Laminate vs. tile

Can anyone give me ideas on pros and cons of Pergo flooring vs. tile? We're building and I can't seem to make up my mind on flooring. I'm not thrilled about the aspect of echoing with either of my choices. We'll have carpet in the bedrooms only. I'd love to hear your ideas on the subject before making up my mind.

[By the way: If you decide on laminate, here's a terrific guide to installing it.]

Becky's picture

Obviously you can wet laminate enough to mop it, it's just long-term soaking that is a problem. So part of your decision would depend on how damp the house will be.

Sounds like it's easier to pull up laminate than tile, so you could start with laminate, then replace it with tile if you decide to later.

michelleW's picture

Yes, go buy a instution video, we bought ours at home depot near the lamenate flooring.


Guest's picture

We have 1000 sq/ft on our main floor. We tore up the carpet and replaced it with the cheapest laminate we could get at the time (.79/sq/ft) We considered it a temporary measure until the children grew up a little. With 4 kids ranging in age from 7 to 3, and an 80lb black lab we have no scratches and the floor looks like it did the day we installed it 4 years ago. Even the powder room (which gets wet a lot because of the kids) floor has not warped or anything. The stuff we got had a pressure treated bottom and in the powder room the guys used some sort of sealant - what I do not know. 4 guys did the job in 8 hours, mind you they moved fast. Ours was triple strip as opposed to single - single looks exactly like the real thing. Had we known about single strip we would used it instead and would probably never tear it out. I cannot praise this stuff up enough!

Lois's picture

Okay, We are replaceing our bathroom in the next month or so and yesterday I say this Laminate Tile. We do have tile in our kitchen but it is cold. So in the bathroom I was wondering if we can put the laminate tile in there. Most of the people in our house are 21 and older. Can we do it and will it last? What does everone think on this? It is not a large bathroom anyway so I was thinking if it does not last then it shouldn't take much to replace it later.. Please give me your feed back.

lgunnoe's picture

The ONLY person I have ever wished a slow painful the idiot who thought that white ceramic tile was a good idea in the foyer and hall of a "family" home. We bought this house when it was about 5 years old and I HATE the ceramic tile! I might like it if it had some color or texture...but it is plain white...and NEVER clean enough :evil: ...its COLD, too. I can't wait to pull it all up and replace with Pergo!

I think the man who made that descision should be boiled in Spic-n-Span! (Note that I said "man" because I'm pretty sure a woman would have had more sense! :wink: )


Kerri's picture

tile is very cold and echoey unless your rooms are well furnished with lots of stuff. Even so I can tell the difference in my kids' room when I pulled up their rug recently - it sounded like I was walking into a totally empty house.

our tiles are kind of pale grey and white with an inner square of mottled grey and a slightly lighter border - they don't really show the dirt that much, and I rarely bother mopping. I have noticed that they're beginning to get some pretty bad chips now though, but they are about 10yrs old.

for me personally I'd choose Pergo any day, but I haven't had direct experience of it. I'd stick wtih tiles for the kitchen floor though and make sure they're glazed and non-stick. I'd also have to keep tiles in bathrooms because my lots are extremely messy with a variety of nasty liquids and solids. Having tile rather than carpet has made a huge difference to how I respond to kids peeing on the floor or dropping toothpaste, or DH doing the washing up! I'd probably be slightly less relaxed wih Pergo, and downright freaky if we had carpet!

I'm thinking of carpet tiles for the kids' room though...


mindymonster's picture

I'm a floor snob. My husband put in hardwood floors, and I personally think that hardwood floors are the most beautiful floors in the world. I like them even better than pergo, which I think looks fake. But if given a choice between pergo and tile, I'd choose the pergo, cause the hardwood floor look is always in style, whereas the tile look comes and goes. Plus you can put throw rugs down on hardwood floors/pergo, and it looks good. It's a lot harder to do that with tile. In my dream home I'm going to have hardwood floors all through my house, with area rugs to cut down on the echo, and to make the rooms warmer.

