Parquet or tiles with a wood look: what to choose?

The choice between parquet or floor tiles is a difficult one.

You may love wood, but you wonder whether a wooden floor is suitable for underfloor heating.

And you don’t like scratches in your floor either, because they ruin the look of your beautiful home.

Do you recognize yourself in all of this?

To help you make up your mind, I have written this article.

Here I have some tips for you…

How concerned are you about your home?

It is an important question and I tell you why. I have seen people who panic when small children come to visit them. There are also those ones who never sit on a sofa for fear of staining their seat. It may sound strange, but such people exist… Do you remember the sofa in Toula  parents’ house  in My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

A house should be as functional, comfortable and welcoming as possible, but above all, it should be a house you like. You should enjoy living there.

If you ask your guests to take off their shoes because you are afraid of a small scratch on the wood, then parquet is absolutely not for you. Choose stoneware to enjoy your home, to simplify your life and to be more relaxed when people come over.

Stoneware has its advantages:

✅   It does not absorb dirt.

✅   It does not need to be oiled or sanded.

✅   It is resistant to impacts, scratches, bending, stains but pay attention to chemicals.

✅    The material is inert; no substances are released from it.

What do you want your flat to look like?

About ten years ago, a wood effect in stoneware was almost unfeasible. Tiles did not have straight edges, which meant that the joints were at least 4-5 mm wide and therefore very noticeable. The effect was rather “cheap” and of course false, because between real wooden planks the joint is almost invisible. In the years that followed, manufacturers started to specialise in the production of tiles that looked more and more like wood. Today, there is a huge choice of colours, sizes, finishes and styles. Nowadays, stoneware planks are very tight, which means they can be laid with a maximum joint of 2 mm, in the same colour if desired. Then you hardly see that the wooden planks are actually tiles.

Nevertheless, wood remains a material that has more charisma than stoneware. And parquet also has its advantages:

✅ A parquet floor forms a continuous unit.

✅     The floor has a warmer, softer effect because it consists of natural material.

✅ A quality parquet floor will not get out of fashion easily and has therefore a long lifespan.

✅    A parquet floor can be finished in different ways: varnish, oil or leave it unfinished. The floor can be smooth, brushed, sawn and can be laid in various patterns.


What prejudices are you guided by?

Here are some myths about wooden floors and tiles:

➡️ Parquet cannot be installed with underfloor heating.

A myth: simply follow the instructions for laying the floor with underfloor heating.

➡️ Stoneware does not stain.

A myth: Many people have sometimes got ugly circles and deposits on their tiles that they have not been able to remove, for example from the dishwasher.

➡️ Parquet flooring should not be laid in the bathroom.

A myth: Parquet flooring can be laid anywhere, but it is important to prevent water from staying on the floor for a long time.

➡️ Parquet requires no maintenance.

A myth: Parquet requires maintenance and should be cleaned with non-aggressive cleaning agents. Depending on the type of parquet, it may be necessary to oil the floor periodically.

➡️ Stoneware with a wood effect costs less.

A myth: Depending on the tile size, it can be more expensive than parquet, but not as expensive as top-quality biocompatible parquet (which can cost up to € 150/m²).

➡️ Stoneware never needs to be treated.

It is a myth: once all the work on the building site has been completed, stoneware must be cleaned using special products.

➡️ Hardwood floors cannot be used with pets in the house.

It is a myth: a resistant parquet floor will not cause any problems. The most suitable wood species is oak, because it reacts well to moisture and, thanks to its hardness, it is resistant to wear, knocks and scratches.

Stoneware with a wood texture came on the market to meet the demand for a floor that simulated wood and could be laid in the kitchen and bathroom.

Real parquet has no joints. It is a homogeneous and continuous material, which is cool in summer and warm in winter, especially when combined with underfloor heating.

Check with friends and family, visit showrooms and make sure you are well informed before making your final choice. And most importantly: don’t choose based on price, especially when it comes to wood.

If you choose parquet, remember to ask about the certificates.

And if you choose tiles, choose first choice stoneware, with a thickness of at least 1 cm, smooth, straight cut edges and with a pattern that continues over at least 6 m².

Finally, architects prefer real wood with all its disadvantages. They will opt for authentic materials as much as possible. And I … well, I am an architect 👷.

Maria Elena Fauci from MEF architect 

I am an architect + interior designer, specialised in villas, interiors and renovations.

Elegance, functionality, bringing together different colours and materials are the core brands of my projects. I don’t have a fixed style and I don’t want to have one. Each design is a story of different elements that reveal something unique about my clients.

I like to design iconic furniture for a home. This is where my Italian origins come to the fore.

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