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Face-Off: Hardwood Floors vs. Tile Floors

Hardwood, tile, laminate, cork, bamboo, linoleum, vinyl, carpet – with so many different flooring options available in the market today, how do you choose the one that is best for you?  While this decision will depend upon such factors as personal style, the look you are trying to achieve, and your budget – it is also important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each potential floor type before making your final decision.

Today, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of the two most popular flooring options:  hardwood floors vs. tile floors.  While both hardwood and tile can each add a unique look and feel to a home, there are a few key differences that may leave you favoring one over the other.  To help you in your decision making process, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each floor type in the list offered below.

Hardwood Flooring: Advantages

  1. Hardwood floors age well.  With the proper care and regular maintenance, hardwood floors can last for centuries.
  2. Hardwood floors are durable.  Hardwood flooring is known for being a durable material that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday traffic in your home.  Although they are susceptible to scratches and dents, hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times and brought back to new.
  3. Hardwood floors add warmth.  For many, hardwood is a natural choice over tile for the simple fact that it provides a warmer, more comfortable feel underfoot.  Tile draws heat away and can be cold to stand on, especially during winter months.
  4. Hardwood flooring is hypoallergenic.  Unlike most other types of flooring, hardwood floors will not collect pet dander, dust, mold and other allergens.
  5. Hardwood floors are easy to care for.  Hardwood floors only require light sweeping on a regular basis to remove dirt, dust, and other particles.  It is also recommended to purchase a high quality broom and/or a vacuum without a beater bar to clean the hard to reach areas. Professional hardwood floor cleaners can also be used for tough stains – but you should consult your flooring retailer before using products such as these on your hardwood floors.
  6. Hardwood flooring adds value to your home.  A quality hardwood floor can add real value to your home and also help to attract potential buyers when you go to sell.

These are just a few of the many benefits to owning hardwood floors.  To read more about the advantages of hardwood, please click here.

Hardwood Flooring: Disadvantages

  1. Hardwood floors are not waterproof.  Moisture is the worst enemy to a hardwood floor.  Homeowners should take extra caution to ensure that spills are wiped up immediately to prevent longterm damage to the hardwood.  Likewise, talk with a trained professional before installing hardwood flooring in certain areas within your home.  For example, solid hardwood floors are not suitable for high-moisture areas like a basement.  For more guidelines on determining if a room in your home is suitable for solid hardwood, click here.
  2. Occasionally, hardwood floors need to be refinished.  At some point, your hardwood floors will require refinishing.  How often you need to refinish will depend upon the amount of wear and tear your floors have encountered over time.  For example, a home with pets will likely need to be refinished before a pet-free home.  Refinishing is a fairly simple and inexpensive process that gives the floor new life and restores its original beauty.

Tile Flooring: Advantages

  1. Tile flooring is water resistant.  As opposed to hardwood, tile flooring is extremely resistant to water.  For this reason, many homeowners choose tile for bathrooms and other areas that have the potential for moisture.
  2. Tile is durable.  Tile is a durable flooring option because its hard surface is resistant to scuffs and scratches from such things as chairs, high-heeled shoes, and pet nails.  Likewise, heavy appliances will not dent tile floors.
  3. Tile offers many design/color options.  There are many different color options, sizes, textures, and shapes to choose from when it comes to tile.  Some people just prefer the look of tile and also like the creative freedom that tile can provide.

Tile Flooring: Disadvantages

  1. Tile can chip and break.  As opposed to hardwood, tile is unforgiving with dropped items.  Tile has a tendency to chip and/or crack when objects are dropped on it, which can be a big headache for homeowners.  Likewise, if installed improperly (i.e. on a floor that isn’t level) the tile will likely crack and have to be repaired.
  2. Tile grout lines are hard to keep clean.  Grout lines of tile must be sealed (and resealed) to prevent stains from permanently changing the grout color.
  3. Tile can be cold and slippery underfoot.  As previously mentioned, tile provides less warmth underfoot and can get quite cold in winter months. Likewise, tile can also become slippery when it gets wet – so homeowners should take caution in places of high moisture (like the bathroom) so not to slip and fall.
  4. Tile can’t be refinished.  Unlike hardwood, tile can’t simply be refinished to remove any imperfections caused by wear and tear.  Cracked tile must be removed and replaced – which can become a very complex task, especially when trying to replace a single tile.
Determining the floor type that is best for your home can be a confusing and frustrating process.  However, it does not have to be.  At Universal Hardwood, our staff of trained flooring experts is here to assist you every step of the way.  Need some advice on flooring options for your home?  Ask one of our hardwood flooring experts!  It’s quick and easy – get started now.
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