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What types of kitchen floors do new home buyers look for?

Most popular types of Kitchen flooring for new homeowners

types of kitchen floors for new home owners in WestchesterBelieve it or not, hardwood flooring is currently the most popular type of new flooring installed in kitchens for Westchester County NY!  In fact, I continue to be amazed by how many new homeowners actively rip up the tile in the kitchen and change it over to hardwood flooring.


In Westchester County, most homeowners that are remodeling their kitchen select either hardwood or tile.  The same holds true for when they are simply changing the floors (but leaving the cabinets in place).  The choice on hardwood vs. tile is an individual taste one, pending on which benefits are most important, but hardwood represents a larger and growing portion of the flooring.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Why is hardwood flooring so popular for kitchens in Westchester County?


1.  Hardwood flooring is easier on your feet.

Hardwood flooring in kitchen westchester countyFor those that spend a lot of time cooking or just congregating in the kitchen, this is a huge benefit over tile which tires your feet and ankles much faster.


2.  Hardwood floors are warmer than tile.

In the winter, Hardwood flooring feels much warmer on your feet than tile, and that is a big benefit for those cold winters we have in Westchester.  Also, it helps with those electric bills.


3.  Hardwood in the kitchen will help make your home look larger

By using the same type of flooring in the kitchen and adjoining areas, it will make your home look more cohesive and spacious.  Most homes in our area have hardwood flooring already.  It’s fairly simple to make the hardwood in the kitchen match the color in the other rooms…or to refinish the entire first floor to match your preferred color – if you’d like to make a change.  This is also becoming more important as more homeowners are looking for open floor plans.


4.  Usually, hardwood flooring is less expensive than tile flooring

hardwood floors westchester NY kitchen open floor planBy using the same type of flooring in the kitchen and adjoining areas, it will make your home look more cohesive and spacious.  Most homes in our area have hardwood flooring already.  It’s fairly simple to make the hardwood in the kitchen match the color in the other rooms…or to refinish the entire first floor to match your preferred color – if you’d like to make a change.


5. Hardwood floors are easier to clean and maintain

Most of our customers find it easier to clean hardwood flooring than tile.  They feel the dirt always gets stuck in the grout areas and it tends to darken over time.  Hardwood also tends to show the dirt a little bit less.  For kitchen floors in particular, we recommend adding unfinished wood and refinishing on site so that floors are properly sealed.  It’s often better when you can add an extra coat of polyurethane for some extra protection.


6. Hardwood flooring never goes out of style

It’s true – hardwood is the preferred flooring in Westchester County, and it will never go out of the style.  The colors may change, and one of the great things about hardwood is that you can refinish and stain them different colors – based on what you prefer, or what is stylish at the time, or as the home transfers owners.  Hardwood will last for generations to come.  On the other hand, over time, tile tends to crack (and this can not be easily fixed without replacing the whole floor.  But, even if the tile doesn’t crack, it will go out of style in 10-20 yrs from now while the hardwood will remain in place much longer.  And, even if you have some water damage on the floor, it is much easier to repair hardwood floors and refinish them than to replace tile.


Tile is the 2nd most popular kitchen flooring in Westchester County.

Tile flooring for kitchenTile seems to be preferred by many of our customers from Italy, Spain, Latino backgrounds and some of our older customers.  Here are the benefits of tile flooring for kitchens.

1. Tile is waterproof

For those that have a lot of accidents/spills, this takes out the worry about making a mess on the floors.  Some of my customers that have young kids or dogs who may spill their water prefer tile flooring.

2. Tile flooring goes better with some cabinet choices

For those looking at mid toned wood cabinets, they often want to contrast the floor with a lighter tile and sometimes the hardwood floors won’t look as good since you can’t go as light with the hardwood as you can with a light beige tile.

3. With tile floors, you don’t need to worry about scratches

Tile flooring is very resilient and you don’t need to worry about scratching the floor, nor do you need to worry about refinishing them in the future.

4. There are endless design possibilities with tile flooring

With tile floors, you can easily mix and match tile sizes and shapes, add borders and inserts.  There are so many fun choices and there are even ways to tile in the flooring with the backsplash or granite countertops.  On the flipside, though, some tiles are very taste specific, and if you are going to sell your house within the next 5-10 yrs, choosing neutral (rather than taste specific) styles will help you with resale value.

5. For apartments that are on a concrete slab, tile can sometimes be more cost effective

Tile can go directly on top of concrete (as long as it’s flat and level).  So, with some apartment buildings tile is a more practical option.  Solid hardwood requires a plywood subfloor and if you don’t have plywood, you would want to install that first, and this can both add to your wallet as well as add height to the room (which sometimes in kitchens creates height issues with cabinets and appliances.  Alternatively, you could use an engineered hardwood floor and glue this directly to the concrete, but some of those can not be sand and refinished.


Types of kitchen floors in Westchester – New Homeowners vs. existing homeowners

Westchester kitchen hardwood floorsWe work with new homeowners as well as owners who have lived in their homes for many years, so we see it all.  Across both types of owners, we are seeing a stronger preference for hardwood flooring in kitchens, and we are seeing it even more often among new homeowner.  It’s one thing when you are upgrading from vinyl or laminate floors to either hardwood or tile.   But, what I am finding more and more often is that homeowners are trading out tile flooring (that is in good condition) for hardwood…that’s how strong the preference is for hardwood flooring in the kitchen!

What should you do with your kitchen floor if you are selling your Westchester home?

First, I want to caveat this by saying that every home and flooring situation is different, and it’s best to consult your realtor and a stager (as well as a flooring expert).  But, I do see some common themes among homeowners looking to sell – they generally want to spend the least they can for the biggest impact on sales price.  Right? So, using that principle, usually, in Westchester County, you will get your strongest return on investment by adding hardwood (rather than tile).  After all, that will usually cost less and appeal to more buyers.  Of course, if you budget is more limited, laminate flooring that looks like hardwood will generally be the next best option.  It costs less, but it doesn’t get you as much from a selling perspective.

Other useful flooring articles:

color consultation for paint and stain colorsIf you live in Westchester County NY, I offer color consultations to advise customers on paint colors and stain choices. My designer discount at the paint stores usually more than offsets the cost for the hour consultation. Read more here. Due to popular demand, I’m now offering phone consultations as well.

Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors

4 thoughts on “What types of kitchen floors do new home buyers look for?”

  1. They are beautiful on the look but don’t get them soaked or flooded. It is nice to have that tile that you can wash over and over again. We put in cork and kind of regret it. Maybe one day we will go with tile. (Saw your post in ActiveRain)

    1. Vernon – Thanks for stopping by. Yes, once cork or laminate gets water, it’s done. Hardwood can usually tolerate a bit more, but even if a section gets wet, it’s relatively easy to repair. But, for some, tile is a better option.

  2. Great and comprehensive list for new home buyers. Love that it makes your home look larger! I hate tile floor and it seems like such a pain. You have made the decision easy for home buyers. All the best to you in 2013!

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