Pros and Cons: Hardwood vs. Tile Floors

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day.

Some people prefer having wood floors in their apartment and others may prefer tile floors, but both flooring types have obvious advantages and disadvantages. That’s why it can be hard to choose between the two if you’re deciding which type you want in your apartment. Below, find the pros and cons of hardwood floors versus tile floors.

Pros of hardwood over tile

Pros and Cons Hardwood vs. Tile Floors


If your apartment is not in a warm area, walking on hardwood floors will keep you warmer than tile floors. Wood floors have more insulative properties than tile floors and can keep your feet warmer. And, of course, nobody enjoys rolling out of bed and stepping on a cold tile floor. 

Slightly more comfortable to walk and stand on

Walking on hardwood flooring is not only warmer than tile flooring, but it’s also more comfortable. In general, wood floors are softer than tile floors, so you can more easily walk and stand on them. This softness also makes wood floors more likely for wood to warp slightly under your weight. Tile floors lack this warping capability, which makes them harder to stand or walk on for an extended period.

More slip-resistant

Wood floors are more slip-resistant than tile floors, as many tile floors are smooth and virtually non-porous, causing them to be very slippery. Additionally, if you add tile glazing or spill a drink on tile floors, you could even more easily slip and fall.

Some experts suggest researching slip resistance ratings when getting tile floors. With hardwood floors, you can avoid the need to research slip resistance ratings and not worry about falling as much compared to tile floors.

Cons of hardwood over tile

Wears down more easily

Although hardwood floors can be long-lasting, they still wear down more easily than tile floors. That’s because wood floors are susceptible to warping and scratches over time. Tile floors are hard to crack unless you have heavy furniture over 250 pounds atop your tile.

If you live in your apartment long enough, you may have to periodically refinish and fix hardwood flooring. If you don’t crack durable tile floors, they won’t need to be fixed as frequently as hardwood floors. Additionally, hardwood floors may not be as good for your apartment as tile if you expect a lot of activity from family members and guests.

Easier to clean

Hardwood floors are not as easy to clean as tile floors. When cleaning hardwood floors, experts suggest using a wood cleaner, as cleaning products with bleach or waxing qualities are bad for hardwood floors. However, you can get away with using common cleaning solutions on tile floors.

More expensive

Hardwood flooring is more expensive than tile flooring. The average cost of hardwood flooring is approximately $8 per square foot. Common hardwoods such as maple, oak, and ash can go for $4 to $5 per square foot. If you want a more unique type of wood for your apartment’s floor, you’ll have to pay more. 

In particular, porcelain tile flooring and concrete tile flooring are generally less expensive than hardwood and may look more modern. With some planning, you can also tile the room yourself with no tiling experience. 

Do you prefer tile floors or hardwood floors? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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