JoannaC's picture

In our current house, we have bright white ceramic tile in the kitchen, which has to mopped EVERYDAY or it looks filthy. Boiling in Spic n'Span sounds good to me too Lenora!!!

Kitty Mc's picture

A girlfriend of mine recently got Pergo floors...they waffled for a long time between hardwood and Pergo. The laminate won out because they plan on getting a couple of dogs in the next few years (and on having some kids) so they wanted something indestructable. A mom I know through my local club breeds Burnese Mountain Dogs (or something like that)--they are huge St. Bernard-looking things--anyway...she also has a grooming business on the side and allso occasionally boards. Those floors get a ton of use, sometimes by dogs with poorly trimmed nails. She also has a couple of teenage stepsons, not to mention her bio-brood. The floor is about 2-3 years old and looks beautiful. And no more maintainance than no-wax linoleum.

Maybe I am scarred from hardwood floors though--we had some in one of the houses I lived in growing up and my dad went completely bugnuts over their care. I can't look at one without seeing him wiping and polishing on his hands and knees every week. (He has some issues with cleanliness though, so I dunno if this is 'normal' hardwood care or not)

I don't like tile floors or countertops at all. They're pretty...but a pain in the rear to take care of. We have tile in our foyer, and it's fortunate we have extra tiles because already some are cracked from moving furniture in--and it's been less than 2 years.

I guess it depends on lifestyle, wear and tear, ect. I tend to go for the prettiest low-maintanace stuff...but you know, if you've got the time and inclination to care for it properly you should get whatever makes you the happiest!
-Kitty, mama to Fiona, Thomas, and Dylan.

Fern's picture

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm still waffling, but leaning toward Pergo in the living area & hallways & tile in the baths , kitchen & laundry room. Not white though! I may have to borrow your spic and span treatment too, ha.

I tried to talk DH into checking out the glazed concrete at least for the laundry, but he ain't talking.

Anyway, hearing everyone elses experiences is helping.

Guest's picture

We had laminate flooring put in our family room. In a couple of weeks we had heavy rains and water came in through the chimney and completely ruined our new floor. Now we are going with a "wood-look" ceramic floor. Has anyone had any experience with that? Thanks, Claudia

Guest's picture

I love the flooring I put down about a year ago. It's porcelain tile in my entire downstairs (living & dining room, kitchen & bathroom) & upstairs in my bathrooms. It's NOT plain white though :) It's sort of a mottled beige with different textures in it. It doesn't scratch or crack when furniture is moved or things are dropped on it. It doesn't show dog hair easily & I just keep it vacuumed & mop with vinegar & water occasionally. It was professionally installed bc it would have been pretty hard to put in myself.

jennye's picture

I'm on the fence with this one, too. We are turning our garage into a living area (it was too small for my pickups anyway). I would like the Pergo because of the less-echo effect (and since DH will be playing music in this room). BUT, this room is going to get dirty. And I mean, the brunt of dust storms since it is on the west side of the house. This will also end up being our main entrance for ourselves (closest to where we park out back), so that door will be opened and closed in the middle of dust storms alot. We are going with ceramic tile for the durability factor. I'll just have to put a couch and quilts to help with the echo.

jennye's picture

We finally decided to go with tile in our garage remodel. Easy to clean, cost, and durability were the main factors. It's a beige (Texas beige at Lowe's, to be exact). Cost was .78 per square foot (1 foot tiles, so .78 each). Also, since it is a main entry area and on the southwest side of my home, I knew it was going to get a lot of dirt (especially during dust storms. Doesn't matter how new and good your windows and doors are, you are going to get dirt during a New Mexico dust storm. It's those 55MPH winds that just drives it in.) I'm afraid the dirt would have scratched up the surface of any kind of hardwood laminate.

We also just redid the kitchen (finished last night). And we put vinyl in there. Cheap and looks nice and clean (a white/gray tile pattern).

Chavak's picture

I have installed both laminate and tile and found both easy to work
with. Tile is more durable, but as mentioned above is harder to keep
clean. I just put a new tile floor in my bathroom and am going to try
group that is self sealing and supposedly stain proof. Hopefully it
lives up to that claim...

