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Hardwood vs. Wood-Look Plank Tile

“Hello, Rainier! I’m looking to update my flooring. I want a wood floor look, but I can’t decide between hardwood and wood-look plank tile. Is there a price difference? Is there a difference in durability? What about look and feel?  What Should I do?”


Have you ever been there? No worries, Rainier’s got you! Our goal is to work with you so you can comfortably make an informed decision for your own needs.  Let’s get started with the basics!


Hardwood: There’s no way around the fact that hardwood flooring is the most desirable of all floor coverings. Hardwood floors are beautiful and, if properly taken care of, can last a very long time. They are elegant and provide a somewhat “softer” feel under foot, but are not water resistant. Install labor typically costs between $3-$5 per sq. ft., plus glue. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for, so the higher priced wood flooring typically will have better finishes, better treatments, and thicker wear layers. These thicker wear layers give you the option to have them sanded and refinished in the future, increasing longevity. However, no hardwood flooring comes with the same durability and longevity of wood-look plank tile.


Wood-look Plank Tile: A new trend of products that have hit the market in a big way over the last decade is plank tile made to look like hardwood. It creates the illusion of hardwood floors while giving the homeowner the greater durability, longevity, and water resistance over the life of the product. However, tile is typically much colder to the touch and harder under foot. Maintaining tile floors requires much less work than that of wood floors. If a tile ever breaks, it is much easier to replace that broken piece than it is to replace damaged wood planks. Plank tile install costs usually range between $4-$6 per sq. ft. plus setting materials. As with hardwood, you get what you pay for. Typically, the more you pay for material, and if you select a rectified tile, the less you pay in install costs (see “Why Rectified Tile”).


Both products can be great choices with their own drawbacks, so is really about what product is right for your project.  No matter which product you choose, however, Rainier, Inc. will give you nothing less than a professional installation and you will be showing off your new floors to friends and family for years to come. Click on the “Hire Rainier” link at the top of the home page to schedule an appointment. Happy hunting in your flooring excursion!  

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