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Old 12-28-2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


I have a 15 foot wide, 45 foot long town house that I've been trying to redo the floors in. In the kitchen I'm using porcelain tile; the dining room and living room I've thought about bamboo, hardwood, tile that looks like wood, and so on. I keep coming back to tile for two reasons:
  • Thermal mass (helps with drafts from opening the door)
  • Ability to thoroughly clean with an iRobot Scooba

Hardwood won't ding up so much as people think and doesn't look bad with dings in it, although refinishing is hard (thanks to most stuff being garbage AlOx) and voids the warranty. Tile is pretty long lasting though.

In any case, I'm seriously considering tile for the main floor, going into wooden steps and a hardwood upper floor. A tile kitchen visually meshes, but I'm not sure about the rest of the first floor.

This is probably unhelpful, a picture of the area... which is holding stuff that's being used to remodel the kitchen.



Tile or hardwood? The carpet has got to go.

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Old 12-28-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


Go for it.

I have 4 900 sq. ft. rentals with tile throughout and everyone who has lived in them has liked it. I wouldn't be afraid to use the same tile throughout the entire floor. I think I made breaks in the bedrooms because I didn't have enough tile. My entries, kitchen,dining,living rooms are all one big area, so it made sense for me.

Even in Iowa I made it work and it is acceptable.

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Old 12-28-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


It will limit your rental base. Anyone with any feet or back problems would be advised not to rent an all tile apt or house. I would not be able to rent one. They also tend to be very cold unless you install heat in the flooring.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


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It will limit your rental base. Anyone with any feet or back problems would be advised not to rent an all tile apt or house. I would not be able to rent one. They also tend to be very cold unless you install heat in the flooring.

This is why I said even in Iowa I have made it work and it is acceptable. This type of attitude is normal in this part of the country. Most people here grow up with wall to wall carpet and of course that is all they know. Only in the past 20 years has it become acceptable to have a small piece of tile flooring in the entryway for example. Heck, I remember one house I was in as a kid had carpeting in the kitchen.

Peoples complaints are that the floor will be cold and hard. This is countered by the fact that one can wear house shoes inside which takes care of the cold, and if you have some crawling youngsters in your household, then by all means put down an area rug for them.

So anyway people come into the situation with their mind made up. It is bad because they have never had it before. Then they learn that it is beautiful, sanitary, and easy to keep clean.

In the past 15 years, I have had many tenants and I can think of three right now who wanted me to put more tile in the basement, at a friends house, or one guy in particular who worked with me and we installed it where he worked.

I have had elderly people and young people and everyone in between and the elderly woman I have now does have one of those pads in front of her kitchen sink and I believe in front of her stove as well.

Of course in the SE and SW and throughout the rest of the world, tile is the norm. We move slowly in the heartland, but we are moving.

To summarize, I use tile throughout homes and I would recommend you do the same. In rental properties in particular, it is the only way to go. If you plan on selling the house immediately, build it for the masses.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


It's not a rental property. I'm interested in tile for the exact same reason that it's cold: it has a high heat capacity, so when the air leaves the house (front door is opened for example) most of the heating/cooling effort doesn't leave with it. The environmental controls mainly control the tile floors, granite counter tops, and so forth; the air is only a small part of all this, rather than being the major part as with carpet and hardwood floors.

It's more a question of style to me. I don't believe I could reasonably use white tile throughout these rooms, or black tile: an obsidian black would be magnificent in a larger room and with stylistic accents, but it would feel cramped in such a small space and possibly have too much presence; while white tile would feel too clinical, which works for the kitchen and bathroom (sanitary areas) but not so well for everywhere else. Wood always has a naturally relaxed feel; I'm not doing a "rustic" home, so I can't use "natural" or otherwise rough looking tile (you know the type, looks like it was just cut right out of a rock with a rude chisel).

It's not that I plan to sell or rent; it's that it's such a permanent, costly, expensive, and slow-to-implement decision that I have plenty of time to optimize--and so non-critical that it would even be worth delaying until I can come up with something that actually feels satisfactory, rather than risk regret. I get the functional considerations quite well.

