This is a tough one because we love them both for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons…
When laid well, they are very close to perfection. Bear in mind that selecting the perfect tile is an important element as we want to avoid colours or textures that won’t lend well to daily life. High gloss white is perfect for an area that won’t get touched often but grubby feet, spills and daily traffic simply don’t work with glossy white unless you plan to mop or wipe down multiple times a day. Tiles are great for cleanliness as any spills can be easily cleaned and unless you’ve dropped a bowling ball on your floor, chances are you won’t damage anything. In Brisbane, you’ll appreciate the cool touch on your feet during those sticky months and the extra grip on bare feet means slips are less likely than hardwood (unless it’s wet!). They are also much better for prolonged moisture which is why you’ll almost always see them is bathrooms, laundry or any other ‘wet’ areas.
They can look a bit clinical and sterile in their precision and perfection. They are also very cold in the winter months and definitely increase the requirement for slippers. If you drop something breakable, you can guarantee it won’t recover from the fall and if you do find the need to replace a tile or two, say a short prayer that you have a few extras under the stairs as the likelihood of finding the exact same tile a few years later is questionable.
Warm, welcoming, soft and full of character. There’s just something about hardwood that turns a house into a home and feels right. At Manasons, we always use 20mm traditional solid strip flooring which means you can sand and refinish as many times as you want to get them back to brand spanking new.
Can be extreme dust collectors depending on the shade you go for. Choose a lighter colour if you don’t want daily dust and crumbs visible but if you want that rich, deep colour that comes with Kwila or similar, invest in a Swiffer broom and get ready to wipe your floor down on a regular basis. The darker ones look stunning but scratches can be quite obvious and dints and dings are part of experience. Yes these all add character to the floor but if you’re a perfectionist then it might bother you. Hardwood is also an ever changing organism which will swell in the warmer months and contract in the colder periods so this means gaps between floorboards during some parts of the year as well as the possibility of squeaky stairs at different times.
So, we think long and hard about which way to go. Our personal preference is to have both… on some projects we do tiles in the kitchen and main living area due to the traffic and risk for spills and on others we opt for hardwood. Yes the scratches from kids toys can be annoying but we prefer a combination of the two. In the bedrooms, we always do carpet – there’s something about sitting on the edge of the bed and putting your feet on something soft that feels right. The same can be achieved with hardwood and a rug but we don’t see the point in covering up something pretty so we opt for carpet.