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Kitchen remodeling and I need input on cabinets and floor

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Hi - I am remodeling my kitchen and am having trouble making some decision - so I am coming to the kitchen users community for advice. My kitchen is very small (8.5 x 9.5) and I am trying to use sustainably made products as much as possible.
My current cabinets are white (I painted them several years ago) and I would like the new cabinets to be white or cream (the light color actually does make the romm seem larger). Various vendors are saying that painted wood cabinets will scratch, mar and generally show a lot of wear. Several vendors are recommending Thermofoil as being very durable and easy to clean. Does anyone have any experience or comments to help me decide?
The floor - I want a floor that is easy to stand on. I cook a lot and standing on a hard floor is murder on my back. I am considering Marmoleum 1 x 3's which have a cork backing or cork. I am concerned about the water proof character of each. Also, I have heard that cork will not stand up to dog claws an my daughter's family brings their dogs when they visit every few months. Again - any comments or experience?
thanks very much - I expect this will not be my last question before this is over!

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  1. Have you visited high end cabinet displays? What do high end white cabinets have as their finish.

    I've never heard anything good about thermofoil; I consider it a cheap finish, but I may be out of date. I can't believe it is manufactured sustainably.

    They used to make laminate clad cabs which stood up fairly well.

    You should also be able to get cabs with a nice white stain, similar to chalk paint.

    You know I'd do some more checking around.

    1. I friend babysat (dogsat?) for another friend. After 3 weeks, she found significant damage to her cork flooring in the kitchen. Don't know if that's common or that dog had some industrial-strength toenails, but worth considering.

      1. I missed the floor question. I'd go for Marmoleum. I'd love to have it instead of the vinyl I have presently.

        1. We just had a full kitchen redo this year.
          We chose white cabinets. They're maple and of course painted and I am confounded as to why anyone would tell you they will scratch. Like what, more than stained wood?
          No. They're durable.
          Go with quality and you'll be fine.
          Consider a couple strategically placed glass cabinets and place in-cabinet and under-cabinet lighting if you can swing it in your budget. Huge impact on the perception of space and can make awesome focal points.
          We have oak floors that are decades old and shined like a new penny when we refinished them.
          They'll last forever, so there's sustainability for you.
          Here's a link to my Flickr set:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/11055869...

          3 Replies
          1. re: monavano

            I looked at your photos and your kitchen is lovely. I am definitely leaning toward the painted wood rather than the thermofoil - I just can't see what is essentially plastic in my house. I am also considering some glass cabinets and will have under cab lighting (I hope it is my budget).Thanks for your advice.

            1. re: monavano

              Nothing to confound you there. Paint will scratch more easily than a thermofoil finish. No two ways about it. However, it's easier to repair a paint finish than a thermofoil finish and unless it's a high quality product then I'd skip thermofoil.

              1. re: ferret

                Sure, anything can scratch. Just can't imagine my cabinets being in any way fragile or easily ruined by scratches. The finish is solid.
                They're not like painted cabinets like a DYI job. These have many layers via the factory process.

            2. We had maple cabinets in our last kitchen and loved them. It is a naturaly light colored wood that can be stained to about any shade you want. It is also a hard wood. Perhaps not as hard as oak, but close. As to sustainably made, pretty much all lumber is coming from tree farms these days.

              I can't comment on either of the floors you are looking at. I can say that one of the gel pads to stand on is an option for back relief.