Floor Vs Floor #2: Tiles or Hardwood?
Hardwood has been a favourite flooring among homeowners since time immemorial – and it’s easy to see why! Hardwood flooring has the ability to impart that cosy cabin feeling that many love, not to mention it helps to keep the heat and cold at bay without air-conditioning. On the other hand, it can be a hassle to maintain, and it could spell additional costs on top of the materials and installation.
So how do you decide between getting tiles or hardwood for your floor? We’re here to help! Here is a comparison of some of the most important factors:
1. Overall Cost of Tiles vs Hardwood
While both tiles and hardwood flooring run a range of prices, depending on their characteristics and design, on average, hardwood flooring would cost you 2 to 3 times more just for their materials. Not to mention that while tile installation incurs a standard cost for labour, the installation of hardwood flooring requires specialised labour and would also add to your overall costs, making it the more expensive option.
For a correct estimation of how many tiles you need…
2. Durability of Tiles vs Hardwood
Hardwood earned its name by – you guessed it – being hard and durable, which is ideal for building a lasting home environment. However, between tile and wood, tile is a clear winner! Some of the tiles in Alhambra Palace that was built between 1238 and 1358 are still around today. With this kind of longevity, it’s more likely that you’d replace your tiles to refresh the look rather than to repair the damage!
3. Tile Maintenance vs Hardwood Maintenance
It’s no secret that tiles are easy to maintain with regular cleaning products. Water, soap, and scrubbing are all perfectly sufficient to keep your tile floors pristine. For hardwood flooring, in order to protect the precious wood from moisture and scratches, a protective layer is often required to be applied over the whole surface, which will have to be reapplied every couple of years. When caring for hardwood flooring, you must be careful to use gentle cleaning products as well, as harsher chemicals could eat away the protective coating and damage the wood.
4. Health & Safety of Tiles vs Hardwood
Although it is hailed as an all-natural product, the finishing of hardwood may sometimes cause them to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over a period of time, and it may be necessary to allow the majority of these VOCs to air out whenever it requires refinishing. Also depending on the coating applied over hardwood flooring, they can be slippery when wet, which could be a safety hazard. While tiles with glossy surfaces also have a tendency to be slippery, there are options – such as structured and slip-stop surfaces – which help to keep safe and avoid slips. Not to mention, tiles are typically VOC-free!
Stay safe with our Slip-Stop surface.
5. Physical Comfort of Tiles vs Hardwood Flooring
Due to the strong and durable nature of tiles, they are also hard and unyielding, which may not be ideal for skin-to-floor contact. Besides that, older people and those more sensitive to temperature may find the coolness of tiles slightly uncomfortable. When it comes to physical comfort, we have to hand it to hardwood, which is pliable and less prone to temperature changes, and overall, just more comfortable than other flooring types.
6. Surfaces & Design of Tiles vs Hardwood
If you’ve decided to go with hardwood flooring, you already know to expect your choices to be limited to wood shades, and the different depths their varnishes can offer. Tiles, on the other hand, come in a whole host of different surface types and designs like marble, concrete, stone, and even wood!
All of the aesthetics, none of the hassle.
7. Eco-friendliness of Tiles vs Hardwood
When discussing the carbon footprint of tiles, the eco-minded consumer would be glad to know that they’re both eco-friendly flooring options! While hardwood is made from trees which are considered a renewable resource, tiles are fired from clay which is abundantly found. However, consumers should be mindful that hardwood imported from faraway countries adds to its carbon footprint, and exotic hardwood may also contribute to deforestation. But overall, we’re inclined to call this one a tie between the two!
In summary, here are the pros and cons of laminate flooring versus tile flooring:
|Low to Medium
|Requires special protective coating that needs regular maintenance
|Easy to maintain using regular cleaning products
|Health & Safety
|May emit VOC and glossy finishing may make it slippery when wet
|VOC-free and can come with additional safety features
|Warm and pliable
|Can be cold and unyielding, due to its durability
|Design & Surface
|Limited to range of wood & varnish
|Many options, including wood effect
|Made with renewable materials
|Made with abundantly-available clay