Remodeling Decisions: Laundry Room Flooring

Monday, May 28, 2018

The title of this blog post is not exactly accurate since it implies a decision has been made when really I'm not even close! I've reached the point of decision paralyzation due to too many options. So I'm really hoping you guys can help me out!

Since we started this remodel, I've bounced back and forth between two tile options for our laundry room floor: black hex or dandelion. I love the hexagon shape of both and I like the idea of creating a sharp contrast between the tile and the adjoining kitchen hardwoods. 

Here's an example of black hexagon tile:

Here's an example of dandelion tile:

I'm still in love with both options but I'm having some doubts about each. Here's my pro + con list:

Pros and cons of the black option: Strong contrast, but not too crazy; available in porcelain (very durable); will show dust and dirt easily due to the dark color

Pros and cons of the dandelion option: Strong contrast (with a little bit of crazy); not your run-of-the-mill laundry room floor; typically comes in cement which is more expensive and requires sealing

On top of this, we've got another problem. To make sure our tile doesn't crack due to the squeaky 1960s subfloor, we need to place a plywood board on top of the subfloor, then the cement backing board, and then the tile. This means the laundry room floor will not be flush with the kitchen hardwoods (like the picture below shows), but rather a good quarter inch to three-quarter inch higher. The exact amount will depend on the type of tile we get. 

We can roll with it and add a raised threshold or we can go another more time-intensive route of just replacing the sub-floor. That would solve the issue and still keep the floors flush. 

Here's our other option: skip the tile altogether and go with hardwoods. Like this...
It's very hard to find advocates for hardwoods in a laundry room since everyone immediately thinks of water damage but hear me out. 

There's a higher chance of the dishwasher, ice maker, or kitchen plumbing springing a leak than a washing machine and we still put hardwood floors in our kitchens. Obviously, we wouldn't be able to throw piles of wet laundry on the laundry room floor but I would hope we wouldn't do that anyway. 

The (very minor, completely third-world) problem is it doesn't have any of the original features I wanted: hexagon and lots of contrast. Hardwoods, although beautiful, would blend right in with the rest of the kitchen and house. 

That said, it would be waaaay cheaper than tile — think a few hundred versus thousands. I'm all about doing what you love, but also money talks. Plus, we wouldn't have to worry about the threshold issue. The hardwoods could continue seamlessly from the kitchen straight into the laundry room. 

So, what would you do?  Hardwoods? Tile? Black? Patterned? None of these? 

Sources clock-wise: onetwothreefour

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