Tiled Floor or Wooden Floor

Don’t you just love a nice wooden floor?

As part of a new series of posts, I’ve taken it upon myself to start answering architectural questions. This is the first one.

The Question

Someone I know asked me:

Would you please look at the floor plans attached with:
  1. Kitchen and entry tile; the rest wood floors
  2. Entire entryway and kitchen tiled; wood stairs with tile landing (2nd floor will be wood, so stairs should either match tile or wood upstairs)
  3. All wood floors except entry
...and let me know which of them work?

Attached were the following pictures:

The Answer

In general, you can say that putting wooden floors in a kitchen is a bad idea. Spills happen—a kitchen is inherently a messy environment. You wouldn’t want to drop an egg or olive oil and have it leave a permanent stain on your beautiful floor. There are exceptions to this rule; you could install site-finished wooden floors or an engineered hardwood floor. The reason these work is that they have a finish on top of the wood. For more information, check out this handy guide by The Spruce.

But you should also keep in mind possible scratches and dings, especially in the kitchen, as well as regular wear and tear on the wood. This is the main reason for tiling the entryway—this is a high-traffic zone that will see probably the most  foot traffic in any given house.

As far as price goes, wooden flooring can cost anywhere from €15/$17 - €25/$28 for a traditional, non-glued floor, to €25/$28 - €35/$40 for a glued wooden floor. Tiled floors can go from €15/$17 - €60/$67 for ceramic tiles, to €30/$34 - €80/$90 for natural stone. These prices are per square meter.

One thing you’ll have to watch out for when combining a wooden floor with tiles is that the wood and tile will likely be a different thickness. You can usually solve this with the screed floor. It’s nicer if everything is equal, no tripping hazard. Another consideration is the way the wood meets the tile. You can get creative with this: check out this example on Pinterest. Patterned tiles also work well (Pinterest link), or using one floor board as a delimiter (Pinterest link).

So for practical reasons, I would go with option B. Although personally, I wouldn’t do the landing in the stairs with tiles. I feel like that would break up the flow too much, as you’d go from tile, to wood, to tile, to wood.


In the end, she went with all wooden floors, to make it easier. Connecting wood to tile floors is not entirely straightforward. There was another practical consideration, as she was not yet living in the house. It’s always better to make a decision when you can actually experience the space. However she admitted that she will probably have to replace the wood in the kitchen at some point anyway, so we may see tiles yet!

cover photo: Breather