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Please help select my kitchen floor

14 years ago

I have an almost original 1930Âs kitchen complete with yellow and black tile counters, backsplash and toe kick. The backsplash tile is pale yellow with brown specs. It is on all walls of the kitchen  5 high near the stove and 4 high above (soon to be) lower cabinets in another corner. The cabinets, counters and backsplash are all original and in good shape so we are keeping them. We will be changing the hardware, probably to an antiques gold or bronze. We have updated the electrical and plumbing and are now ready to replace the floor.

The floor needs to be a sheet good so it will tie into the tile toe kicks. I donÂt want to remove the toe kicks or add trim in front of them. The floor samples in the pictures are Armstrong linoleum.

Do you have any suggestions for the floor? IÂm open to any type of sheet flooring, not just linoleum. DH likes the floor on the cover of Jane Powell's Bungalow Kitchens. I'm lukewarm on that one.

Thank you!


Here is a photo of the kitchen before we moved in.

current photo


excuse the dirty sink


by the stove


sample number codes


Here is a link that might be useful: Bungalow Kitchens cover

Comments (14)

  • 14 years ago

    You may very well have hardwood under the current flooring. What are the odds that you can remove what's there now and see what's underneath? If hardwood is already there, I'd refinish it and keep it. You'd also avoid your toe kick problem.

    If you remove the metal strip at the door, you'll be able to see what you have.

    I love your kitchen!

  • 14 years ago


    Thanks for the suggestion of removing the metal strip! I had planned to pull up some of the flooring under a movable cabinet, but now I don't have to.

    The houses in this neighborhood do not have hardwood in the kitchens, but many have douglas fir subflooring that can be finished. Alas, I have particle board or mdf - no idea why. I actually chipped into the wood and looked at it with a magnifying glass to make sure I did not mistake glue residue for particles.

    I love the kitchen, too. This house was built by a developer in 1931. We have the original kitchen and bathrooms with a ton of tile. Eighty years later, the only cracks are on the step into the shower. Pretty amazing.


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  • 14 years ago

    I'm still thinking there is something more under your flooring. Unless the original wood was damaged by water (such as from a leaking sink) and so was pulled altogether before current flooring was installed.

    I say this because particle board wasn't even manufactured till the 1940's (WWII). Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

    Modern plywood, as an alternative to natural wood, was invented in the 19th century, but by the end of the 1940s there was not enough lumber around to manufacture plywood affordably. Particleboard was intended to be a replacement. The first commercial piece was produced during World War II at a factory in Bremen, Germany.

    Here is a link where Dept of Forest Products, Univ of Idaho, reiterates the above info.

    MDF is an even newer development, from the 60's.

    Your current floor pattern says 1970's to me.
    So they could well have used a particle board sub floor that you see, but laid that over top the original hardwood floor? (Hopefully they didn't pull the original floor! )

    And what a great kitchen you have, it has so much character!
    Of your choices posted above, I like 65 or 66. The lighter more neutral samples seem too cool with the warm tile on the walls. The rest have too much gold or peach undertones in them, imho, and results in golden overkill. Doesn't enhance the tile, rather drowns it, if that makes sense. But that's just my .02

    I still am hoping to urge you to double check again for more flooring, it might be a thin layer and the particle board at threshold has crumbled down over the original over time? I know, I'm stretching, I really want you to find original hardwood under there, lol! ;D

  • 14 years ago

    Moonshadow, I'm 99% positive the original floor in the house was real linoleum. We still have some of the original flooring in another kitchen in the building. I'm sure the particle board was not original to the house.

    I will pull some of the flooring under a cabinet later this week, but don't get your hopes up.

    Thanks for the feedback on the samples.

  • 14 years ago

    Of the choices you showed, I like #66. It's warm and deep, and it seems to work well with the other colors in the room.

  • 14 years ago

    I would choose #84. It seems to have the same undertones as the wall tile.

    FWIW, I would see about doing a band of black around the outside, where it meets up with the toe kicks. I think it would be a fun touch, and also hide any imperfections better where the two meet.

  • 14 years ago

    I like the idea Les had of a black band around the edge, but I think #70 would be my choice.

  • 14 years ago

    Les and justgotabme, thank you for your responses. I like the idea of the black border a lot, but it may derail getting a new floor until I get the stove wall worked out.

