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Old 08-18-2011, 01:28 AM   #1
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


I'm debating wood vs porcelain tile for our kitchen floor. That's not true ... I'm waiting for 'She-Who-Must-be Obeyed' to decide. Not considering for now whether one is easier to clean or easier to install or more or less impervious to spills or damage ... let's just talk about the feel underfoot and the related leg and back pain that may result.

The choice will be between 3/4 x 2-1/4 unfinished red oak laid directly on the 1-1/2" of existing subflooring vs 12x12 porcelain tiles. It will not be engineered or floating wood flooring.

Is it possible for a blind-folded human being standing in sneakers on either floor to be able to possibly tell the difference? Is there any discernible difference to the way this will affect the comfort of legs, feet or back?

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Old 08-19-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


I used to go barefoot in the house all the time. When I bought my second house, the kitchen had ceramic tile floors. I developed heel pain which then required me to wear shoes all the time. Ever since, which it has been 7 years now, I have been suffering with some sort of foot pain. I think this is because I have been wearing shoes all the time, so then my feet do not get "barefoot" exercise so therefore become weak. I am now on my third house and though I have lived here 4.5 years, i have just ripped up the ceramic tile floor. My four year old has fallen on his head twice and received concussions. Once sideways off the chair and once backwards while sitting on the chair. He has speech 3 times a week for over a year now. There is NO WAY to know for certain if this is what has caused his speech delay...though I wonder and suspect. I now have a 7 month old and I don't want this to happen to her. I am going to install cork in my kitchen. And if I love it, I will probably do most of my house with it.

I hate ceramic tile, it is very unforgiving with glassware, feet, joints and children. Glassware splinters into a million tiny shards. I would guess that hardwood follows behind tile in hardness.

As far as how it feels underfoot, ceramic tile is very uncomfortable and can be painful if you are on it for awhile, especially barefoot. It doesn't take long to be uncomfortable or painful if you are barefoot. Even with shoes on it is uncomfortable.

I don't know about hardwood.

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Old 08-19-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


We install a lot of both types, and the short answer is yes. However, a natural stone like travertine is going to be much closer in hardness to wood. Tile has many other benefits however, like durability and ease of cleaning. You will never have to worry about scratching a tile floor.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #4
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


"really" is in the foot of the be-stander. I hate standing on tile floors - they are cold and hard. But that's my experience and preference. I also think they hold dirt and grit in the grout lines and never really look clean.

I do not have an opinion as to whether or not tile causes foot or back pain; but I am pretty sure repeated head injury is bad for kids.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


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I am going to install cork in my kitchen. And if I love it, I will probably do most of my house with it.
You will....

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Old 09-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


Travertine does feel so good! but wood floors are more comfortable. I love the look and cleanliness of tile (I have it throughout my cottage) but in the big house we have wood. I am a hairstylist and stand on tile floors all day and it does take a toll on your back and feet.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:34 AM   #7
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


Wood is much better on the feet, legs and back. It's about shock absorption and flex. Tile is poor in both areas. Look behind any bar and you will find rubber mats on top of the tile floor.

And tile will scratch, especially a softer tile such as Travertine. If someone doesn't think so, try using sanded grout next time and tell me what happens to the tile.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


Hardwood floors are definitely easier on your feet. Look at a ballroom...I have been a swing dancer for years now (though out of practice now) and you can tell a big difference depending on the floor. I've dance on everything from grass to pavement. You always put wood in a ballroom because it’s hard enough to stand up to the pounding, and soft enough to not kill your feet. For the kitchen it comes down to utility and safety. It will not hold up to a knife being dropped on it the way tile will, but your dishes have a chance of not shattering if they hit a wood floor. Even a high gloss wood floor will probably not be as slick as a tile floor...but the tile floor will hold up to a great deal of abuse. Depending on the style of your house/kitchen...the wood will be a good option. I never thought I would use it in a kitchen, but since I just installed some in my new house, I've converted...but it goes with the old farm house/cape cod look of the house. Being in the same shoes as you...just lay out all these pros and cons for 'She-Who-Must-be Obeyed' and let her decide.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:53 PM   #9
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


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Hardwood floors are definitely easier on your feet. Look at a ballroom...I have been a swing dancer for years now (though out of practice now) and you can tell a big difference depending on the floor. I've dance on everything from grass to pavement. You always put wood in a ballroom because it’s hard enough to stand up to the pounding, and soft enough to not kill your feet. For the kitchen it comes down to utility and safety. It will not hold up to a knife being dropped on it the way tile will, but your dishes have a chance of not shattering if they hit a wood floor. Even a high gloss wood floor will probably not be as slick as a tile floor...but the tile floor will hold up to a great deal of abuse. Depending on the style of your house/kitchen...the wood will be a good option. I never thought I would use it in a kitchen, but since I just installed some in my new house, I've converted...but it goes with the old farm house/cape cod look of the house. Being in the same shoes as you...just lay out all these pros and cons for 'She-Who-Must-be Obeyed' and let her decide.

I don't know how to post something. Help. I have bad knees and I just bought a new condo that is on a slab. I want to use cork in some spaces. Can I use carpet padding to make it even easier on my legs?
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:27 AM   #10
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


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I have bad knees and I just bought a new condo that is on a slab. I want to use cork in some spaces. Can I use carpet padding to make it even easier on my legs?
The cork will be quite comfortable. You may want to try walking on some before adding work/expense.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:39 PM   #11
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Are wood floors really 'easier on the feet' than tile floors?


Pergo is SO easy on bare feet. we went out on a limb and installed it at our summer cottage. lots of gritty sand and kids. 4 years later the floor looks GREAT. damp mop and away you go. It has to do with the backing you use for Pergo. check it out : )

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