The market is full of different flooring types and choosing the best flooring for your house may seem like an impossible task. But it will be much easier when you read today’s ultimate guide on laminate and tile flooring. What is better for a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom? You need to consider all the advantages and disadvantages of laminate and tile flooring to answer this question, so let’s dive into this.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring was introduced in the is one of the leaders among floor coverings due to its unique qualities. Laminate flooring has a number of pros and cons such as:
Laminate Flooring Pros:
- Laminate flooring is easy to install. All laminate panels are fastened to each other with a lock that is why it does not take much time to install the laminate and you can do it yourself even if you are not an expert in floorings.
- Laminate has good noise and heat insulation qualities. The laminate floor has a substrate made of cork, polyethene foam or polypropylene foam.
- Laminate flooring can imitate any natural material. The working surface of the laminate can be made to match almost any natural material which opens up unlimited possibilities to designers. It can have any texture such as wood (maple, oak and cherry) and stone imitation (for example, granite). However, people tend to choose wood-imitating laminate.
- Laminate flooring has a wide range of colours and patterns. The surface of the laminate is made in such a way that it can imitate almost every natural material and can be made in any colour. Although in practice, laminate flooring is somewhat inferior to floor tiles in terms of the number of colours and patterns.
- Laminate flooring is durable and resistant to abrasion and household chemicals. Laminate lasts up to 10 years if it is looked after properly. It should be noted that the laminate has a certain marking according to the degree of load and resistance to abrasion just like tiles. Laminate does not get dents and other traces of heavy objects on it so you can move furniture with wheels on it without being afraid to leave scratches or scuffs. Also if you have pets, laminate flooring is a perfect choice since they will not leave any scratches on your flooring.
- Laminate flooring is lightweight. This allows the laminate to be laid on various types of substrates which is very useful, especially when it is necessary to reduce the load on the structure.
- Laminate flooring is eco friendly. Even though plastic is used to create the work surface of the laminate flooring, the laminate panels themselves are made of pressed wood.
- Laminate flooring is inexpensive. Ease of laminate production, affordable and cheap raw materials make the laminate an inexpensive type of flooring. The cost of flooring is much lower than the cost of parquet boards.
- Laminate flooring is hypoallergenic. Laminate flooring does not contain toxic chemicals harmful to human health and it does not accumulate bacteria and dirt, so you can install it in any room.
- Laminate flooring is moisture resistant due to the presence of impregnation from resins and high-density boards. Can you mop laminate flooring? Yes, you can mop laminate flooring since it is moisture resistant. Just make sure that water does not get into the laminate.
- Laminate flooring is easy to maintain. The advantage of laminate is that it does not need special care and it does not need to be sanded like solid wood or parquet. It is enough to wipe it with a damp cloth and avoid water going inside.
Laminate Flooring Cons:
- Laminate flooring has specific requirements for the surface on which the floor will be laid. The layer must be dry and durable and competently prepared.
Also, if you want to avoid creaking in the future, you will need to disassemble the wooden boards from the old floor covering.
- Laminate flooring is not waterproof. Excessive moisture between the joints of the laminate panels can cause the laminate to crumble or crack. Therefore, when laying, it is advisable to treat the joints with a waterproof solution. That is why the laminate flooring is not the best choice for kitchens, but if you do not consider other options, you should glue your laminate. Since the laminate is afraid of water, its cleaning requires the use of certain cleaning agents.
- Laminate flooring may squeak. Your laminate can start squeaking if you install it on an uneven surface or on an old wooden floor. If you want to stop laminate floors from squeaking, you can use a cork covering 2-4 mm thick as an underlay for sound insulation. Laminate flooring squeaking is caused by excessive moisture and temperature drops in the room. Sudden changes can lead to swelling and drying of the boards changing their configuration.
- Laminate is divided into different classes according to its durability. The lower the class, the lower the price. Make sure you follow this table’s advice and buy the best laminate for your needs.
- Laminate flooring is noisy. The noise of the laminate floor brings a lot of inconvenience to both the tenants of the apartment and their neighbours. The clatter of heels, objects falling on the floor and even the sound of footsteps — all of them are echoed since the laminate is an excellent resonator of sounds.