I would go with laminate in larger areas, it looks and "feels" much
nicer. I have it in my kitchen and love it. I am going to put it in
the kitchen in my vacation condo too. Easy to maintain, looks great,
easy to install. Can't get any better!

Guest's picture

Hello, my wife and I actually ended up with a little of everything. We opted for laminate tile (Menards) in the entryways that both flow into a very nice hickory laminate (Lowe's) that fills our Living Room, Kitchen, and main hallway. Our bathrooms meanwhile are something a bit new called Snapstone Floating Tile (Menards) however, we also have some ceramic tilework in the Master Bath. All of the laminate is fairly easy to keep clean and we couldn't be happier. However, don't be fooled into thinking that Tile is the only choice which may echo as we notice very similar effects from the laminate throughout main floor. We did notice 1 small spot of buckling this past summer due to humidity as we tried to leave more windows open to reduce A/C bill but that is also because the boards in question were not given enough room to float under near the wall underneath trimwork.
As for the tile, we enjoy the coolness it brings when stepping out of the shower, especially on a hot, muggy day and the floating tile seems to be holding up just as well as standard ceramic. Perhaps the best thing about that floor is also knowing we can simply pull it up just as easily as a laminate floor should we want to remodel.

Becky's picture

I've always lived in rentals with no choice, but have experienced both. Tile feels colder under your feet if you are barefoot. I have cold feet so I prefer laminate. Someone who tends to feel hot would probably prefer tile. Things break more easily if you drop them on tile. Tile lasts longer if you take good care of it and it doesn't break (and of course you can get replacements for breakage). In fact it lasts waaaay longer-- archaeologists find ancient tiles on sites that are still theoretically usable. Laminate is easier to clean. Grout especially is a pain to clean. Tile shows dirt a little more, depending on the color of course. Glazed tile is easier to clean than unglazed tile, and IMO feels nicer. If you get unglazed tile in the color of clay, when people track in clay it won't show much at all because it is more or less the same thing as the tile. As I said I prefer the feel and easy care of laminate. If you do get tile, get big ones so there is less grout to deal with. Tile is more slippery and can be very dangerous when wet, so if you get tile, make allowances for that by putting rugs or something near the bathroom.

I personally would pick laminate, with tile on the kitchen backsplashes maybe.

Becky's picture

I think tile seems to echo a little more.

Becky's picture

My personal favorite for non-carpet flooring is bamboo.

jamielea's picture

We have parquet flooring in our entry way, I think that's considered about the same thing?

Is pergo wood?

Gotta run, so I'll save my opinion till I'm sure I have one LOL.
Depends on weather or not pergo is the same as parquet? Anyone know?

JoannaC's picture

We installed Pergo over a yucky old tile kitchen floor in our last house, and were very happy with it. The new laminates really don't look "fakey", and it's easy on the back when you are standing in the kitchen a lot. We picked it mainly because it was easier to install ourselves than ceramic tile, but ended up being happier with it anyway. We had just removed and replaced a bathroom floor with ceramic, and we nearly lost our minds. If you do ever want to replace the floor, it's very easy to take up the laminate. Busting tile can be fun, but it's kind of a nightmare to get all of it up.

Guest's picture

We are getting ready to close on our Condo. I think I am wanting laminate flooring for most of the house. My husband & I cant decide that to do with the kitchen. I would like a nice tile pattern. He agrees but he thinks we should go into the dinning room with it. I don't think that I would care for it. So taking resale in to account what would be the better selling point? We are going to be putting in a island that will divide the 2 rooms. The kitchen in in the middle of the livingroom & dinng area.

jamielea's picture

I did find out that laminate is the same as what my aunt has, and close enough to the same stuff we have.
Both my aunt and I are in the middle of dealing with what happens when laminate (or laminate like wood) gets wet. Mine's not as bad as her's, her's is requiring her to go threw her insurance company. She's not sure exactly what happened but most likely it was a slow dishwasher leak that has her entire kitchen and dinning room buckling.
Our situation is where when he have alot of rain the moisture alone is causing buckling at our front door. So far if I let mine dry out, I can fix it, but if I ever replace I'll use tile.

