Studio Flooring Options

The first big finish decision I have to make for my studio is flooring. It’ll still be quite a while before I can actually install flooring in there, but the crew will be here today working on the floor joists, and they might even get some of the subfloor installed. In order for them to know what height to install the floor joists, they needed to know what type of flooring I’ll be putting in there so that there can be a smooth transition from the breakfast room to the studio.

When I initially started planning the space, I just assumed that I’d carry the same red oak hardwood flooring from the breakfast room into the studio, which will be just beyond the gray door (that exterior door will be removed and reused elsewhere)…

breakfast room after - 25

As far as looks go, I think that hardwood would be the prettiest option. I love the idea of having the same flooring throughout my entire house, with the exception of the bathrooms and mud room. But after giving it some more thought, I’m thinking that hardwood flooring probably isn’t the best option for the studio.

I’ll be using a massive rolling workroom table in there, upholstering furniture, and working on other projects that could very easily damage the floor. I could see hardwood flooring in the studio needing to be screened and refinished once a year because of how rough I could potentially be on the floor.

And I’ll readily admit that when it comes to form vs. function, I’m not always the best at prioritizing function. In fact, I’m the opposite. If I can’t have both, and I have to choose either form or function, I’ll choose the prettier option 80% of the time. And I make no apologies for it. 🙂

But I really want and anticipate this room to be a very hardworking room, so I think I need something much more durable than wood floors. I’m leaning towards tile. And for a while, I considered vinyl tile. Vinyl tile has come so far in the last decade or so. I had it throughout the condo, and while in hindsight I wish I had chosen a different color, the actual product was amazing.

condo after 15

It was incredibly durable, was very easy to install, and could be grouted like real tile. And if one of the tiles happened to get damaged, it was very easy to take that tile up and replace it with a new one. I think I only had to do that twice, so it wasn’t a regular thing. But it was nice to have that option. I also like that vinyl tile stays a more constant temperature throughout the year. In other words, it doesn’t get really cold in the winter.

But even with all of its wonderful qualities, I think I’m going to steer away from vinyl tile this time. Right now, I’m leaning towards real tile (ceramic or porcelain) mainly because of the durability. And my plan right now is to find a medium to light gray or gray/white combo a 12 x 24 size installed in a herringbone pattern.

Why a herringbone pattern? Well, I do love a herringbone, which should be obvious from my kitchen. 🙂 But the real reason is that I’d be willing to bet money that there’s not one corner in my garage that’s actually square, or that the width from one side to the other is actually consistent. So I want to choose a tile pattern that will disguise those inconsistencies.

And a herringbone pattern seems to fit that bill better than most other tile pattern options.

As far as color goes, I’d love to find something on the light gray side that will coordinate with my Benjamin Moore Classic Gray paint color that I’ve used in the breakfast room, living room, entryway, and music room. And I really like the tiles that have the striae look to them like these…

If you have a big studio or craft room, I’d love to know your thoughts on having a tile floor in my studio. Is tile a good choice for a room like that? Is it the hardest wearing floor, or is there a better option? Do you think I’m underestimating the durability of hardwood flooring?
I’m trying to think through all of the pros and cons, but I’ve never had or designed a big studio like this before, and I want to be sure I’m thinking through all of the potential possibilities and/or issues. For example, I’m not particularly looking forward to having such a large room with grout lines that have to be cleaned periodically. But I also see examples of these tiles installed without grout lines, like the picture just above, so that’s an option as well. I’m also a bit nervous about a huge room filled with tile looking cold. I’m not concerned about it actually feeling cold since I’m in central Texas and we have such hot summers and mild, short winters. But I am nervous about it looking cold and unwelcoming. That’s always what steers me towards hardwood, since it just looks warm and welcoming.
So right now, I’m about 80% sure that I’ll go with tile. But I’d love to hear your thoughts!



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  1. Have you considered cork? I’m assuming you will be on your feet quite a bit in the studio, and a “softer” floor might be better for your back. Flooring makes all the difference when you’re on your feet a lot! Tile is so unforgiving, especially when you drop something breakable on it.

    1. We have cork in my kitchen/laundry room. I love the way it looks but it is not durable for dragging things across it or dogs. We dog sat for my step son while he was deployed and it just didn’t hold up when he would run across the floor. It still looks beautiful but has some scratch marks where he would run to the door when he was excited to go outside.

      1. We put commercial cork tiles in our kitchen about 10 years ago. It was great on the back but our cat discovered it to be his favorite surface to sharpen his nails. He destroyed it within 3 months. 🙁

  2. One thing to consider, tile is so hard that it makes my legs ache after standing and walking around on it for a couple of hours. Seems like you’ll spend a ton of time in your studio and this could be a potential downside. But you could also be sitting a lot in there too! Just throwing it out there.

    1. This is soooo true. Tile and concrete are very unforgiving when standing for long periods of time. Plus, tile can crack and chip fairly easy if stuff dropped on it, which I’d see as a probability in a workroom. And keeping grout clean is a real pain. You can always go for dark grout….not that it’s cleaner, but at least you can’t tell if it’s dirty! LOL. What can I say…I’m from Florida, everything is tiled, and I hate it!

      Have you checked out cork? I haven’t really investigated it yet, but would love to hear your thoughts if you have, as I’m considering what to use to replace my kitchen tile.

      I would think vinyl (or cork) would be better work room choice. Maybe vinyl in 12×24 striated gray Herrington?

      1. HeatherB – I’m with you! I’m from Florida also and have tile throughout my house. Hate the grout and trying to keep it clean. It’s really unforgiving and your legs will ache if you’re standing for a long time. Forget it if you drop something breakable – the item will break and you might crack the tile.
        Hardwood floors!

      2. I agree with Heather and Susan regarding real tile: Tile is hard on the legs! And cleaning grout lines- no thanks. I like your vinyl tile idea. I have oak hardwoods thoughout my house and while I love the look, dragging things across the floor scratches it.

