Tile vs Hardwood: The Benefits of Each

Tile vs Hardwood: The Benefits of Each

When you're remodeling your home, choosing a flooring material can be one of the biggest decisions. Some people gravitate toward the beauty of tile, but others know right away that they want hardwood floors.

What should you do if you're stuck in the middle? Use this tile vs hardwood guide to help you decide which material is best for your home renovation!

Durability

Your remodel is a big project. Having to redo your floors in just a few years is probably the last thing that you want. Selecting a durable material can help you avoid that trap.

Hardwood floors can last for many years. Some older homes still have their original wood floors.

Even still, wood isn't the most durable material out there. It can easily be scuffed or scratched by pets, kids, furniture or sharp shoes. Since wood stain doesn't penetrate beneath the top layer of flooring, a scratch may not be easy to hide.

While tile can chip or crack, it's typically more scratch-resistant than wood. If you have pets or young kids, you might appreciate that tile allows you to worry less about what they're doing to your floors.

Just in case a scratch does happen now and then, you might want to choose natural stone or another type of tile that has color going all the way through.

Water Resistance

A material's ability to resist water damage is another factor that influences durability. In general, tile does a better job of this than wood.

If wood floors get wet, you may end up with water stains. Also, regular exposure to moisture might cause the wood to mold. Sealants can help wood floors become less water-permeable. Even with sealant, though, you'll want to clean up spills right away and choose a different material for damp places like the bathroom.

Many types of tile are water-resistant. For example, glazed porcelain is an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Some natural stone tiles are more porous, but a coat of sealant will allow you to use marble and other types of stone nearly anywhere, including the shower.

Maintenance

No matter what type of flooring you choose, regular maintenance will help keep your surfaces in top shape.

Daily care for wood and tile floors is fairly similar. You'll need to sweep and mop regularly, and you might occasionally use a cleaning solution that's designed especially for your type of floor. You'll also need to add grout-cleaning to your to-do list if you opt for tile.

When it comes to long-term care, tile is generally easier than wood. You may need to reseal wood every three to five years. Then, once your wood floors show a significant number of scuffs and scratches, it will be time to sand them down and refinish them. Some people do that job every 10 years.

Learn more about refinishing in this video:

Depending on the type of tile you choose, you may need to apply a fresh coat of sealant every one to two years. However, tile will never need a full refinishing job as a wood floor will. Instead, you may simply be able to lift out broken tiles and replace them as needed.

Comfort

You spend a lot of time standing or walking on your floors, so it's important that they feel good underfoot.

While neither of these materials is as warm as carpet, tile is generally cooler than wood. Fortunately, carefully placed rugs can take the chill out of tile floors. Even better, tile floors can be installed with a radiant heating system underneath. If you live in a cool climate, you'll certainly appreciate that feature in the winter months!

Wood is also a bit softer on your feet than tile is. Again, rugs can help improve the comfort factor of tile. You may also want to place a few shock-absorbing mats near the kitchen counter or other places where you stand frequently.

Atmosphere

Some people lean toward wood floors because they appreciate the sense of warmth that this natural material conveys. In fact, wood building materials create such a cozy atmosphere that studies show they may help reduce your stress level.

You might be under the impression that tile is the exact opposite, but that's not the case. Thanks to a variety of color choices and styles, you can find tile flooring to suit nearly any decorating goal. In fact, if you like the look of wood, you can select tiles with a similar appearance.

Allergies

If you suffer from environmental allergies, you may already know that carpet can be a major culprit. That's not the only flooring material where allergens can hide, though!

Hardwood floors are often recommended for allergy sufferers, but under certain conditions, they can sometimes harbor allergens as well. If the floor hasn't been properly sealed, dust and dander may settle in the grooves of the wood. If the hardwood planks regularly get wet, they may start to grow allergy-inducing mold.

Like well-sealed wood, tile floors don't have many nooks and crannies in which allergens can hide. Furthermore, tile does a good job of resisting water, so it's less likely to mold. Your sinuses may thank you for choosing tile floors.

Which material has won the tile vs hardwood debate for you? Are you leaning toward the longevity of tile or the natural warmth of wood? If you've decided that tile is the right material for your home, give Artsaics a call. Our experts will help you choose beautiful tiles that will serve your house well for years to come.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.

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