Hardwood floors are made from natural wood such as oak, pine and cherry. The wood comes in rows of boards that must cut and fit when installing. Tile flooring is made up of ceramic sections designed in a pattern to lock together and also needs to be cut to fit the shape of the floor.
According to Hardwood Installer, natural hardwood flooring is generally more expensive than ceramic tile. This is true with both the material costs and the installation costs.
The installation of hardwood floors requires more work than ceramic tile. One of the main issues is the difficult and dusty work of sanding hardwood floors, which is a step tile does not require. A large amount of dust is created in this process, and it can require a special vacuum unit to remove. Also, amateur installers can damage hardwood with a drum sander. For unusual-shaped floors, both ceramic tile and wood may require the services of a professional installer.
Both ceramic tile and wood are easy to sweep and clean for everyday purposes. However, ceramic tile has a tendency to discolor over time as dirt remnants build up in the texture and grout lines of the tile. Wood will not hold dirt and can be refinished if areas develop discoloration. To avoid this problem with tile, you must apply a sealant.
There are pros and cons for both wood and tile when it comes to durability. Overall, hardwood flooring is very durable and has the advantage of being able to be refinished if it gets damaged. Ceramic tile can chip or crack if something heavy is dropped on it, requiring replacement. However, ceramic tile has an advantage if a lot of sand or grit is tracked onto the floor, because hardwood flooring can become badly scratched. Water can damage hardwood flooring, so tile is often the choice in kitchen and bathroom areas.