    2. I vote for contuining the hardwood floor then put a big rug where table will be…maybe a cute outdoor type rug that loiks good indoors too for durability? Or they have wood look tile now that looks great.

      1. Totally agree with continuing the wood. You might decide to use this room in a different aspect further down the road.

  3. We have Grey (wood look) tile in our downstairs and LOVE it!!! The home is only 3 years old and we had chosen a wood floor when we moved in. Sadly, with our 3 dogs and very busy lives, it didn’t last. We recently changed it to the tile and are MUCH happier! It always looks ready for company , it keeps the house cool and ALWAYS looks perfect!

    1. I went from timber to tiled floors when we moved house. After having timber I have found the tiles never seem to look clean. With 2 dogs and 4 (plus extras) teenagers, even if I vacuum everyday the tiles show every little bit of dirt and hair.

  4. I agree with the commenter above. Tile will be tough to stand on continuously. I would do vinyl planks in a whitewashed grey color and lay it in a herringbone pattern. Easy to keep clean and easier on your legs!

    1. I was also thinking you might like vinyl planks. They come in a wood look and could probably be installed in the herringbone pattern. I’ve seen them at Home Depot and they’re really pretty.

      1. I agree with Laura and Karen – vinyl planks installed herringbone. Tile can be broken, a pain to replace a piece, grout gets dirty (especially in a working room). After using vinyl planks myself, I’d NEVER use tile again. Hard on the feet and back as well. You were happy with vinyl before, I think you’d really be glad you picked it again. Colors abound, easy to clean, and comfortable. I don’t even have a chair pad in my office and no wear problems even on the cheaper vinyl.

        And that’s my opinion, lol!

  5. The new waterproof pergo is amazing. I have four Great Danes and they haven’t manage to yearbook it up. I had pergo presto for 18 years an updated for color to the waterproof. It is indestructible and easy to clean. No sealing grout being grout. Just a damp mop with some vinegar if it’s really dirty.

    1. I agree with Pergo, or some other kind of high-grade laminate flooring. We’ve had it in two houses and with a toddler it’s been great! So indestructible, you can drop anything on it and it won’t leave a mark (or like my son can throw metal trains down on it and you’d never know). I spent plenty of time on my feet on those floors, mostly cooking in the kitchen, and haven’t noticed any discomfort like people have been mentioning with the tile.

    1. I have that in my basement (so does my daughter with grandkids). Holds up beautifully and cleans right up. The 7 & 9 year olds are HARD on it. Love it

  6. Tile is durable and easy to clean but it is very hard on knees and your back when you are standing for long periods of time. We have tile in our kitchen and I ended up buying professional gel pads to stand on when working in there for long periods. Cork sounds wonderful

  7. Kristi, my kitchen flooring is my last thing to pick. Im also up in the air, but leaning towards wood look porcelain. I dontvwant it to be matchy matchy to the hardwood in the rest of my house so im opting for mahogany or gray in herringbone lol! Im anxious to see your choice.

  8. Will you be standing a lot? I would think tile would be uncomfortable unless you had cushioned rubber mats to stand on. If that’s not an issue, what about tile that looks like wood. It might provide a bit more warmth to the room? A wood look vinyl planking would also be another option. We have that throughout our house, but I will say that for as durable as it is supposed to be, it does scratch and dent quite easily. With your large moving table, that might be an issue.

  9. I think tile is very functional in wet spaces…but prefer wood or vinyl in other hard working spaces. I like the vinyl herringbone idea!

    1. I was totally thinking this too. Polished concrete is so sharp- but I think maybe the new subfloor is going to be wood?

  10. I would strongly suggest to continue the oak floor. Not only are they timeless and can take a beating, but they can easily be repaired and it would make your addition not look like an addition.

    If you decide to go the ceramic tile route, especially the 12×24 size, you have to prepare the subfloor with a Schluter Ditra underlayment to prevent cracks in the tile. With a tile that large, and you being rough on it, it is bound to happen. Also, tile can be very hard on your knees and back and tend to be very cold no matter the season.

    We removed tile from our kitchen and laid down 12×24 vinyl tile with an 1/8″ grout line. We purchased it from Lowe’s, it’s the Stainmaster in Oyster. No one believes US when we tell them it’s vinyl! The only downside is, it’s not as durable as wood. I’ve dropped a knife and it sliced the top layer a bit. Not noticeable to anyone but me probably. Also, there’s and indent where we moved our fridge. If you’re moving a large table, that may not work for you. Our walls are painted in Classic gray too, so I could send you a picture if you’d like.


    This is what I put in my kitchen, and I love it. The only thing that has damaged it was when my trashcan was full, and I dragged it across the floor. Somehow, there was a piece of white stone that was under the trashcan that scratched as I dragged it. But moving the fridge, stools, carts, etc. doesn’t hurt it at all.

    Anything with grout would make me nervous. I have dark grey grout in my bathroom and it collects all of the white dust and looks really dirty. Is sheet vinyl way too tacky/outdated?

    1. I would also worry about grout. In a fully functional studio, it wouldn’t be unusual at all to be dealing with paints. The lovely herringbone tile pattern wouldn’t be so lovely with paint-stained grout lines. Aside from that one drawback, it sounds like a great option.

    2. Have you considered linoleum instead of vinyl? Or is that what u mean when you say vinyl? Linoleum is a more durable product Than vinyl, which is only a printed design on top of the product. I’ve seen pictures of people making patterns with colored squares, although it may come in planks too.

  12. Chiming in to say tile is probably not the best option. The negatives really outweigh the positives, especially for a hardworking room like your studio. Tile is painful to stand on it for very long, it is cold in the winter, the grout can be a pain to clean, and anything that falls on it breaks or dents and can also chip or crack the tile.

    I put tile in my galley kitchen. It looks lovely after I have spent hours scrubbing the grout lines with a steamer and brush but that doesn’t last long.

