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Tile Hardwood Flooring: Is There Such a Thing?

tile hardwood floor and is there such a thingSearching for the perfect hardwood floors for a project should be a good experience. The primary issue is finding reliable information, without someone trying to constantly sell you a product that may not fit your needs. For example, hardwood floors and tile floors are two commonly used products, but is there a hybrid of the two?

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Tile flooring is a great option for flooring needs, but for quality and aesthetics, hardwood flooring tends to be the first choice for many people. As far as tile hardwood flooring goes, there is no such thing. However, there are a variety of options that may work for you, if you happen to be searching for hardwood flooring that falls within a tile flooring category.

The Difference between Hardwood and Tile

The primary difference between hardwood and tile flooring is in the materials. Hardwood flooring can come in two varieties: solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Both offer a variety of quality characteristics, and they both have their own positives and negatives.

Solid hardwood flooring is just that–one species of hardwood in a single plank. There are no additional layers to the plank. From an authenticity standpoint, solid hardwood is the best choice. This option tends to be a great one if you want authentic-looking flooring.

However, because the planks are solid wood and, most of the time, come unfinished, they tend to respond negatively to temperature changes. As it gets hotter or colder in your home, the hardwood planks will expand or contract accordingly, which can create issues with your flooring. Solid hardwood flooring also has issues in homes with high moisture levels and in basements.

tile hardwood floors is there such a thingOn the other hand, engineered hardwood is a great option if authenticity is not your greatest concern. Although engineered hardwood flooring is a collection of thin planks laminated together to form a single plank, this type of flooring does not have all of the environmental issues that solid hardwood has. Usually, if solid hardwood is not recommended because of temperature or moisture content, engineered floors are a great option.

Tile flooring is a completely different option from hardwood. Typically, tile flooring is ceramic-based, meaning the tiles are created from clays, which are then fired in kilns at various temperatures.

There are a wide variety of styles and options for tile flooring, from clay-based ceramics to the harder porcelain.

However, all tile floors, whether ceramic, porcelain, or stone, are not hardwood floors. There is no hardwood or softwood in any tile options. The World Floor Covering Association has a plethora of material related to tile flooring.

Alternative Flooring Options

If neither tile nor hardwood flooring is what you are looking for, there are a few other options. Laminate flooring has become increasingly popular since its introduction into the flooring world in the 1970s. In addition, vinyl and linoleum have become a viable option for folks with a limited budget or who are environmentally conscientious. There are even cork flooring options, as well as rubber too!

Laminate Flooring

tile hardwood floors and is there such a thingLaminate flooring was invented back in the 1970s by a Swedish manufacturer. Basically, it is a cheaper option than tile or hardwood, and you can still achieve a classic look with laminate. Laminate flooring is a collection of four different layers, the top layer being a thin piece of paper that has been printed with an image of wood, tile, or stone grains.

Unlike the older laminate flooring which was fairly easy to identify, with newer technology most laminate floors are hard to differentiate from the real thing. The printing process has become incredibly refined, so laminate flooring can be a great option.

Vinyl Flooring

Another quality option for your flooring needs is vinyl flooring. Because vinyl flooring is the easiest to clean up and is incredibly resilient to wear, scratches, and stains, vinyl flooring tends to be a great option for busy families with young children or lots of pets. Vinyl flooring comes in sheets, planks, and tiles, so the variety of styles provides very versatile flooring. It also tends to be quite cheaper than hardwood or ceramic tiles.

Linoleum Flooring

A common choice among many Americans for the last 50 years, linoleum flooring is similar to vinyl, except it typically only comes in sheets and is not nearly as resistant to scratches or dirt build-up. It tends to be a bit more tedious to clean too, which could make vinyl a more attractive option.

However, if your budget is tight and affordable flooring that can last a long time is a primary attribute for which you are looking, linoleum is a great choice. Additionally, it is probably one of the most eco-friendly flooring options on the market!

