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Old 12-01-2014, 04:34 PM   #41
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We have the same issue... we went with a caramelized stranded bamboo and love the floor but it is much darker than what we had before which was a natural maple color and its shows just about every little piece of lint or whatever. We're quite happy with the floors but would go with a much lighter color if we ever have to replace them.
Go to WalMart and buy a Swifter battery broom. Works great on our walnut floors and is faster than pushing a dry mop and then using a Dustbuster to pick up the piles of lint.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:03 PM   #42
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We have oak floors in the kitchens of two of our houses, and also in houses before that. Wouldn't consider anything else. Water can be an issue, but we have also had icemaker/fridge condensate line leaks and while temporary cupping was a problem, they settled down to normal. Dings that would crack tile are part of the character of the floors.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:16 AM   #43
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Thanks all for the excellent feedback. This raised some new issues, and as in any decision, the more info the better. I think we will look into the ceramic wood tile as a possible kitchen solution. We have a dishwasher that will have to be replaced in a few years, so this is a concern (blockage). We are trying to delay a complete kitchen remodel. We have off-white carpet in living/dining rooms that three cats and a lab have customized and will soon have to be replaced. We are at the point where we have almost put as much into the house as we originally paid 15 years ago (house is 35 years old). It seems never-ending. Plan to be here another 5 -10 years.


Thanks again for the helpful comments.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:40 AM   #44
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We did our kitchen over this year, and we went with porcelain tile. As we live in New England, we invested in electric floor heaters between the subfloor and the tile at installation, and it makes a huge difference. We walk in the kitchen barefoot very often in the winter, and our piggies wiggle with glee.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:11 AM   #45
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We are in the process of having almost a total remodel of our house. We had hardwood floors installed throughout the main living areas. We have tile in the bathrooms and the laundry room. Our remodel has already cost more than our house originally cost and it is still ongoing. I am hoping that they are done within 3 weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:25 AM   #46
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The tile in our kitchen/hall/powder room had hair line cracks when we bought the place when it was one year old. By three years old, the cracks had turned in to chips. I attribute this to low quality, large tiles (13" squares) and lack of support under the tile. The tile was placed on 1/2" Durarock with plywood subfloor on 16" on center floor joists. We replaced the tile with 3/4" wood floors as part of a major remodel.

I have asked a guy who owned a tile business about the best way to support the floor for tile. He said to put in plenty of cross bracing. On a previous house, we had tile in the entry and it had joists stubbed in at 8" on center under the tile and never cracked. In the house I am presently building I have put cross braces at 12" on center under the area where I will tile and the put the wood burning stove.

The moral of this story is use quality tile and make sure you have adequate support. If your floors are "bouncy", which a lot of newer construction is, I think you could have problems with cracking.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:55 AM   #47
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I'm in the midst of a kitchen remodel and will be installing solid hardwood. We haven't picked out the exact kind yet.

As for durability, I've had 3/4in solid red oak installed for the first floor, including kitchen and entry way, of a college campus rental and it has held up very well for 8 years and going. Talk about a test of extreme conditions - keg parties, dishwasher mishaps, tracking in snow and salt from outdoors, and minimal regular cleaning.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:33 AM   #48
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We installed engineered wood floor in the kitchen of our prior house. It looked great and held up fine except in the sink/dishwasher area. Even though we had a rug there, the water damage was evident after just a couple years. You can refinish engineered wood flooring maybe once or twice, depending on the thickness of the veneer. Real 3/4" hardwood flooring is not practical in Texas where the subfloor is a concrete slab.

Our current house has saltillo tile in the kitchen, which is quite attractive, although a bit rustic/uneven and hard on the feet. We also have a few cracked tiles. I definitely prefer the "look and feel" of wood flooring, but in kitchens and baths, tile will last longer.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:21 AM   #49
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W Real 3/4" hardwood flooring is not practical in Texas where the subfloor is a concrete slab.
A proper installation requires a plywood sub-floor underneath and is very common in Texas.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:39 AM   #50
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A proper installation requires a plywood sub-floor underneath and is very common in Texas.
...which raises the level of the floor by at least 1.5" (3/4" plywood subfloor + 3/4" wood floor). I was referring to its usefulness in kitchen and bath applications, where such a height change would obviously play havoc with toe kicks, etc. There may be some people who do it, but I think it's much more common, practical, and cost-effective to use glue-down engineered flooring in such applications.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #51
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...which raises the level of the floor by at least 1.5" (3/4" plywood subfloor + 3/4" wood floor). I was referring to its usefulness in kitchen and bath applications, where such a height change would obviously play havoc with toe kicks, etc. There may be some people who do it, but I think it's much more common, practical, and cost-effective to use glue-down engineered flooring in such applications.
You do not need a 3/4" sub-floor, probably 1/2" plywood is sufficient for slab applications. Nevertheless, if you are just doing a kitchen or entrance way, that might be objectionable unless you can live with a beveled transition piece which I have seen used in many homes, and to me it looks fine.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:12 AM   #52
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You do not need a 3/4" sub-floor, probably 3/8" or 1/2" plywood is sufficient for slab applications.
According to installation guidelines published by the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association), installing a plywood subfloor over concrete requires a minimum nominal thickness of 5/8" (19/32, 15.1mm), with a preferred thickness of 3/4" (23/32, 18.3mm). Using 3/8" or 1/2" as you suggested would likely void your warranty, since NWFA installation standards are specified in most manufacturer's warranties.

(BTW, I noticed you edited your post to remove the reference to 3/8" plywood)
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #53
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Best floor we ever put into a kitchen was a Kars floating hardwood flooring. Looked great for years, wore well, and did not show every mark. In our kitchen for 14 years prior to us selling the home. The kitchen was the entry way to our home that was used by us and our two 2 children. Prior to selling, we did a very light sand, really akin to a steel wool rub, and applied another coat of finish. Brought it back to new.