    When I get around to changing things (it takes me years!), I will switch to cork or vinyl. Kate at Centsational Girl put wood-look vinyl planks in her flip house in Las Vegas (I think that was the one) and may have done it in a herringbone pattern.

    My sister lives in Toledo, Ohio and the kitchen at the Manor House in Wildwood Preserve Metropark has the original cork tile floors from when it was built in the 1930’s. There is a photo about halfway down in this article: We were once taken down some back hallways at the Toledo Museum of Art and their service hallways also have cork on them. They seems to have some sort of coating or wax on them, probably to improve durability.

  13. There are some pretty wood look tiles too if you wanted to go that direction. you could lay it on the diagonal.

  14. Marmoleum has some interesting options.
    I’m in agreement with previous comments that ceramic or porcelain tile will be hard on the joints and back when standing for long periods. It will also be less forgiving for breakage if something gets dropped – not that that will EVER happen LOL.

    1. Marmoleum is what I was going to suggest too! It’s fun, it’s a natural product, you can shine it up and you can make patterns and I bet it’s most cost effective then wood or tile for sure.
      I would not do wood- we have wood floors on the entire first floor and I love them. But in a work room- we’ve seen how hard you are on your wood floors when you are working so they would not look pristine for long! So, I would not go for a look alike wood next to a real wood, I would go for a complete contrast. Next to wood it just screams to me- “I am not wood!”
      And tile is hard, it is unforgiving and if you change your mind down the road you will not be able to easily change it. It is durable for sure but you have to be 100% convinced it is the product and the color you want. I have 10 things to do today but I had to write this first! ;0)

      1. I instantly thought: “Marmoleum!!!!” and then scrolled down to find if anyone else had suggested it. We did a single piece in our bathroom and I love love love it. It is easy to keep clean, no grout lines, forgiving, comfortable to stand on, and I think it looks nicer than vinyl or linoleum. The new patterns are very stylish, and there are options like the tile examples in the pictures you included. I almost went with the striated pattern, but then opted for a more random speckle, which is great for not showing dirt, with two kids and dog in our house. You can get large pieces, or tiles of it – in that case it has the option of getting extras for replacement in case you damage it doing your woodworking stuff. It is pricier than vinyl, but doesn’t have the off-gassing or negative environmental impact. I highly recommend it!

  15. Have you looked into VCT tile? I believe that’s the commercial grade stuff (that they have in hospitals and schools). We have it on our garage floor and it’s fantastic. We don’t park on it, but it gets abused from lawnmower she, tools, shovels, etc. We installed it seamlessly (glued down) and it can be scrubbed easily, and even cleaned with Tilex and bleach. It isn’t fancy, though the colors have improved a lot. I wanted pure white put would have had to wait for it to be in stock! So we have the speckly beige stuff you see in every elementary school lobby.

    1. That’s great idea! I didn’t know what it was called. A quick search showed several examples available at Home Depot and Lowe’s. I liked this one from Lowe’s: It would go nicely with the lavender walls Kristi is contemplating, as well as many other colors. That stuff is nearly indestructible so perfect for a workshop.

    2. I was thinking this as well. I used it in a basement craft/laundry room in a previous house and loved it for the ease of cleaning and durability. So many color options are available these days too.

  16. Hi there!
    I think you should consider stained/polished concrete if this is a room where you will be working on large projects. These kinds of floors can be very stylish and also very strong. It would be easy to clean. I don’t like the idea of tile. I think if you drop a tool or piece of equipment, it would easily crack the tile. My next thought for you would be to continue the wood flooring. Wood is meant to last for generations and looks better with the character that come with use. You could consider heavier/thicker flooring or even reclaimed wood for that strength you will need.
    I so admire your woodworking skills and the work ethic you continue to show us through your blog.
    You have made your home your very own and it’s quite beautiful!!
    Kim Everhart

  17. Have you considered stained concrete? It’s beautiful when finished correctly! No grout lines to roll your table over or have to clean, durable, easily cleaned and perfect for a room like the one your building!

  18. I love the herringbone pattern, no matter what material you choose. I do agree with the other commenters about tile being a very hard surface if you’re doing a lot of standing. We have tile throughout our house on a concrete slab and after a day of running around chasing 3 kids or cleaning my legs sometimes are tired at the end of the night. I live in coastal Florida, so I do like the appearance though and it’s easy to clean. If you go with the tile, I would recommend porcelain over ceramic, porcelain tile is the same color throughout the thickness of tile – if you chip it, it won’t be as noticeable. It is also generally flatter, especially towards the edges, which can be important if you’re cutting it to achieve the pattern you want. Your house is looking great, good luck with this decision!

  19. Anything with grout lines will be difficult to keep clean. A paint drop or sanding dust really clings to the grout.

    If you want the durability and easy cleanup, have you considered a stained concrete floor? I’ve seen beautifully, warm looking stained concrete. You can take care of the joint fatigue by investing in those anti fatigue mats in the areas where you’ll be standing.

    I even found a concrete floor with both staining and a design. Here’s the link to some of the photos:

  20. I think either the tile or hardwood would work. Oak is pretty tough. Most of the hardwood in my house dates from the early 50s and has stood up to various families with kids and pets owning the house. We had them sanded and refinished several years back and added more wood where they previously had carpet.

    Tile is a good option too but can get cracked if anything heavy gets dropped on it. (Some of my previous ceramic tile square in one of the baths and in the kitchen had cracks from previous owners dropping things (the tile was about 7 years old when we bought the house–since replaced with new tile in the baths and hardwood in the kitchen). So, either will look beautiful, but both can get damage from hard use. I would base it on what is easier to repair if it gets damaged and what look/feel underfoot you like better. If you will be standing a lot while working in there, the slight give of wood might be easier on your feet and legs.