    I will eventually get a new stove and the metal cabinet will be replaced with a built-in dishwasher. The laundry hookups are on the other side of this wall, so I already have water and a drain there. Would it look ok if I keep the black border against the wall and make the dishwasher look like an unfitted cabinet? Or does the border need to be in front?

    Here is the future plan for the kitchen and laundry.

    This corner will have lower cabinets and a full 3 1/2' of counter space! This piece will be unfitted, so I'm ok with the black border against the wall.

    I will raise the height of this opening for a freestanding 24" refrigerator. The freezer will be in the laundry room right behind the door. I can see the black border running right across the front of the nook. It will be partially covered by the front of the refrigerator.

    What do you think about the border on the stove wall?


  • 14 years ago

    Ii would rethink the dishwasher location. I would want it on the same wall as the sink, for rinsing and also to be near where dirty dishes would be stacked, rather than moving them across the kitchen. I would put the dishwasher at the end where you are suggesting the fridge would go. It will also allow you to use the cabinet that is there for storage of your dishes and glasses, so when you unload the dishwasher, you can put things away right there.

    I would want the stove moved out of the corner, and put counter space next to it, which is crucial for cooking. Cabinets could then be put above that area, as well as having cabinets below the counter that would be in the corner next to the stove.

    I like the fridge where it is now. Gotta ask if that is a built-in ironing board cabinet below Big Boy? A shame to have to cover that up, but I would move the fridge out of the corner as well, and build a tall pantry cabinet in the corner.

  • 14 years ago

    Les, you have some great points. I really appreciate your time thinking this through. We have poured over this layout for the past three years, and short of doing a complete remodel, this seems to be the best layout for us.

    My first plan was to leave the refrigerator as is and put the dishwasher in the nook. But, the kitchen is sorely lacking in counter space which is much more important to us than a dishwasher. To get more counter space, we need to move the refrigerator. So our options were to put the dishwasher next to the stove or not have one at all.

    We thought about putting it next to the sink, but the cabinet is not deep enough. I can't recess it into the exterior wall without reframing it. To do that, I would have to tear up the counter for access. The open dishwasher won't be very far from the sink. We'll just have to dry the floor each time we use it. This solution won't work for everyone, but we're ok with it.

    I'm also planning to get an ADA height dishwasher. That way, I'll have space for a pullout cutting board above it. More counter space by the stove.

    I will move the stove a few inches from the wall. I want to leave it in the corner because the ceiling has a built-in vent above it - also original to the house. It is a passive vent, but it works pretty well.

    We have a pantry in the breakfast room next to the kitchen. It's right by the current refrigerator corner, so it is convenient enough.

    That is an ironing board with Big Boy behind the refrigerator. We will use the top portion to house oils and spices. The bottom will be hidden by the new cabinets or cart.

    The kitchen is small, but we have built-ins and a pantry cabinet in the breakfast room. The end result is we have a good amount of storage space. I even have a large empty drawer in the breakfast room!


  • 14 years ago

    Have you scoured the book "Bungalow Kitchens" by Jane Powell. She has tons of great photos in her book.

    Secondly, if you want truly authentic flooring, check out

    Have you looked at Marmoleum clicks? I think a checkerboard floor, in 2 or more colors, would look great in your kitchen.

    Other than that, I prefer a darker color flooring, like 66. But sheet lino would be my last choice....I'd still and try to restore whatever is original underneath the layers you have now. If you have an unfinished basement, you can always go down there, look up and see if you can see the original flooring as well.

  • 14 years ago

    lido, "Bungalow Kitchens" is right next to me on my desk. DH really likes the floor on the cover. It's growing on me, too.

    Thanks for the link to secondhandrose. I'd love one of those rugs! I'm not a purist and am willing to use sheet vinyl instead of linoleum. I'm going to start looking at those tomorrow.

    As of last night, we are considering a checkerboard pattern. Maybe a black border and checkerboard field.

    I promise you I will look at the existing floor under the cabinet this week. :)


  • 14 years ago

    It's so hard to tell from a computer monitor, but I think I like 65 or 70. I like the black fleck in 65. Love the idea of a black border or checkerboard pattern.

    I love your charming kitchen!


  • 14 years ago

    Ok, final determination - the subfloor is a composite. At least 1/2" thick. I knew it wasn't hardwood, but I was hoping to have the douglas fir.

    Jen, thanks for your input!


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