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Wood or Tiles or Vinyl?

Panina

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As some of you know from a previous post, I had water intrusion in my house from the air conditioning unit that caused damage to my wood floors. It looks like Insurance is going to install new floors if they can’t find a replacement for the damage floors. I doubt they will as I believe these wood floors are about 20 to 25 years old, and the previous owners updated carpet with a different wood floor that kind of matched because they could not find a match.

I was leaning towards replacing the wood floors with a tile that looked like wood floors. I asked the adjuster this morning if I would be able to do that and she said yes, but she asked me to really think about it. She said that if the tile floors are installed correctly and I have water intrusion in the future, I probably would not have this issue again. The big if is “if they are installed correctly”.

In my previous home that I purchased new there was a crack that ran the whole length of the house from the living room through bathrooms and bedrooms. I was under warranty still, so it all was replaced, which I did with a vinyl floor. A friend of mine had hollow tiles that popped up because the adhesive was not done properly.

What the adjuster did tell me is if the floors are not install correctly and they get damaged from water intrusion, insurance would not cover them if it is determined they were installed incorrectly, whereas with wood floors I would not have that problem.

Now I am leaning towards replacing the wood floors with wood floors.

Opinions?
 

DeniseM

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I have all 3 and I like the look of the wood planks the best, and the wearability of the synthetic planks the best. Tile is pretty when it's new, but it doesn't take long for the grout to get stained, and tile is more difficult to remove and replace. And of course, it cracks with normal settling of your home.
 

VacationForever

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I hate tiles, including tiles that look like wood floors. Tile floors are too hard on the feet and back as we age. I like hardwood floor best but if you have dogs, then vinyl plank is a better option as they withstand scratches from the dogs better. Hardwood floors are softer than vinyl plank floors but you need to look at the tradeoff. Potential water damage to hardwood floor is an issue. Vinyl planks are able to withstand 24 hours of water. In my case, it is hardwood floor everytime, and we no longer have pets. I accept the risk of damage to hardwood floors. I love the look and feel of them.
 

clifffaith

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So jealous of any hard floors! It has been quite a change for us to have the required carpet everywhere except baths and kitchen. Our last home had wood floors except in bathrooms. Wood worked fine in kitchen and contractor was able to stain-to-match an area where we removed an island so we couldn’t tell where the new flooring was.
 

CalGalTraveler

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We replaced our carpets with Lux Vinyl Plank (LVT) that looks like wood. It is low VOC so non-toxic. We have pets and have been really happy with the LVT.

I hate carpet. It also may have toxins if any PFAs (forever chemicals) have been applied. Watch the movie "Dark Waters" on Netflix about how Teflon pans and PFAs are toxic and Dupont never told anyone about the dangers.

We also have tile that was installed with the house. I also like tile. Every 7 - 10 years, we pay special cleaners with a high pressure water system to clean and seal the grout. Our 20 YO tile grout is white and looks brand new. We do have a few minor cracks and chips in the tile but nothing too noticeable.
 

WinniWoman

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I hate tiles, including tiles that look like wood floors. Tile floors are too hard on the feet and back as we age. I like hardwood floor best but if you have dogs, then vinyl plank is a better option as they withstand scratches from the dogs better. Hardwood floors are softer than vinyl plank floors but you need to look at the tradeoff. Potential water damage to hardwood floor is an issue. Vinyl planks are able to withstand 24 hours of water. In my case, it is hardwood floor everytime, and we no longer have pets. I accept the risk of damage to hardwood floors. I love the look and feel of them.
In a perfect scenario I’d like tile in Florida, but as you said it’s risky.

Not to mention you drop something on tile it breaks and could chip the tile.

I agree with VacationForever. Wood.

Vinyl second choice.
 

jp10558

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Personally, I like the vinyl planks the best - mostly because they have commercial quality ones that are extremely hard wearing, they can get ones that are waterproof and they have very minor maintenance requirements.

I think I like carpet the least because it's quite hard to clean if anything makes a mess and has lots of maintenance requirements. At least with throw rugs it's easy and cheapish to replace when it gets nasty.

Hardwood floors would be a big no from me just because they're so easy to scratch / damage, and I don't trust anyone to treat anything gently, even / especially visitors.

Then again - I don't look at the floor much, so don't have any strong opinion on the difference in looks between laminate/vinyl/hardwood...
 

