Laminate Vs Ceramic Tiles

Ok, so you’re considering your flooring options! If you’re reading this you’re probably caught between Laminate flooring and Ceramic, Porcelain or Stone tiles. Well, you’ve arrived at a website where we’re dedicated to installing wood and laminate flooring and have been doing so for over fifteen years. I think from that alone you might have an idea which we prefer, but hear me out!! It’s worth getting together all arguments before you make your final decision..And in this completely biased but credible article, I’m frankly going to talk you into going for laminate and explain my reasons why. That’s the plan anyway..but you’re your own person, so let me get cracking before you disappear into webland..

So why is a laminate floor better than ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles?

Well, the answer purely lives in manufacturing advancements! You’re reading this in 2013 and the argument I’m going to put forward will be relevant for the foreseeable future!

Retrospectively, ten years ago most laminate floors were frankly a bit pants, with a few exceptions. Although, you knew you’d found one of the exceptions as you were picking yourself off the floor after seeing the price tag.

What’s changed?

In the ceramic tile sector, not much. Apart from improved adhesives that are still messy and some floating tiles fitted on a clicking board which is a clear rip off from laminate flooring and of which most of the time fail due to movement issues. Oh and let’s not forget the wood effect tiles that look like…well…Tiles! I’ve never seen a wood floor with a grout line..

Raised textured surface of a new stone effect laminate floor

In the world of laminate floor production, the technology has come on leaps and bounds. I’ve personally seen this evolution over the fifteen years I’ve been installing the stuff and it has been a pleasure to witness. The majority of early laminate floors had a flat finish and cheap look. Lipping was common place and the locking systems were hardly worth the effort. Now a days there are embossed grains. In laymen’s terms a raised textured surface that adds character, style and a genuine and highly realistic look of real wood, ceramic, slate and stone flooring that I’ve seen trick the most seasoned of tradesmen! The embossed feature also adds grip and depth to a laminate floor and now can even be found in the cheaper ranges!

You’ve come here for a Laminate Vs Tile bout to help you with the decision of which to go for? Which should come out on top?!. Ok, lets put these two in the ring and get the contest under way..

  • Round 1 : Laminate flooring is far easier to install! Every laminate board is highly machined to lock perfectly with the next giving a crisp equal finish. Tiles are far more difficult to install requiring a professional eye, insightful knowledge base and bags of experience!  
  • Round 2 : Laminate flooring is far quicker to install! The revolution of the glue free click system and the massive improvements that have been made, mean as soon as a laminate floor has been installed, a quick vacuum and you’re good to move in. No waiting around for drying adhesives like you would with tiles! No waiting for grout to dry before it needs sponging! With tiles, you’d better cordon off that room and lock away the pets!! Stand on that new floor at your peril!! 
  • Round 3 : Laminate flooring is far cheaper to install! Click, done! Carrying on the grudge from round 2, If something is quicker to install, a Finished kitchen fitted with Quick-Step Exquisa Slate Dark professional would charge you less. Tiles can take up to three times longer to fit from start to finish and I don’t think I have to tell you what that means! £££’s..
  • Round 4 : Laminate flooring can be removed easily! Consider this; you need to gain access underneath your floor. Do you think that would be an easy option with a ceramic tile? Think again! With a laminate floor, simply un-click the boards, neatly stack them and do what you’ve got to do. When you’re done, simply re-install!
  • Round 5 : I’ve heard it time and again. Laminate floors dent and scratch easily!! No they don’t, but if you did get a dent or mark, rewind to round 4! The amount of tile floors I’ve seen with marks, scuffs and breaks is ridiculous. The improvements made to laminate floor wear layers is huge and a less advertised improvement is the underlays that are available. With amazing impact qualities and noise reduction properties, the new types of underlays are an essential compliment to any laminate!
  • The final round : And it’s a close one! Tiles are far more resistant to water than laminates. You might think that this is a last round knock out, but wait!! Over recent years I’ve seen a ten fold improvement in the laminate core board material, with the incorporation of moisture resistant high density fibre board and the application of paraffin wax in the locking systems. As a final champions dance, the production of moisture guard waxes that can be installed in the locking systems to prevent moisture damage has seen laminate flooring take the belt!! 

Well, as I fore warned you. The fight was rigged. But the truths that came out of the fight were just. I hope this has given you a very biased insight into the difference between laminate tile flooring and standard tiles with the outcome of you choosing the obvious victor.

Disclaimer : No laminate or tiles were hurt in the making of this article.

© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor

I am a Pergo trained professional installer of 20 years. I've been up close and personal with lots of floors and have the knobbly knees to show for it...Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below. Thanks for taking the time to call by and I hope the information you've found has given you some insight!........................................................................................................................................................................“When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in the site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network,,,,,,, affiliate window network.” This statement is to comply with current internet regulations regarding transparency to consumers.

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