Did you know wood flooring can last up to 100 years? As a result, these floors are a great investment for your home, assuming you adhere to proper upkeep and care. 

Although its lifespan makes wood flooring popular, it’s far from the most sought-after choice. Another flooring favorite is tile.

If you’ve been contemplating which flooring option to choose for your home, you’ve landed in the right place. 

Keep reading as we delve into the hardwood floor vs. tile debate. 

What Is a Hardwood Floor?

Hardwood floors come in two varieties: solid hardwood planks or engineered wood.

Both flooring choices come in a variety of styles. For instance, if you choose solid wood, you can select a more standard, budget-friendly wood such as oak, maple, or birch. 

However, you can also choose something more exotic like Brazilian cherry or tigerwood. 

Further, you can choose unfinished, prefinished, reclaimed, or hand-scraped planks.

On the other hand, if you choose engineered wood, you’ll also find a selection of colors and styles available. 

Engineered wood is manufactured in layers. Manufactures add a veneer layer of solid wood to a layer of rigid plywood or high-density fiberboard. This means you can get an exotic look without paying a high price.

Pros

When it comes to hardwood floods, there’s plenty of variety and versatility. Hardwood floors offer a classic and timeless look, but you can also incorporate modern trends. This can help transform an entire room without a complete renovation. 

There is something for everyone with so many stains, woods, thickness levels, and patterns to choose from. Plus, wood offers a warm and natural look that’s appealing to many homeowners. 

Further, hardwood floors are easy to maintain even over decades. They only require regular sweeping or vacuuming to clean dust and debris. But remember, you’ll need to clean with wood floor cleaning occasionally.  

Hardwood is an excellent choice for those who want heated floors. Especially during the cold months, heater floors are a bonus. 

If you go with a hardwood floor but don’t know which style to choose, research a hardwood floor guide for assistance. You can identify which types of wood match your aesthetic. 

Cons

Installing hardwood floors can be challenging if you don’t hire an expert. It’s difficult to correct a mistake without needing to replace whole planks. Plus, if you use unfinished plants, installation can take several days because you need to seal the floor. 

Forgoing proper sealing means the wood will eventually warp, stain, and buckle. You don’t want to make the mistake of not correctly sealing the floor during installation. 

Hardwood also scratches more readily than tile. The wood will begin to wear and settle immediately after installation, especially in high-traffic areas. Moreover, the wood will fade over time if you have a lot of sun exposure in your home. 

While it’s possible to refinish the damaged areas, this is an additional expense to consider.

Lastly, hardwood floors can be noisy because wood doesn’t absorb noise well. Thus, steps and movement are noticeable. If this is bothersome to you, use area rugs to help. 

What Is Tile Flooring?

Floor tiles have been a popular option for home design for centuries. There are several different types of tile, but the most common include:

  • Cement
  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Stone
  • Wood-like

To learn about all the different tile options, search for a floor tile guide to help.

Pros

Tile floors are sturdy and durable. They won’t scratch or become discolored as quickly as hardwood. With proper care, some tile floors can last for 75 to 100 years. Even if a tile cracks or chips, you can replace the single tile rather than the whole floor. 

Because of this, tile is a top choice for those with kids and pets. 

Tile floors are also often easier to install than hardwood floors. This is especially true for pre-cut tiles. Further, you can install tile over existing floors, reducing installation costs. 

Like hardwood, tile floors come in wide varieties and styles, meaning there is something for all design aesthetics. They are also easy to maintain.

Cons

One of the most significant downsides of tile is the grout. Even with proper care, the grout will discolor to gray or yellow. In addition, mold and mildew can grow on the grout in damp areas if you don’t seal it.

So even though the tile will last, you may need to replace the grout sooner. 

Similar to hardwood, correcting a mistake in the installation process is complicated. Spacing tiles correctly is complex without professional skill. Always hire a flooring expert to help with tile installation. 

Lastly, because of tile’s durability, objects that fall on them often break or shatter.

Hardwood Floor vs. Tile: Costs

Both hardwood and tile floors can fluctuate in price. For a hardwood floor, you can expect to pay between $4 and $30 per square foot. 

For tile flooring, you can expect to pay between $9 and $65 per square foot. It all comes down to the specific materials you decide to use. 

For example, reclaimed hardwood planks cost around $15 to $30 per square foot, while engineered wood plants are usually between $4 and $16 per square foot. 

Ceramic and porcelain tiles cost around $10 to $45 per square foot. Granite and marble can reach $50 and $65 per square foot, respectively.

With such an extensive price range, you can see how the quality of the material affects the price too. 

Yet, you can make both hardwood and tile floors fit into your budget. If you want the best deal, you should ask for quotes from your local flooring companies. It can help you decide which option is better for your budget.

Additionally, even though they are comparable in price, the installation costs for hardwood are usually higher than for tile. You’ll want to take this into account when budgeting. 

Of course, the flooring material isn’t the only factor affecting price. You’ll also need to consider the size of the space, labor costs, and additional materials or tools.

Which Flooring Option Do You Choose?

With a better understanding of hardwood floor vs. tile, you can choose the perfect flooring option for your home improvement project. Both are great options for those looking for something budget-friendly or wanting to splurge. 

For more helpful home guides like this, check out the Home Life section above.

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