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Kitchen Floor Material
updated: Dec 28, 2012, 10:33 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Edhatters: I'd like to know if anyone has redone their kitchen flooring in the past year or two, on a old, old house, and what material was installed. Did you try for a "period correct" product? Also where did you shop and are you satisfied/happy with your choice? Did you have a champagne or a soda water budget? Thank you for any tips/advice/caveats.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 357818P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 10:40 AM

Marmoleum has come a way since the 90's. Good looking, quiet underfoot, resilient and hard wearing. Looks rather period, like the old "battleship" linoleum of the 30's and 40's. Good color range and textural look. With a cork underlayment, it's even softer underfoot, but that may not be an issue on a raised foundation. Check out some of the other green floorings made from recylced materials.

Good luck.


 COMMENT 357819 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 10:45 AM

I had Pergo installed. The flooring looked great on the uneven, 100 year old underfloor. The problem was the finish molding/trim! I had to have two different "professionals" do it and both were unable to affix the molding to the uneven walls to make it look suitable. Finally, the company sent their "best" guy out and it was done correctly!


 COMMENT 357830 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 11:08 AM

Engineered hardwood and we love it!


 COMMENT 357856 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 12:16 PM

If your old old house is like most in town - then I would also assume you are on a raised foundation. Before I would consider any flooring - have the old stuff pulled up and take a look at the subfloor.

If it warps and waves - consider laying down a new subfloor of at least 3/8 ply if you apply over the original - or tear the whole floor out and go 5/8 T&G - shimmed as needed to get a level surface. Only then would I even think about your top dressing.


 COMMENT 357860 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 12:26 PM

I did it myself. Most older houses in town with raised foundations had linoleum. There are a lot of places that sell some great linoleum options, but we wanted tile, so I took out the whole floor, doubled up all the joists and installed two layers of 3/4" t&g plywood, plus 1/4 inch cbu to get the deflection rating into the correct zone for tile, then laid 16x20 rectangular porcelain. As I have heard quoted before, tripping in my kitchen is like falling in a parking lot.


 COMMENT 357870P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 12:42 PM

We used commercial linoleum for our kitchen in our 1954 house. Commercial grade is generally thicker than residential grade, and we found the color/pattern choices were much better, for us. We wanted a darker-colored floor, and we found most residential-grade choices were too light. We went with a rust-colored floor, which makes a nice transition from the warm wood floors elsewhere. We used a wooden threshold in the doorways. Unlike the rest of the house, we decided against period authenticity in this floor because neither of us was in love with authentic 1950's flooring, so we went with a solid sheet (as opposed to tiles, which would have been more correct period-wise). The house is not so old that such a floor becomes a giant anachronism, as it might be in an older house. We installed it over the original linoleum tiles that were badly worn and stained. We did not try to take them up, as that would have been quite difficult. We did not put a new sub layer over them either, as we didn't want to constrict the kick space under the cupboards. So instead, we do now have some faint lines showing through under the new floor. It doesn't bother me, but it would bother some.


 COMMENT 357885P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 01:32 PM

We found some tiles that simulate wood, including grain effect. Nice.


 COMMENT 357886P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 01:39 PM

Engineered hardwood installed by FlooredByPat, 805-617-9999. Not the cheapest or most expensive. Moderately priced but beautiful craftmanship. He always returned calls and messages promptly. He also fixed previously shoddy work done by the original home builders at no extra charge. One thing I appreciated too was that he never tried to upsell. He was very tuned into our budget and worked with us to accommodate it. I love our new floors!


 COMMENT 357895P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 02:40 PM

bamboo and it looks great - our good friends used cork, that looks nice as well, not sure how it (cork) will do over time.


 COMMENT 357900 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 02:59 PM

Wood is a nightmare when there is a leak in the plumbing. Our maple is permanently warped. Stone and tile are good with liquids, but hard on the knees and a glass almost never falls unbroken. Vinyl on wood framing seems like a great compromise; easy clean, can handle water, easy on feet and knees and has good bounce factor for dropped fragile items.


 COMMENT 357908 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 03:24 PM

We also used Pat for our kitchen floor in our mid-1950's house: excellent job, great service, everything 886P said. :-)


 COMMENT 357950 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-28 05:08 PM

The 1930 house I bought a couple of years ago had slate installed ten years earlier. DON'T follow that lead! It's so out of place, hard on aging joints, uneven so you feel and see every little bit of dirt and sand, and neither warm nor cozy.
I'd love to replace it. If you have any money left over in your budget once your project is completed, I accept donations!
Seriously, let us know what you decide!


 COMMENT 358014P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 12:33 AM

818: The marmoleum was our first choice. We love being green. However, the color we fell in love with only comes in sheet form. Not about to have one big seam in my kitchen. Gah.

My builder is a master craftsman and knows all the pitfalls of each and every product. My problem is finding something that is practical, serviceable, easy care and doesn't show much dirt. I don't mind spending a bit of cash, if only I can find something that looks good.

