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Home / Common Questions / Ceramic Substitutes: 3 Alternatives to Floor Tiles

Ceramic Substitutes: 3 Alternatives to Floor Tiles


Beauflor, Hydrana in "Gyant Natural"

As attractive as they can be, ceramic tiles and floor tiles in general, made of real stone or marble, have disadvantages. One drawback is that they have a much harder surface, which can be hard on the feet. And unless you have subfloor heating installed, they can be rather chilly, especially when you make your way to the kitchen for a midnight snack. But why is it that homeowners stick with installing floor tiles in specific areas–from bathrooms to basements–simply to withstand the moisture and topical spills that occur? After all, there are just as beautiful options that can offer the same results–if not better!

So why settle for hard, cold ceramic and stone in these moisture-prone, splash-frequented areas? Use one of these three alternatives to floor tiles instead.

3 Floor Tile Alternatives

Vinyl Plank and Tile

Vinyl plank and tile make some of the best alternatives for floor tiles. If it’s the look of tile you want, luxury vinyl tiles can resemble anything from earthy textured stone to classic and smooth striated marble. And if you want the look of beautiful hardwood, but need a more resilient flooring to take on moisture-prone areas like bathrooms, kitchens and basements, vinyl planks can give you precisely what you’re looking for, from blond woods to deep mahogany-like looks and more. 

Palmetto Road Wrightsville tile floor
Palmetto Road Intrigue Collection - Waterproof Tiles

An extremely versatile flooring, vinyl plank and tile also offer many other advantages. For starters, vinyl plank and tile are super affordable for homeowners designing or renovating on a budget. They’re also a breeze to maintain and offer an easy installation. Although, we highly recommend avoiding the DIY route and instead using a professional. The reason being that there are a few considerations to make, such as the direction the vinyl planks are installed in the space. 

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Second to vinyl plank and tile is laminate flooring, another option that has unique advantages. Laminate is an especially great alternative when you desire the look of hardwood, but need a more water-resistant option. Laminate flooring also offers the ability to install padding to make a softer step and more comfortable underfoot. 

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The only downside to laminate is that, while it's a highly durable particle board surface, it can become worn over time. A more hardy alternative for any home, hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished to look as good as new. However, while your standard hardwood flooring might work nicely within living rooms and bedrooms, it’s not ideal for moisture-prone areas that often call for ceramic and other tile materials and styles. For that, you need waterproof hardwood.

Raintree Waterproof Hardwood, Laguna Vibes, Egret

Raintree Waterproof Hardwood, Laguna Vibes, Egret

Waterproof Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a dream flooring for many homeowners. But they’re not always ideal in some applications. Enter waterproof hardwood. A revolutionary product in the industry, waterproof flooring is the absolute best flooring you can find. This flooring doesn’t just resemble hardwood. They are hardwood! Even the National Hardwood Association classifies the Raintree brand as real hardwood, meaning it can also increase your home’s resale value

But the real advantage of waterproof hardwood floors is that they are truly 100 percent waterproof, which makes them an attractive alternative to floor tiles in areas that see lots of spills. Providing the same benefits and natural beauty as real hardwood–because they are!–they are perfect for bathrooms where you splash bathwater and tread around on wet feet. Plus, they offer a bit more traction than ceramic or stone tile, offering a slip-proof surface.  

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Where to Use Tile Alternatives 

sunroom in a luxury home

Source: pics721/

Now that you know a few alternatives to use in place of floor tile, let’s explore where they can be used throughout the home.

Bathroom–When choosing the best flooring for your bathroom, vinyl plank and tile, as well as waterproof hardwood, are great alternatives. Unfortunately, laminate is not entirely waterproof, only water-resistant. And since your bathroom sees lots of humidity, you need a more durable flooring to prevent buckling, swelling and other serious structural issues. 

Kitchen–Choosing the best type of flooring for your kitchen is crucial. Families spend lots of time in this central location, making it another high-traffic area prone to spills and heavy dropped pots, which can crack floor tiles. Needless to say, kitchen flooring needs to be extra durable and resilient. Vinyl and waterproof hardwood floors are top contenders for this part of the home. Waterproof hardwood, such as Raintree, also offers a durable kitchen flooring, holding up to its everyday use and heavy foot traffic, especially in busy households. While you have to be extra careful of topical spills on standard hardwood, waterproof hardwood floors are completely 100 percent waterproof material.

Sunroom–The best flooring option for your sunroom is vinyl plank and tile flooring. Surrounded by windows, sunrooms tend to project sounds, which can be corrected with a sound-absorbing material like vinyl. Vinyl flooring is also waterproof, which means accidentally overwatering plants and creating topical spills is not detrimental. If you still appreciate the timeless look of terracotta tiles in your private solarium, don’t fret! Vinyl tiles can resemble anything from porcelain to natural stones. Just be sure to use a quality vinyl that can withstand fluctuating levels of humidity in this space. 

Other than these main areas, vinyl plank and tile, laminate and waterproof hardwood flooring are also fantastic alternatives to floor tiles in many other splash zone areas of the home. For instance, you can use them in laundry rooms that contend with the fluctuation of moisture and the dry heat of a dryer. Basements, which can already feel a bit drafty and cold, can benefit from swapping out stone and ceramic tiles with a softer vinyl or waterproof hardwood that can provide a warmer underfooting. Even foyers and mudrooms can take advantage of an easy-to-maintain alternative, instead of seeing stained grout after years of foot traffic. 

Palmetto Road Inspire Collection

Ready to find your perfect floor for bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms and more? Check out Twenty & Oak’s virtual flooring showroom to browse. If you see something you like, order samples to see how they look in your space. 

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Twenty & Oak Flooring Experts 
Twenty & Oak Flooring Experts are a team of flooring professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the industry. They have hands-on experience with all flooring types and bring inside industry know-how to homeowners in the Southeast. 

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