Help us pick our kitchen floor

If you have been following LROL for a while, you may remember me sharing my plans to update the kitchen. Slowly, but surely, weโ€™ve been making progress and the next step is to install new flooring.

Originally, I wanted ceramic tile in the space. But I was a little skittish about doing the work ourselves. There are tons of little corners and trim to work around and the same flooring needs to bleed into the pantry, hallway, half bathroom and laundry room. The price of tile increases exponentially when you add in labor costs, so that was pretty much a no-go.

I love the look of hardwood, but since I may be the only blogger left on the planet who hasnโ€™t painted her kitchen cabinetry (mine is still beautiful cherry wood), I was afraid the wood on wood might look a little too, well, woodsy. Plus, I am still a bit leery of putting wood in a space with the potential of so much water spillage. There are some seriously messy peeps (and a dog) up in here.

So, after much deliberation, the hubs and I settled on grout-able, peel-and-stick vinyl tile squares.

We can slap the flooring right over our existing linoleum, which by the way is the cheapest and hardest to clean builderโ€™s grade flooring I have ever encountered! The new floor will be beautiful, easy to clean, inexpensive (we can do the work ourselves) and softer than ceramic tile (dishes and small children’s noggins will be safe).

The only problem? We are not 100 percent sure which tile to choose, so we were hoping you could help us decide.

Here is the lighter version:

And the darker version:

Iโ€™m leaning toward the lighter version because I think it creates better color flow between the living room/kitchen/dining room. We will be grouting between the squares.

What do you think? I would love for you to leave me a comment with your selection – or any other suggestions you might have.

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34 Responses

  1. Sally Kidman says:

    I have to admit that I too like both the dark and the light tiles. . . with the light tiles you can pretty much decorate with any color accents, as it is so versatile. However, the darker tiles look AWESOME with your stainless steel appliances! Decisions, Decisions. . . my vote goes to the lighter tiles!

  2. kim b. says:

    L.O.V.E. the darker floor!

  3. Laura says:

    Lighter!!! So versatile and bright. It looks like it will go better with your cabinets as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Sarah Shope says:

    Great choices!! The dark one really jumped out at me though and looked richer! Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. elle says:

    The darker tiles look classier and uncommon….you seldom see. Plus, dirt won’t show as much. If you feel like making it lighter, a light rug would do. That’s just me. Let us know which one you picked. I’m sure your decision will work out wonderful!

  6. Tracie says:

    The darker floor adds a beautiful color contrast. Especially with the stainless steel appliances ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. elle says:

    a more slate-neutral color to match your stainless steel?

  8. Dina says:

    I know you are all set to go with this floor choice, but I have to tell ya, wood floors are fine even with wood cabinets. We have reclaimed 10-12″ Douglas fir planks that are face nailed throughout the house…even in the kitchen and laundry (only place no wood is kids’ bedrooms and bathrooms). It is easy peasy, and I deal with 5 kids, an indoor golden retriever, 5 indoor cats and living on a lake. The contrast between the floors and the cabinets is great enough that it looks fabulous. My point has always been to NOT go with all matchy matchy wood in my home, afterall a forest is not made up of a single species.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks for the feedback. It is so cool that you live near a lake, too! I visited your site hoping to get a glimpse of your kitchen floors. If you’ve got a photo, send it to I’d love to see how your kitchen floor looks next to your cabinetry.

  9. sarah says:

    The light tile looks average. The dark tile looks AMAZING!!!!!

  10. MP says:

    I love the darker tile. I think it warms up the room a bit more than the lighter tile. I LOVE your table!

  11. Carolyn says:

    The lighter. I think a kitchen needs to light and bright–we spend most of our waking hours in there so it needs to be cheery.

  12. Sandy A says:

    Love the darker tiles–I love more dontrast. How will dust and dirt show–not that you would have any. But always a thought. Darker yes…

  13. Hello there! We met at Haven and I’m finally getting around to everyone’s blog and subscribing. Definitely, go with the darker of the two! Very rich looking and a nice contrast. Hope you’ll be able to join me at my place. Subscribing now…

  14. dee dee says:

    Well, I’m going to agree with you…. the lighter one and here is why….
    it will show less dirt (very important if you have kids or a dog). It will keep the room feeling more open and blends beautifully with your wonderful kitchen! I have actual tile in my entry and mudroom that is similar color to your lighter pick and must say, it hides everything, we have darker wood floor in our kitchen/ greatroom and it hides nothing… every water drop, dirty foot track, and dog hair shows! Good luck with your choice and I can’t wait to see it when it is all done!

  15. Noel Cramer says:

    Love the lighter!! So does trav!! Tell Matt to call trav to help. He is great at flooring.

