How Do Ceramic Tile and Laminate Wood Floors Compare?

Both ceramic tile and laminate flooring can be beautiful, and both have their pros and cons.  How do you choose the best one for your room? There are some things to consider including warmth, comfort, budget, installation, and ease of maintenance. Ceramic tile is beautiful and has several applications.  It’s often preferred in bathrooms and kitchens because of its water-resistant nature and will last pretty much a lifetime.  Laminate isn’t as water-resistant and has a life span of about 20 years. Both come in a variety of colors to match your style needs. Laminate is great for living areas such as bedrooms and family rooms because it’s a bit softer to walk on, and warmer.  It also has a higher sound dampening effect than ceramic tile because it’s not so hard and has an under layer. Laminate is easily cleaned with a damp mop or dust mop and doesn’t require any special cleaners or detergent.  Ceramic tile can require special cleansers, though it is stain-resistant. The grout between the tiles is not stain resistant, however, and can require scrubbing, bleaching, or re-grouting. Installation is another factor to consider.  Laminate flooring can be installed as a DIY project with little prep work.  It’s created with a tongue and groove design to easily snap together. Ceramic tile is a little more difficult to install, requiring a level floor, a tile saw, Thinset, grout, and spacers.  Getting the pattern just right can be a challenge for some so that the tiles are straight and even, and many people choose to hire a professional installer rather than go the DIY route and have to have it replaced down the road. Pricing is the final factor to consider.  Both ceramic tiles and laminate pricing vary according to style and product quality, but laminate is generally less expensive than tile.  Laminate requires a special material to be laid down before the floor it, but ceramic tiles require a special adhesive, grout, and spacers which can make it more expensive to install than laminate.  Also, if you want to have the ceramic tile installed professionally, there’s added cost there. The best choice between the two depends on your goals and where you want the flooring installed.  Consult with your flooring professional to help you make the best choice between these two great products.