- Laminate flooring can be expensive. You can save money on laminate but only if you buy cheap low-quality laminate flooring. If you prefer a higher class flooring, then its price will be comparable to that of a parquet board. Remember that it is better to buy a better quality laminate so that it would last for a long time and only in this way it will give you a quick return of investment. Make sure you follow the table above to choose the very laminate class that your house needs.
- Laminate flooring is less durable than tiles. Compared to tiles, the lifespan of a laminate does not exceed 25 years.
- Laminate flooring does not tolerate high temperatures and ignites quickly leaving thermal damage on its surface.
That said, laminate flooring is a perfect choice for a bedroom, children’s room or a hallway. You should not install the laminate flooring in the bathroom and kitchen since these rooms are often humid. If you want to install the laminate there too, just make sure you get the laminate of a proper class (see the table above)
Now since we have discussed the pros and cons of laminate flooring, let’s move on to tile flooring.
Tile Flooring Pros:
- Tile flooring is durable. Floor tiles have been used in construction for many years and have proven to be durable and practical material. Ceramic tiles usually last up to 50 years. Tile flooring will not wear off or fade over time.
Ceramic tiles are highly durable. Actually, ceramic tiles are even more durable than concrete. To be more precise, it can withstand a load of 30 thousand tons per m2, which is 20 times more than the strength of concrete.
- Tile flooring is easy to maintain. Tiles are not scared of water and different household chemicals. Moreover, tiles rarely get dirty since they do not really collect dust so you can just wash the floor once a week just wit water and your tiles will shine just like new. Tiles can be disposed of as construction waste.
- Tile flooring does not get scratched. Your tiles will not get scratched unless you throw heavy objects on it on purpose. If you have pets, tiles are perfect for you since your four-legged friend will not damage your favourite tiles.
- Tile flooring offers a wide selection of colours, textures and patterns. Tiles are suitable for any interior and you can implement any design idea. You can also find some tiles that imitate natural materials such as wood or stone.
- Tile flooring is eco friendly. Ceramic tiles are made from various types of clay that are fired at very high temperatures. Ceramics do not pollute the environment.
- Tile flooring has high moisture resistance. Thanks to the specially treated glazed surface, the tile flooring does not absorb water well that is why tiles are more suitable for the kitchen and bathroom.
- Tile flooring is not subject to fire and decay. Fire can damage a lot of flooring types, for example, laminate. If you have tiles, you can be safe with this.
- Tile flooring is anti-static. Unlike many other types of flooring, tile flooring does not charge with electricity when you walk on it. That is why you will not experience any unpleasant sensations when you lightly touch the tap with water. Besides the hygienic benefits, the anti-static property is the reason why special electrically conductive tiles are used in operating rooms.
- Tile flooring is safe for health. The surface of ceramic tiles, both glazed and non-glazed, is very dense. Germs, mites and other microorganisms that are responsible for many types of allergies have little chance of surviving with normal cleaning. Therefore, tiles are a perfect choice if you suffer from allergies.
- Tile flooring does not stain. Glazed tiles are not afraid even of spilt red wine as it can just be wiped with a damp cloth. Unglazed porcelain stoneware tiles are often factory-fitted with a coating that is insensitive to most common sources of stains. That is why tiles are perfect for the kitchen.
- Tile flooring is cheap to install.
- Tile flooring cools the house during summer. That is why you can save money on air conditioning and fans.
Tile Flooring Cons:
- Tile flooring has high thermal conductivity. Tile flooring does not retain heat well, so it is better to install it together with the “warm floor” system. Since ceramic tiles have high thermal conductivity, so if it is cold in the room, tiling floor remains cold and vice versa, if the room is too hot, standing on a floor lined with ceramic tiles is not the nicest thing in the world.
- Tile flooring is fragile. Sometimes the tile may crack if a heavy object is dropped on it. Porcelain tiles are better than ceramics in this case.
- Tile flooring has a lack of elasticity. The tile cannot be given any shape and it does not bend. If the surface is curved, then the tiles will not work. Therefore, additional work will be needed to level the floor and apply high-quality tile adhesive.
- Tile flooring may be difficult to install. If you are not an expert in tile flooring, you should turn to professionals. If you do not install the tiles properly, you may reduce its durability.