  21. If you think about your projects, I would think clean up would be SO much easier with tile. You upholster…..the staples get all over they may try to stick to vinyl when your are trying to sweep them up. When painting your furniture, paint will be getting on the floor at some point and will be a lot easier to get up with a razor blade than vinyl or wood. Stain could easily be removed with acetone or other chemicals on tile. Any woodworking chisels or blades that fall on the floor will not hurt tile. Just thoughts to consider:) Good luck! I know your studio will be awesome and I am excited to see!

  22. Have you considered the durability of tile? Meaning, if you drop something heavy tile has a tendency to break/crack. Also, as someone stated earlier, tile KILLS my back if standing on it for any length of time. Just some things to consider.

  23. I agree that tile is going to be much more durable. You might also consider a Pergo Laminate. My mother in-law has this style (see below) in her den that was converted from a two car garage. It was installed over twenty years ago and still looks like it did when it was new. There are two very heavy sleeper sofas in the room and we have been sliding them across the floors to mop etc. for years without a scratch. It’s held up remarkably well to a very large family and lots of abuse. Her color probably won’t work for you, but I bet there is a color that would.
    Thanks for all you share! Yours is the only blog I follow and I really enjoy your posts.

  24. I am your polar opposite, function is my priority. There are so many options in polyurea and it’s nigh indestructible. Add a high quality rubber mat for jobs that require standing for long periods.

  25. I like porcelain tile for the studio. You could do 1/8 ” grout lines or no grout. When you are doing a project that requires longer standing, you could use a padded rug especially for that. I have stained concrete in 2 areas. Very hard to stand on & cold –it does get scratches. I cannot move anything on it without furniture glide things.

  26. Hi,
    I think that I would go wood like the rest of the house and then buy rubber mats that hook together when I was doing a large project. I have tile and it breaks when i drop things on it(tools, hammers,etc). I have replaced quite a few tile already. On the positive sidde I love the way it is so easy to clean.

  27. Around here we mostly use tile. I actually bought this lovely tile that looks like wood (go to their homepage and look at the big pictures, too, they are lovely)

    Grout comes in many different qualities and doesn’t necessarily need cleaning, check the products’ quality. It probably is necessary to use though, as it protects the tile from the changes in temperature all around the year (all things get a little big bigger in hot weather, a little bit smaller in cold). Each tile has a recommended size of grout in-between.

    I’d say tile all the way, just get educated about it first, check how hard it is, how well it behaves under a mop etc…

    1. You know, on second thought, there’s also those guys that refinished your kitchen counters – why don’t you see what they have to say, too?

    2. Just more info on grout: the sealer that has usually been painted on the grout after tile installation can be mixed in the grout itself so there’s no need to seal or reseal. So like the porcelain tile, the sealer goes all the way through the grout! Idk which sealer this is but you great researchers out there could find this. This grout swayed my opinion to put tile on my entire first floor. I can attest to things breaking when they are dropped! But my tiles have never broken up to this point (they’re porcelain and Italian). Oddly enough, the OPI nail polish bottles DO NOT BREAK when they hit the tile!!! Must be the shape of the bottle?!

  28. I have wood floors (ipe) in my studio and I wouldn’t have anything but wood (given a choice). I roll my big table all around and slide my desk and chair across it – no damage that would make me rethink the choice. In fact, the only tile floors in our house are in the bathrooms. As some others said, tile is just so rough on your back and knees after a while. And wood really does hold up well to abuse – hence its popularity since, well, wood started replacing dirt floors. 🙂

  29. I agree, that ceramic tile is not the most durable, it cracks and chips. And is hard on your feet. They have so many options in the vinyl, that’s what I would choose. Plus cleaning grout lines is not fun.

  30. Knowing what a worker you are, I suggest you stay away from tile. It kills me to stand or kneel on tile. Suggest a floor with more cushion.

  31. We have ceramic tile in two bathrooms, porcelain tile in one bath and marble in the foyer. While durable, our ceramic tile (after our new home settled – year two) cracked in some areas. Our shop floor is poured concrete with the same flooring (tile) they use in Wal-Mart. My hubs found it and we hired the install. We have driven on it, have work benches on it and have even dropped a metal desk on it and its still good. We do use professional mats to stand on because standing on concrete will kill your knees and back.

  32. I know it’s old-fashioned, but sheet vinyls have come a long way? It would be easy to clean and softer than tile.
    Thanks for taking us along for the ride. I’ve learned a lot from following your blog!

  33. I have vinyl plank floors. I love them. They work well for temperature changes, don’t mind any moisture, and are so easy on the legs. They are easy to lay and cut. Just don’t pick a style that’s too slippery.

  34. I just keep thinking of all the old buildings that housed factories, woolen mills, old schools, etc..and they all had wood floors…Just a thought…..

    1. ^THIS^

      Wood, especially oak, is very durable over time. If you’re painting or upholstering something, PUT DOWN A DROP CLOTH, it’ll save your floors and save time in future with any issues you may have to sand and restain them if you damage them, plus drop cloths make it easy to slide things around on a wood floor.

      I’d vote no to the harder surfaces like tile and concrete. Sure, they can look beautiful and are durable and super easy to clean, but they can crack and become damaged (or damage things you might drop on them) and they are extremely hard on back and legs if you stand on them for long lengths of time. If wood is not a consideration, I’d lean more toward ungrouted vinyl. Someone mentioned upthread using linoleum, the REAL kind of linoleum they used to use way back in the 30s and 40s — it’s made a comeback, and you can of course get in room-sized sheets which have to be rolled on, and it also comes in tiles which can be cut and customized in some really neat designs.

  35. I don’t think I would choose tile. First, it’s very hard…which makes it hard on the legs when standing. If you’re planning to be standing at the work table for long periods of time or kneeling on it when working on projects on the floor, it’s not a great choice. Another reason I’d hesitate with tile would be that it’s a large room and I think you said you were going to do high ceilings. It may echo quite a bit since you’re not going to have a lot of soft objects (couches, rugs) in the room. Imagine using your compressor or nail gun in there.

