Floor tiles have a long history. As early as 5000 years ago, people have been using floor tiles in their homes and other buildings to cover the ground surface. This is believed to be a very important step towards the modernization of home interiors. Tiles are no longer an alternative only, but they have become the preferred choice for modern homes today.
Why is Tile Flooring Prefered Today?
The main reason behind this preference is attributed to the fact that tiles add beauty and elegance to your floors, not only from afar but also from up close. People want flooring options which not just increase the aesthetics of their house, but also offer utmost comfort while walking on it barefooted or even wearing shoes. At times, solid timber flooring can lead to creaking sounds when you walk on it. This is not an issue with tiles.
Tiles are available in a variety of designs, patterns and colours to match your home decor. They come in different shapes and sizes that blend perfectly with the interior setting of your house. Whether you want to go for large-sized tiles or small ones, there’s nothing better than floor tiles in terms of aesthetics, comfort and durability. Let us now compare some important aspects of hardwood flooring vs floor tiles so as to understand their characteristics clearly.
Difference Between Solid Timber Flooring and Floor Tiles
There are a lot of differences in hardwood vs tile flooring so, let’s get started.
Durability Difference Between Floor Tiles & Solid Timber Flooring
The biggest difference in hardwood vs tile lies in the durability factor. A floor tile is known to last for an eternity. They do not get damaged or broken with time. But solid timber flooring can even get faded and cracked soon after years of installation due to constant use, expansion and contraction of wood etc. This is why many people choose tile over other types of flooring options available today. Since they cover your entire floor area, you may not have to worry about any cracks or splits on your wooden floors that might lead to accidents like slips and falls.
The Noise of Floors
Tiles are known to create fewer creaking sounds when walked upon while solid timber floors may produce creaks at times especially when there’s moisture or humidity in the air which makes the wood expand and shrink. Some tiles can be made to have a wood look applied to them, without the negative sides of hardwood types of flooring.
Tiles are easier to clean and maintain when compared to solid wood floors which require constant care, treatment and refinishing from time to time in order to retain their original look for a long time. However, this is not the case with tiles as they hardly need any kind of maintenance. They can be easily cleaned using a regular cloth or sponge without having to worry about any scratches or dullness that may occur in future. Unlike floor tiles, solid timber flooring cannot withstand high-temperature steaming when you want to get rid of dust from it from time to time. Tiles are easily resistant up to high temperatures around 250 F or 120 C.
Comfort Difference Between Floor Tiles & Solid Timber Flooring
The comfort quotient between the two largely depends on the material used. Tiles with a soft cushion or sponge underlay at the back feel more comfortable to walk on, whereas hardwood floors can cause pain in your feet and joints if they are not covered using thick mattress pads.
Where These Floors Can Be Used?
The biggest advantage of tiles over other flooring options is that you can use them anywhere, either it is bathrooms or kitchens where there’s constant exposure to water or moisture all the time. Hardwood floors don’t like wet areas. Since a tile is easy to clean and does not absorb any water from spills, they prevent bacterial growth as well as damage due to damp surfaces and may last for a long time without getting affected by such elements. Wooden floors may get damaged easily when exposed to high-humidity conditions ( common in wet areas ) on a regular basis as wood absorbs moisture and also expands and contracts according to the humidity levels in the air.
Floor tile flooring does not cause any damage to the environment as they come with a low VOC (volatile organic compound) rating and emit very less harmful gases if at all. They are made of natural stone and minerals like limestone, marble, slate etc which further provide warmth and comfort when walked upon with bare feet or even wearing shoes. Each tile natural variation has its own pros and cons.
Tile flooring plays a significant role in reducing indoor air pollution by absorbing many contaminants like bacteria, chemicals and other pollutants from their surroundings such as dirt, dust, smoke etc. When you walk on wooden floors throughout the day, small particles get accumulated under your feet due to the constant pressure exerted by them.
These microscopic particles can get inside your lungs easily because of low-grade adhesives used in the production of wooden floors which expose you to health problems like skin allergies, asthma, respiratory disorders etc. Wooden flooring is also not very friendly with the environment as it causes deforestation and cuts down trees for their use.
Hardwood floors can be manufactured using recycled wood or wood that is already waste materials from previous constructions which may help save resources and energy required for its creation. A Tile made of natural minerals like marble and limestone offers a better choice if one’s looking to get an eco-friendly option without having to worry about its longevity and durability at the same time.
Floor Tiles vs Solid Timber Flooring
This question may always remain debatable as it depends on various factors like the budget of the customer, usage, maintenance etc. A floor tile may be made up of different materials like granite, marble etc but even though they can be expensive to purchase. Their low-maintenance feature makes them more favourable over wooden flooring options which are difficult to clean and avoid constant polishing every now and then. Many homeowners prefer using tile flooring because they are long-lasting, provide comfort when walked upon and have lesser chances of getting damaged or broken compared to solid timber floors that require refinishing from time to time in order to maintain their features.
