One of the topics we get questions about all the time is Flooring: What’s the difference between actual wood flooring and engineered veneer? Stone vs Porcelain? What type of flooring is best for pets and children? How much maintenance is necessary? And so on.. Today, we are tackling those questions to provide some clarity on the broad topic of flooring. Read on for the Pro’s and Con’s of popular flooring materials and our answers to your frequently asked questions about flooring:

FAQ’s: Wood Flooring Vs. Porcelain Tile

modern farmhouse kitchen

Q. Why is Wood Flooring so Popular?

Wood floor is classic, enduring, strong. It lasts a long time and you can sand it down a few times to look like new. It gives a home a warm, lived in feel. And you can really get creative with the installation design: herringbone, inlays and parquet, and other fancy applications, or  you can op’t for a more traditional installation for a rustic and down to earth feel. We’re in a light wood trend right now, which has a much brighter, casual modern feel than the heavy darker rich wood floorings of the past.

traditional blue and white dining room

Q. What if Wood Flooring is Outside My Budget? Is there an Inexpensive Alternative?

If you like the look of wood but feel it may be outside your budget, look towards wood-like porcelain tile. It’s less expensive, but looks great and keeps the home cool in the summer. It’s also a great selection because you can install radiant heat below.

hardwood veneer flooring in modern farmhouse bathroom with white subway tile

Another option is engineered hardwood veneer. It’s also less expensive and looks great.  It has a thinner top layer than solid hardwood. The downside to consider is that it might be harder than hardwood floor because of the glue needed to keep the plys together. So get ready to invest in a lot of plush area rugs!

Vinyl is also an affordable look, that is easily maintained and can resemble wood.  Because it’s so hygienic, you’ll see it used in a lot of hospitals, restaurants, and hospitality public spaces.

(Porcelain Tile - Herringbone Installation)

(Porcelain Tile – Herringbone Installation)

Q. How Different Will Wood-Like Porcelain Tile Look from Actual Wood?

It can vary, but here is a pro design tip to get around that issue: Match the grout to the tile color so it blends and isn’t obvious that it’s not wood.  This is great because it can continue throughout the house in a seamless continuous way from home into wet surface areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Herringbone wood flooring in wine cellar

(Porcelain Tile – Herringbone Installation)

Q. What Rooms Should I Install Wood Flooring? Any I should Avoid?

Wood is beautiful in just about every interior space, but in bathrooms and laundry rooms or other spaces that involve moisture like indoor/outdoor spaces, for example, you might actually want to op’t for wood-like porcelain which is both heat and stain resistant so you don’t have to worry about flooding or any water damage. Because it’s comprised of clays and minerals fired at extremely high temperatures, it’s an incredibly durable material, making it one of THE best choices for flooring, as opposed to ceramic, which is not going to hold up as well.

FAQ’s Stone Vs. Porcelain Tile Flooring

traditional home entry way with white and black and blue color palette

Q. What are the Benefits of Stone Tile?

Stone is classic, resistent, and natural. Though it comes at a higher price, it lasts forever. With stone you have a lot of creative freedom to design borders, install herringbone, diagonal, large scale, you can even craft smaller architectural details, which we love!

Indoor Outdoor Living Room in Lemon Ranch

Q. If Real Stone is Outside My Price point, What is an Alternative?

Ceramic and porcelain tile are both cost-efficient alternatives to actual stone tile. The ceramic manufacturing process has come a long way so that it looks closer to real stone, rather than a pixilated picture. Porcelain is extremely strong and is a great alternative to stone. It comes is large slabs like stone, for a modern application.

Cream and white Ceramic and porcelain tile in this contemporary master bathroom

Q. What are the Benefits of Concrete Flooring?

Concrete tile is so fun and makes a real WOW moment in color and design! It’s among the most durable materials and can be entirely customized to fit your specifications. It’s heat and scratch resistant, capturing and releasing the heat in your home for optimal comfort.

Brown Leather Bed in Modern Los Angeles bedroom

Q. What Type of Flooring Should I Avoid Altogether?

We rarely recommend carpeting because it’s a total dust and dirt collector. Carpet can be toxic in its application and material, not to mention it’s more expensive and difficult to maintain. Area Rugs are great underfoot with a thick beefy rug pad, and are easily maintained since they can be moved. Not to mention they’re a great cost-efficient way to change up a room’s decor when you get tired of them.