When it comes to providing the finishing touches to your project, there are few aspects that can alter the overall aesthetics more than the flooring; two of the most common forms of which being ceramic tiles and wood.
While each harbour their own advantages and disadvantages, it can be tricky to establish which may be the perfect flooring option for your premises; from aesthetics to costing, durability to ease of maintenance, there are numerous aspects to consider to ensure that you are opting for the right flooring for your building.
First of all, to address the elephant in the room, cost can have a large impact on your decision making. While it may be ideal to plump for the high end products every time, this is not always possible. Fortunately, both ceramic and wood offer a wide range of possibilities when it comes to financing your flooring; faux-timber offers a potential avenue for a cheaper wood finish, while there are a plethora of cost-effective ceramic solutions across a diverse range of qualities.
Conversely, the possibility of authentic, aged wooden flooring offers the potential for more of an expensive solution, much like the masses of luxury tiling possibilities. Essentially, the amount you would like to spend is entirely dictated by you.
Between the two, ceramic tiles offer a vastly wider ranging versatility in terms of design. If you can think of a pattern or a shade, then the chances are it exists on a ceramic tile somewhere. That’s not to say that wood doesn’t offer any versatility – it is available in a variety of grades, shapes and sizes – but ceramic offers a degree of flexibility that wood seemingly can’t equate to. From mosaics to an ability to even mimic wood, tiles have the answer to any potential design question.
When it comes to application versatility, both timber and ceramics can have a place in any room of the house, although timber can suffer in the damper rooms. While kitchens offer a potential for wooden flooring, the bathroom can sometimes be too much of a stretch, with the omnipresence of water offering a continual potential for warping. The aesthetic versatility of ceramics and its waterproof nature make it a perfect solution throughout the house.
In opposition, while ceramic tiles do offer a great versatility for any room of the house, their hard-wearing nature and durability can sometimes make them a little too hard for a living room or a bedroom, for example. The flip-side of this however, is their longevity. Similarly, dependant on the type of timber, the durability and longevity of wood is also testament to its use as a great flooring material.
Where wood can sometimes scratch and display signs of wear, tiles can crack if they come into contact with a heavy object. However, while the wearing of wood can occur in any room over a period of time, it would take a rather anomalous situation to crack a ceramic floor.
Underfloor Heating Capabilities
It is the ceramic tile’s durability and solid nature that makes them a fantastic material for underfloor heating. Tiles have a good conductivity and high thermal mass, meaning that the heat from the pipes beneath can be transferred rapidly. Conversely, while a wooden floor can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating, special attention must be taken to ensure that the correct type of wood is selected.
The wood used alongside underfloor heating should have a low moisture content to prevent it from shrinking. Not only that, wood can be somewhat of a poor conductor of heat, meaning that the overall performance of your underfloor heating can suffer. Timber is a much more thermally stable wood comparative to other hardwoods and reacts to heat and humidity much better.
Ease of Maintenance
How easily your floor is cleaned can be essential to your selection of a particular flooring type. If a floor’s cleanliness depreciates, then the whole aesthetics of your room can be compromised. Like every other aspect of wood and ceramics, there are advantages and disadvantages to their ease of maintenance. Tiles are easy to clean, but more complex textures can harbour dirt; wood makes the cleaning of dust easy, but needs to be treated carefully when it comes to using chemicals and water.
As with any flooring solution, you are likely to experience a mixed bag when it comes to ease of maintenance. The beauty of wood is that it looks authentic, with its knots and crevices, but it is these which can harbour the dirt; tiles have an incredibly diverse pattern and texture ability, but this again opens up the possibility for gathering dust.
When it comes down to selecting your perfect flooring, both wood and ceramic tiles are laden with positives, but both are not without their occasional downsides. Dependant on the design of your project or the particular avenue of style that you wish to stroll down, you are likely to be split on whether wooden flooring or ceramic tiling is the way you wish to go.
Each material’s versatility and durability are wonderful assets, and testament to their desirability as a flooring surface. With the costing range being so diverse there is no definitive answer as to which stands out above the other, with personal preference being the ultimate overall dictator.
Tile Mart, the UK Tile Suppliers, have 20 years’ experience providing a wide array of high quality tiles for a range of applications – striving to provide an unsurpassed service to each of their valued customers.
Tel: 01772 382716