Cork Flooring

tile hardwood flooring is there such thingInterestingly enough, cork flooring has become an increasingly viable option in the flooring industry. Being a renewable resource, cork floors are a fantastic way to bring quality, beautiful flooring into your home and still be environmentally friendly.

Cork is harvested every nine years from the cork oak. The bark is stripped from the tree but, because of how the tree naturally grows, harvesting the bark does no permanent damage to the tree itself. You get great quality hardwood without having to chop down an entire tree!

There is also great recycled cork flooring available, which comes mostly from recycled wine corks. For further resources regarding cork and how it is harvested, the Cork Quality Council provides fantastic information about this alternative flooring option.

Rubber Flooring

If cork flooring is not an interesting enough option for your flooring needs, you could also look to rubber flooring. Although it makes most people think of those hideous play areas at preschools, rubber flooring has become a great option for your interior floor designs.

Many of the manufacturers of rubber floors have created beautiful floors in a wide range of colors and designs.

In addition to the wide array of styles, rubber floors also are very environmentally friendly, are naturally resistant to scratching, and have a natural shock absorption that can help tired feet at the end of the day.

Additional Tile Flooring Options

tile hardwood floor is there such a thingIn addition to ceramic, porcelain, and stone, there are a wide variety of tile floorings, including a newer option: wood tile. Now, do not get confused by the name. Wood tile is not hardwood flooring.

Instead, wood tiles are ceramic or porcelain tiles that are made to look like hardwood flooring. They come in almost every color and texture of real hardwood flooring, but they have the added benefit of tile flooring’s natural resistance to moisture and scratches. If you are looking for tile hardwood flooring, this is probably your closest and safest option.

Wood Tile Flooring

Typically, wood tiles come in two options: ceramic and porcelain. As discussed earlier, ceramic tiles are less dense than their porcelain cousins, so if you want flooring that will be scratch resistant and a bit more durable, porcelain is the best bet. However, porcelain is usually more expensive.

tile hardwood flooring is there such a thingAs far as wood tile porcelain flooring goes, it usually has a more vibrant color palette than ceramic, mostly because of the density. Again, just base your decision on the needs of your current project.

Although hardwood flooring has its benefits, tile flooring is also a tempting option. With its moisture resistance and high durability, tile flooring can be a bit easier to manage on a daily basis. If you happen to have an active family with young children, tile flooring is probably a better choice than hardwood flooring.

Additionally, with current technology, wood tiles can look incredibly true to their contemporary hardwood flooring partner. In addition, most ceramic and porcelain wood tiles are sold at major retailers, so finding wood tiles can be relatively simple. They have become very popular among modern flooring projects!

There are a number of other factors to consider between tile and hardwood. From the wealth of information out there, a very interesting article at a blog called Roomology notes a number of convincing factors that placed ceramic tile flooring above hardwood floors.

With its positive characteristics, hardwood flooring will always be the premiere flooring option on the market.

To the trained eye, it is fairly easy to recognize tile flooring, especially when considering grout. Even with wood tile look-alikes, if the grout on the tile is not perfectly matched in coloration, it will be immediately obvious that the flooring is tile.

tile hardwood flooring and is there such a thingAgain, if you truly care about having authentic hardwood floors, just make the commitment to buy a costlier product, because you probably will not be pleased with wood tiles. However, if affordability, flexibility, and durability are all key words in your hunt for the perfect flooring, you may want to take a long, hard look at ceramic wood tiles. They are beautiful and provide a quality substitute for hardwood flooring.

Sadly, a tile hardwood flooring option that is actually hardwood still does not exist. The traditional planks remain the common type of hardwood flooring type, but with the wide variety of species available to consumers, hardwood flooring remains the best flooring option available.

Another fantastic blog called the Hardwood Flooring Nut can provide further information about why hardwood flooring is the best option available. Considering the affordability of hardwood flooring today from many major manufacturers, this attractive flooring option can be your choice too. There are some great alternatives, but hardwood flooring is still the reigning champ within the industry.

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