What to know about Tile/ Stone/ Brick Flooring & Hardwood Flooring
Ceramic tile, natural stoned brick flooring is rightly considered the gold standard in terms of ultimate flooring durability. There is a reason that ancient Greek and Roman mosaic tiles that are thousands of years old are still unearthed in near pristine condition at archaeological sites today! However, there are still certain things to consider to ensure you pick a really durable tile.
- Porosity – The porosity of a tile is what will determine whether or not it will absorb water or stains. Unsealed terracotta tiles, for example, are very porous and will stain easily if oily liquids spill onto them. Ceramic tiles are more porous than porcelain tiles, so be sure to check what type of tile you’re going for and if it needs any extra sealant for maximum stain resistance. Further reading: Ceramic Tiles Vs Porcelain Tiles
- Cracking – If a tiled floor cracks, then the chances are it's because it’s been badly installed. Unfortunately, badly constructed properties, and those that are located in environments that have very drastic temperature and humidity changes through the year, can experience expansion and retraction issues. So, being sure to have a correctly primed subfloor and a quality flexible adhesive will mitigate against this affecting your tiled flooring.
- Natural stone concerns – As with ceramic and porcelain tiles, you need to ensure that natural stone flooring is sealed correctly; today it is possible to source composite stone flooring that is made using natural stone dust and polymer resins designed to resist just about anything! Again, correct installation will prevent natural stone flooring from cracking.
Solid hardwood flooring is certainly a durable flooring option and high quality. Well-maintained hardwood floor will outlast us all! Nevertheless, there is plenty to consider if we want the most durable hardwood floor available.
Here are three factors to consider:
- Wood hardness – All hardwood is rated on the Janka scale for hardness. Solid hardwood floors with a higher Janka rating like Brazilian redwood will be tougher than a soft wood like pine, which will dent and ding fairly easily.
- Stability – Solid hardwood is less stable than engineered hardwood in very humid conditions, such as bathrooms; so you should choose the right type of hardwood for your project.
- Resistant finishes – There are several different types of finish that are now available for hardwood flooring, and many pre-finished hardwoods already incorporate UV protection, microbial protection and aluminum oxide compounds or similar for superior scratch resistance. Note that wax finished hardwood floors are not as scratch resistant as others. Also, hardwood flooring, of any type, is more susceptible to fading or yellowing in sunlight.
- Re-finishing – Note that solid hardwood floors can be re-sanded and re-finished every 3-7 years, which is why solid hardwood can last you a lifetime!
- Care and maintenance – Like all flooring, treating your hardwood floors with care will improve their performance. You should avoid leaving pools of water on hardwood flooring; make use of area rugs for high traffic areas and be careful how much direct sunlight falls directly on to your floors to avoid fading.