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Tile vs. wood floor? Here’s your complete guide

Published on August 6, 2018, by Roy Akirov

When remodeling your home, trying to decide between a tile vs wood floor is hard. So which flooring is best for you?

There are many factors that you will have to consider, so here is our complete guide:

Inspirations: Tiles

A warm or cold space?

Wood is an excellent insulator, so wood floors are warmer underfoot compared to tile floors. Tiles draw warmth away and can feel colder during winter. That said, if you live in a warm or humid climate, tiles can be welcome to cool your property. If you are set on having tile flooring, you can always install underfloor heating to add warmth.

The cost of installation

Wood flooring materials can be more expensive than tiling, but you also need to consider the cost of labor. Both wood and tile flooring require skilled installers, and costs can fluctuate depending on your location and the flooring experts that you hire. One way to avoid paying more than necessary is to choose a flooring supplier that also specializes in installation.

Maintenance

Both wood and tile floors are relatively easy to clean, but you need to take care over what cleaning agents you use. This is especially the case with hardwood flooring which is best kept brushed, with dirt removed with a dry mop.

Use dishwashing detergent and a damp mop, then buff the wood dry with a clean cloth. Also, dirt and dust can get trapped between floorboards. Wood flooring is more prone to scratches than tile too, so it’s recommended you sand or refinish after 10 years. You can also opt to change the color with custom finishes.

Normally, tile floors don’t scratch, so you don’t need to worry that your shoes, furniture or pet will damage them. Still, they can become dulled so need regular cleaning with household detergent and water. They are highly durable but cracks can occur under extreme pressure, though this is avoided with high-quality tiling.

Likewise, the grout holding the tiles in place can chip away over time, or through staining. A simple silicone sealer can prevent this, and you can use a baking soda and water solution too.

Resistance to water

Wood floors are more susceptible to humidity, so you will need to mop water spills up quickly. Left untreated, they may cause warping or stains and need a refinish. Wood panels can also contract and expand according to atmospheric conditions, so they’re not recommended in warm, humid or damp climates.

One reason why many homeowners love tile floors is that the surface is less porous, so more water resistant. But that also means they can be slippier if water is spilled onto them and provide less cushioning than wood if you fall. As mentioned above, grout is porous so this will need maintaining.

Customization options

Wood can help to create a natural, comforting environment. Choose from a range of types to create the perfect ambiance, or add a range of finishes from dark to light, matt or gloss. This can provide a custom look that suits your furniture or adds light to a room. There is a range of options with wood flooring, from rustic oak panels to engineered patterns such as classic chevron.

Tile floors are ideal when you want to add character to your flooring in varying colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. You can opt for a modern floral or traditional style that can add another dimension to your room. What’s more, you can lay tiles in a vertical or diagonal angle to gain a unique perspective.

Maximizing your space

You might wonder which is best for making your space look bigger, tile vs wood floor? If this is important, wood flooring in a darker finish than the walls can make rooms appear more spacious. You can scale this up to your home by using the same wood throughout. Diagonally laying wood panels or tiles can also create an illusion of space and flow. Meanwhile, larger matching tiles in a small room add to the illusion of space.

If you want to add a sense of organization to your home, then tiling is another great option. Plain or patterned tiles can create zones between rooms or open-plan areas. Installing them using a non-contrasting color of grout can also give the impression of more space, while contrasting grout can add definition to pale tiles.

Durability

Traditional wood floors last a long time with proper care and maintenance: some as long as 100 years and beyond. To keep them in peak condition, they’ll need refinishing every 10 years or so. And when it comes to long-lasting style, you can have faith that wood flooring will never go out of fashion.

While tile flooring is highly durable when it comes to cleaning and resisting water, they can crack or chip over time. Ceramic and cement based are among the most durable, but many today are designed to be robust. You may also want to update your tile patterns or redo your grouting to spruce up your home.

The important thing is to buy from a reputable installer who provides high-quality flooring with at least a 10-year warranty. This will give you peace of mind.

How you use your home

At the end of the day, deciding between tile vs wood flooring comes down to how you will use your home.

If you have pets or a young family then practicality is key and tile flooring may be your best option. It looks modern and requires less intensive cleaning while protecting against spills.

If you prefer a traditional décor or have elderly individuals living with you, wood flooring creates a more calming ambiance and softer surface. Wood also acts as a sound insulator, so the sound of shoes and furniture as well as noise transfer from other rooms won’t be as great as with tiles.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from having the best of both worlds. Enjoy wood flooring in rooms where warmth is welcome, like bedrooms and living rooms, and tiling in bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways.

Tile vs wood floor: your choice

Inspirations: Tiles

By now you’ve likely already formed a decision on which would be the best choice of flooring for your home. Whichever flooring option you choose, it can add style, versatility, and practicality to your space.

If you still can’t decide between tile vs wood flooring, Rhodium Floors can help. Get in touch for more guidance on choosing the best flooring for your home. Or use our virtual room planner to see which would look better.

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