Tile Flooring vs Wood Flooring – Which One Reigns Supreme?

Tile flooring vs wood flooring. Looking to upgrade your flooring but unsure whether to go for wooden or tile floors? In this article, we’ll compare wooden flooring and tile floors to help you make an informed decision. Whether you prioritize aesthetics, durability, or maintenance, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each option to guide you toward the perfect flooring choice for your home or space.

Related: Flooring Trends 2024: Exploring the Most Popular Choices

Table of Contents

Different materials: tile flooring vs wood flooring

Wooden floors consist primarily of “wood,” while floor tiles, often referred to as ceramic tiles, are composed of materials like “porcelain,” “glaze,” and “pottery.” Due to these material differences, their “classification,” “color,” and “patterns” vary significantly.

Wooden floors are categorized into solid wood floors, laminate floors, and solid wood composite laminate floors based on materials available in the domestic market.

wooden flooring materails

Floor tiles, on the other hand, are classified into glazed tiles (with high water absorption) and porcelain tiles (with low water absorption) based on material composition. Process-wise, they are further divided into full-body tiles (known for anti-slip properties) and polished tiles (reflecting a glossy finish).

tile flooring materails

Different construction techniques

tile flooring vs wood flooring:

The difference in “construction technology” between floor tiles and wooden floors mainly lies in two aspects: “paving technology” and “paving cost.”

Different treatment methods at the grassroots level:

Wooden floors require a flat base layer, free of pits, cracks, sand, and dryness. Floor tiles, however, can tolerate minor irregularities in the ground’s flatness.

Different base materials used for laying:

Wooden floors only need a moisture-proof film beneath and a fully paved bottom. Floor tiles, on the other hand, require leveling with cement and sand. The cement used should be of at least No. 425 grade, and it’s crucial not to mix different types or grades of cement. Medium or coarse sand, passing through an 8mm aperture sieve, is preferred, with a mud content not exceeding 3%.

The laying methods differ:

tile flooring vs wood flooring:

1. Wooden floor:

Typically, laying starts from one side of the wall, leaving about a 1mm gap for ventilation and thermal expansion. The laying direction is usually determined by the entry of light, making the construction relatively simple.

2.Floor tiles:

The laying method for floor tiles is more complex. Plate specifications and dimensions must be approved in advance according to design requirements, and gap widths between tiles must be determined. When not specified in the design, tight paving gaps should not exceed 1mm, while virtual joint paving gaps should be 5-10mm wide.

Attention must be paid to brick arrangement, with whole bricks on large surfaces and non-solid bricks in corners. Bricks should be arranged both vertically and horizontally, with non-solid bricks used at corners and arranged horizontally parallel.

The first row at the door should consist of full bricks, with non-full bricks against the wall. For doorways along the length of the room, divide it in the center and arrange non-full bricks symmetrically on both walls.

A little expanded knowledge about quality problems that may easily occur when laying floor tiles:

1. The plate hollows due to factors like uncleaned base layers, uneven water sprinkling, lack of brick soaking, excessive cement slurry in the bonding layer, causing isolation after drying, and premature strength loss.

2. Skirting board thickness varies due to wall plaster’s verticality and flatness exceeding allowed deviation, making it controlled by horizontal lines during installation, resulting in inconsistent wall thickness.

3. The plate surface is unclean due to insufficient protection after finishing, placing paint buckets on tiles, mixing mortar on tiles, and uncovering mortar during brushing, leading to contamination.

4. Uneven floor paving causes height differences due to inconsistent tile thickness or lack of strict control of horizontal elevation lines during installation.

5. Failure to adjust water slope according to design when making leveling layer mortar for rooms with floor drains results in incorrect slope detection when seeking elevation and elastic lines and plastering cakes and standard ribs.

The atmosphere created feels different

The difference in materials between floor tiles and wooden floors results in distinct “texture” and “visual” effects, shaping contrasting atmospheres.

Wooden floors evoke a casual, natural, and warm ambiance, ideal for bedrooms or Nordic-style living rooms.

In contrast, floor tiles exude a grand, clean, and luxurious vibe, suiting various contemporary decor styles.

Different costs

tile flooring vs wood flooring:

When deciding between wooden flooring and floor tiles for decoration, considering their costs is crucial. The costs can be assessed based on construction technology, labor expenses, and brand value.

Construction Technology: Floor tiles tend to have a “higher” cost due to their complex installation process and the use of additional materials, especially for treating the base layer. However, if the house’s base is in good condition, the cost of laying wooden floors can be significantly lower, even with the additional expense of self-leveling.

