Floor Vs Floor #1: Tiles or Laminate?
When planning for a renovation, the modern customer is spoilt for choice when it comes to flooring choices. However, trying to evaluate all the different options out in the market can be intimidating, so here is a simple guide to the pros and cons between laminate and tile flooring:
1. Overall Cost of Tiles vs Laminates
It’s no secret that tiles are costlier than laminates. Whether or not the trade-offs in other areas are worth it is really up to the judgment of each customer.
However, when discussing cost, one shouldn’t forget the eventual resale value – years down the road, should you decide to sell off your property, having tiles that do not need to be replaced can help increase your property’s valuation, so that’s something to keep in mind!
Try out our tiles calculator to get a correct estimation of what you need.
2. Durability of Tiles vs Laminates
On average, laminate flooring lasts on average up to 10 years, whereas tiles can be expected to last longer. This difference simply comes down to how they are made: while laminate flooring is often made of melamine resin or pressed wood boards, tiles are made of clay fired at high temperatures, giving them their tough and unyielding nature.
3. Tile Maintenance vs Laminate Maintenance
When it comes to ease of maintenance, there’s no competition, as tiles are simply easier to maintain in every way compared to laminates. Not only are tiles highly resistant to moisture, but their tough surfaces can also withstand vigorous scrubbing for those tough stains.
If water is spilled on laminate flooring, you will have to quickly clean it up and dry out the spot before the water seeps into the fibres, which would cause it to bubble up and even begin to rot if not treated properly. When cleaning laminate floors, you are also limited to products made especially for cleaning them, as other cleaners may react differently to the composition of the laminate flooring.
Learn more about the maintenance of tiles with our guide on caring for your matt tiles.
4. Health & Safety of Tiles vs Laminates
In terms of health and safety, one should take care when choosing laminate flooring. While most are safe for everyday living, and certain brands have committed to the manufacturing of non-toxic laminate flooring, a good portion of laminate flooring is made with the help of chemicals that may be released in the presence of heat. Not only that, but laminates also tend to emit a low level of volatile organic compound (VOC).
On the other hand, tiles are about the safest type of flooring on the market: besides being non-reactive by nature and being VOC-free, tiles can also be manufactured with various surfaces that imbue them with special functions. For example, Niro Granite’s Slip-Stop tiles give added safety both indoors and outdoors when their surfaces are wet.
Discover Niro Granite’s Slip-Stop Tiles collection.
5. Physical Comfort of Tile Flooring vs Laminate Flooring
For pure physical comfort, we have to hand it to laminate flooring, as its wood fibres flex and bend naturally with pressure and allow for greater comfort when you walk. Tiles, however, are very solid and hard, and can also be cold to the touch, which may not be desirable for elderly folk and people who are sensitive to cold.
When designing for commercial and outdoor spaces, the discussion of comfort becomes more nuances, as harder surfaces make for better walking, running, and transporting things. In the end, the question of what is more comfortable is best left for the consumer to answer!
6. Tiles vs Laminates Surfaces & Design
Most often, laminates are preferred for their natural wood look and feel, which can lend to a cosy and natural-feeling atmosphere. However, with the advent of digital printing, tiles also come in a wide variety of designs and textures – marble, stone, cement and, even wood!
Besides that, tiles also come in a variety of surfaces, including glossy, matt, lappato, and Slip-Stop – so there’s bound to be one that is just right for you.
Love wood designs? You’re going to love our wood tiles collection!
7. Tiles vs Laminates in Eco-friendliness
For the environmentally-conscious individual, you might be glad to hear that both tiles and laminate present relatively eco-friendly flooring choices. While laminates are made from wood pulp and fibres, which are renewable materials, tiles are made from quarried clay, which is found in abundance in nature.
While in the past, laminate flooring had to be made with a concoction of different harmful chemicals, many manufacturers are turning to eco-friendly solutions. Within the world of tiles, alternative energy sources are also contributing to lowering the carbon footprint of tiles.
In summary, here are the pros and cons of laminate flooring versus tile flooring:
|Laminate Flooring||Tile Flooring|
|Cost||Low, but needs to be replaced often||High, but can last longer|
|Durability||Must be maintained carefully with special cleaning products||Easy to maintain using regular cleaning products|
|Health &Safety||Certain types emit VOC and are made with toxic chemicals||Non-reactive, VOC-free, and has additional safety features|
|Comfort||Soft and suitable for indoors||Hard, but is suitable for all areas including outdoor and commercial areas|
|Design||Many design options||Many design options|
|Surface||Limited selection||Many surface options|
|Eco-friendliness||Made with renewable materials, and some through eco-friendly processes||Made with abundantly-available clay|