I installed it. Once the floor was level and the first plank was squared off it went down like a dream. We live in the snow belt.....and it certainly is today.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:51 PM   #54
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According to installation guidelines published by the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association), installing a plywood subfloor over concrete requires a minimum nominal thickness of 5/8" (19/32, 15.1mm), with a preferred thickness of 3/4" (23/32, 18.3mm). Using 3/8" or 1/2" as you suggested would likely void your warranty, since NWFA installation standards are specified in most manufacturer's warranties.

(BTW, I noticed you edited your post to remove the reference to 3/8" plywood)
I changed it from 3/8" as that seemed too thin, especially if the concrete is uneven, however I changed it well before your post, not after the fact, but its OK if you want to rub it in. I have seen subfloors in some developments that appeared to be thinner plywood, but I won't argue with the guideline, probably better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:14 PM   #55
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The tile in our kitchen/hall/powder room had hair line cracks when we bought the place when it was one year old. By three years old, the cracks had turned in to chips. I attribute this to low quality, large tiles (13" squares) and lack of support under the tile. The tile was placed on 1/2" Durarock with plywood subfloor on 16" on center floor joists. We replaced the tile with 3/4" wood floors as part of a major remodel.

I have asked a guy who owned a tile business about the best way to support the floor for tile. He said to put in plenty of cross bracing. ....
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We installed engineered wood floor in the kitchen of our prior house. It looked great and held up fine except in the sink/dishwasher area. Even though we had a rug there, the water damage was evident after just a couple years. ....
FWIW our experience has been very different.

We have 12" square tile in our entry and adjacent half-bath and have no cracks in over 3 years. The base is cementboard over the subfloor on joists that are 16" on center.

We have stranded bamboo in the great room which includes the kitchen and have had no water issues by the sink and dishwasher. That area looks the same as the dining and living areas.
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:53 PM   #56
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FWIW our experience has been very different.



We have 12" square tile in our entry and adjacent half-bath and have no cracks in over 3 years. The base is cementboard over the subfloor on joists that are 16" on center.



We have stranded bamboo in the great room which includes the kitchen and have had no water issues by the sink and dishwasher. That area looks the same as the dining and living areas.

Same here with all my kitchen, entry way, and bathroom tiles of ten years. My previous 2 homes that I installed had no problems either. Guess I was fortunate, but one thing is sure. I almost created a nationwide shortage of screws when I installed the backerboard and also buttered the hell out of those tiles too.


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Old 12-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #57
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...snip.....
Please don't flame me but I have yet to see manufactured snap together that floats my boat. Just looks too perfect!

Won't flame as I agree. Here's why:

Most conventional wood floors are the 2 3/8" width cuttings. Compare that with an engineered product.

The conventional flooring is mainly manufactured from #2 common lumber, it's cheaper per unit of clear face cuttings. This lends itself to many smaller pieces from around defects (knots, bird pecks...). The area around defects has more twists and figure in the "grain" of the wood. So each piece is more unique looking. You also get shorter pieces from cutting the taper off the butt end of the log, they tend to yield a lot of highly figured wood, close to "fiddle back figure".

Remember that 3/4" piece of wood started out 1 1/8" thick plus the saw kerf. So each piece of lumber has at least 1 1/4" depth from it's closest pattern. So conventional flooring has many opportunities for smaller pieces of unique patterns.

The engineered products are a base surface covered in veneer. When I was manufacturing veneer we were trying to get to 1/100 of an inch in thickness(no idea what the standard is now). There was no loss to kerf as there was no saw. Veneer was sliced off on a huge razor blade 12" wide and 17' long.

The biggest thing was the logs veneer was made from. They were high priced and had few/no figure causing knots or other defects. They were the cream of the crop, perfectly straight butt logs with no visable defects of any kind. They produced perfect slices, logs after slicing were kept together in a book so the pattern could go on and on.....

There's no right or wrong, its taste specific. I used to love cutting high quality logs, you could see how identically perfect each piece was. But for flooring I love the unique patterns of each small cutting from a variety of logs. It's all good.


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Old 12-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #58
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I feel like the local weirdo in liking carpeting.

Wall to wall white low pile high quality carpeting throughout the house, except for Kitchen and Baths. It's now 15 years old, and looks as good as the day we bought the house. I do my own cleaning once a year, about three hours, and whatever small stains were added, are easily cleaned up.
So why carpeting? Most important... for our aging bodies, to cushion potential falls. Between carpeted floors and Prolia for DW, so far, no injuries. Most common cause of accidents for older persons.
Next... quiet, easy walking with no noise or slips.
And... since it's all wall to wall, there are no sills, so if and when necessary, easy for wheel chairs, canes, crutches etc.
Finally... it's warm. Feels warm and even when coming in to a room where the thermostat was turned down... easy to walk on. Everyone who comes in automatically takes of their shoes... not by request, 'cuz we've never asked anyone to do that... but because they like the feel of walking in their stocking feet.

About white? Not white-white, but an off white that doesn't show light dirt and stains.

So... one dissenting vote on wood.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:03 PM   #59
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Here is the floor in our kitchen (I cannot get it to a vertical position), almost two years old. We have a few throw rugs for form and function. We love it--for this house and for us.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:00 PM   #60
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Imolderu, you must not have pets!

I could go from low pile to shag in about four days with all these dogs and cats!

But you do have a good point about cushioning and warmth, and if we ever actually become pet-free, I would love to have a bedroom with carpet in it.


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