- Tile flooring is slippery when wet. That is why tiles are rarely used in gyms or children’s rooms. Make sure you get a rug in the bathroom or kitchen if you get tile flooring. Tiles become very dangerous if they slip a lot. Therefore, it is worth choosing tiles for bathrooms and kitchen with a special non-slip surface.
- Tile flooring has poor sound insulation. Tiles on the floor do not protect the room from sounds, so the process of laying them becomes more expensive due to an additional layer of sound insulation.
You can easily see that ceramic tiles have much more advantages than disadvantages which makes this material a good and practical choice for virtually anyone.
If you want to create comfort in your house or apartment, ceramic tiles are a perfect choice, especially in rooms with high humidity. That said, we can conclude that tile flooring should be installed in the kitchen, in the corridor and in the bathroom.
If you decide to buy a tile, then you need to know how to calculate its quantity. If you have an opportunity, ask for a professional’s help. Of course, you can always do this yourself.
However, if you are sure that you will manage on your own, then keep in mind the following advice — when you count the number of tiles, add at least a couple more per cent of the total amount to the calculated amount. It will be a shame if you then find out that you do not have one tile to finish your renovation and apparently this very tile disappeared from the shop. Also, one or two tiles can break during installation, so it is always better to have a few more tiles in reserve.
Is it Cheaper to Install Tile or Laminate Flooring?
Ceramic tiles are more expensive to install than laminate flooring. But you need to remember that tile is a durable material which lasts for up to 50 years while laminate lasts 7-10 years. So it all depends on the room, really. If a kitchen and bathroom require tiles, then you should opt for tiles. If you like the laminate flooring more, you should install it in all other rooms.
What Is the Best Flooring to Use in a Kitchen — Tiles or Laminate?
The best flooring for your kitchen is matte, unglazed tile flooring as it will prevent possible injuries if you spill some water on the tiles. According to experts, you should use ceramic tiles with indicators 3-4 on the scale of wear resistance and 4-5 on the scale of hardness are suitable for the floor in the kitchen.
Also, ceramic tiles flooring is the easiest kitchen floor to keep clean as you only need to wipe the tiles once a week and they will shine just like new. To sum it all up, ceramic flooring is the best low maintenance flooring for your kitchen.
Is Laminate Flooring Recommended for Kitchens?
Laminate is often used for kitchen flooring as a natural but cheaper substitute for parquet. The basis of the laminate is made of chipboard or fiberboard. In general, laminate flooring is not recommended for kitchens as this is a room with pretty high humidity that can ruin your laminate.
All in all, laminate flooring could become one of the best floorings for the kitchen, if not for one “but” — it is afraid of moisture and humidity is very often increased in the kitchen. If some liquid is spilt on the floor, it should be wiped up immediately. If neighbours flood your apartment and you get water on the laminate for some time, you will just say goodbye to your laminate. The chipboard will swell and it will not be possible to restore the surface. That is why the best flooring for kitchen is tile flooring but not laminate.
What Is the Best Flooring to Use in a Bathroom — Tiles or Laminate?
A bathroom is a place where you need a maximum of comfort and cosiness. The floor here should be pleasant to the touch, warm, withstand moisture, easy to clean and resist mould. For this reason, the best option for your bathroom will be ceramic tile flooring.
Ceramic tiles are durable, resistant to wearing off, water, temperature drops and humidity changes. Ceramic tiles can be treated with antifungal ingredients. The only disadvantage ceramic tiles have for the bathroom is that they get slippery when wet. That is why you need to decide what type of tiles will be better for you — there are smooth and embossed models and, of course, a variety of colours and patterns.
Is Waterproof Laminate Good for Bathrooms?
Waterproof laminate is quite good for bathrooms, however, waterproof laminate is rarely used in bathrooms because really high-quality products of this kind are expensive and difficult to find on sale. However, if you still want to install laminate in your bathroom, waterproof laminate is good for your bathroom since its layers are impregnated with waxes which give them hydrophobic properties. Thus, even when water gets between the slots of the locks, the panels do not swell and do not lose their appearance.
However, you need to realise that waterproof laminate has some special requirements for the laying and sealing of joints. If the laminate panels themselves are relatively safe with water but mould can form in the cracks over time if moisture gets there. The disadvantages can also be attributed to the complexity of laying with a non-standard bathroom geometry — you will have to do the curly cutting.