  16. Julianne says:

    Usually I would never consider darker tile, but in this case, it’s soooo nice!!! I *do* think the lighter tile is more versatile in most situations, but the darker tile ROCKS!

  17. KSB says:

    The darker tile for sure. The light tile is “average”. The darker one is stylish and modern looking.

  18. Jo Shawver says:

    I love the dark with your stainless steel appliances!

  19. Sharon Hines says:

    I vote for the lighter color tile. I agree with you that it flows really well and it also warm and yet neutral. BTW, I haven’t painted my cabinets white neither.


  20. I like the look of the lighter tiles although would love to see the dark next to the cabinets to know for sure. Both choices look great, I hear ya, anything better than linoleum!
    We have cherry cabinets with cherry flooring and I love it. I never thought of it as being too much wood, it’s all you see in our new construction neighborhood, we are all about our wood floors!!

    Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  21. Emily says:

    Love the darker tiles! It really makes your cabinets stand out!

  22. Amy says:

    I have to say, I like the darker tiles the best. I looked at both pictures and with the lighter tiles my eyes were drawn to the cabinets/appliances the floor just blended in but with the darker tiles, I noticed the floor first and it made the appliances and your table “pop” out at me. And too I have to agree with a few other comments about the dirt showing, we have light colored ceramic tile in our kitchen and although I LOVE it, It does show the dirt, I almost drive myself crazy trying to keep in cleaned up all the time! I’m sure whatever you choose will work for you and your family. Can’t wait to see the finished product!!

  23. Margaret Varner says:

    Well, I looked at both and I have to say when I saw the dark tile, It really popped out at me. I loved it!! I’m not sure, however, that it will match your cherry wood cabinets, though. It you would put tiles underneath the cabinets, then, I would be abe to see better. My daughter, your cuz, has that knotty barn wood on hers and I just love it..It wouldn’y go with cherry wood, though. I too have had these kind of color decisions to make. It is very frustrating. Your eye to detail and decorating ideas are great. I know you will make the right choice. Love you and keep me updated on your choice as I’m excited to see the end result. I have been in many a store looking for flooring and still can’t make up my mind what would match walls, cabinets, curtains, etc. Good Luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Margaret Varner says:

    The lighter shade seems to go better with cabinets and counter top. Had time to go back and reflect.. looks better with all, hope this helps.

  25. Christine says:

    I like both, but I think if you go with the lighter tile, you may want to get a more contrasting rug to go underneath your table. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I came over from Beauty and Bedlam and wanted to say that I’m glad you haven’t painted your cabinets. We bought a house this past fall and it has beautiful yellow pine cabinets and paneling in the kitchen (and bath). Several people have mentioned painting them but they are in such great condition (esp. for being 50 yrs old) that I’m having a hard time with the thought of covering them up. I really love the look of your kitchen so I think I might just paint the panelling but leave the cabinets alone (well, exept to find new hardware).

    You have a lovely blog!

    • Susan says:

      Thanks, Angi! If you love the look of your cabinets, don’t fall for the hype. Leave those puppies the way they are. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Malena says:

    I’m partial to the darker!

  28. Colbi Reese says:

    I realize you posted this last year, but was wondering what you decided to go with? I found your blog yesterday while googling vinyl groutable tile. We had to tear up our wood laminate in our kitchen due to a water leak. Now we have to decide what to replace it with. We have 2 dogs and a cat and a high traffic kitchen/dining area. We saw the vinyl at Lowes and my husband was impressed by the looks of it. I’m skeptical, since I’m the one who sweeps and mops. Did you you end up using these tiles. How is it holding up…and how do you mop it? Does the grout collect dirt and is it hard to clean? Sorry I’m asking so many questions…would just love some feedback from someone who has this flooring. Thanks!

    • Susan says:

      Colbi, I’m so glad you stopped by. I wish I could tell you the project was finished, but honestly, believe it or not, I still haven’t decided on flooring. I guess we just want to make sure we make the right choice. Like you, I’m skeptical about the vinyl groutable tile. I’ve worked with vinyl tile before on other projects (the non-groutable kind). I couldn’t stand the fact that because of expansion and contraction due to temp. changes, spaces would appear between the tiles. I bet the grout would fix this issue, though. The other issue I’ve had with vinyl tile is that the tiles tend to lose their stickiness in spots and one or two always seem loose. I’ve done a few rooms with vinyl tile and have had that issue multiple times. However, that was at least 5 years ago and vinyl tile has come a long way since then. As far as cleaning vinyl tile, it is a breeze. It will take moisture like nobody’s business. No probs there. I wish I could be more helpful with some brand new info. Good luck!

      • Colbi Reese says:

        Thanks so much for your quick reply! We have a few days to decide. I think we will look around and not choose the first thing that looks good. I’m hoping to have this floor a while so I, like you, want to make a good choice!

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