Jay LeClerc's Blog
This is the age-old interior design question that keeps coming back. Moreover, the answer will never be to simply declare one superior to the other. The question needs to be dissected from several angles; where is the house situated, how long do you intend the flooring to last? How much are you ready to spend on maintenance of the floor? There is also the little matter of personal taste.
Solid wood flooring is better when…
- You want that eye-catching natural look to go with a rustic or modern theme.
- You want an economical choice but still want a decent, homely look.
- You live in an area with colder temperatures for most of the year. Hardwood floors are better at retaining heat than porcelain or ceramic tiles. Over and above you and your family's feet, you should consider your pets, which spend more time on the floor than you.
- You need a floor that is easier on the foot. In addition to losing heat quicker, porcelain tiles are harder on the soles of your feet, and on your back by extension.
- You don't mind the noise of feet slamming onto floorboards.
Ceramic/porcelain tiles are better when…
- You are a resident of California or any other locality where it's mostly hot all the time. Such flooring is cooler to step on.
- You want a floor that is easy to keep clean and maintain. Solid wood floors, especially if not well finished, can be tricky to clean. They may also be affected by changes in temperature and develop problems when exposed to moisture. Not to mention the fact that such floors are more easily disfigured by scratching or spills. This may require you to refinish your floor several times.
- You want more variety to choose from. Much as you can have solid wood flooring in a variety of widths and stains, you will get far greater variety when shopping for tiles. You can even get ceramic tiles that are textured to look like wood flooring.
- You have people with allergy issues living with you. Wood flooring tends to retain dust and other allergens, whereas ceramic, and porcelain tiles don't.
- You don't mind the hardness and attendant discomfort of tiled floors when you stand on them for long.
Speak to a professional contractor about the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of flooring before you make up your mind.