Ceramic Tile vs Wood Floor
I only have opinions. If you want ceramic tile, you MUST have a floor that doesn't bounce. It must be SOLID. I don't like them because they're cold. I'd only do it if I installed a Warm Floor System at the same time. And if you drop anything on them, the item will either break or chip the tile, or both.
RE: Hardwood in the kitchen - I don't suggest it for the reasons you stated. In addition, the kitchen gets an AWFUL lot of wear. Believe me, you'll need 'runners' on the floor to keep it from showing excessive wear-and-tear.
So, I recommend sheet vinyl. It's 'flexible', not too cold underfoot, is less expensive to install AND maintain, and shows wear very well. I suggest a vinly that's like Armstrong's Solarium. It has a 'wear layer' built in it. All this means is that as the floor wears, the 'pattern' will show through. (The patterns is NOT just 'painted' on the surface - It's embedded a bit into the vinyl.)
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: GOd Bless AMerica!
Allow me to enter my two cents worth. If you've read any of my answers, you'll know I do not like linoleum flooring. My suggestion is to use a resilient tile. The commercial grade ( like you see in stores) is tough as nails, easy to install and will last 20 years or more. Moreover, it retails for about .70 cents per square foot. There many colors to choose from. If you go to elaborate design, it gets more expensive. However, if you want a floor that will hold up, that is my preference.
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