An image showing the contrast between tile and hardwood flooring choices

What’s Better for Your Project: Tile or Hardwood?

Written by: BuildDirect



Time to read 4 min

Upgrading your floors is a major home improvement that will affect your life on a daily basis. After all, these are the floors you’ll walk on day in and day out for years to come, so you want to make sure you choose the right type of flooring for your home. Here’s a complete guide to all the similarities and differences you need to consider when choosing tile or hardwood floors for your home.

Tile or Hardwood: 6 Points to Consider

1. Underfoot Feeling

How a floor feels underfoot is an important consideration for many homeowners. In addition to making your home feel comfortable for you and your family, you also want it to have an inviting feel for guests.

Walking barefoot on hardwood floors , you will notice that the floor will feel warm. On the other hand, tile feels cooler under your feet. The climate where you live will likely affect your idea of which of these sounds more appealing. While hardwood feels cozy in a colder climate, the cool touch of tile feels refreshing in areas where temperatures are higher.

2. Pricing and Value

Your renovation budget is one of the most important factors when considering which type of flooring to choose. You don’t want to overspend beyond your means when upgrading your floors. However, you should also consider the value the floor will add to your home.

Hardwood floors are generally more expensive than tile. In addition, you’ll need professionals to install it, which adds to the cost. To keep costs down, you can consider choosing a cheaper type of wood that is readily available, since exotic woods are more expensive.

Though it can vary widely in price based on what style and type of tile you select, tile flooring is generally less expensive than hardwood flooring. For example, costs go up if you choose glazed tiles over unglazed tiles. One way to minimize costs is by choosing a type of tile that you can install on your own, like regular ceramic floor tile. Other types, such as porcelain tile, require professional installation.

Though hardwood floors are more expensive up front, many homeowners prefer them because they tend to add more value to a home. Be sure to consider the long-term resale potential when choosing a flooring type.

3. Maintenance

The type of flooring you choose also affects your daily life in the amount of upkeep that it requires. Do you want something that’s hassle-free, or are you willing to do a bit more maintenance to get the style you prefer? This is an important factor to consider when choosing between tile and hardwood flooring.

Hardwood floors are generally easier to care for compared to tile floors. Hardwood requires regular sweeping or vacuuming, plus the occasional use of a hardwood floor cleaner. Tile flooring, on the other hand, needs to be swept and mopped regularly and the grout lines can become caked with dirt and grime. This can be more work since you may have to scrub and reseal the grout lines regularly to keep the floors in good shape.

Besides daily maintenance, it’s important to consider long-term maintenance as well. Tile can be a bit challenging, since you may struggle to find a matching piece if a tile cracks and needs to be replaced. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, can last for decades if properly maintained. You can also sand down imperfections and refinish the floors to give them a refreshed look.

4. Durability

The durability of your flooring choice is important. If you have a low-key, all-adult household, this may not be as much of a concern. But busy families with kids and pets may be more interested in a flooring type that resists scratches and stains.

Exotic hardwood flooring options like Lapacho are known to be extremely strong, but generally hardwood is less durable than tile in terms of resilience. It shows signs of wear, and exposure to moisture can damage it. The floors can even warp in climates that experience a wide range of hot and cold temperatures or excess humidity. It is also susceptible to scratches and dents.

Tiles, on the other hand, are more durable. This is especially true if you go with a glazed tile or porcelain tile since this helps the surface resist stains and scratches. Tiles are vulnerable to cracks, but it typically takes a very strong force to break one. Tiles are resistant to moisture and some versions are nonporous, which makes it a smart choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

5. Style

The type of look you want for your home will help to determine which type of flooring you choose. Think about whether you prefer certain styles, colors, or textures when shopping for new flooring tile.

When it comes to variety, it’s hard to beat tile flooring. Tiles can be made in just about any color you like, and some even feature designs on them. You can use colored tiles to create patterns or borders on the floor. Some people like a sleek, monochromatic floor, while others prefer a bolder multicolor look. Tiles come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes as well to suit your need. This flooring type generally has a more modern look, but you can use traditional colors and patterns for a classic style.

While hardwood floors do come in various shades and sizes, they have a much more traditional look without much disparity. You can add a certain stain or pick thinner or wider wood planks to get the look you want. But overall, it has a more subdued and classic look compared to tile. This can be an advantage if you prefer a traditional look and want a timeless flooring choice that will never go out of style. Tropical hardwood flooring like Brazilian Tigerwood, mahogany, and cherry are some of the most sought-after options.

6. Noise

Are you sensitive to noise in your home? If so, you may want to avoid hardwood floors. Unfortunately, this is one of the noisiest options when it comes to flooring. Tile floors can create sound as well, but they are generally quieter than hardwood because of their density.

Which is Right for You, Tile or Hardwood?

Use this information to help you pick out the perfect floors for your home. There are many factors to consider, so take your time when you shop for flooring online to figure out which one you’ll truly love in the long run.