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My4beautifulboys

Tiles or timber flooring

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My4beautifulboys

We're currently in the process of choosing cupboard laminate colours and bench top colours etc. So many choices and things to think about.  We have chosen stone bench tops for the kitchen dressers. And would also like stone tops for the vanity units. Although the cabinet maker says that laminate is fine for the wet areas? 

We really have to decide on the floor type in the main open kitchen/dining/living area. I did have my sights set on real timber flooring. But since speaking to others, they seem to think timber could be quite high maintenance, especially with young children. Our children's ages are 16, 13, 10 and 6. So not quite so young. The other option that we'd consider would be tiles, they are crisp, clean and easy to maintain I would imagine. But I would think in winter time it could feel quite cold, and you'd need to wear socks to keep your feet warm. If it was tiles throughout we wouldbreak areas up using rugs, like in the dining area and sitting areas. We don't live in the tropics, so winters can be cooler as well. 

I'd appreciate your thoughts for those that have chosen tiles as your main flooring, has it worked well for you. 

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22Fruitmincepies

We have jarrah floorboards in our living and dining area (the kitchen is tiled), and we have a 3yo and a 6yo. The floors get zero special treatment, they get furniture dragged around on it, scooters ridden on it, it is scratched a bit in places but still looks great. The previous owners put the floor in, they had 3 kids and the floorboards have been down for over 20 years. 

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hills mum bec

Personally I would never go tiles, too hard and cold.  I do live in a very cold climate so this would definitely sway my opinion.  Have you looked into hybrid flooring?  Looks like wood but no maintenance and it’s waterproof.

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CallMeFeral

I love wood, and maintenance depends what you get I think. Our house is timber floor with zero maintenance, but that may be because it's 70 years old so maybe hardwood. We have engineered timber in the granny flat and so far it's ok, it's been about 10 years. We do zero maintenance. 

That said, in our new build we're considering passive house concepts, so will likely be getting tiles in our living area as it will be North facing and will be able to collect some heat in winter and be cool in summer. So that might be a consideration too. 

Rugs are fine on wood too, so I wouldn't treat that as a decider. 

Edited by CallMeFeral
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WaitForMe

I love wood for two main reasons. Less breakage of things when dropped, and dirt blends in alot easier.

 

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Elfie34

Floorboards every time. I don’t think they need much maintenance at all. Had them for when my kids were born to now at 9. But I don’t like wearing socks or shoes inside and tiles are way too cold

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Ozquoll
21 minutes ago, CallMeFeral said:

That said, in our new build we're considering passive house concepts, 

Oooh! I love eco-buildings and passive solar design - would love to hear more about what you do along those lines with your new house.

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Gumbette

We have tiles and I hate them.  Anything that's dropped just shatters into a thousand tiny pieces.  Dirt shows up (ours are off white), and the grout...well I've just given up.  They're also slippery if you have young kids running around.    I can't wait for the day we can replace them with floorboards.  The only saving grace is that it's cool in summer.  We don't really need the air con until well into the afternoon, and only if it's over 35 degrees outside.  

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Etcetera

Timber.

It's warmer, less noisy, things droped don't break as easily, it's easier to fix up marks than replacing broken tiles. Plus it looks much nicer.

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CallMeFeral
17 minutes ago, Ozquoll said:

Oooh! I love eco-buildings and passive solar design - would love to hear more about what you do along those lines with your new house.

Unfortunately we're on a tight budget so we are trying to get passive house stuff incorporated but with a volume builder, and not sure it's going to work. But mainly

- a really good building envelope - whole building is effectively wrapped in gladwrap to stop any uncontrolled air leakages (and then if we get good airtightness we'll put in an HRV system, which reduces temperature leakage while getting ventilation). Proper HRV would be ducted in at the building stage, but I'm not sure we'll get the airtightness that would require that. Minimal piercing of the building envelope (so no downlights upstairs). 

- tiles in the north facing areas so that the sun can heat up the concrete below in winter

- really super good windows as this is where most temperature loss occurs (uPVC unfortunately, wood would have been nicer) that seal well and don't transfer temperature (like aluminium does unless it's specifically thermally broken)

- unfortunately using wood instead of steel frame - we're in a high termite area so wanted steel, but it's horrible thermally 

- getting split system airconditioning rather than ducted. Hoping we'll only need to do it in the living areas and just use fans upstairs. 