Labor Costs: Floor tiles generally incur much “higher” labor costs compared to wooden flooring.

Brand Value: From the perspective of “brand value,” floor tiles typically carry a “higher” cost.

Different performance

tile flooring vs wood flooring:

Because of their different materials, wooden floors and floor tiles exhibit distinct properties such as safety, durability, comfort, and aesthetics. As technology advances, the disparity in their performance is widening. Generally, ceramic tiles still surpass wooden floors in durability, while wooden floors offer greater comfort. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference.

Application

1. Living room

The living room often favors wooden flooring for its warm texture and comfort, creating a natural and cozy atmosphere. It also offers convenience for children to play and for the elderly to walk comfortably on the ground.

living room wood flooring

2. Bedroom

The bedroom serves as a sanctuary for rest and sleep, requiring a tranquil and cozy ambiance. Wooden flooring’s soft touch and warm effect are ideal for bedroom decor, making the space feel more inviting and enhancing sleep quality.

bedroom wood flooring

3. Bathroom

While ceramic tiles excel in waterproofing, wooden floors can also suit bathroom decor by opting for waterproof materials. For those seeking a natural and cozy bathroom vibe, wooden floors are a viable option. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to meticulously select certified waterproof wooden flooring products.

bathroom ceramic flooring

Durability

Durability: ceramic tiles > wood floors

When comparing maintenance, care, and lifespan, ceramic tiles outperform wooden floors in durability. Especially during renovations of old houses, tiled floors remain largely intact except for some discoloration due to moisture, whereas wooden floors often suffer from mold and blackening. Therefore, ceramic tiles are the superior choice in terms of durability.

Durability of Flooring

Comfort

Comfort: wooden floor > ceramic tile

When comparing maintenance, care, and lifespan, ceramic tiles outperform wooden floors in durability. Especially during renovations of old houses, tiled floors remain largely intact except for some discoloration due to moisture, whereas wooden floors often suffer from mold and blackening. Therefore, ceramic tiles are the superior choice in terms of durability.

Durability of Flooring

Aesthetics

Wooden floors and ceramic tiles are distinct decorative materials, each offering unique style effects. In Nordic and Japanese styles, wooden floors create a natural and harmonious ambiance.

Flooring Aesthetics

Nordic log-style wooden flooring

Nordic log style wooden flooring

In new Chinese, light luxury, and European styles, ceramic tiles enhance the sense of sophistication and luxury.

Since the living room is a high-traffic area, its floor tends to get dirty quickly and requires more frequent cleaning.

Opting for ceramic tiles saves effort as they can withstand wet mopping. Wooden floors, on the other hand, require delicate care and can’t tolerate excess moisture. Some solid wood floors even need regular polishing and waxing, making maintenance more challenging.

Difficulty of cleaning

Difficulty of cleaning: wooden floor > ceramic tile

Since the living room is a high-traffic area, it gets dirtier more often than other spaces and requires more frequent cleaning.

Opting for ceramic tiles saves effort because they can withstand wet mopping. However, wooden floors are more delicate and shouldn’t be left wet. Some solid wood floors even need regular polishing and waxing, making maintenance more challenging.

Difficulty of cleaning of Flooring

 Adapt to floor heating

Suitable for floor heating: ceramic tiles > wooden floors

While many wooden floor brands claim to be “geothermal floors,” their actual performance with floor heating is not as effective as ceramic tiles. This difference arises from the distinct physical properties of wood and ceramic tiles.

Adapt to floor heating

Anti-slip property

Anti-slip: wooden floor > ceramic tiles

Families with elderly and children need to consider anti-skid floors when choosing materials. Wooden floors generally offer better anti-slip properties compared to ceramic tiles, making them less likely to cause slips even when wet.

Environmental protection effect

Environmental protection effect: floor tiles > wooden floor

Once ceramic tiles leave the factory, they typically pose no environmental concerns, whether they’re used as primary or auxiliary materials. They’re generally more environmentally friendly. However, with wooden floors, especially lower-quality ones, there might be environmental risks due to the potential inclusion of glue during processing and production, with the released waste heat gradually evaporating.

Flooring Environmental protection effect

Conclusion

In conclusion, both wooden flooring and tile floors have their unique advantages and drawbacks. While wooden floors offer warmth, natural beauty, and easy maintenance, tile floors provide durability, versatility, and a wide range of design options. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your preferences, budget, and lifestyle. Consider factors like aesthetics, maintenance requirements, and durability to select the flooring option that best suits your needs and enhances the overall look and feel of your space.

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