What type of floors do new home buyers look for in their kitchens?

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

Kitchen flooring for new homeowners - most popular types

types of kitchen floors for new home owners in WestchesterBelieve it or not, hardwood flooring is now 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. 

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

Kitchen tile flooring and backsplash westchesterTile 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. 

Other kitchen flooring choices in Westchester

cork flooring for kitchens westchesterBeyond hardwood and tile, for families in Westchester, the other choices depend on personal preferences. For those on mid to higher end of the scale, cork flooring is often a great option.  It's environmentally friendly and it's so much easier on your feet (and it feels soft/soothing on your feet.  Cork tends to be a bit more expensive than hardwood, but less expensive than tile.  But, it is a very taste specific and niche product (so not the ideal choice if you are about to sell your home.


For those on a more limited budget, laminate provides a cost effective choice.  It will cost less than hardwood and it is very scratch resistant.  It can look like hardwood or tile, but more choose the hardwood look (given hardwood's popularity) and given that laminate that looks like hardwood tends to cost less than laminate that looks like tile, and there is often more variety of choices.  It's important to understand that laminate is not waterproof (and many customers find this out after it's too late).  If you're looking for waterproof or water resistant, try vinyl flooring - either sheet vinyl or the higher end luxury vinyl.

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).  This will vary based on area of the country as well as your neighborhood.  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. 

When you're ready for new kitchen flooring in your Westchester Home, give the Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.


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Original version:

Kitchen Flooring - Which is better - hardwood flooring or tile flooring? Westchester NY

What type of floors do new home buyers look for in their kitchens - Westchester County?

Comments (62)

Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Debbie, hardwood floors in kitchens have been popular here for over 10 years. There are some custom homes from the 90s with wood in the kitchen, and now you see it everywhere. I so much prefer it over tile just for the reason that it is easier on your feet and ankles, not to mention if something drops. I love hardwood!


Dec 10, 2012 01:33 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Hi Debbie -- I have hardwood flooring in my kitchen and love it!  As a matter of fact it's on the entire first floor except for two bathrooms, which are tile.  I think both these types of floors are practical as well as beautiful and long-wearing.

Dec 10, 2012 01:47 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

We see this same flooring trend preference in San Jose, Calif.

Dec 10, 2012 02:33 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debbie, wood floors are much preferred here in Denver too!    Many of my buyers are requesting the darker colors too.

Dec 10, 2012 09:28 PM
Bobi Bigelow ~ Advertising, Marketing, PR @ Alpine Lakes RE

I have to agree with you, hardwood floors are becoming the most popular. I put tile floors in my house when I renovated but they're always cold (unless you do radiant heat, which is an extra cost). 

Dec 10, 2012 10:42 PM
Manny Rosa
Rosa Agency - Belleville, NJ
New Construction - Union & Essex Counties, NJ

Great information. I agree that in my area of NJ (Essex & Union Counties), hardwood floors continue to rise in popularity of new homes and remodels.

Dec 10, 2012 10:54 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Debbie,  I have said this many times, but I'm going to say it again.  I wish you lived and worked in Dallas!  You are knowledgeable about every facet of your business!  This is post is of great value to potential sellers across the country.

Dec 10, 2012 10:58 PM
Kasia Zajac, GRI, SFR
Baird & Warner - Lake Zurich, IL

Hardwood flooring is the best. I have it throughout my house (including kitchen) and we love it. It's easy to clean, it always looks great and helps with the allergy issues.

Dec 11, 2012 12:44 AM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Debbie - You are so right about the hardwood thing. Buyers really LOVE hardwood in the kitchen.  But as a dog owner, I would worry about the wood primarily because of the water bowls!  Dogs often like to put their feet in the bowls to cool off - at least huskies do!  In any case, hardwood and tile trump everything else.   The other thing that you said about tile is also true...it is harder to clean.  I know that from personal experience and a friend of mine who is a professional chef said she would NEVER put tile in her kitchen.  I think she used some sort of rubber flooring becuase hardwood didn't suit her needs either.  It was funny because it was a top-of-the-line kitchen but the floor was PURE practicality. 

Dec 11, 2012 12:48 AM
Conor MacEvilly
RE/MAX On Market in Ballard. Seattle - Seattle, WA

Timely article for me Debbie...I want to get rid of the ugly linoleum in my litchen and either put in some hardwoods (I liked ths distressed hardwoods in your bachround photo) or add some cork instead (sice I was born in a city called Cork!). I'm surprised cork is more expensive than hardwoods.

What hardwood would you recommed for a kitchen.

PS. Personally, I think tile in a kitchen makes it look like a morgue. Cold and uninviting!



Dec 11, 2012 01:15 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

WOW - a buncha GREAT info. I may change my own kitchen remodeling plans to wood flooring. Thanks for the easy to understand comparisons!

Dec 11, 2012 04:43 AM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Hi Debbie,

Very nice post,

I think folks like hardwood or nice ceramic tile. In lower end homes being remodeled I have seen nice "tile look" vinyl. One place I saw (and it was a nice home) had a wood look vinyl and they had 3 kids. easy to clean and hard to damage with water.

Dec 11, 2012 05:53 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great information, yet floor trends change over time and the type of flooring depends on many factors and elements about the space and its use, don't you agree? Ultimately it's the homeowner's decision regardless of the merits of tile or hardwood. 

Dec 11, 2012 08:06 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Debbie, we agree and have had both.  Here in Florida we prefer tile, but in colder climates prefer hardwood.

Dec 11, 2012 07:16 PM
Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections - Edison, NJ
Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More!

My mother installed oak flooring in her kitchen when it was redone 4 years ago and we all love it.

Dec 13, 2012 12:54 AM
Rob Renk
Center Street Lending - McKinney, TX
AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors

Our home has wood floors and I love the warmth that it brings.  we were warned about water destroying the wood, but we have had no prblems in over 10 years.

Dec 14, 2012 04:08 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I like hardwood. There is a new floor in my near future and it will be hardwood.

Dec 14, 2012 01:45 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

How do work floors stand up to water and spills over time?  That would me my main concern.  Tile is hard on the legs and feet.  I was thinking a High Grade Linoleum.  But you are the expert.

Dec 21, 2012 02:34 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Gene - Generally, hardwood does well in the kitchen and can tolerate minor spills.  It's best if you finish on site so that it's sealed, and use oil based poly urethane w/ an extra coat of poly.  You should also make sure you refinish periodically (maybe every 7-10 yrs).  For major water damage, you may need to replace some boards and refinish. But the cost of this is minor compared to the savings you received by using wood in the first place.  The hardwood will ultimately last much longer than linoleum or vinyl.

Dec 21, 2012 06:06 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Hey Debbie, Didn't we have this conversation on the phone? Darn I wanted to reblog it and can't.

Sep 24, 2013 12:00 PM