- good + thorough insulation

- exhaust fans that seal when not on, and vent externally (ditto the dryer, unless we get a heat condenser) 

- light coloured roof

- no gas connection if I can convince DH (he still wants a wood fire which is not ideal but would be lovely) 

We have a massive windowed living area facing west, so it's not ideal, but we're just incorporating what we can. 

 

 

 

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SeaPrincess

I would always choose timber as my number one. We had tiles in the tropics and they were fine, but not in SW WA - too cold.
We’ve currently got vinyl planks, which have been hard wearing and still look good after 10 years (they were already here when we bought the house). They’re softer than tiles or hardwood, and warmer as well.

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cookiegurl
4 hours ago, CallMeFeral said:

Unfortunately we're on a tight budget so we are trying to get passive house stuff incorporated but with a volume builder, and not sure it's going to work. But mainly

- a really good building envelope - whole building is effectively wrapped in gladwrap to stop any uncontrolled air leakages (and then if we get good airtightness we'll put in an HRV system, which reduces temperature leakage while getting ventilation). Proper HRV would be ducted in at the building stage, but I'm not sure we'll get the airtightness that would require that. Minimal piercing of the building envelope (so no downlights upstairs). 

- tiles in the north facing areas so that the sun can heat up the concrete below in winter

- really super good windows as this is where most temperature loss occurs (uPVC unfortunately, wood would have been nicer) that seal well and don't transfer temperature (like aluminium does unless it's specifically thermally broken)

- unfortunately using wood instead of steel frame - we're in a high termite area so wanted steel, but it's horrible thermally 

- getting split system airconditioning rather than ducted. Hoping we'll only need to do it in the living areas and just use fans upstairs. 

- good + thorough insulation

- exhaust fans that seal when not on, and vent externally (ditto the dryer, unless we get a heat condenser) 

- light coloured roof

- no gas connection if I can convince DH (he still wants a wood fire which is not ideal but would be lovely) 

We have a massive windowed living area facing west, so it's not ideal, but we're just incorporating what we can. 

 

 

 

We recently did a KDRB incorporating lots of passive solar principles too. It’s makes such a difference to the thermal comfort of the house (we used to live in the previous house)! 
 

A recent article about an energy efficient volume build. I thought it was great they got it up to 7.5 stars. https://renew.org.au/sanctuary-magazine/house-profiles/project-home-powerhouse/ 

OP, we have hybrid flooring and love it as an alternative to timber as it’s waterproof all the way through. Also supposed to be pet and kid-proof (can’t vouch for this as we have no pets and kids are tweens!).

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My4beautifulboys

Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I think tiles would be much too cold, considering that we’re located in southern W.A. our house is a solar passive design though, with large north facing double glazed windows. 
I did price timber flooring recently, jarrah and blackbutt. Which I’m sure either would look amazing. And both hard timber’s, so would be hard wearing, as long as it’s treated with respect.  It is twice the cost of vinyl plank  flooring though. 

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CallMeFeral
9 hours ago, cookiegurl said:

We recently did a KDRB incorporating lots of passive solar principles too. It’s makes such a difference to the thermal comfort of the house (we used to live in the previous house)! 
 

A recent article about an energy efficient volume build. I thought it was great they got it up to 7.5 stars. https://renew.org.au/sanctuary-magazine/house-profiles/project-home-powerhouse/ 

OP, we have hybrid flooring and love it as an alternative to timber as it’s waterproof all the way through. Also supposed to be pet and kid-proof (can’t vouch for this as we have no pets and kids are tweens!).

Ooh thanks for this! I'm so glad to hear it's made a difference - a part of me really worries about us doing all this and it not amounting to much. 

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

We chose timber-look tiles and I love them. It was a lot of um-ing and ah-ing between timber or tiles, but I am glad we went for the tiles. We selected an ash-look timber tile with matching grout. Because of the tile style, the grout lines are quite small. I think they are 1200mm L x 120mm W, if I remember correctly. And were way cheaper ($45/sqm) than any of the timber quotes I was getting at the time ($70+/sqm), so that was an extra bonus too.

House was designed with a few passive solar features, so the tiles get direct sun in winter (so nice to walk on then, just a bit of warmth which is fabulous) but no sunlight in summer so they are lovely and cool then. Very easy maintenance , super easy!

