Choosing Flooring – Wood v. Tile

Our decision to move forward with our kitchen was strongly based on our intense dislike of the original vinyl floor.

SHL Kitchen After 4

20 year old vinyl flooring

As much as we knew the floor needed to be replaced, we disagreed about whether to go with wood or tile.  I love the classic, beautiful look of wood, but Tripp liked the practicality and function of tile.  He worried about wood floors in the kitchen and the potential of damage due to the greater likelihood of leaks.  After so many years on St. Thomas, with boring beige 12″x12″ tile floors, I knew I couldn’t go back to traditional tile.  So, we were at a standstill.  I considered wood-grain tile, but I wasn’t impressed with the tiles that I saw.

Until I found a great real wood looking tile at Lowe’s…and it was on clearance!  It has a nice wood-grain look and texture, and the tiles are long planks (48-inches long and 7 inches wide).

I bought a box that day and brought it home with a few wood samples to show Tripp.  He immediately preferred the look of the tile piece, although he initially thought it was wood.

And the hunt was on for clearance tile.  Our local store only had 10 boxes, and we needed ~36 boxes.  So, we drove to 5 different stores within an hour of our home to score a great deal.


Yes – $1.99 square foot versus the original $3.98 square foot!  We even found one Lowe’s store that was selling it for $1.69 square foot, so we bought them out of all 20 boxes they had in stock.  The only downside is that Lowe’s is no longer selling this exact tile; however, they do have a few similar options.



We had the tile laid throughout the entryway, front closet, powder room, mudroom, hall, and kitchen.  I calculated that we we need about 36 boxes of tile, so we purchased 43 boxes to be on the safe side and allow for breakage.  In the end, we had 7 boxes left over (meaning my original calculation was dead on!) and we returned the extra boxes.

I would love to boast that we laid the tile ourselves, but we are just not that talented, handy, or patient.  Our wonderful handman, Jim, is responsible for all the hard work.  And, he did an absolutely wonderful job!


SHL Tile Redo V

Max loves the coolness of tile floor.

It took a lot of time, but we are in love with our new floors.  They are durable, dog-friendly, and gorgeous!  We have receive so many compliments, and most people don’t realize it’s tile until we tell them.


I think it’s quite an improvement over the original vinyl flooring.

SHL Floor After

Stay tuned for more of our kitchen update!

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Life on Lakeshore Drive


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