Hardwood Floor vs Tile: Which is Right for Your Home?

Posted on Jan 8, 2021
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Featured Image: Aequa Nix 8×32 Wood-look Porcelain Kitchen Floor Tile from Arizona Tile

If you’re planning a renovation project that involves upgrading your flooring, you may be trying to decide between two very popular types of flooring: hardwood vs tile. So, let’s break down the advantages and potential drawbacks of these two flooring types to help you determine which one is the best choice for your home.

The Pros and Cons of Hardwood Floors

  • Scratch-Resistance: Wood floors are not particularly resistant to scratching. For high-traffic spaces or for people with pets or children, this can be a big concern. Hardwood will show signs of wear and tear, becoming scuffed and scratched from pet claws, shoes, furniture legs and more.
  • Maintenance: Day-to-day care for hardwood is as simple as sweeping or vacuuming. However, long-term maintenance often means refinishing—sanding away the imperfections and resealing the wood—which can be costly and inconvenient.
  • Water-Resistance: One of the main drawbacks of hardwood flooring is that it is not resistant to water. Floors with a fresh polyurethane coating will be resistant to absorbing water to some degree, but it’s not foolproof and not permanent. Wood will absorb water and liquids, both from spills and simply from moisture and humidity in the air. Warping and staining are two potential issues that moisture can create with hardwood.
  • Longevity: Hardwood that is well taken care of can last for many years. However, over time, hardwood will lose its finish and may become scratched, stained, worn or warped. While some people appreciate the rustic patina of old, worn hardwood, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so this is an important consideration long-term.
  • Style: Hardwood flooring is timeless and comes in many types and finishes. While many homeowners like the style of hardwood floors, certain finishes and colors can be divisive depending on personal tastes.

    Image: Icon Silver Concrete-look Porcelain Bedroom Floor Tile from Arizona Tile

The Pros and Cons of Tile Floors

  • Scratch-Resistance: Most types of tile flooring are very resistant to scratching. Porcelain tile, for example, is extremely durable and difficult to damage under normal, everyday use.
  • Maintenance: Many people love tile because it is very easy to clean and maintain. While natural stone tiles have some particular maintenance considerations to be aware of, tile can be simply swept or wiped clean when dirty.
  • Water-Resistance: Most types of tile are exceptionally resistant to water. Porcelain tile does not absorb water, making it easy to clean up spills without having to worry about stains and water spots. One important consideration about tile floors is that many varieties can become slippery when wet. So, in rooms where tiles may be exposed to water frequently, such as bathrooms, we recommend using porcelain tile with R11 Anti-Slip Finish for safety.
  • Longevity: Tile floors are designed to last for many years. Tile’s easy maintenance and durability makes it an excellent long-term choice for a home. Natural stone tile such as marble can be re-sealed on a regular basis to maintain its original beauty for years to come.
Image: Tru Marmi Venatino Polished Rectified Glazed Porcelain Bathroom Tile from Arizona Tile
  • Style: Tile comes in a huge range of styles, shapes, sizes, colors and patterns, making it an extremely versatile choice. Very popular in contemporary home design, tile is a stylish option that appeals to most people and adds value to a house. Plus, since modern porcelain tile can be created with patterns that closely emulate natural stoneconcrete, brick and even hardwood, more and more homeowners are opting for the style and durability of lookalike tile flooring.

When it comes down to it, tile floors have many advantages and benefits over hardwood. They are generally easier to clean and maintain, stand up better in high-traffic spaces and offer a much greater range of styles, shapes, patterns and colors, making tile the better choice for many homes.

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