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Ask Jennifer Adams: Pets and Kitchens

Ask Jennifer Adams: Pets and Kitchens

Hi Jennifer,

I love the look of sleek white tile and grout, but my boyfriend is concerned about keeping it clean, especially the grout on the floor, since we have two dogs. This would be for a very modern style all-white kitchen. Can we make it work? What do you think about pets and kitchens?

~ H.

Um… you just wrote “two dogs” and “all-white kitchen” in consecutive sentences! Pets and kitchens can be tough – especially in an unforgiving color like white. Jaxx and Oliver are constantly all over everything in my house! While I am loving white lately, I completely agree with your boyfriend about his cleaning concerns on the floor. And it’s not the tile that would be the problem; it really would be the grout. Even if it’s properly sealed, you’ll need to work pretty hard at keeping all that white grout on the floor clean. That goes for counters, too. Think hard about your finishes before you go ahead and make a commitment.

The good news is that you’re exploring this now. Many homeowners don’t think about the damage pets can do to tile floors until it’s too late. It’s an expensive and unsightly mistake that usually needs to be corrected by a professional cleaner. So how can you go about accomplishing the airy, all-white look you want while still keeping your kitchen pet-friendly? It is possible, I promise you!

Mix in shades of gray. Even if you want an all-white kitchen, your finishes don’t have to be pure white. In fact, mixing in shades of gray with whites will not only give you the clean, modern look you want to achieve, it will make the whites seem even brighter in contrast. 50 shades of wow! The whole room will feel grounded and more inviting, and have extra dimension. Grays are so versatile, which is one of the reasons they are very popular right now. Choose a light to medium gray tone to help hide dirt.

Use large, rectangular tiles. Bigger tiles means minimizing the amount of grout on the floor, which will also help to achieve a cleaner look.

Choose the right hue. The grout for your kitchen floor should match the tile or be just a tiny bit darker. That way, as it stains over time, nobody will ever know!

Use a non-slip tile. For your kitchen floor, consider a non-slip tile for your dogs’ safety as well as your own. A honed or matte finish will usually be less slippery than something shiny or smooth.

Use white quartz or stone slab. It’s a good idea to minimize the grout lines on the counter too, to maintain that crisp, pristine look. Choose a white or mostly-white quartz product or stone slab, or even stainless steel for low maintenance and a classic but modern look.

Make the most of your backsplash. If you love the all-white tile-all white grout look, why not use it for your backsplash? The walls won’t typically get as dirty as the floor. For a more modern look, stay away from the typical subway tile and choose something larger.

Trust me, both of you (and your pets) will be a lot happier going with a gray floor. Be sure to send me a picture when you’re finished!

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