    Honestly, I think wood would be great, but you’d have to be okay with it aging. Think like how wide-plank pine or old factory oak can age and look beautiful with all the nicks and marks. However, I don’t think aged/distressed is your style, so I’m guessing you don’t want that.

    I used this stuff ( in my mudroom and I’d highly recommend it in any place where you need durability or are afraid of dampness (a vapor barrier can be put under it). It’s a plank-style heavy vinyl product (like 2-3x the thickness of regular vinyl) that’s done as a floating floor. It has tabs on either side so that the planks glue to each other rather than the floor. It does take awhile for the vinyl odor to dissipate in large rooms, but it’s incredibly durable and rediculously easy to install. We installed ours maybe 2 years ago and it’s been through two winters of rock salt and sand being mashed into it and it looks new (provided I mop it).

    You might also look into some of the new rubberized coatings that are made for basement recreation rooms. I don’t know what it would take to put them down over plywood (probably sealing the seams), but it might be a neat easy-on-the-legs option for a work room. The same goes for the garage floor epoxies like you used on the kitchen countertop. Wonder if that would go over wood.

    One last thought… Have you considered breaking the flooring up into areas? Like maybe have wood around the perimeter where the built-ins and desks will go and using something like tile or floating flooring (with a heavy squishy foam underlay) where you plan to shift the work table around and stand a lot. Or maybe have an inset area where you can put a wall-to-wall commercial-grade carpet with tackless (except between the inset areas, not between walls…so the wheelchair goes over it easily) or some sort of stress-relief mats.

    1. Something else just popped into my head. If you really plan to do upholstery and craft projects in there on a regular basis, maybe you should consider finding a spot outside of the main room (like in a closet or a in the crawl space under the floor) to put a larger-sized compressor/tank and hard-plumb air outlets over to your work area. They sell larger tank units at Harbor Freight pretty affordably.

      Just an idea. 🙂

    2. I used the Allure planks in my kitchen, and after three years I’m underwhelmed. I have a trash can that gets moved a couple times a week and it’s beginning to peel in that spot. I vacuum four or five times a week and use a damp cloth on a Swiffer handle often.

  36. Suggest vinyl wood plank flooring. My daughter had it installed in their new finished basement and it is gorgeous and durable. If a piece needs to be replaced in the future, you can easily replace it. Swiffer and mop clean.

  37. I can’t remember if others will pass through. My art room is also a guest room and I constantly worry about ruining the nice wood floors I saved up my money for. Tile is an expense, that if your able to stain and seal the cement, I would avoid. Meaning, I’d stain and seal the cement floor. It would be as hard (standing on) as tiles, but I wouldn’t add the expense of the tile… grout cleaning… potential chipping. (Easier to clean up messes…. no gouging, denying, damaging wood)You can get good floor pads to stand on to help with that. Years down the road, wood flooring could be used to cover it.

  38. Kristi,

    I wouldn’t go for tile – it seems like it’s durable, but when you are working in there if you drop something – it will chip – or heavy enough object – it can crack the tile. Large tiles are susceptible to cracks or lifting if there is any shifting/settling in the floor. If you are crafting with paint and splatter on the grout lines – that’s another problem. I love tile – but would not do it in a craft room. I would go for vinyl tile without grout lines – there are some beautiful viny tile floors out there that look like wood in various shades – even gray. Really beautiful. My friend has it in her great room and it’s fabulous – you would never think it’s vinyl and it’s much easier on your feet than tile as well. There are various grades – I would put the best I could afford of vinyl.


  39. I had my wood looking tile installed with super skinny grout lines. It looks more like wood this way.

  40. I can’t imagine doing anything that requires grouting as I’ve seen how they handle furniture and the beating of my own house. Wood would also require you to basically gut the room once a year to refinish floors and you saw how sometimes things like pain or pinched nerves can prevent that, plus where to store everything? An ideal floor for a studio for me would involve a floor I can quickly clean (so sprayable or a removable section), something able to handle movement on it without damage, and something that doesn’t cause horrible pain.

    What I think I’d do is add wheels to everything in your space, make carts for furniture you are working on so they are raised (preventing floor damage and damage on you while also making them easier to move), and have giant ergonomic floor pads you can move around depending on your project. I’d personally do a laminate floor of some kind for those reasons. Emily Henderson actually used floor tiles on her recent studio upgrade and you could always make half the space softer (maybe around the desk areas) and half the space with a laminate. She said she was able to install the carpet tiles on her concrete floors.

  41. Tile will be hard on your knees and back. Also tile can chip and crack from dropping tools etc..on it. A dropped nail gun from a table did more damage than I thought possible Dragging projects over it can dull it…
    Lesson Learned!
    My FAVORITE studio flooring…..Marmoleum! You can mix colors and patterns etc..easy to install….natural product…..very PRETTY but also functional.
    Its almost like standing on a anti-fatigue mat and very durable. In fact mine still looks brand new after 7 yrs of hard abuse.

  42. I would definitely lean towards a brown “wood look” instead of gray. A huge gray floor would look cold, a wood look always looks warm, even in a ceramic tile. It would also flow better with the adjoining room, and not appear so noticeably different. Sine you like the look of warm wood, it is a win win. ☺️

  43. What about stained and sealed concrete? For comfort, you could add rugs or mats, and if you decide later, after much of your bigger, messier projects are complete, you can slap hardwood over it. Concrete can also be stamped to look like tile or in other decorative ways.

  44. Have you considered real linoleum (brand name Marmloeum )

    It is an all natural product, soft on your feet, does not off gas toxic chemicals, and is antifungal, antiseptic. It is the healthiest floor for people with asthma, and other breathing issues. linoleum has come a long way and there are some great choices.

  45. I would continue the wood floors. You have done several patch jobs very well, so I think you can trust yourself to fix it if something were to injure the floors. I think it would flow so much nicer and really make the studio feel like part of the house.