And of course you've already brought up good points: area rugs. The tile not only needs to fit the room (walls can be repainted), but it needs to reasonably accept area rugs (which shouldn't be hard, since they come in so many styles and should fit any floor/room well). I'd prefer the option to go rugless, for those of us who have no care for rugs and prefer to avoid cleaning them. I particularly don't enjoy area rugs at all, and see them only as a way to prevent damage to hardwood floors.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


I don't see your pic.

Where are you? Some areas of the country, Florida, Arizona, etc. tile floors are more accepted than areas of the north.

FWIW, even though I have foot problems I would prefer tile in the main living areas because of the ease of cleaning.

And of course, now there are so many more choices than just black or white.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:06 PM   #7
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


I don't have foot or back problems, but my last house had tile through out. Let me tell you, it is HARD to stand on. If I cooked a large meal by the end of it I was exhausted and my back kills me. I have wood in the house I am in now and don't have any of the same problems.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:09 PM   #8
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


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I don't have foot or back problems, but my last house had tile through out. Let me tell you, it is HARD to stand on. If I cooked a large meal by the end of it I was exhausted and my back kills me. I have wood in the house I am in now and don't have any of the same problems.
That's why I would not live in a house with slab floors. Anyway around here the only ones built on a slab are future slums. All of the nicer homes are wood construction.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:08 PM   #9
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


my last home, was a condo.first floor, we had a concrete floor. we didn't have those problems.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


My brother tiled his bedroom when we were growing up. Now he's married in completely tiled place. Bedroom, the works, he loves it. In ny people see it as "cool but not for me". He has a German shepherd it's a great help with the hair.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:27 PM   #11
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


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I don't have foot or back problems, but my last house had tile through out. Let me tell you, it is HARD to stand on. If I cooked a large meal by the end of it I was exhausted and my back kills me. I have wood in the house I am in now and don't have any of the same problems.
I always find firmer surfaces easier to deal with, but yes there's a difference between hardwood on three layers of 23/32 subfloor and tile. There's even a difference between concrete and asphalt.

I wear Vibram FiveFingers or Merrill Barefoot Life shoes, because the raised heel of most shoes is uncomfortable. People keep telling me it's supposed to be comfortable and more natural to have a raised heel and strong arch support; I keep telling them they're crazy. I can see how standing on dirt is more normal than rock; I'm well-adapted to rock, somehow, and hardwood is closer to dirt. I prefer to sleep on an extremely firm surface--a shikibuton on tatami mats--and my high bed is probably going to get replaced with something like the Soaring Heart Linden--an extra-firm dunlop latex core mattress wrapped in cotton and wool, topped with a wool mattress topper (the Rowan's latex-core topper is too much for me; I want a firm support base and a soft cushion, not a soft supporting cushion like an inner spring mattress).

So yes, I'm very aware of the concept of firm versus rock-hard surfaces and experienced with the way tiny nuances of these things affect my biomechanical systems. I hadn't considered how that would impact tile versus wood; personally I prefer a stable surface beneath me, but I can understand how the exact opposite could be true for others. Carpet was popular because some people find hardwood to cause those sore backs and hips, and because the floor is warmer (insulated).
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:47 PM   #12
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Tile floor for entire first floor, not sure how it looks


I think it all depends on your taste. When I lived in San Diego, most of my house was tiled with a "sandstone" colored tile so it wasn't hard to match. Now that I live in Iowa, I am remodeling my home. I will have hardwood floors, tile in the bathrooms, and carpet in the living, bedrooms, and basement.

The nice thing about tile is ease of cleaning, like you mentioned before. However, having dogs that shed (labs), I thoroughly enjoy the carpet as it catches the hair which can be vacuumed. In my house in San Diego, the hair would end up EVERYWHERE because there was nothing to catch it, so every little breeze would stir up the pet hair and let it float around the house...just my experience. Good luck and hope to see the outcome!

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