Kitchen Remodel: Need Appliance and Flooring Advice

Updated on December 01, 2010
R.P. asks from Grass Valley, CA
21 answers

Okay fellow parents--need some help with what to choose for our kitchen remodel. We're trying to decide between stainless and black appliances and on flooring. The appliances--we prefer the look of black but are worried about upkeep. I've heard that the 'new' stainless doesn't finger-print like the 'older' kind. The thing is, even if it's easy to care for, it's too modern and contemporary for our style. So is black hard to keep clean? We've always had white (super easy to keep clean!). And there's also a little weight given to resale value (maybe 5 years from now...who knows what will be in style then). As for flooring--we're ripping out the oak (it was low quality to start with 10 years ago, it's in horrible shape from water leaks and is too high maintenance). Our kids are 2 and 4, we have an active border collie and a cat--we need something that can hold up. We don't like linoleum and husband doesn't like 'fake' wood (says it looks and sounds too fake). So it's either new 'real' wood (maybe harder like hickory?) or tile. If we do tile, it would be 20" porcelain with very narrow grout lines (1/16 inch) because hey, no one likes gout. I've had tile on counters but not the floor. Is it too hard for kids and in a kitchen? I'm a klutz! Help--need to finalize these decisions so we can move this project on!

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Black shows every little smudge, etc. I would go with Stainless Steel.

Porcelain chips or breaks easily and may be slippery. I would go with tile but not porcelain tile. Try them all out before you make the decision. With kids and dogs wood will not wear as well as tile.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

As far as appliances go, I would buy what you like (unless you're planning on selling the house in less than 5 years). I completely agree with you as far as who knows what the trend will be 5 to 10 years from now.

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T.H.

answers from Sacramento on

We have a black stove and a white refrigerator. I can tell you from experience, I prefer the black. It's just as easy to keep clean however it doesn't show the inconsequential dirt like the white does. Also, stains don't show (yes appliances can get stained and it's a lot more expensive to replace the stained parts than it is to replace stained clothes) so you don't spend all your time trying to remove the stains that, frankly, aren't going to come out no matter how hard you scrub. T.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I love my tile floors. Not sure of the size but each tile is pretty big. We have an Australian Shepard and a Pug as well as a one year old. Food, mud, dirt, hair it's all just so easy to clean up! Yeah stuff breaks when you drop it on tile, but it's gonna break when you drop it on wood too! Plus wood scratches! Personally I wouldn't trade my tile floors for anything!

We purchased a new fridge about a year ago and went through the same dilemma-stainless vs. black. In the end, we chose black because we knew both would end up with fingerprints, but with black I can use windex or a lysol wipe to clean them off where stainless requires a special cleaner. Also, black was a couple hundred dollars cheaper! I can't say I regret the decision!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.A.

answers from San Francisco on

While tile may be easy to keep clean, it can be disadventageous in a kitchen. Tile can break if you drop something on it. It's also a harder surface to stand on. If you like to cook, as I do, you'll find it harder on your body over time. Wood floors are "softer" and are very "in". You can purchase hickory flooring that has a distressed, uneven surface that will stand up to kids and pets and not show any scratch or wear marks, though I love the character our dog has given our heart pine floors. A friend of mine has these hickory floors in combination with black pearl quartz counters in her kitchen and it looks great, though the counters always look a little dusty and fingerprints show up too.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.D.

answers from Sacramento on

Like you, I hate cleaning grout. You mentioned not wanting anything too contemporary or modern, but assuming your house is concrete slab on grade you could look at staining the concrete - maintenance friendly, but maybe not the homey feel you are going for. We have this in our laundry room. When it comes too appliances, are you looking for them to stand out or blend in? We chose black lower appliances because they blend into our dark cabinets and dont jump out at you. We have a 3 year old so it wouldn't matter what finish we had - i'd be cleaning it all the time! We purchased a refrigerator with a wood front that we refinished to match the cabinets. Everything blends in well. Looking for a new stove and am looking for a mostly black front with stainless and black top that has all the features we want. To me it was more important to find a quality product that blended into the cabinetry. For the record, we have a laminant floor. Put it in entire house 4 years ago. Love it, but didn't hook up water on fridge for fear we may have a leak in the future.

