Choosing Between Wood and Tile Floors for Your Foyer

Choosing Between Wood and Tile Floors for Your Foyer

Flooring
Tile Work
By Dikran Seferian May 10, 2022

Flooring lays the foundation for how your foyer looks and feels. Choosing the right material for your entryway floor is a fundamental part of achieving a cohesive and practical design. You may, however, find yourself at a crossroad while trying to decide between two different options — most commonly hardwood and tile flooring.

Several factors come into play when it comes to making your decision. While aesthetics certainly play a huge role in your choice, you’ll also want to account for functionality as well as feasibility. The right flooring option will be able to withstand the heavy foot traffic of an entryway and maintain visual appeal at the same time. 

Hardwood Flooring for Entryways

It’s not uncommon for hardwood to be the flooring material of choice in an entryway. It lends an organic charm to just about any interior space and hardly ever fails to maintain its timeless appeal. There’s no denying the quality and range of hardwood either. Hardwood flooring varies from the type of wood that is used in its production to the way the material is cut and assembled. This results in a go-to product that many homeowners find irresistible.

Hardwood is a common choice of material for entryway flooring.

Hardwood is a common choice of material for entryway flooring.

Cost

Although the return of investment on hardwood flooring is one of the highest, the upfront cost can sometimes be a deal-breaker for homeowners. You can expect to pay anywhere between $6 and $12 per square foot to have hardwood planks installed in your foyer. The exact price will depend on the type of wood you select as well as the cost of labor. Along with the cost of having the old floor removed in addition to trim work, you may be paying up to $23 per square foot.

The total cost of installing hardwood floors typically ranges between $2,300 and $6,000, with an average of $4,200. But since most entryways are relatively small, the price may lean towards the lower end of the spectrum.  

Maintenance 

Cleaning hardwood floors is usually a piece of cake. But since entryways tend to get dirty more often, the flooring will probably require a little more care. Then again, all it might take is a quick sweeping with a broom.

You may also want to wash the timber floor with a mixture of water and a few drops of dish soap, vinegar, or a wood cleaning product. Avoid using a regular mop to apply the mixture as it can leave puddles of water on the wooden floor (bear in mind that hardwood flooring isn’t the most waterproof option). Microfiber mops, on the other hand, will do just fine.

Hardwood requires continuous maintenance to guarantee long-term durability.

Hardwood requires continuous maintenance to guarantee long-term durability.

Installation

Installing hardwood floors usually involves some elbow grease, especially if you’re taking the project into your own hands. You’ll have to remove the old flooring first, and then decide on the method of installation. There are three ways to lay wooden floorboards: glue-down, nail-down, and tongue-in-groove.

You may find it easier to install glue-down and tongue-in-groove planks because, unlike the nail-down option, they don’t require any special tools and a wooden subfloor. Should you opt for nail-down planks, however, you may want to hire the help of trained professionals to get the job done more efficiently. 

Design Options

Standard hardwood flooring comes in either planks or strips, but if you want to create a visual effect in your entryway, you can also go for geometric patterns. Common flooring designs that many homeowners choose include diagonal, wood parquet, and herringbone. You’ll even find other patterns such as chevron and checkerboard.

Herringbone and chevron patterns, for instance, work well in entryways that are long and narrow since the visual effect will be more apparent. To bring the best out of checkered hardwood floors, on the other hand, a wider foyer might be preferable.

Hardwood floors are available in a multitude of patterns.

Hardwood floors are available in a multitude of patterns.

Lifespan

With proper care and maintenance, hardwood flooring is known to last a lifetime. Bear in mind that you might need to refinish the hardwood floors of your entryway once a decade or so in order to restore its luster. This involves sanding the floorboards down and applying a fresh coat of finish.

You may also be glad to know that the value of hardwood flooring grows with time, resulting in a great return on investment. Moreover, the timeless appeal of wooden floors guarantees that they never go out of style. And the fact that the material ages gracefully means that even a weathered look can appear beautiful. 

