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Floor - tiles or laminate?


sid

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We're in the process of extending the house and will have a new lounge, bedroom and bathroom. The concrete floor has been poured and shortly underfloor (hot water) heating will be installed and then a screed will follow on top. The current plan is for tiles throughout but we're just wondering what other people find...  in the lounge, especially during winter, are tiles too cold? Yes, we'll have heating on some of the time, so the floor shouldn't feel cold, but what about when the heat's not on? (We'll have and woodburning insert too). Do you find laminate flooring more comfortable? The norm seems to be tiles, or does it? With plenty of laminates in the big stores (Castorama, Lapeyre etc) it looks as though there's a move towards this type of flooring over the more traditional tiles. We don't want carpet. What'd your experience, pros and cons?

 

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My preference is for tiles. A friend has got underfloor heating and the tiles are nice to walk on when the heating is on. She also has rugs and when the floor is cold she wears slippers!!

Laminate is OK for upstairs but for a heavy wear area or if you have dogs, the laminate would have to be excellent quality (and therefore expensive) and I don't think it's really suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms.

I think tiles will last a lot longer, can be quite cheap (try Leroy Merlin - huge selection) and you'll find that in the summer, cool tiles are fabulous!
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Against our better advice, we installed expensive laminate flooring for one particular client in his downstairs lounge. Several months down the line, it is marked,dented and round the door damaged by rain water where the door was left open for a short while as it is a walk straight in from outside house.From my view as a housewife and experienced cleaner (aren't we all?) you cannot beat ceramic tiles downstairs for keeping clean and spotless especially when the animals and muddy boots come in, the french do not believe in removing their outdoor shoes or cleaning until the end of the week usually.
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Thanks for these replies.

Certain laminates are marked as suitable for underfloor heating so I imagine they allow the heat through. This is low temperature heating, at about 28C.

Cleaning: that's a major plus point. [Y]

We're not worried about rainwater drips, the lounge is not directly accessed from outside.

It's coming down to "how cold"? We may not wnat to run the heating continuously. Why not, if you've got it, you may well ask! Well, we don't yet know how the running costs will pan out. It's claimed to be more efficient, and certainly more comfortable. I suspect that a tiled floor, even when cold, would not feel like the older part of the house where there's no insulation.

Anyone else want to throw their twopenneth in? (Aye, I'm a northern lad!).

Cheers

Sid

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I have no experience of laminate flooring, nor how it compares

price wise with tiles.  However, I don’t

like laminate flooring much.  Certainly,

if I was buying a place that had laminate flooring it would be a negative (as I

would want to change it).

 

Ian

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I have to say this, even though the OP seems to have made up their mind.

I've got expensive laminate upstairs. It is hardy; so hardy I can't yet justify the cost of ripping it out.

No matter what else I do, it still looks like a cheap motel up there, and I hate it.

Laminate flooring is ruining my life. I need some kind of support group.

 

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I'd recommend a matt  tile, I don't know why but they seem to feel warmer to the touch. Laminate will expand and contract much more and won't take spillages any where near as well. I have just installed immitation slate floor tiles to our bathroom and just the warmth of the cental heating pipes keeps the floor warm ( I ripped out expensive 'waterproof' laminate that had only been down 2 years-it was rubbish)  The tiles act like a storage radiator, absorb the heat and then stay at a comfortable temp. The matt finish makes them far less slippy. As for cleaning, the tiles are much easier

At the end of the day it's down to personal choice.

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Artex of the future! Oh dear! [:)] I think I can see what you're getting at though; it's a trend which many people are following. You can't get around B&Q (or Castorama) without falling over packs of laminate on offer. When the fad has passed there will be tens of thousands of these floors in need of replacement. Not too difficult with the 'click' systems?

There seem to be more regrets about laminates. We don't want to fit something and then replace it a couple of years later because it's  driving us mad.

What's the lifespan of tiles? (assuming a reasonable quality). Some of the ones in our house appear to be very old. They're much more messy to replace. We hope that we wouldn't have to replace tiles in our lifetime in the house, not to sound too gloomy, just realistic.

Tiles win in bathrooms and kitchens; our doubt was for the lounge, but we're agreed on an 'all-over' look now.

Thanks for the input, but don't let this stop you adding further comments!

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Our whole ground floor was small brown/yellow rectangular tiles. We went straight over the top with bigger pale tiles to lighten the place.

Nice and cool and light in summer, and a small rug in front of the settee for winter. No problem.

But if you go for tile on tile, make sure you get the correct tiling cement, or...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi,

Thunderhorse, you tiled over existing tiles - exactly my plan. Anyone

experienced putting insulation under the (second) layer of tiles ?. Yes

it will reduce the room height but it should be a plus regarding heat

loss. Any ideas anyone?

wrt original post, tiles with rugs every time, laminate possibly

upstairs where existing floor boards are sound but 'grotty' and not

sandable.

regards

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Now that we've decided on tiles I have another related query this time regarding laying the tiles.

I understand that when laying tiles you should find the centre of the room and lay the tiles along lines at right angles to the walls.. I know I've not worded this very well, but I know what I mean! If, as in our case, you're laying the whole ground floor, is it usual to treat each room separately, (in which case tiles will almost certainly not align at door thresholds), or should you start in the hall say, aligned to the main front door and work throughout the ground floor based on this?

 

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It is difficult to describe this process in words but perhaps the simplest way to view it is to imagine that the tiles have been laid first and then the house set down on top of them . As Gay says get long visible runs straight and true and work from these. Also aim to cut all tiles to walls rather than ending up with a too wide and probably tapering band of grouting. Professional tilers do all this without a second thought but it does take a bit of working out if you are not familiar with the process. 

If it doesn't work out you could always cover it with laminate flooring!

bj

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Yes, thanks Gay and BJ. Understood. We have a long entrance hall and my prefernce now is to base the sight lines from the front door. All the other rooms will just connect to these even it means that the tiles are not central through a doorway. The floor plan of the house is square so it should be straightforward. 
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We have had our tiles for about 10 years I suppose and I have never even noticed the tiles not beig central through the doorways !

BTW This might sound a little odd but a friend of mine has had a good quality vinyl lay put upstairs (its a wood effect one) it's quieter than laminate and easy care too. It sounds a bit naf but it actually looks pretty good!

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