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Question DetailsAsked on 6/1/2013

What is the easiest flooring material to take care of in a home setting?

I am looking for flooring to replace existing carpet. I am considering laminate and tile. Which is easier to take care of and lasts longer?

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1 Answer


I would google "laminate versus tile" - there are a lot of discussions and articles on the subject.

I notice you are comparing tile and laminate - no mention of vinyl. You did not say what rooms this is for, but many of the vinyl products look almost a real as actual stone or tile, but without the grout joints., and with less susceptibility to damage from things being dropped on it.

Generally, laminate cleans easier because it is perfectly smooth and sealed, though it is less resistant to water - therefore tile tends to be used for entries and entry halls, baths, kitchens.

Laminate scratches much easier, and will show wear and need recoating in heavy traffic areas within a couple of years, as opposed to tile wearing for decades. However, while laminate will dent or gouge, tile will crack or chip if hard items are dropped hard on it.

Laminate needs periodic recoating with polyurethane or similar product as it starts to wear, and if not a deep-layer laminate (where the color goes 1/8 or so deep), then once it starts to wear or gets gouged it will show the underlying wood or particle board.

Tile needs grout joint serious cleaning and resealing every 3-5 years.

Laminate is less heat conductive, so it does not feel as cold to bare feet or your bottom as tile, which readily absorbs heat from skin in contact with it so always feels cold.

Laminate and vinyl "feels" softer than tile, so if you are going to be standing and moving around a lot (like if you are a cooking fanatic), is easier on the feet and legs.

You did not mention cost - over the long term tile is cheaper because it lasts so long (assuming you do not decide to change it for a new look), but up-front cost is way higher than vinyl or laminate - more on the order of hardwood cost.

All in all, having worked all my younger years in tile (my dad was a tile contractor), I personally tend towards:

1) tile for high-wear wet areas like entry, mudroom, and for bathrooms if you don't like vinyl

2) SEAMLESS sheet vinyl for bathrooms, kitchen and dining room for easy cleanup and no joints to catch spillages

3) carpet in rooms like bedrooms, halls leading to bathrooms, and playrooms/TV rooms where people are walking in bare feet or sitting on the floor a lot

4) everywhere else (halls, living room, den, sun room, office) laminate or hardwood, or carpet if preferred.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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