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Is hardwood a good option for kitchen floors?

The question

We're tearing up our ceramic tile and laying down new flooring in our kitchen. Will dish-doing be less painful, psychologically and physically, with hardwood underfoot?

The answer

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Tearing up your own floor is commendable – if tough on the nails. Personally, I would merely volunteer for the job of selecting wood type and stain, as that will preserve both your nails and your back. An unstained or lower-gloss wood floor will stand up best to abuse. Regardless of the wood's hardness, though, dents from dropped pots will likely show.

And you must guard against water spillage, which will cause floorboards to heave and expand (although they will often settle back down in time). To avoid water damage, place a mat or small carpet in that area and replace as needed. And to answer your question: Yes, the hardwood will be softer on the feet and warmer to the eyes, enticing you to your dish-doing, whatever that means to you.

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail

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