Hardwood floors and ceramic tile have many advantages and disadvantages and both are used in the same parts of the home.
Let’s address both here.
CERAMIC TILE FLOORING
Ceramic floor tile is made from various clays, it’s fairly brittle, and takes a very sturdy sub-floor.
The ideal way to install it is by using a cement mixture over a concrete slab. Sometimes people opt to install it over a double layer, extra thick exterior-grade plywood that has no bounce when walked on. Between each tile you need a specially colored grout mixture. The grout needs to be sealed if it’s sand-based.
Ceramic tile has a glazed finish. If it gets scratched, it’ll likely show the tile’s underbody color. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of geometric sizes and shapes. The colors are typically earthtones and the price range is fairly inexpensive.
Now the key to keeping a long lasting ceramic tile floor is right in the installation. This also includes floor-prep and maintenance.
You must have a sound sub-floor. The tiles need to be very well-adhered to the sub-floor. Although the finish is extremely hard, chair pads, as well as regularly removing any grit/dirt from the floor’s surface will help prevent scratching the glazed finish.
Ceramic tile is an excellent choice for wet areas, including bathrooms, foyers, and even kitchens. In some areas of the country, mainly in warm climates, ceramic tiles are used throughout the home. Choose a ceramic tile you want to live with for a long time, because it is very costly to replace existing tile.
Now let’s turn the tables and discuss hardwood flooring.
Hardwood floors come in two common types – solid and engineered planks.
Solid wood floors must be installed over an excellent wood-type sub-floor where humidity is not an issue. It also must be nailed-down during installation.
Engineered floors come in narrow planks (similar to solid) and in wide planks that look like several planks glued together.
Many engineered floors can simply be installed by gluing down to the sub-floor, stapling to a wood sub-floor, or floated over a variety of existing sub-floors.
They’re more dimensional and stable than solid wood floors and can be used in many areas of the home, including over concrete slabs.
Also, an engineered wood floor that’s going to be installed with the floating installation method will be far less costly to install per square foot than installing a ceramic tile floor in the same area.
Engineered wood floors with a glue-less installation are often confused with laminate floors. No matter what type of glueless floor you install (wood or laminate) you still need an extremely level subfloor with no high areas or dips.
Wood floors are not recommended for wet areas, like the kitchen and especially the bathroom. If a pre-finished engineered floor is used in a kitchen area, lay down a rug to prevent spills from damaging the wood floor’s finish.
Chair pads should be used to prevent scratching and regular dust-mopping or sweeping is necessary to remove any grit or dirt from the wood floor. In rooms that get a lot of sunlight you’ll notice some color change. Areas where moisture can get in will eventually discolor the wood planks, such as near patio doors.
Whether you choose ceramic tile or hardwood flooring, be sure to regularly clean the floor and check the chair pads. Both types of floors will last for years when properly maintained.
Hopefully you’ve learned what you need to know to make the choice between ceramic tile and hardwood flooring.
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