The choice between hardwood flooring vs tile flooring is easy if you know what are your requirements, how much money you are willing to spend on it, whether the area is a high traffic one and what kind of features you want in your house.
Difference Between Floor Tiles and Solid Timber Flooring
Wooden flooring is also not very friendly to the environment as it causes deforestation and cuts down trees for their use. Hardwood floors can be manufactured using recycled wood or wood that is already waste materials from previous constructions which may help save resources and energy required for its creation.
Tile made of natural minerals like marble and limestone offers a better choice if one’s looking to get an eco-friendly option without having to worry about its longevity and durability at the same time. Both hardwood and tile flooring have a wide range of options to choose from.
Pros and Cons of Using Timber vs Tile
If you are looking to get an eco-friendly option without having to worry about its longevity and durability at the same time. Wooden flooring is not very friendly to the environment as it causes deforestation and cuts down trees for their use. Hardwood floors can be manufactured using recycled wood or wood that is already waste materials from previous constructions which may help save resources and energy required for its creation.
The Factors That Could Impact Your Flooring Choice
The choice between wooden flooring vs tiles comes down to several factors some of them being price, maintenance, usage etc. A tile may be made up of different materials like granite, marble etc but even though they come expensive they have a low-maintenance feature that makes them more favourable over wooden options that require constant polishing every now and then. Many homeowners prefer using tile flooring because they are long-lasting, provide comfort when walked upon, work better in wet areas and have lesser chances of getting damaged or broken compared to solid natural wood floors that require refinishing from time to time in order to maintain their features.
Hardwood Benefits for Your House
There are many reasons why you could go for hardwood floors over other flooring options. They come in different types, styles and designs that can fit into all kinds of houses. While they are costly when compared to tile or vinyl, however, the benefits that one gets with them is worth spending on them.
Benefits of Going for Hardwood Floors Include:
- They are durable
- Hardwood provides the house with the natural beauty that it deserves.
- They are easy to clean
- They have a natural insulating property
- They look great
- They are easy to maintain
- There are many size options available
- The natural wood look is impossible to replicate with another flooring option
Tile Flooring Maintenance
This is very important, even if they are of high quality. It is essential that one gets them cleaned every week with the help of a damp dust mop. If there are stubborn spots on a tile, it is advised not to use harsh chemicals but instead get them scrubbed using mild detergents which are specially meant for tile floors.
One can opt for polished or matt finishes in floor tiles depending on the area where they are going to be used along with the kind of usage. Matt finish ones tend to hide scratches better whereas polished tile floors have high reflective properties and look more glossy and attractive when maintained properly.
Some natural stone flooring options available these days include granite, limestone, sandstone, slate and travertine among others. There are tile floors made to have a wood look, look like various timber planks, laminate and more.
Proper Hardwood Flooring Maintenance
This is also essential for prolonging the wood look and life of wooden floors. Cleaning them properly is a may as they can be easily marred or dented if not taken care of. Hardwood flooring could not be cleaned using any kind of acidic cleaner as it can damage the natural oil used to seal and protect the wood from moisture and other elements.
Instead, one could use a warm solution of water along with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid soap to clean hardwood flooring thoroughly. Pay special attention while cleaning edges where dirt tends to get trapped most often. After washing away all residue, wipe dry with a soft cotton cloth until no streaks are seen on the surface. Proper maintenance preserves the wood look on the flooring.
How do I Choose the Right Flooring?
It depends on your requirements and budget. Some of the options available these days include laminate, cork, tile, vinyl, hardwood etc. to name a few. Laminate ones are quite popular as they require low maintenance but if you want something durable which is also easy on the eyes then hardwood flooring is an ideal choice.
Vinyl flooring is also very easy to maintain along with being water-resistant, whereas tile options available in the market come in different colours and patterns. Natural stone ones like marble or granite can be chosen for their rich appearance while slate provides an earthy feel to one’s home decor.
What Should I Look Out for While Buying Floor Tiles?
Mostly two things matter
- Resistance to water and stains.
Tile floors could be chosen as per their thickness so as to provide comfortable walking experiences along with being non-slippery. It is also important to choose a tile that is scratch-resistant or that can withstand knocks without getting dented or chipped easily.
One needs to look at the type of underlay used in hardwood flooring items too, be it foam, cork, rubber, polyurethane or any other material. Foam ones tend to lose shape over time when exposed continuously to moisture whereas rubber ones do not offer much cushioning effect underneath your feet when they get worn out due to constant use. Cork ones are soft at the base but breathable too while providing lasting comfort in all weather conditions.