, though!

  9. To me the key thing to ask yourself is can you live with imperfect hardwood floors? They will be perfect and gorgeous as first, but they won't stay perfect, at least not with kids and dogs. And I'm guessing you plan to keep the kids and dog? Our floors were brand new when we first moved in five years ago. Now they are worn and scratched, even warped in one place (window leak). Honestly, the imperfections don't bother me because our old house had ancient hard wood floors. I love hard wood. I never ever get tired of it. Good luck with your decision!

  10. I am loving all of your comments and suggestions! These honest opinions are exactly what I need to help me decide. Thank you ladies! – Shelley

  11. Totally go for the hardwood floors!! We have a very small kitchen, and have tile in there (the previous owners installed it) but I wish it were hardwood floors so that my kitchen extended right into the dining room (which has hardwood flooring). If you were to get the pre-finished flooring, would you still have the odor to deal with? Good luck, but I say go for it. It's timeless, classic, and really beautiful.

  12. I have had both tile and hardwood in previous kitchens and hands down I prefer hardwood – for the continuous flooring through the rooms, for the warmth of the wood tone, for it's ability to disguise the daily muck of a family, and for it's durability. A satin finish vs. gloss will make Rosie's scratches less noticeable. I think it would be beautiful running all the way through your family room, Shelley!!!

  13. We put pre-finished hardwood in the kitchen and dining room of our previous home and absolutely loved it. It was so much more comfy to walk and stand on than tile. I used a rug in front of my sink for any drips, but do the same thing on our current kitchen tile. If we didn't have so much tile in our current home, I would definitely go with wood again. We had lots of traffic through our last home and scratches were not an issue with the wood. I truly do not think you would regret doing hardwood. Oh, and we didn't have any issue with odor because it was pre-finished. Good luck with this and all the major decisions yet to come!

  14. We have hand scraped hardwoods in the kitchen and love it! I don't think I'll ever have anything but wood in the kitchen from now on. I would definitely do it again. We don't have a dog, but we do have a cat and her claws have never caused a problem. Our wood was pre-finished, so they just came in and installed it with no fumes. I've never had a problem with stuff getting stuck in the grooves, but I think it's because our planks are really close together. I've spilled everything from juice, cooking oil, raw eggs, cake batter, etc. on our wood and it all cleans up beautifully. We only use Bona products to clean it. Hope some of this helps! 🙂

  15. We had porcelain tile in my other home and it was amazing for its durability but I'd do wood next time around. And I never worry about dogs, I like the lived-in look.

  16. We had a laminate floor that looked like hardwood before we renovated our kitchen. We installed a Bruce 3/4" hardwood floor in the kitchen and dining room area. We had two goldens at the time of the installation and it was actually very easy to clean up after them. Now we are down to one golden and we definitely have no issue. The hardwood is a breeze to keep up with and of course there is no grout to crack either. I would definitely go for it!

  17. We have hardwood floors in our kitchen, living room, dining room, entry, stairs and hallway…. we installed Bruce hardwood flooring about 5-6 years ago. We have 6 children, so 8 people and then also company, so it gets A LOT of use… and we LOVE the hardwoods. 🙂

  18. I have had hardwood floors in two houses–soon to be a third. I have tile in my present home, and it has been a challenge due to the grout and loose/broken tiles. I'm also having tile removed in the new-old house's foyer and will replace wi/ wood. I decided against engineered wood as the sun really bleached it (present home), and the scratches may require replacing boards. Yikes. I don't like fumes–just about anything sets off an asthma attack. By the way, I wanted to tell you that your post was tremendously popular at last week's Foodie Friday and will be featured tonight. And I hope you'll update about your choices. Have a great weekend!

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