Bathrooms can be tricky because you have to find a way to make the most of a confined, utilitarian space. They’re not intended to be the most attractive rooms throughout a home; yet, they’re used quite often. A true test in mixing appeal with usage is picking out the right floor. Bathroom flooring generally comes down to the choice of tile vs. wood flooring. Actually, it really comes down to…

The safe bet

When considering tile vs. wood flooring, tile is the safe route to take for a bathroom floor.

Why? Because it’s more reliable in an area with surrounding plumbing and constant water use. Whether it be ceramic tile or porcelain, it’s very unlikely you will run into problems if tile is installed in your home bathrooms.

Porcelain tile does not get its name unless it has an absorption rate of less than 0.5%. Any absorption rate slightly above the mark and the tile is deemed ceramic. Point being, water has extremely little effect on tile. Mist from a shower won’t affect it, nor will an overflown toilet. Heck, it should even stand up fine against a busted pipe.

Tile withstands the primary bathroom threat posed by a bathroom. Plus, it’s not like tile is a bad look. Tile continues to be a modern flooring type and it’s found in many varieties of color and design. If anything, its appeal is ideal for a bathroom because the environment does not see that much foot traffic. Thus, tile and tile grout won’t be affected as much by unwelcome dirt.

The risky bet

In the tile vs. wood flooring battle, wood prevails in terms of risk vs. reward.

The issue with hardwood is its natural porosity (vulnerability to water). Long-term exposure to moisture can doom the beauty of a wood floor. So, in the previous of examples of arrant mist from the shower, an overflown toilet and a busted pipe, hardwood has a much smaller chance at survival. Moisture will seep through the seems and find its way to the core of a plank. Once this occurs, cupping, crowning and cracking can occur.

Beyond the moisture issue, wood flooring is a great option. It looks great and it’s durable. You just have to decide whether you want to risk a possible 25–30 years of quality flooring to an unforeseen water problem.

There are reliable “wood-like” alternatives to hardwood flooring. Laminate, vinyl plank and engineered hardwood are all flooring choices that make for better bathroom use. All types are layered with various plywood and fiberglass, making it more difficult for water to seep to the core.

Engineered hardwood is topped with an actual layer of hardwood. Thus, it is a great option if you want a floor that has both the look of true hardwood and the water resistance of laminate or vinyl plank. Though, because engineered hardwood looks practically identical to true hardwood, you’ll likely find it to be priced in the same ballpark as true hardwood.

Ultimately, it’s up to you, the homeowner. Tile vs. wood flooring…you can take the safe bet and go with tile or the risky bet and go with hardwood. Or, you can take the middle ground and elect to go with laminate, vinyl or engineered wood.

The Hardwood Flooring Store of Toronto

Whatever you decide, know that The Hardwood Flooring Store is just a phone call away. Give us a call at (800) 263–6363! We have plenty of flooring choices for you and we’ll even complete an estimate and installation. Visit our website — or — and our blog for additional flooring input.

Written by

Eric is a blog writer for the Hardwood Flooring Store and has a vast knowledge of the hardwood flooring industry.

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