    I would specifically not do tile…the hard surface for hours at a time, crawling around working on projects…it would not be an ergo choice for me. Grout in a workspace does not seem like a good choice either. You’re going to be tracking in dirt and paint and whatever else. it would wipe up beautifully from the tile…not so the grout though.

    If you don’t want wood, I like the idea of the VCT tiles. Doesn’t get much more durable and they’re not as horrid as they were when we were in elementary. 🙂

  46. Hi Kristi,

    First time to chime in here but I couldn’t resist offering a perspective. I run a small drapery workroom out of my home and my huge drapery table (5×10) rolls around on my hardwood floor. I have rubber casters and have never had a problem with marking the floor. I tend to think that you will move the table less than you might think. I bet you will find a spot for it that works in the room and keep it more or less in the same area. And then when you do move it, I’m sure that you will do so with care. Hardwood floors are also a lot softer than tile. I wouldn’t want to stand on a tile floor for hours working on upholstery or soft home furnishing.

    1. I ran a drapery workroom for years too and worked on a concrete basement floor. It was murder on my feet, not so much my back, but tough on the feet. I wouldn’t do tile for the same reason, I dropped all sorts of tools, my iron, my staple gun etc on the floor. And the wheels across the vinyl tile (I have stick on in the basement) does scratch it. I think the pergo flooring option would work great.

  47. What about both? Keep wood floor around the edges where you will have your desk space and storage, and then maybe a tile center for your big painting/sanding projects.–herringbone-pattern-herringbone-floors.jpg (this one mixes both together rather than separate sections, but you get the idea)

    I would also second that cork floors are nice, as are bamboo. They are “sturdier” than regular wood in terms of being scratch resistant but still are warm and easy on feet. However, if you are going to be painting and sanding in your studio, they aren’t easy to resurface the way wood floors are, so I guess it depends on what kind of dirty work you plan to do in the studio. Wood floors might be just fine. You can always put down a drop cloth or buy a rubber mat that rolls out for those messier projects.

  48. Personally I would go for continuing the wood or luxury vinyl tile. We have concrete tile at work and the floors have already been damaged by a lift that we brought in. Plus tile/concrete is so, so hard on your knees, legs, and back. LVT is waterproof and easy to clean.

  49. I have put cork in two craft/work rooms where I did all kinds of projects including painting and reupholstering. I love it. Easier on your feet, can be cleaned up some. Looks great.

    I would also recommend VCT tile.

  50. I would heartily recommend any of the products by “Metroflor” or “Metro Floor”. We put some in the entire bottom floor and I love it. Upstairs the former owner had nasty tile and grout that is always dirty looking. Hate it!!! Metro Floor can be found at most flooring companies and is largely used commercially so it is pretty bullet proof. Mine is planks and looks like wood. LOVE IT! Give it a look!

  51. Agree with most, that if you are going to be standing much, tile will kill your back and knees. Been there, done that! We have cushioned tiles in our bathrooms, and they are a bit easier on your body, but we were told by the flooring store that we did have to have a grout line, so I told them I wanted the minimum required. We have a stone look in one bath, and a marble look in the other. LOVE the marble one and wish I’d used it in both. But it has a bigger grout line too. We used medium gray grout for that.
    In our basement bath we are DIY-ing, we put down vinyl planks that have the wood look. Still new, only did it a few weeks ago, so I don’t know how it will hold up yet. The rest of the basement will be laminate flooring, with carpet in the bedrooms. I would like to use Flor-like tiles, but budget says no! I like the fact that they are easily replaceable if damaged. May be harder for Matt to move about though on that.

  52. I find tile to be very hard on my feet, legs and back. Have you considered one of the new laminate or vinyl planks that look like real wood, but wear much better? My son and his girlfriend have a horse farm and 8 big dogs, so it was essential their flooring be durable, yet look good. They just put LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) in their house and it looks great! They chose one that looks like hardwood. They said they would highly recommend it!

  53. Have you considered Sierra Stone? It’s a beautiful look and the simplest type of floor to repair if it ever gets damaged. But the durability means it’s darn near bulletproof. It was originally created for outdoor spaces, though is now commonly being installed inside as well. Lots of colour options, and a beautiful glossy finish. It’s easy to clean as well. I’ve had it in my basement for about 7 years now and it still looks brand new.

  54. I would also recommend vinyl wood plank. I manage a lot of apartment communities and we are seeing it in leasing offices, common high traffic areas and inside the apartments. It is so durable and if one piece gets damaged you just change it out. Plus it’s more forgiving than tile if you drop a heavy tool which is bound to happen to anyone. My coworker actually just did her entire house in a wide plank grey wood look and its beautiful. Plus you could run it right into your half bath out there.

  55. Honestly have mixed feelings. So on that I’d say choose colors/materials you are confident on repairing because, Life happens. The studio is a space for you to create, make mistakes, learn, have fun with the end result.

    Have the new sub-floor meet the old level, then add underlayment to raise it up if you go with a thinner floor material. That way if you do change, you can match the old easier.

    To make tile work… Cheap interlocking foam tiles could fix the hardness and use them as a stiff dropcloth outside of the work areas on your floors. I just used delorean grey grout with the a discontinued (for color, but was free!) trafficmaster peel-stick tile, nowadays the groutable peel/stick tiles are hard to find.

    Is there anything to seal up the area below the raised floor? Is it necessary or not? A crazy part of me would be curious to put in a trap door and use that space to store fabric bolts, stash a shop vac, or air compressor. But the cost to make the floor smooth enough for Matt would probably out-weigh the benefit.

    A extra crazy suggestion, Find a way to use waterlox again (weather stained plywood?), you know how to repair it…

  56. My 2 cents ….

    Absolutely NOT tile. No, no, no. First of all … it is HARD. As in hard on your feet and legs to stand on. This may or may not matter to you at this moment, but as you get older, it will. Walking around on it for longs periods is not fun. Secondly, anything breakable that gets dropped on it … definitely going to break, no doubt about it. Also, it’s cold….which may not be a problem where you live, but the appearance is cold and hard as well. As for grout lines….well, let’s just say I will never, ever use tile again. And this is a work space, right? Grout = no. I do think you would be happier with the real oak hardwood. It’s tougher than you think. But if not, then some type of laminate or something that is mop-friendly.