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H.A.

answers from Dallas on

I just redid my kitchen. I did a pattern called "hopscotch" using 12x12 and 20x20 tiles. It looks gorgeous. http://www.southcypress.com/Help-Center/Tile-Design-Patterns You can really dress up your tile this way. Also - SEAL your grout. After the grout cures and before you've done anything else - seal it. Remember to keep an extra box of tiles as replacements and store them somewhere. If you ever somehow break a tile you can have them take the tile out and re-grout in a new one. Also look for tiles that are textured and less likely to become dangerously slippery if they get wet.

For appliances I looked at pieces that were black and stainless. I got brushed stainless knobs for my cupboards, and matched the look with my faucet, putting in a black man made granite sink. My dishwasher, induction cooktop, oven and microwave are a nice mix of black and stainless. Our fridge is stainless.. but I wish I had just gone black now. The stainless seems to scratch, it gets finger prints like crazy and it's not magnetic. I can't easily put pictures the kids make on the front, or notes, grocery lists, etc.

Good luck - have fun!

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B.B.

answers from Dallas on

We have two herding dogs and an 18 month old. TILE TILE TILE!!! Even real wood scratches. My son spills things often and the tile is so easy!! If you were to choose tile...When you grout it, make sure you seal the grout.

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K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I once dropped a crystal pitcher on a tile floor. Tiny shards of glass EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE!! Took hours to clean and kept finding tiny pieces of glass for WEEKS after in the most random places even after SEVERAL deep cleanings. I had a crawling child, so I was extremely paranoid for many months after. For that reason alone, I will never install tile in my kitchen ever again. I like wood - I like the warmth of how it looks and I find it easier to keep clean. As far as appliances, like you said, who knows what will be "in" in 5 years, so go with what YOU want. Enjoy your remodel - I LOVED doing mine!

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I vote for black appliances. I just don't like the stainless steal - seems too cold and impersonal. for the floors, I think you'll be happier with a good quality wood floors. Tile is very hard and extremely cold, especially in winter. And you're right about the grout! Have fun and enjoy your new kitchen!

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M.H.

answers from Atlanta on

My husband is actually pulling up wood in the kitchen as I write this. (Our refrigerator was leaking and we didn't know it so the wood was too damaged to save.) We have had tile, pergo, real wood and vinyl. I prefer ceramic tile almost anywhere. It doesn't wear. It doesn't tear. It's easy to keep clean and you can always throw a rug on it and soften the look. There are grout spacers, that will make it even, that you can buy at Lowe's or Home Depot. Things break when you drop them whether there is tile or another flooring type. Don't worry about being a klutz....That's what my kids call me in the morning....lol

My two cents!

M.

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L.K.

answers from Chicago on

I would not get the black appliances. They always look dusty. We have frigidaire applinaces in stainless and they don't show fingerprints.Have fun and enjoy your new kitchen!

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E.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Momma-
THe new stainless fingerprints as well as the old stainless. The black you can take a wipey too and ta-dah, it's clean. My sister has a black refrigerator and a two year old boy with loads of energy. I am so glad she has black. If there are prints, I can't see them. And I know she doesn't wipe it down that often. For floors, I personally like tile because I like the look of stone on the floor. Wood is warmer, but you will need to get a wood floor that is available for high impact, etc. For kids, I don't really think it matters. Both floors are kind of slick. So make sure their little feet are either barefoot or have socks with rubber bottoms.
A really good wood floor will last you, but if there are water leaks ever, wood will damage far more easily than tile. You can pull up one tile and replace it, or wipe it down and sop up the water. Wood absorbs, in my opinion. The thing is to do what you want and what you like best, but also what will last you the longest for your cost. If it were my choice, I would do tile and black appliances. I know stainless is "in", but I can't stand wiping my own, OCD fingerprints off the stuff on a regular basis. It always looks dirty to me. Sigh. My sister in law with her twins...her fridge has permanent water streaks and fingerprints. I am sure a severe scrub could get it off, but shouldn't your dollars go towards something that doesn't require constant maintenance?
Good luck mama! I am sure your kitchen will turn out amazing!

