“Maria, I have oak tongue-in-groove hardwood floors which connect to white tile in my white kitchen. With my upcoming kitchen renovation (in which the kitchen will stay white), I want to replace the white tiles, but I am not comfortable extending hardwood into the kitchen. I really do prefer tiles in a kitchen!
What do you think about those porcelain tiles that look like hardwood? What if I could find one in a similar colour to the oak, and then re-finish the oak (it needs it!) to match those tiles?
Would you advise this, or does it not work, in your opinion? In particular, the tiles will have grout lines, and the hardwood floor will not. (p.s., I’d be tempted to use the same tiles nearby in the front entryway, which also abuts the hardwood floor.)”
So the short answer is NO.
And here’s the reason why:
Any renovation where something old is staying and something new is being added, this is the question you need to ask yourself. Every. Single. Time.
“If I take ____ out and use this ____ instead, will it still look like I installed everything at the same time?”
Back in the 80s or whenever this hardwood floor was installed, if you wanted wood in your kitchen or entry, you would have installed it all at once.
Now that it’s 2016 and your finishes need updating, in order to make sure you don’t get a look which can only be described as ‘Yesterday and today all in the same interior’ you need to consider every decision from this perspective.
You will NEVER find a faux wood tile that will look identical to your existing oak flooring (or any wood flooring for that matter) and therefore, this eliminates that option right away.
In general, if I had to choose tile to go throughout my house I would definitely consider a wood look tile as long as it looks just like wood flooring when installed. See my post about that here.
Here are a few alternatives that I would recommend:
Hex tile in a 6″, 8″ and 12″ sizes are now becoming a lot more available. It’s only taken about 7 years into the
grey colour trend for it to arrive, but it’s here. I consider this floor to be timeless because it still gives you lots of options to personalize the space with colour.
And the next homeowner can do the same.
The image above has the look of a wood floor but ignore that, focus on the colour instead. I had a very hard time finding the right image and this is the closest one I could find.
An overall pale grey and white floor installed in a herringbone pattern would also work with your oak floor. Note that the grey cabinets will date this bathroom fast. They would have been fabulous in a great, coral or turquoise shade (below).
Keep in mind with herringbone, the tile you choose has to have perfect measurements. So for example with subway tile. If it’s 3 3/8″ x 6 1/4″ you can’t use it. Because your wall (or floor) will start looking crooked. It must be a perfect 3″ x 6″ or 4″ x 8″, etc. to work for a herringbone installation.
Of course NEITHER of these two floors will work if they don’t relate to the existing finishes in your kitchen.
If you have an 80’s oak kitchen or 90’s ginger cabinets for example, and you install either of these options I’ve just mentioned without painting your cabinets. You will still be left with a look that screams “new floors, old kitchen”.
Although going all white on a large scale might seem boring, that’s what I would choose as long as it works. And make sure the marble or porcelain tile floor you choose is not overly busy either. Remember that any pattern gets amplified once it is installed wall to wall.
You’ll get tired of a really busy pattern much faster than a classic solid element.
Besides, simplicity is confident and bold.
I was recently in a 70’s home that was almost original. The new homeowners were planning a renovation and the interesting (NOT) thing about the entire house was that each room had a different floor.
The entry was the only room that had seen new flooring in over 40 years. It had relatively new, inexpensive laminate flooring. The living room had original green shag. The kitchen had original gold/yellow laminate floors and the carpet going up the stairs was brown and each bedroom had a different colour carpet as well. And of course both bathrooms in the house had different laminates.
I realized that, quite possibly, one of the reasons why I often see different flooring in different rooms is because replacing ALL your flooring at the SAME TIME means that you have to basically MOVE OUT.
Something to consider, if you are above to move into a new house and are having calm and rational budgetary thoughts like “Let’s just replace the floor in a year or two”.
Not easy to do once you’ve moved in.
My advice, bite the bullet and replace the floor NOW, BEFORE you move in, if you can swing it.
If you want to see more tile that I like, you can browse my pinterest boards here.
Here are some classic black and white patterns that would also look fabulous if the cabinet were painted turquoise or green or hot pink:
All the kitchens that I’ve shown you have one thing in common. You’re not stuck with a colour scheme you have to live with FOREVER.
That’s the first clue you’ve chosen something that will stand the test of time.
Which floor is your favourite?