I recently had a Designed in a Click consultation with a homeowner who had terracotta or Saltillo tile floors in her kitchen and wanted to do a remodel. Since her floors had been down for almost 30 years, she couldn't find the tile again to use to patch in the floor if she changed the footprint or layout of her kitchen.
We often see that in a remodel. Whether it is wood or tile, products get discontinued (sometimes rather quickly). Flooring, especially around this area, is often laid after the cabinets are in and the flooring is then installed up to the cabinet bases, not underneath.
So, if you want to rip out a peninsula and do an island instead, which is what I normally would have recommended in her kitchen, you would have a problem with filling in the flooring.
We had the same issue with this kitchen remodel. The wood flooring was installed all over the house, so keeping the footprint as is in this kitchen, was important to this homeowner. It can be a huge cost to replace all your flooring just because you want to remodel your kitchen.
I happen to be a big fan of terracotta (baked earth) or Saltillo tile floors.
(You can read about the difference between them at this link.) There would have to be a really good reason for me to tell someone to rip them out, no matter what the advantages to the project.
I know some find them uneven, the grout joints too large and somewhat absorbent. Yes, in our carefree, no-maintenance lifestyles these days, most people might find these tiles undesirable.
However, the character they bring, the color, the texture and style, really outweigh the disadvantages to me. I guess I'm just a little drawn to a Mediterranean or California style and would love to have these in a home at some time in my life.
Hey! If it works in one of Reese Witherspoon's movies, then it works for me!
My advice for this homeowner's kitchen with terracotta tile floors
So, when I shared my advice on what to do with this homeowner's kitchen, I definitely did not recommend ripping out the floors.
I kept the same footprint, recommended a countertop in a honed black granite (for budget purposes and well, black goes with everything), and then added in even more terracotta tiles (with a glazed finish) on the splash that had some pattern and a touch of that terracotta color on the wall.
With her horse ranch property located in the southwestern part of the US, the Spanish style influence was, indeed, something to celebrate. Terracotta floors do the job just right.
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