So you have arguments on both sides, just my two cents, hope that helps. :)

Guest's picture


Guest's picture

I agree if you go with a light colored tile or grout like I did, you will hate the tile. If you have to go with tile go with large tiles, and dark grout and neutral tiles.
I am interested in learning about cork and bamboo floors - perhaps it is better...couldn't be worse!

Pbbeachgirl's picture

It really depends on where you live. I lived on the beach and had tile and laminate. After a hurricane, the laminate was absolutely destroyed while the tile came thru fine. also everytime it rained we had to quickly close the windows so the laminate wouldn't get wet. Now , as we rebuild our beach home, we are using tile throughout the house. Tile is the only way to go near the water and sand.

trina's picture

That is soooo true. My home is fully tiled except in the bedrooms. Everything is loud.

rick's picture

[quote=jamielea]I did find out that laminate is the same as what my aunt has, and close enough to the same stuff we have.
Both my aunt and I are in the middle of dealing with what happens when laminate (or laminate like wood) gets wet. Mine's not as bad as her's, her's is requiring her to go threw her insurance company. She's not sure exactly what happened but most likely it was a slow dishwasher leak that has her entire kitchen and dinning room buckling.
Our situation is where when he have alot of rain the moisture alone is causing buckling at our front door. So far if I let mine dry out, I can fix it, but if I ever replace I'll use tile.

So you have arguments on both sides, just my two cents, hope that helps. :)[/quote]
You may of forgot to space the ends .... that would def' cause the buckling or may of forgot to seal the edge wall near dishwasher both key to success... I took out all the rugs in my home and replaced w/pergo have it in my bathroom and soon to be in my kitchen over the old tiles.... must say it is the best ~

Guest's picture

As we speak, I am crowded in my kitchen/den of my condo. six years ago I layed pergo in my living room myself and it not only looked great but easy to clean. I was a happy soul. Two weeks ago my neighbor had a leak in her fridge's ice maker and the water leaked under the wall to my living room and under the pergo it went. I had not realized it until I saw the pergo planks warping, and separating at the seams. When I stepped on the planks, I could hear the squishing sound and water bubbling out from the seams. Just yesterday the pergo was totally removed, the underlayment padding was soaked and smelled like really bad. The sheetrock on the water entry wall absorbed water as well and will have to be partially replaced. As I speak, heated blowers and a large de-humidifier are running and will be for four days, 24/7 until they give the all clear with their instruments. I am now debating on what I will replace it with, pergo again or ceramic tile. Pergo is great but if you have any concerns of water getting under it, look out. I was told that real wood will fare better than pergo as far as water damage is concerned. For a stand-alone home, wood or pergo floors are the way to go. For condos or townhouses, consider the neighbors actions next door.

Guest's picture

Hardwood floors are just as easily damaged by water as laminate. Actually some laminates withstand water spills better than hardwood planks. If you are concerned about water, get ceramic tile. I am actually in the middle of remodeling and am flipping between ceramic or laminate. I know I am putting ceramic tile in wet areas like the kitchen and baths etc.....I am torn about the rest of the house. Pets eliminate the want of carpet, as all it takes is one puke job or accident to ruin the stuff.

Another Guest's picture

to the person whose pergo/laminate was damaged by the water from condo above.
a) the amount of water you are describing would have destroyed a vinyl, tile or hardwood floor just as badly as laminate.
I had a beautiful perfectly and professionally installed tile floor from a substantial leak in the condo above me. It is simple, that amount of water would have run down and traveled between your underlayment and subfloor and caused the plywood that is there with ANY flooring to feather at seams and swell underneath. You would have broken grout in tile, telegraphed ridges in vinyl and the situation with hardwood would be just as bad.
b) your damages in all these cases, laminate or otherwise are insured and with no deductible since it came from upstairs. You and your neighbor are both insured, your neighbors policy would cover all of your damages including and if they were not insured for some reason your insurance would cover it

Leaks in iceakers are not minor, those are high pressure lines that can dump 50 gallons overnight even with a small leak, and that could easily destroy any floor in the unit below.

