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If you go laminate, make sure its a good quality product (25yr-lifetime warranty). Most brands make multiple levels of quality (and corresponding price), i've installed a fair amount of laminate and tile, the good stuff is pretty darn durable. A kitchen environment is typically harsh, with spills and dropped utensils/tools- floor needs to be able to take that sort of abuse. Many laminates are ok for spills (cleaned up quickly) but others should be avoided, as moisture can get into the joint and cause blistering. For ease of installation, hard to beat laminate. But my preference is a porcelain tile- very durable and impervious to moisture. As others have mentioned, with tile the preparation is key. You have to have sufficient rigidity in your floor, and then it helps to use a cbu board on top of a sound subfloor, which creates an excellent bonding surface for the tile, and isn't impacted by possible moisture.
 

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Hard to know w/o close examination, but from your tile failure description, sounds likely to be an insufficiently rigid floor.
Tile feels cold and hard compared to some wood floors, but this can somewhat be remedied by installing floor heating element.
Laminate also tends to feel more similar to tile than wood. The better products are quite good, but they mostly look like fake wood to me! I prefer the aesthetics of real wood, but i've never installed any in a kitchen.
Stay away from deep shag carpet for your kitchen:)


We had 12x12 ceramic on our floor in our last kitchen. They used the Schluter DITRA underlayment which really surprised me for a (mid range) builder install back in 2001. We were in that house 9 years and I can honestly say most of the same things that Kenny said. I was really not impressed with the condition after only 9 years. I had some cracked tiles, some grout that was cracked, and some issues with tiles that were in motion. We just started over again last year (new house) and did hardwood this time. I have already dropped a knife and had it stick in the hardwood. Luckily it did not break like Kenny's. I don't have the 9 years of history to compare for the hardwood. But, I will say that I prefer the hardwood for both appearance and comfort. I should add that we did a finished in place hardwood. I had a Bruce pre-finished in the foyer at the old house. I was not pleased at all with how it held up. Many argue that the pre-finished hardwood has a much harder finish. We prefer the appearance of the finished in place hardwood. But have been warned that it will not hold up as well. Ask me again in 5 years. But for now, we are happy with hardwood in the kitchen.

Lee
 
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