Tiles vs Vinyl: Why Tiles Are a Better Design Choice

Tiles vs Vinyl

Vinyl tiles are made of synthetic materials, mostly plastics. It is far from a natural material, unlike stone and ceramic tiles. You can get vinyl in tiles and planks, and it can even mimic the look of wood with vinyl laminate flooring, but it still will never come close to matching the benefits of an organic tile floor. Here are a few reasons why you should always go with tile flooring, if you have the choice between tiles vs vinyl flooring.

#1 Vinyl Contributes To Bad Indoor Air Quality

Vinyl tile flooring, since it is made with PVC resin, can release toxic gases into the air, a process known as "off gassing." It can even build up over time in a room. This can produce asthmatic responses in sensitive individuals and contributes to indoor air pollution. For better air quality, choose tile. It is made of organic materials, so that it doesn't off-gas. In fact, sustainable, green, designs often make use of tiles in greens and browns to give the room an organic, natural, feel.

#2 Both Water Resistant, But Vinyl Can Peel Back

While vinyl is water-resistant on the surface, if the water seeps under the tile it can cause the adhesive glue to give way. This makes the tiles peel back. Plank flooring is also not recommended for kitchens and bathrooms because the humidity can cause it to warp, even though it is water-resistant. Tile, on the other hand, has no such problem with damp environments and the grout keeps tiles in place for good. This kitchen design looks fabulous using stone tile, not vinyl, in the wet kitchen areas. 

#3 Vinyl Flooring Isn't High Quality

Just looking at a vinyl floor, you know it is not high quality. While new choices can mimic wood or stone, why would manufacturers try to do that if they weren't aware that these materials are higher quality than vinyl? If you want a tile floor, choose the original, not a copy. Copies tend to look fake upon closer inspection. For added star power, choose a custom medallion cut out with waterjet technology for a seamless tile project. 

#4 You Can Spot Gaps In Vinyl Tile Flooring Easily

While the grout in a tile floor installation can even be a feature, by using different grout widths and colors, there is no such potential for vinyl flooring. Vinyl plank flooring which floats above the subfloor, does not have grout, and thus you can spot gaps very easily if it has been poorly installed or becomes loose. Vinyl tile that uses adhesive has the lines visible between tiles, thus it doesn't look very uniform. Take a look at this bathroom floor and how the grout even becomes a design feature which is uniform and elegant. 

#5 Tiles Are More Durable Than Vinyl

Since tiles can be made of ceramic or stone, they have been known to last up to 50 years - a lifetime! Vinyl flooring will only last between 10 and 20 years. However, stone and ceramic tiles are much harder on the surface than vinyl, and thus can withstand far more wear and tear than vinyl, which can discolor or become damaged over time. That makes tiles perfect for entry ways, where they will get an inordinate amount of foot traffic.

#6 Tiles Have a Better Resale Value

You can recoup the value of a stone tile project by as much as 70% upon the resale of your home. However, vinyl is simply not appreciated by home buyers and they are more likely to wonder what it would cost to replace the flooring, making it less desirable to buy the home, in some cases. If you saw this bathroom in a home, wouldn't you want to buy the home?

#7 Tiles Have a Better Visual Aesthetic

Luxury homes tend to use tile because it has a better visual aesthetic and can be customized to make it a one-of-a-kind installation. You don't often see vinyl in high-end homes because it gives the impression that the home is simply not a quality home and has been built with cheap materials. This tile motif uses waves for a one-of-a-kind stone area rug and feature wall, something that would look awful in vinyl.

#8 Vinyl Over Only If You Want a "Rubber Room"

About the only advantage vinyl tile has versus regular stone or ceramic tile is that it is more flexible and so it is suitable for floors that have excessive settling or movement issues. However, if your house is moving that much, you have larger problems that need to be addressed and not just covered over with vinyl. Another reason is that you want a padded "rubber room" effect so children can play on it. However, you can always use a throw rug temporarily over a marble tiled floor to get the same benefit and keep the marble or mosaic medallions visible for company.

Vinyl Doesn't Come Close to Tile

When comparing tiles vs vinyl, it becomes obvious that tiles are the only answer for high-end luxury homes and businesses. Vinyl immediately gives the impression that a room is cheaply built or remodeled. It doesn't have the reputation of tile, and for good reason. Tiles are far more durable, water resistant, and a naturally, organic, material that do not off-gas. They can contribute to a better resale price and often help to make the sale because of their star power. They don't show gaps or peeling and can have a higher design potential Even the grout in tile projects can contribute to a wonderful, cohesive look. Waterjet designs have been perfected so many stone tile designs are even now seamless. Comment below if you agree that tiles will always win when it comes to a choice between tiles and vinyl.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.