Laminate in fact is is a very good choice for kitchens. the fact that self install is extremely easy (easier than any vinyl or tile because of laminate's tolerance for surface imperfections) and professional install is cheap.

Guest's picture

totally true sister! GIRL POWER :) :grin:

Guest's picture

Did you go with the wood look tiles? We are trying to decide whether to put down the bamboo wood flooring or the wood look tiles. Your opinion would be helpful.

Guest's picture

Don't be silly. One of the great things about tile is that, if you decide you don't like it, you can install carpet or pergo right on top of it. You don't have to "pull it up." You could install wall-to-wall carpet right over tile, or choose carpet with rubber backing in choice areas.

Carpet or pergo might look and feel nice for 10-15 years, but it's a poor long-term decision for a house. They are especially terrible choices for rental units. If you've got hardwood or faux laminate wood, every time there's a spill, water is going to seep down to the subfloor and rot the floor a little bit more. Well-installed tile allows for big spills without having to worry about your house rotting away from under you. Since porcelain tile is hard, you also won't have to worry about sliding furniture--or even one of those old school 400lb fridges that has metal studs rather than wheels--around the floor. Another problem with pergo is that it often separates and starts to slip and slide around over time.

While their style choice might not have been the best, tile is the most durable flooring option with which you can protect your home. Expected life of a tile floor exceeds 70 years. Many tile floors are literally hundreds of years old, while vintage wooden floors exist, but are a rarity. It's ability to stand up to decades of high traffic makes it an especially great decision to use tile in a foyer or mudroom. Light-colored grout, however, is a bad idea. Whoever decided to install tile in your home was likely a smart long-term thinker.

erma's picture

i just laid pergo throughout my house and if i had to do it all over agian i would have went with my first choice procilean tile throughout. 6 mos after we laid the laminate floor it has begun to snap crackle and pop every where u step. so no i don't recommend laminate unless u have a professional to install it and will back it up with a guarntee.

Guest's picture

I would go with large tile 18 0r 20 inch in dark earthtone color with dark grout to match using 1/32 grout lines (practially no grout lines at all) in all rooms except bedrooms.Laminate will buckle if wet or installed wrong and the laminate transition strips are of poor quality they do not last if you choose laminate be sure to use low noise cushion under it

Laurel A. Palmisano's picture

We did most of our home in pergo three years ago. We did not do our kitchen or baths - but everything else. The floor has held up very well. We do have two small places that are going to need some repair - small chips only that we can fix with one of their wax repair kits. However, the transition strips and quarter rounds are pretty much worthless. We bought the quarter rounds for the whole house instead of staining and finishing our own and I am sorry. We have to replace some or most of these in every room of the house. They are not sealed and soak up any moisture - it looks like we have big spongey beige mushrooms against some of our walls. Outer walls, entries, under windows - all ruined. We replaced the first few - thinking it was a fluke - but they are all going. I really recommend trimming with all real wood. Other than that - the floors are great.

Reina's picture

I have the same dilemma laminated or ceramic tile, the pros I can see so far no more carpet cleaning or replacement, I'm lining towards the laminate, although good point brought up by some peoples; wetness and careless treatments, how long it last the laminate vs. the tile?
Now having in mine if for a rental? Any body has that experience?

Guest's picture

I'd recommend tile if you have wooden subfloors. One of the few alternatives is to go with pergo or strand woven bamboo but apply a waterproofing felt layer below the wood/faux wood.

Otherwise, a careless renter will spill water and this will cause water damage and rot within your house.

Many tile floors are hundreds of years old. Look at old cathedrals, etc.

Ken's picture

Porcelain tile is fantastic if you choose the proper quality. I have tile throughout my house, bedrooms included, and I couldn't be happier. The tile is terra cota, with dark brown grout lines. When the grout does get a little dirty, it cleans up straight away. Also the terra cota color hides a lot of dirt; you don't even see it unless you sweep! The color also gives a feeling of warmth, despite it being cold to the touch. But if you wear house shoes (as you should with any flooring) it is not a problem.