TheHolleys87

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Several years ago we replaced our original laminate floors as well as the carpet in our bedroom with wood-look tile, which was installed over the concrete slab after the laminate was removed. Every time we drag the cedar chest away from the end of the bed to change the sheets, and every time our dogs decide it’s too cold, too hot, or too wet to go outside, we’re glad we didn’t choose hardwood. LVT was a newer product then, and we had seen some damaged in model homes, so we didn’t consider it.
 

klpca

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We have our big wood look tile planks and it looks like new, even after 11 years. The grout matches the wood (a medium brown) so that isn't an issue. That said, installation has to be done correctly and finding someone who does it right isn't easy, cheap, or fast. A good installer is usually backlogged for 6 - 8 weeks. We found ours (we have used two over the years) through our decorator and another through our realtor. Our current installer takes longer to prep the space than he does to lay the tile. He is 65 and no longer works an 8 hour day (works 9-3 with no break) but was professionally trained back in the late 70s and it shows. His work is amazing. I have seen the quality of work in other places and it looks pretty bad. I can't imagine that much, if any, prep was done. I am according to our installer, one of his pickiest clients (not surprised) but he is fine with that. That is the way that he works anyway and he's happy that I notice the little things that takes extra time and thought on his part.

I have no problems with LVT either - but make sure that your surface is properly prepared because some subfloor imperfections can show through. The landlord put LVT in at my old office and I had to look at the bad spots for years. It should have been dealt with during the installation prep but that landlord was definitely a "lowest bid" guy and it showed. LVT can also show scratches in heavy traffic area but with two people I wouldn't worry about it.

I have never had wood so I cannot comment on that. Truthfully I have always been afraid of water damage, but we haven't had any issues with water other than a single leak upstairs back in the 90s. So I could have had wood this whole time with no issues.

Do what you like best. Also, I would be careful with what your insurance covers going forward - many are dropping water damage because of the cost of repairs. At renewal, I would look for that coverage in your policy to make sure that it is still covered.
 

pittle

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I live in AZ and when we bought our house, it had a lot of carpet and vinyl flooring in bathrooms and kitchen. The carpet was light beige and got dirty very easily. We are not people who take our shoes off every time we come inside. After 4 years, we tiled the entire house with tile. I still love it. My tiles are 22" square and on the diagonal. I am not one to go barefoot, so the hardness is not a problem. (I worked in a manufacturing facility for 29 years and was used to walking on concrete.) With a dust mop and the O'Cedar mop and bucket, it is not hard to keep clean. We have always had cocker spaniels, so the dust mop is used regularly. The tile stays cool in the summer and the dog loves laying on it. I do have area rugs in the living room, dining room and family room for extra pop of color.
 

elaine

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In our coastal NC community, most get LVT floors. Similar weather/humidity to FL. I've been in multiple homes and they look great.
 

easyrider

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Originally, most of our home was carpers and sheet vinyl. Changed it about 15 years ago to tile, 3/4 inch pre-finished engineered Kempas planks and oak stairs. I did order extra on everything in case of damage. For the daylight basement we chose tile over the concrete in a couple rooms and carpet on the rest. Carpet in the master bedroom too.

Knowing what I know now I wouldn't use the oak on the stairs because it's too slippery. It looks really nice and there is a spay to make the stairs less slippery but when wearing socks it's slippery. I think I'm eventually going to cover the stairs with carpet.

We did get a few scratches in the Kempas from the furniture but it was easy to sand and can spray a few layers of poly on it. We do have a few damaged tile in the pantry and kitchen from pan drops. These are easy enough to fix with an epoxy tile repair kit.

Bill
 

aandmrun

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I am super happy with my Luxury Vinyl Plank floors that were installed in 2019. They are very easy care. This photo was taken when it was installed and they still look great. We had carpet there before.
 

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TUGBrian

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have vinyl planks in most of home, wood look tile in bathroom. zero complaints on either!

will say that the trim pieces that are used on corners/transitions/etc for the laminate flooring is of WAY worse quality and durability than the planks themselves!
 

ScoopKona

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Rotoprinted porcelain tile (indistinguishable from real stone, and won't etch if you drop a glass of lemonade on it); epoxy grout which will not stain, ever, and "that's that" for a lifetime.