Tile Flooring for Entryways

Tile flooring is more of an umbrella term that refers to any type of hard-wearing floor that consists of tiles. Among the most common types of tile flooring, you will find in entryways are porcelain and ceramic. Both of these materials are clay-based and only differ in their compositions.

Another widely used type of tile flooring is natural stone. In general, this includes marble, slate, and granite, among others.

Factors to consider when choosing tile floors for your entryway are plentiful; good quality is often pricy.

Factors to consider when choosing tile floors for your entryway are plentiful; good quality is often pricy.

Cost

The cost of ceramic and porcelain tiles can range from just $0.50 up to $10 per square foot. Natural stone tiles such as slate, on the other hand, are typically more expensive; you can expect to pay anywhere between $5 to $15 for every square foot. Customized or high-quality designer tiles carry a larger price tag than non-porcelain varieties, which are generally the least expensive. These numbers, however, only account for the flooring materials. That being said, you will also want to factor in the cost of labor and installation.

Depending on how complex the project is and what materials you’re using, you may be paying an additional $4 to $35 per square foot — or more in the case of stone tiles. As with hardwood flooring, the total cost will probably not be on the higher end given that foyers usually aren’t as big as other rooms. 

Maintenance

Cleaning and maintaining your tile floors is fairly easy as long as they’re installed and sealed properly. Simply use a damp cloth to wipe up any spills on the spot, and vacuum or mop the floor on a weekly basis.

Keep in mind that foyers will often see more dirt and dust, with people frequently going in and out. It can be a good idea to carry out a deep clean once every couple of months, making sure to clean the grout in between the tiling. You may, however, want to avoid using harsh products such as bleach or ammonia as they can damage the grout. A simple mixture of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap will usually do.

Any cracks in the grout or tiles that are broken or buckled will require immediate repair or replacement. Damaged tile or grout that is left unchecked can cause even more issues in the long run. Re-sealing the grout on an occasional basis can be a great preventative measure. Since entryways normally experience a great deal of foot traffic, it can be a good idea to re-seal the grout once a year. This way, you’ll only need to replace the grout altogether once every 15 years. Additional measures you can take include placing area rugs and using furniture pads. 

Installation

Installing tiles can take a fair amount of time. This is because tiles require a higher level of precision than other types of flooring — and improper installation can prove to be problematic down the line. Although carrying out the project yourself allows you to cut down on the costs, it’s preferable that you leave it to a skilled contractor.

Design Options

Tile flooring is available in a myriad of styles, colors, and designs. In addition, you can install the tiles in various patterns including but not limited to modular, herringbone, offset, or mosaic. You can even go for a customized pattern if your budget permits. Let’s not forget about non-square tiles such as those shaped as hexagons or diamonds. With a limitless variety of options, you’re sure to find one that resonates with the design style of your foyer.

Tile flooring comes in an endless variety of designs, such as patterns of modular and mosaic.

Tile flooring comes in an endless variety of designs, such as patterns of modular and mosaic.

Lifespan

A tile floor that’s well-maintained can easily last upwards of 20 years. As a matter of fact, certain tiles are actually known to last up to 50 years — unless they’re somehow damaged before repair. The main threats to the lifespan of your entryway’s tile flooring are grout problems and any issues in the subfloor such as water damage. This only goes to show how important it is to give the grout the attention it needs. You may also want to buy extra tiles should a replacement be necessary. 

Which Is Better for Your Entryway? 

Hardwood flooring might carry a price tag that could deter homeowners, but its quality and aesthetic value make it irresistible to many. It is also known to offer a considerable return on investment, making it a great home improvement idea. If your foyer is prone to getting constantly wet and dusty, however, hardwood is probably better off in other rooms.

If you’re looking for a timeless design and a low-maintenance aesthetic for your entryway, tile flooring is your best bet. Tile provides the elegance and design versatility of hardwood flooring without the headaches that typically come with it.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

comments

Under Construction - Coming Back Soon!

We are currently working on bringing you an improved experience. Please leave your name and email address and we'll let you know as soon as we relaunch.