Using (and Not Using) Wood Flooring in Kitchens

I'm still here -- and still pregnant! :) The good news is after weeks of hanging out breech, baby girl has flipped finally, just under the wire! Thanks for all your tips and tricks in the comments of my last post. It's a bit of a waiting game now, but we're so excited for her to come whenever she's ready.

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I took on a couple of design jobs before the holidays to help keep me busy the last month of my pregnancy and while I'm home with a newborn. Both involve full gut-reno redesigns of the kitchens, which I've not done a ton of in the past. It's been really a really fun challenge and so far, so good! The cabinets are designed and the counter tops and appliances ordered, but I'm a little stuck on flooring.

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In both projects the home owners are feeling a little nervous about installing the same wood floors that we're putting in the rest of their homes, in their kitchens.

I love the look of a warm wood floor against painted cabinets, so it's hard to not push on this one, but I have to admit I feel some of the same apprehension as we're getting closer to a big kitchen remodel of our own.

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Both clients have considered wood-look tile, but we are having trouble finding a style that we like enough to use throughout the homes. We sort of feel like our two real options are wood everywhere or stone in the kitchen and utility spaces and wood in the rest of the house. Which means transitions...which can be tricky with more open floor plans...which both homes are.

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(image from Domino. The slate flooring is in a bathroom and not a kitchen obviously, but the colors of the floors are almost spot-on for what we're looking at in one of the houses and it's helpful to see the transition.)

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Our favorite stone options are limestone and slate, though we're still open to pattern. Here are some of the images we've been looking at to help us get a sense of what stone or tile can look like in a kitchen space:

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image - another bathroom, but I like this color, size and pattern!

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It seems like it comes down to personal preference and comfort level in the end, but I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Have you had any nightmare disasters with wood floors in your kitchen? Or is there a stone that you've used and loved? Or maybe you have tips for making a more smooth transition between the two materials?
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