On new construction, I pay extra to have the concrete slab stained and sealed. Looks great and zero lifetime effort to keep it that way..
 

Panina

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I hate tiles, including tiles that look like wood floors. Tile floors are too hard on the feet and back as we age. I like hardwood floor best but if you have dogs, then vinyl plank is a better option as they withstand scratches from the dogs better. Hardwood floors are softer than vinyl plank floors but you need to look at the tradeoff. Potential water damage to hardwood floor is an issue. Vinyl planks are able to withstand 24 hours of water. In my case, it is hardwood floor everytime, and we no longer have pets. I accept the risk of damage to hardwood floors. I love the look and feel of them.
We have a Labradoodle that looks like a lab and weighs 50 lbs. I never noticed scratches from him, just drools, but there looks to be a very durable coating on the surface.
 

Panina

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have vinyl planks in most of home, wood look tile in bathroom. zero complaints on either!

will say that the trim pieces that are used on corners/transitions/etc for the laminate flooring is of WAY worse quality and durability than the planks themselves!
I remember when we did vinyl planks in my mothers previous home we paid to have matching baseboards to the floor. They were very poor quality. The floors lasted but not the baseboards. they fell off or peeled. When I moved her to Florida I installed vinyl plank but used white traditional baseboards.
 

Glynda

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We have natural Travertine stone in our kitchen, half bath and laundry room and absolutely hate it! It has holes and pits that trap dirt and gunk. We have had them cleaned, filled and sealed numerous times but they never look great afterwards. I also dislike grout so I am looking to replace the stone with hardwood matching the rest of the house. However, I've been told that this kitchen, bath, laundry and den area can't be refinished again as it's been done too many times and nail heads are showing. I don't mind replacing this whole area with new hardwood but it would have to blend in with the other rooms it connects to and look as if it has always been there. Not sure I can count on that. Growing up in Florida, I've been in a lot of houses with tile floors. I don't know but they just don't seem natural and "homey." My mother's last house had it and it constantly needed mopping as it was light and showed everything that got on it. I'm not pleased with the look of the vinyl planks either. I just prefer hardwood.
 

WinniWoman

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We have a Labradoodle that looks like a lab and weighs 50 lbs. I never noticed scratches from him, just drools, but there looks to be a very durable coating on the surface.
Ugh. Now this is different knowing you have dogs. We had big dogs in our other home and they really scratched up the wood floors over time when they would run.

We had the wood floors refinished after they passed and what a difference! We have wood floors in our new home and I’m glad I have no pets.
 

joestein

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In a perfect scenario I’d like tile in Florida, but as you said it’s risky.

Not to mention you drop something on tile it breaks and could chip the tile.

I agree with VacationForever. Wood.

Vinyl second choice.
Ceramic tile yes - it breaks. Porcelain tile generally is chip/break free - it is much harder than ceramic.
 

Panina

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Ugh. Now this is different knowing you have dogs. We had big dogs in our other home and they really scratched up the wood floors over time when they would run.

We had the wood floors refinished after they passed and what a difference! We have wood floors in our new home and I’m glad I have no pets.
My other half had wood floors in his previous home and the dog scratching them was not an issue. This house is not an issue either. My guess is because both had a durable coating.
 

WinniWoman

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Ceramic tile yes - it breaks. Porcelain tile generally is chip/break free - it is much harder than ceramic.
Yes. We do have that for flooring in our bathrooms.
 

TheHolleys87

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Ceramic tile yes - it breaks. Porcelain tile generally is chip/break free - it is much harder than ceramic.
Yes, I upgraded to porcelain tile for our kitchen and primary bath when we built the house. And the wood look tile we installed in the rest of the downstairs (except for secondary bedrooms) is porcelain, too, with the narrowest possible grout lines and matching grout, so the lines are almost invisible.

We selected the flooring company after an extended conversation about hardwood vs. tile vs. laminate vs. vinyl with the owner at a home show. He was very clear on how tile had to be installed, and his crew was exacting in doing it.
 

Ralph Sir Edward

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I went through the choices about 5 years ago. I went with a specialty vinyl plank out of California. The company is Flooret. They don't sell to installers, only to end users. You get your own installers. They are much more solid and heavier that most vinyl planking, and at the time had a thicker protective coating than any other equivalent product. I have been pleased with the results.
 
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