What Is the Best Flooring to Use in a Bedroom — Tiles or Laminate?
Laminate is definitely better for a bedroom than ceramic tiles. However, ceramic tiles are also used in bedrooms — not only because of their environmental friendliness but also due to the fact that ceramic tiles transmit heat well and if you have a floor heating system, the result will exceed all expectations.
Laminate in the bedroom is definitely neater and more expensive-looking, especially if you have purchased dark colours. It serves for a rather long time and is a more suitable option for a bedroom. However, if you live in a cold area, make sure to get a nice carpet for your bedroom.
Ceramic tiles are honestly not the best choice for a bedroom unless you have a warm floor system. But I do not think it is the best option as this system will only increase your bills.
However, if you opt for tile flooring in your bedroom, be careful with having ceramic tiles in your bedroom as if you drop something, the thing can easily break. If you have laminate flooring in the bedroom, it will be more likely to survive.
What Is the Best Flooring to Use in a Hallway — Tiles or Laminate?
Whatever you choose for your hallway — tiles or laminate, you need to realise that hallway is always intensively used by all family members. That is why the best flooring to use in a hallway is tile flooring as tiles are resistants to scratches and can be cleaned easily.
As a rule, hallways get a lot of sand and dust from the street and that is why your hallway flooring must not be very demanding and should be easily maintained. In my experience, I can say that hallway flooring requires frequent cleaning, that is why tile flooring will be more practical for a hallway. Sure, you can clean the laminate too, but it is more demanding in terms of using different detergents for cleaning.
Do not forget that you also bring a lot of moisture in the house if it snows or rains. This is another reason, in addition to sand and dust, why laminate flooring is to “fragile” to be installed in the hallway.
If you install ceramic tiles for your hallway, you should also opt for tiles with a rough surface so that tiles would not get slippery when wet. Tile flooring is a great option for a hallway as not only will it look good but it also is the most practical and reliable type of flooring for your hallway.
Ceramic tiles in the hallway are a fairly popular option. It is easily kept clean, resistant to water and temperature changes. In addition, tiles, due to their properties such as the richness of colours and patterns, variety of shapes and sizes, will suit almost any style of room decoration.
In addition, the tile is not only resistant to temperature extremes but also conducts heat well. This feature allows it to be used for finishing warm floors which cannot be done with wooden parquet or laminate floors.
It is very important to get tiles with proper technical parameters for your hallway.
First of all, the tiles in the hallway must be highly abrasion-resistant. The abrasion class of a tile is always indicated on its packaging. If you or your family members do not walk in the hallway wearing street shoes, then you can choose Class III tiles. But it is better to install tiles of class IV or even V if you walk in your street shoes in the hallway. Remember that the higher the resistance to abrasion of ceramic tiles, the longer the service life of the floor covering.
Secondly, you need to take the hardness of the tile into account. Hallway tiles should have a hardness of 6 to 8. Such tile flooring is quite resistant to intensive use and its surface does not really get scratches.
Thirdly, it is better to choose non-slip surface tiles in the hallway. This will prevent the risk of accidental slipping on wet surfaces.
That said, tile is one of the best and at the same time the most durable materials for flooring. Tiles always emphasise the style of the room and give the impression of chic and elegance. You can choose a lot of types of tile flooring for your hallway — marble, ceramic, porcelain or even glass. For example, stone tiles are a classic option as they can easily liven up a small hallway or a long, spacious hall.
Nevertheless, the most suitable tile material for your hallway is granite or marble. Their greatest advantage is resistance to temperature extremes. Stone tile flooring is also well suited as a decoration for a heated hallway. It is always pleasant to feel the heat given off by the tiles after the heating is turned off.
The marble tiles in the hallway require constant maintenance. Otherwise, it will quickly become covered with a dirty coating which will ruin its decorative qualities. You can also always choose a tile with a matte surface or polished, whichever you prefer.
Laminate or Tile Flooring — The Bottom Line
As you can see, both types of flooring — laminate and tiles have their own advantages and disadvantages. They are both very popular and extensively used nowadays around the world. However, you need to understand that they have their own peculiarities and that is why if you want to get new flooring for your bedroom, children’s room or your office, it is better to choose laminate flooring, but if you want to renovate your kitchen, bathroom and hallway, then you should opt for tile flooring.