As far as echoes go, it does echo when you first lay it down, but as soon as you put any furniture in there, that is no longer a problem. The other advantage is the durability - my house will rot away long before my floor; this tile can withstand anything, never cracks, and is impervious to water. You can get it at Loewe's for $2.30 sq/ft for 1 foot tiles.

It also depends on where you live. If you live in the Southern part of the country, it's perfect, as you're not dealing with cold winters anyway. Up north, I would choose hardwood floors. My wife is from Spain, and ALL the homes come with tile floors in EVERY room, little to no exception.

YANEZ's picture

hi i live in a tropical country,my house has a lot of humidity and moisture. i cant decide whether to use tiles or laminated. can you suggest me?



Matt's picture

If you lack taste of any kind, choose the laminate. Just wait until the seams start to come undone and you're tripping over uneven laminate ... you'll love that, because that means your floor is kaput. And it always happens, sooner or later. Tile? There are thousands of tile designs and colors and it's classic and, in most cases, inexpensive. Laminate is for losers. Seriously, it's a completely fabricated product that will likely never dispose properly anyway. This discussion a complete waste of time. Who wants to buy a house with laminate? Nobody who can get a loan.

Guest TBird's picture

For the person who says laminate is for loosers.

You sure are full of yourself aren't you. Only your opinion matters right? Go watch yourself in the mirror for hours on end. That's what you really want to do instead of dealing with all of these "Losers" who have installed laminate with great success and satisfaction.

Enjoy your lonely life.

Kim from Kansas's picture

Twenty years ago we bought a new home where we had a choice of flooring. We had Bruce wood flooring in the entry way into the formal dining room. For the kitchen we just had linoleum and carpet in our country kitchen (eating area with fireplace). After a few short years, the carpeting had to go and replaced the entire kitchen/hearth room wih Italian porceline tile (14" squares)in a white/grey/pale salmon color with dark grey grout.
The Bruce floors has held up well; only refinished recently. Of course I had area rugs down. :) I love the tile in the kitchen! Just sweep and mop. No waxing/polishing needed. :grin:
:jawdrop: WARNING: Take care around the stove: frying splatters on the tile is VERY VERY slippery! Wipe up any spills immediately! :sick: Oil, sugar and water on glazed tiles can be dangerous. Once you get used to the tile floor, after a couple slips and slides, you will like it too. WARNING 2: If you have dogs, esp big dogs (had Labs) they can have a problem on the tile as they can't get traction if scampering around. :grin:

Beer's picture

I think if you can afford the tile that is preferred over the laminates.Laminates are the cheap way out.They are starting to loose some popularity due to the wear factor.When they look bad it all looks bad.If a tile cracks it can be replaced.
Inflatable Domes

kywawa's picture

in my opinion, I prefer to laying tiles on floor.Wood floor is hard to clean up and if it's wet,it's hard to dry.So i think the tiles floor would good.

LindaLai's picture

I hate laminate/pergo floors. I hate it, hate it hate it... can't say anything good about it. One single "accident" with water spilling; the stuff warps all over the place and you have to "damp mop" it and it never seems clean.

Nick1's picture

I think depending on where you live, ceramic tile is generally lower in material costs. Installation costs in recent years have shown proper hardwood installations to be more expensive due to the amount of floor preparation that is vital to any successful long lasting floor.
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Kevin Carney's picture

Laminate is a thin strip of real wood on a fiberboard base. Bathrooms are the wettest room in your home. If by some accident, some water seeps into the fiberboard layer, it swells like a sponge. This is more likely to occur in a bathroom as compared to any other room. If you really want laminate in your bathroom, get a very high quality (and hence high price) laminate that is very thick and connects together securely. On the other end of the spectrum, get the cheap stuff and accept you will be replacing it every few years.

Swanno's picture

Like carpets with NRMA, are laid cork tiles throughout a home covered by the 'Home' Insurance policy? Or, are they insured under the 'Contents' Insurance policy? Thanks!

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