There are so many choices. I wanted to hear from anyone and everyone, to get multiple opinions on various products.
So far, the wood flooring is a big "no." No marmoleum tile colors appeal to me. Bamboo is too hard and noisy, and the color choices are too few. Cork is too soft. Slate and material like the Saltillo tiles are just too impractical and would look out of place. (Flooring in rooms at either end of kitchen are quarter-sawn oak.)

Linoleum isn't "period correct," truly, as this is a 1904 house (raised foundation). Yet lino seems like the best choice so far, in 12" x 12" or 16" x 16" tiles. Where is the best place to look? So much of the new linoleum looks like plastic/cheap to me.

We looked at Lowe's tonight. Anyone have any ideas? My builder can lay the tiles. What about selection? Who has the best?

Any suggestions appreciated.


 COMMENT 358015P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 12:34 AM

P. S. (I am so tired. I forgot to thank everyone who commented on this thread. I do appreciate greatly all of your input and help. Thank you.)


 COMMENT 358024 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 06:40 AM

Linoleum goes back to the time if the Civil War so it is period correct for a 1904 house. We recently redid the kitchen floor in our 1887 Victorian with a sheet of loose lay Armstrong vinyl, which is essentially like an updated version of linoleum sheeting but covers imperfections in the wood better and is removed and replaced more easily in the future.
Lowe's has a limited selection, so Abbey Carpets had to order the stone tile pattern we wanted and did a good,reasonably priced installation though it took some extra phone clls to keep them on schedule. Hope this helps!


 COMMENT 358026P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 06:44 AM

Try the cork flooring - from LivinGreen on Milpas. Not only is it environmentally safe, long lasting, and beautiful, it's period appropriate.


 COMMENT 358041 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 07:47 AM

My linoleum 16x16 tiles fools mostly everyone into thinking they are real tile. Softer and warmer underfoot. I had it laid over the ugly standard white linoleum the builder put in.


 COMMENT 358044 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 07:56 AM

1918 here. Had to add to the hardwood where they skimped under the sink area, and then refinished, all by Douglas Floors. Great job, and local family!


 CARPSTER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 08:04 AM

We used a synthetic flooring that was layed in strips like hardwood flooring. It is called Amtico, available in many widths, "woods", textures and was the most realistic looking of the many similar products. Five years ago it was layed by Isensee in Ventura who did an excellent job and we love it. People don't realize it is not real wood until I show them a sample piece.


 COMMENT 358050 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 08:37 AM

Our 1914 house had linoleum in the kitchen and halls. We removed that, thinking to reinstall a linoleum. Luckily, the color we wanted was out of stock permanently. When the old linoleum was removed the original fir underflooring looked so good that we had it refinished. It is beautiful! Couldn't be more sustainable than that.


 COMMENT 358068 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 09:36 AM

We installed linoleum in our 1880's house because it is period, and since we have a raised foundation the house moves ! No square corners and no garantee the tiles would stay put. Found great stuff at Lowes . It looks like green and white diagonal tiles, perfect for my house. They had other colors too, I think. For the price I could replace it 5 times before coming close to what anything else would cost.


 COMMENT 358101 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 10:43 AM

014: I believe there are other true linoleum companies now besides Marmoleum. They were the only co in the 90's when we had ours put in. Does SB Co. have a "green building store"? Up in SLO, Green Goods has the skinny on all manufacturers and products. Great people, good craftsmanship and easy to work with. They might give you some leads on green builders familiar with linoleum in SB area.



 COMMENT 358125 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 11:15 AM

Here's what we did ... it is a little D'Alfonso, so Spanish/Mission revival was called for. We replaced the icky lino with octagonal saltillo tiles that were left over (overage) from someone else's job (love Craigslist). Had it sealed and voila! it's perfect!


 COMMENT 358128 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 11:21 AM

Bamboo!!! This product is Fabulous for Bathrooms and Kitchens!
It Resists Water and Mold/Mildew. This is a perfect product for these two rooms. Costco has a nice selection if you're going to do it yourself.


 COMMENT 358230 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-29 03:55 PM

Rebuilt 22 years ago using vinyl tiles. Biggest problem was 1. when water (even from mopping) went betweeen the tiny spaces between tiles the subfloor would swell up slightly along the seams when it absorbed the moisture causing a small bulge. Over the years these bulges were apparent everywhere the floor had gotten wet. Consequently any mopping had to be done with a barely damp mop and if any water or other liquid spilled it has to be gotten up immediately. I think the problem was partly a result of the subfloor being layed with particle board (I call it spongboard) instead of durable plywood or even water resistant marine grade plywood 2. Older Vinyl tile can crack at the corners and needs to be buffed and waxed occasionaly to keep it's sheen. Thinking about re-doing the floor now, possibly with travertine.


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