  57. If you start leaning toward oak again, I’d think bamboo instead. It’s actually harder than oak and now comes in many colors. The “grain” wouldn’t match, but the color could be very close. We have bamboo in our bedroom, and it’s beautiful and easy to care for.

    1. We have a brand of babmoo in our basement called Cali that we got at Lowe’s. It is very hard and looks really pretty, much like wood and comes in lots of colors.

  58. Think about your back! I have read that the one thing a lot of people who re-do their kitchen would change is their tile floors. They say it is so hard on your back! And, to clean that many grout lines? No thanks! I love the look of tile, too, but you sure wouldn’t want to NOT be able to use your workroom……

  59. I lived in a house with a lot of tile, wouldn’t go that route again. It was painful to walk on and very hard to stand and work for any length of time. I now have the most durable plank vinyl flooring; easy on the knees and back. I’m convinced you could run a herd of elephants over it without damage. Previous owners installed it so I’m not sure of the brand, but will be putting some form of it on the quilting room floors when I pull up that carpet. Can’t wait to see pictures when your work room is completed.

  60. Have you considered stained/brushed concrete? Thinking of durability, ability to change it or put something over it if you hate it in a few years or months, and ability to clean it easily without damaging any finish or having to clean grout. You can add throw rugs under your workspaces to warm it up.

  61. My friend put cork in her studio. It looked good at first, but over time her two cats’ nails have made marks that are very noticeable. Also, she has spilled paint and other materials, and the stains do not always come completely out. She has had the cork for only two years and is already considering replacing it, although standing on it to work is very comfortable, she says.

  62. I definitely think you are under estimating the durability of oak floors. Think of all the wear and tear the originals have gone through in your home just since you moved in, let alone prior to your ownership! If you drop a tool on wood it may dent, but the ceramic will crack. A dent in wood is patina, a broken tile is, well, a broken tile. Continuing the wood allows that room to feel like it is truly part of the rest of the house, instead of an after thought. Maybe, at a later date, you will use that room differently than you envision. Then, you would find yourself ripping up the tile and putting in hardwoods anyway. Go with your initial choice. You won’t be disappointed.

  63. I’ve had bamboo flooring in my craft room for ten years. Not a scratch or stain! Easy to stand on too. Many color choices to choose from. I’m sure you could find one to match your floor leading into your studio. I love mine, very quiet too.

  64. I am a professional seamstress and have worked in many workrooms. I think you will hardly ever move your workbench once you find the right spot for it. Under the workbench is a good place to store large rolls of batting and foam as well as odd rolls of fabric and materials…….think about shelving under it. I have curtains around mine to hide the inevitable stuff! Overhead air and electrical plugs are handy….you know the pull down ones.
    As far as flooring goes I would continue the hardwood floors and then install the Flor carpet tiles or a commercial type large rug over the top. I love working on carpet. Your upholstery doesn’t get damaged when you turn the chair/couch over, its easy to vacuum up all the strings/staples/tacs etc. You can put your straight edge down and cut right on the carpet without damaging it and I like scooting around the floor and kneeling to work on my bigger pieces.
    I also have moveable tables. One large one in front of my industrial sewing machine, one beside and one behind that has my welting rolls on a dowel so I can pull the welt out easily.
    I’ve been doing a lot of canvas work lately so a large work surface around my machine helps.
    Thats my 2 cents worth.

  65. We have tile throughout our house (wood-look tile, which we love), even in the rooms where I am standing for long periods (the kitchen and the room I use for sewing/ironing/woodworking). I have found that if I am wearing shoes, tile does not bother my back or legs long-term. If I’m barefoot, I do tire easily. On someone’s recommendation, I bought these slippers/house shoes:

    They are not cheap, but they are worth every penny. My back never bothers me when I wear them, even after long periods of standing.

    We would absolutely, 100% install tile again. It is virtually indestructible. It’s SO easy to keep clean: even if paint drips on it, it cleans easily (as long as you keep it out of the grout). We have area rugs throughout the house which also helps with back fatigue and also “warms” the space (another shout out to Flor tiles!). In the summer (Houston), our dog loves how cool it is.

    Good luck!

  66. Have you considered the tile that look like wood? You could still do herringbone pattern and I wish that we’d trusted my gut and not done grout lines (I let my contractor ta m out of my gut). As for t being hard on your joints, I would recommend a el mat regardless of flooring if you stand in one place a lot.

  67. I do not like vinyl tiles. I do however like linoleum installed as whole sheet. I have seen Candice Olsen use it and it was beautiful. It is an organic product, softer on your feet than tile and seamless and many beautiful options. Also, very economical. Just an ideal but whatever you decide will be beautiful no doubt.

  68. We have the same floor in our basement craft room that we have in the garage. I think it’s similar to your kitchen counter tops but with more speckles/color. You can’t kill it. I’ve spilled paint, glue, etc., and it wipes right up.

  69. I love the tile in first picture best of all! That is my favorite, and it could be done without grout. But, that’s just MO.

  70. Oh how I love a herringbone floor!! Tile would be super durable and easy to clean (maybe have a dark grout color to avoid dirty looking grout lines?!). I agree with a lot of the above comments about the wood look tile – maybe that would keep it feeling warm and cozy without going with actual wood?! We put bamboo flooring in our new house but I always wished we had tried unfinished pine (like something from lumber liquidators) since the more scratches and dings the better it looks. I think it’s fairly inexpensive too. I’m sure whatever you choose will look incredible if the rest of your house is any indication!! =)

  71. Yes Judy posted my thoughts! Keep the wood and use the carpet squares in a portion of the studio that can be replaced should they get damaged. A wonderful soft spot for those times you need to be close to the floor on your knees.