74310C7D-DDB1-4C89-AD91-586525B4FDE4.jpeg

Our house was built 3 years ago and I am glad we specified a few things for the thermal properties. The roof is well insulated, as is the ceiling. We upgraded the wall insulations. All external doors are thick, insulated, and seal well. We don't have double glazing, but we do have thermally efficient glass etc. But sometimes it really comes down to the simple things - insulate, seal doors and windows as much as you can. If you buy an existing house, often there is not much you can do about orientation, floor layout (not without a lot of cost) but you can usually fix up insulation and drafts.

We lived in a house with timber floors when the kids were very young (rental, brand new floors). Yes, they got scratched.  I am not sure it was all entirely due to kids though. Just living in general. Thankfully owner put the scratches under "expected wear and tear" and didn't expect re-sanding or anything like that when we left.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne
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RichardParker

There’s a lot of variation when you say “timber floors”. Depends which wood, the coating, the sanding job etc. our new house has lovely timber flooring but the previous owner put cabethane on them, which is an oil-based cover, really designed for furniture. - so they scratch easily and always look kind of oily. To fix it requires completely sanding them back and putting poly down. Or tiles. But I’m wary of tiles for the reasons upthread. My mum had tiles put in and they always look filthy. 

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YodaTheWrinkledOne
8 minutes ago, RichardParker said:

There’s a lot of variation when you say “timber floors”. Depends which wood, the coating, the sanding job etc. our new house has lovely timber flooring but the previous owner put cabethane on them, which is an oil-based cover, really designed for furniture. - so they scratch easily and always look kind of oily. To fix it requires completely sanding them back and putting poly down. Or tiles. But I’m wary of tiles for the reasons upthread. My mum had tiles put in and they always look filthy. 

I think this is what happened with the rental we had as well.

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lozoodle

Timber. 

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YodaTheWrinkledOne
On 23/10/2020 at 12:48 AM, My4beautifulboys said:

We're currently in the process of choosing cupboard laminate colours and bench top colours etc. So many choices and things to think about.  We have chosen stone bench tops for the kitchen dressers. And would also like stone tops for the vanity units. Although the cabinet maker says that laminate is fine for the wet areas? 

We looked at stone tops for the vanities. It does make the vanity a bit heavier, so the framing/wall needs to be prepped to hold the extra weight. However, in the end, we had a custom-made vanities from the cabinet maker with a white acrylic top. Very happy with it.

We chose engineered stone (caesar) for the kitchen bench tops, and laminate for the laundry bench tops. The laminate is doing really well in the laundry.

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Silvers

I would always go timber, I hate the look and feel of tiles.  We have had solid timber Blackbutt floors for over 10 years now and they still look fantastic.  They give a real warmth to the house, whereas I think tiles make a house look cold.

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Chic'N'Stu
37 minutes ago, Silvers said:

I would always go timber, I hate the look and feel of tiles.  We have had solid timber Blackbutt floors for over 10 years now and they still look fantastic.  They give a real warmth to the house, whereas I think tiles make a house look cold.

Ah I'm envious! We did some design work a couple of years ago with a builder and they showed us photos of a build they did with solid Blackbutt floors, it was absolutely gorgeous.  We both wheezed when they told us how much extra that would add to the cost, way outside our budget unfortunately but with a modest lotto win I'd upgrade in a heartbeat.

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Freddie'sMum

I have been wanting to re-do our floors (grotty tiles and stained carpet) ever since we moved into our house more than 9 years ago !  OP - we are going for a hybrid floor - it is going to be beautiful.  We can't afford proper timber but the hybrid is 100% waterproof, lots of different colours to choose from and we can have the whole house (except the bathroom/laundry) with the one colour.  I would not choose tiles.

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My4beautifulboys

Thanks for your suggestions, really appreciate that. We’ve decided to go with timber flooring, rather than tiles. Especially where we live, as our summers are not extremely hot and our winters are quite cold. So I think the timber would be much more suited, and a cosier feel to the home. 
We’ll have to see how our budget goes, not sure if we’ll be up for solid timber. 
We’ll have to choose between, hybrid timber flooring, or laminate planks. 
 

Yoda; thanks for the phot, that floor looks amazing. That’s a great choice, it’s hard to believe there tiles, it looks so real to timber flooring. 

Edited by My4beautifulboys
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hills mum bec

OP, I would def go with hybrid over laminate if your budget can stretch.  We have laminate and 11 years later it is looking quite worn and they damage easily with any prolonged contact with small amounts of water.

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