Monday, April 10, 2006

The Floor Upon Which I Tread

So you may remember my tales of woe concerning all the dry rot discovered in our new house. It was so insidious that it crept under the threshold of the door to the back deck and rotted out some of the subfloor of the back hallway and the hardwood flooring to boot. A total mess. The contractor, Old Ivan, had to pull up the hardwoods in that back hallway and literally cut away a portion of the subfloor in front of the door and replace it. But then troubles erupted with Old Ivan and we had a parting of the ways. We moved into the house with the back hallway stripped down to nothing but the subfloor and the doorway to the back deck covered with a simple sheet of plywood. It's oh so pretty!

But now we're faced with deciding what to do with the flooring of the back hallway, and by extension, the kitchen. The back hallway links the kitchen to the stairs to the master bedroom. It wouldn't really work to just replace the flooring of the hallway and not do the same in the kitchen. The kitchen floor, as it currently exists, is a lame vinyl/linoleum (I can't tell the difference between the two for the life of me!) It's old, but bland enough you sort of don't notice it unless you really start looking. And I've been looking. And now I think it's ugly and I'm glad we have to get rid of it. Otherwise, knowing us, we'd live with it for the next 5-10 yrs.

Much discussion later, we've decided on tile for the back hallway and kitchen. Hardwoods in the back hallway, like what was there before, would be lovely, but expensive. We'd have to have someone come in to install them and hope that they could stain them to match the existing hardwoods. That can be tricky. With tile, we can install the floor ourselves and therefore afford to do the kitchen, too. So that's what we're doing. We've been scouring the DIY big box home stores buying samples of tile flooring to take home and see if we like it. The cabinets in the kitchen are oak with almond-colored countertops. The kitchen floor touches the hardwood floor of the family room/dining room, so it has to flow well. We think we may have found what we like. And as a bonus, it's on clearance! It seems to be a simple system of tiles pre-mounted onto boards that fit together tongue-in-groove like with 2 tiles per board. There are 5 boards (10 tiles) per box, and each box costs $12.94. We haven't officially measured yet, but we think we'll need to cover about 175 sq. ft. So really, all you need to grout are the perfectly pre-spaced grooves between the tiles vs. spreading out the glue stuff underneath. The floor can "float" with this system.

Anyway, here are pictures of the tile we're considering and I would love any and all feedback. It's an earth-toned color scheme with hints of green in it. I'm thinking I would paint the kitchen a pale, pale green to pick up on that (it's currently a warm yellow). So, thoughts??

a view of the tile flooring we're considering, plus one darker option. This represents 3 boards of the tile system.

a different view - can you see the darker tile better? I like the darker tile, but keep getting drawn back to the lighter toned one. It seems to be nicer quality to boot.

Should we keep looking, or just go for it?

I like the lighter tile. For one, most spills or drops would blend in. The darker color would show alot more stuff, I think. I also think the lighter tile looks nice with the wood. It's a nice warm color, if I am seeing it right in the pic. I love the idea of doing the tongue in groove instead of having to glue everything. Nice!

I too have a pale sage green in my kitchen. The kitchen, eating area, and living room are one big room across the back of the house. I painted the entire area the same color and love love love it. It's nice and relaxing. Very natural. And many other colors look nice with it so you are not stuck with one or two colors that complement it.

I can't wait to see pics of the finished project!
I like the lighter tile. It will make the room seem bigger, and it sounds like the color you are going to paint the kitchen will go beautifully with it. It's neutral so it should go well with any color when you decide you need a change. Just my opinion, as we have had to change pretty much all the floors in our 80's styled home.
Love the lighter color one! I actually love the darker color one too, but the mom in me says go with the lighter one - less obvious spills....

I think it's fantastic they even have those kind of floating floors for tile. It's gonna look great!

Sorry, though, that you have so much hassle right when you move in.
I like the lighter too. We have similar tile in our bathrooms and laundrey room (except in shades of off-white). You'll LOVE having the darker grout. The paint sounds good too.
Tough decision. I am going to sway in agreement with all the other girls and say go with the lighter ones.
I have to say the lighter one. It flows better.

I'm with all the other Mom's, the lighter tile is just more practical. (Eventhough I hate being practical!!)
Whatever you decide, it's going to look great!
I like the lighter one and you are scarring the shit out of me about buying a house. We own ours here but would love to buy or build soon. If we move to NC, we will be renting there for a time as well but still, all this and you just purchased...I remember you giving in and letting the folks off with the discount but whew, it is so scarry to think about funding all that work...wait, doing all that work scares me.

Anyway, I do like the light better, it is almost like what my mom has in her kitchen and her walls are crimson red...gorgeous walls.

Jerri Ann
i like the darker tile. i think it would look alot nicer in homes
Having experience with the lighter tile myself, I would go with the darker tile! Pleeez! or at least go with somewhat dark grout. I could kick my self for having really light tile (actually very similar to what you picked).It sucks to keep it clean.
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