  72. Whole sheet vinyl – no grout lines,super smooth to move over, warm, flexible – and very modern Can be designed in multiple ways and colours, also space enhancing

  73. Well, I am agreeing with those suggesting vinyl plank flooring…just had installed in our church kitchen and OMG, it is so nice to walk on. There are different thicknesses and we went with a thick one. It was also recommended to glue down but if a plank needed to be replaced, it is easy to do. The look is really nice! And there is a nice choice of colours.

  74. Comfort and cleanup would be my criteria. So a flooring with a bit of “give”. It could be marmoleum, vinyl tile, big industrial carpet squares in a fun pattern,( they have a rubber cushioned backing, are not glued down can be easily replaced and things roll easily on them). Floating floors are an option and usually have padding under them.

  75. My 2 cents – we installed tile in order to get our mortgage, so it was very rushed, and used large tiles, 20 x 20, to quickly cover floors that had linoleum tiles coming off and/or missing. The sealing of the tiles and grout has been an issue since the beginning, and now of course the stained grout is another issue. I haven’t had a tile break yet, but I sure have had things break on it. You just can’t believe how many shards a Corelle plate can break into, not to mention how far they travel! I love how your wood floors look, but the clincher to me was when you said you’d be removing the door between the breakfast room and your studio. I think that door is beautiful in that spot (and I love the glass in it), and also think the separation is a good idea, but if you do decide to take it off, then I’d stick with the same flooring (wood), or at least the same color. But I’m sure your choice will be great, and I look forward to seeing it.

  76. I’m in the no tile camp as well. Wood floors may get scratched but that is an easier fix than chipped tile. Have you thought about low pile FLOR tiles? Easy to change out and the pattern possibilities are great. Emily Henderson has some fresh patterns. And easy on the feet!

  77. I would certainly continue the hardwood flooring throughout. It would be aesthetically pleasing.

    We want hard-working rooms, but, we don’t have to be hard ON the rooms. It’s the same with our upholstered furniture, wood table tops, better tableware etc. We keep dirty feet off the sofa, we don’t set hot pots on wood and we don’t put Fine China in the dishwasher.

    Your room will be spectacular. You can put floor protectors under your table legs to prevent indentations and you can use furniture glides to move heavy things.

    Easy Peasy. 🙂

  78. I have to vote for continuing the hardwood- it is so beautiful, and will keep your studio from looking like an addition. I would get a large indoor/outdoor rug – now is the time for clearance sales- they make such cute ines now that feel like normal rugs. You can’t roll it up when you have a messy project or put down a drop cloth. There’s no floor that you can just do anything to and just not worry about it unless you put in a concrete floor and just let whatever happens become part of it, like you would for a garage. It seems like you want something more decorated, that clients can come to, and there’s nothing like hardwood. It also looks beautiful with your color palette. I’m worried if you get gray tile you’ll have to decorate around it.

    1. Speaking of doors- a would it be possible to install a pocket door between your breakfast room and your studio? That would be so perfect and functional!

  79. What about the poured floors they put in high end garages..they can be any colour,speckled or solid…like a vinyl floor as in softer than tile but real tough

  80. We have white ceramic tile in our kitchen with several chips out of the glazed surface and color from glasses falling on it. It’s not as durable as one might think.

  81. I would not use a cheaper residential product for this hardworking space. I would recommend a commercial grade vinyl tile like they use in retail stores. It’s very durable. Also, I would go with a color and pattern that doesn’t try to replicate your wood floors because it never looks like a match. You may have to search for the commercial product a bit, but if you contact me, I can give you product names to search online for.

  82. I have pergo in my studio but because I’m a mess I bought some roll linolium to go over the top of it. It’s slightly spongy and I like the feel of it. One day when I remove the pergo (I bought the home this way) I’m planning on vinyl tiles, we have some at work in the lunch room (I work at a corporate office of a nationwide construction company) and I love the vinyl tiles that they chose. They are solid vinyl in a charcoal gray and aren’t even grouted.

  83. Well, Kristi, I’ll chime in with my two cents, for whatever it is worth. First, like many others, I would really think hard about putting in tile or decorative stained concrete. Physically, since you will be on those floors a lot, it is very hard on your body, especially back and legs. When I used to work some of my company’s business shows, we stood on concrete conference center floors all day and it was brutal. I love the look of both and really thought I would like to replace my wood kitchen floor with tile, but I am so glad I didn’t.
    I noticed someone had mentioned Marmoleum. I’d certainly check it out. I’ve heard about it but don’t know much about it. But don’t forget Linoleum. Today’s product is not “your Grandma’s linoleum”. It still comes in sheet as vinyl does but also comes in tiles and planks and some gorgeous styles. Also, the color is all the way through so it won’t show nicks and scratches as easily. Go to and take a look at their gallery of floors done with linoleum and read about the manufacturing, installation methods, and maintenance. I think you will be as surprised as I was in all the changes that have been made, including be able to be installed with the ‘click’ installation method, a floating floor…no glue necessary.
    Oh, and as comfortable as cork is, a workroom is not the place for it. It just won’t hold up. Do a quick search on cork floors and I think you will see that it won’t be recommended for the type of wear your studio will give it. I really do love it, though. A friend has it in her kitchen and it is gorgeous. But, with our three kitties and no longer being as neat as we once were, I don’t think it would hold up as well for us. lol

  84. Wood look tile with pretty rubber mats where you’ll be standing a lot, or just do a concrete floor that is stained the same color as your hardwood floors. I’ve seen some really beautiful stained concrete floors.

  85. I’d continue the wood and just put rubber wheels on your movable table. It’s just such a warm look and more comfortable than tile. I think unless you’re dealing with water (like a laundry room) the wood would be great.

  86. We just installed vinyl plank flooring in our house. We have an older dog who frequently has accidents so we needed something easy to clean. We love the look and the ease of taking care of it. They’ve just come out with a beveled edge with the vinyl plank and it looks awesome!