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J.R.

answers from Glens Falls on

The black is really hard to clean and it always looks like it has lint on it, although I have a lot of sun in my kitchen. I avoided stainless for the same reason as you - I didn't want it to look too contemporary but now I wish I had done the stainless. Tile and wood is a tough choice with kids and animals. The tile will hold up better but it is nasty when something breaks - you can put rugs down where you work. Of course if you go stainless, the wood will help keep it from looking contemporary. Reading all these opinions is probably going to mix you up more!

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L.O.

answers from San Francisco on

I have laminate floors in the kitchen (remodeled about 5 years ago) that are just beautiful, look like stone tiles but NO grout, not cold like tile, and SO easy to clean--and they have enough color variation in them that they barely show the dirt to begin with! That was my choice and absolutely love the floor! If you email me separately at [email protected]____.com I can try to look it up for you, for the mfr and pattern.

Good luck with your remodel!
L.

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K.B.

answers from Tulsa on

Beware of the black appliances with textured sides and smooth doors. The Whirlpool Gold refrigerator scratches and I only used a soft dish towel to wipe it off. The warranty doesn't cover scratches and the doors are over $700. Plus, even with an R/O and the whole house R/O the ice is murky. It is a side by side and it freezes food at the top in order to get the bottom cold enough for fresh fruit and meat.

Physically make sure you see them seal the grout. That is the way to keep grout looking good and it is not expensive. Get porcelain tile with narrow grout line and no holes in the tile. After using a professional tile-cleaning machine our holes still have black in them. Plus, make sure they don't have rough edges. If you drop something on the edge, the tile breaks off in a large spot right there. I HATE this tile.

M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

We are finding that most of our LG products are amazing. We just ordered a LG french door refrigerator with double freezer doors on the bottom. It will be here on the 14th, so if you want, I can post back and tell you what I think about it. We have a Samsung over the stove microwave, and like all but the extremely loud exhaust fan...not a big deal when we got it on sale for $100!! They are both stainless steel appliances. Our stove and dishwasher are still black, but we are changing over one appliance at a time. I think the stainless is a trend, but one that is still fairly new and people will still be looking for in 5-10 years, at least I hope!! I opt for high quality linolium in the kitchen for flooring...wood I would worry about the water and spills ruining it, and tile the breaks and slippery factor. Good luck!

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

We just finished remodeling our kitchen. Good luck. It is an exciting time but also full of decisions that are expensive and permanent so you want to make the right choice...which is scary and nervewracking.

We chose black appliances and we love them. We had them at our previous home so we knew that is what we wanted. We have heard alot of negatives about stainless steel. We chose a black granite composite sink and absolutely LOVE LOVE it!!

We also love our granite counters. There are soooo many slabs to choose from but we found the color scheme we liked and went with neutral.

As for flooring we love tile with the thin grout. But there are cool looking linoleums out there that look like wood or tile and quite indestructable.

Our black appliances look great and do not need alot of extra cleaning even with our active 3 kids...and they were younger at our previous home and we didn't have problems.

Good luck and you are gonna just love having a new kitchen. We practically live in our kitchen area so I am glad we forked out the cash to make it look nice.

Oh...and btw..Not sure if you mentioned cabinets. We had our oak cabinets resurfaced to a mocha color and it was sooo much cheaper than new cabinets and they are gorgeous. Everyone thinks they are new.

Hope this helps!

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M.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

If I had it to do over I would not have hardwood in the kitchen...WAY too hard to keep clean. Go with the tile.
As far as appliances go-stainless is the one that will give you resale value-not many people want non-stainless these days. I can't see that changing. But if you really like the black you should get it for that reason.

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D.C.

answers from Fresno on

I have hickory floors with a 1 yr old and 2 1/2 year old and a golden retriever. They have held up well. we have a few little scratches from the kids but nothing really noticeable. Our floor has a slightly distressed look to them so nothing really shows on them. The brand is legend hardwood. It was recommended for a busy family with pets. Good luck

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B.B.

answers from New York on

I can tell you to stay away from Kenmore appliances (Sears brand). We did our entire kitchen in Kenmore and have had problems with every single appliance...no lie!

I love tile in the kitchen, but it is really unforgiving when you drop something...either a tile will break or the item will break. If you do go with tile I would suggest a dark grout, so that over time it doesn't look dirty.

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