What is the difference for your Lansing area
kitchen design or bathroom remodel?

For a kitchen design, bathroom remodel, hall update, or any space in your home, the floor is one of the hardest working surfaces.  Particularly in high traffic areas, your floor sees a lot of activity and must be able to withstand foot traffic, heavy objects being dropped, moisture, dirt, and much more.  Updating your floor can also have a dramatic impact on any space in your home, since the floor extends across the entire surface of the room.

So, what floor material is right for your space?  This may depend on the room, your style, budget, and more.  Hardwood is always a classic choice, which brings warmth to any design as well as a natural quality that enhances every style.  However, hardwood may not be durable enough for very high traffic areas or for moisture prone rooms like the bathroom.  Luckily an alternative exists that has the appearance of hardwood combined with the durability of tile.  Wood-look porcelain tile is one of the hottest trends in flooring right now and is available in a range of options to mimic almost any type of hardwood floor.  Which one is right for your next kitchen remodel or bathroom renovation?  Here are our top 10 things to consider when comparing hardwood flooring with wood-look tile.

1. Only hardwood flooring can bring a truly natural appearance into your home, combined with a natural warmth underfoot. Hardwood has one-of-a-kind patterns, grains, and textures that cannot be replicated by a man made material.

kitchen design with hardwood floor

2. Wood-look tile comes a close second to the real thing. If you want to get close to the look of hardwood but are willing to sacrifice some of the natural appeal and texture of hardwood in favor of other benefits, wood-look tile may be the right choice for you.

3. Hardwood flooring can be found in a wide array of wood types, widths, and finishes. It can bring warmth to a contemporary kitchen design, brighten up a hallway, or add a rustic appeal to your living room, depending on which option you select.

4. For as many options as you have with hardwood, wood-look tile offers much more. What you sacrifice in natural look and feel, you gain in the control you have over the final appearance of your floor.  As a man made product, it can be designed in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and more, while also mimicking the knots, swirls, and grains of natural wood.

bath design with wood look floor tile

5. Hardwood is a popular choice for kitchen design but be aware that it may take a beating in a busy kitchen and will need to be refinished to extend its life span.

6. For a bathroom remodel, laundry room design, or another area prone to high levels of moisture, hardwood may not be a wise choice. Wood-look tile is an ideal alternative for these spaces.

7. Wood look tile may have the warm appearance of hardwood, but it cannot imitate the texture or warm feeling underfoot. If tile is your preferred option, you can counteract this by installing radiant underfloor heating.  A kitchen remodel or new bathroom design is the ideal time to install underfloor heating.

Bath design with wood look tile floor

8. Hardwood flooring is more prone to scratching and damage, and some wear and tear is part of its appeal as a natural material. You will have to pay special attention to how you care for your hardwood floor to properly maintain it and be aware it must be resealed and refinished over time.

Kitchen design with hardwood floor

9. Maintenance and cleaning of wood-look tile is more straightforward, particularly since it is more scratch and stain resistant. However, it is a good idea to keep a few extra tiles on hand on the off chance one gets cracked or chipped.  Also, remember that tile and grout go hand in hand, and grout lines must be resealed and cleaned over time.

10. Tile is typically more affordable than hardwood, but this can vary widely depending on the type of hardwood you select. Weigh up the cost of your flooring material and installation against the expected life span and ongoing maintenance of your floor when finalizing your budget considerations.

Both hardwood and wood-look tile are excellent options for many spaces in your home.  If you are considering a new floor, talk to your full-service kitchen and bath design experts about your requirements and to discuss which option is best for you.  Visit our kitchen design or bathroom remodeling galleries to see more flooring options or stop by Michigan’s Best Showroom right here in Lansing to talk to our design experts and view flooring samples.