Vinyl vs. Tile: Which is the better option?

Some years back, this would’ve been a no-brainer; however, advances in vinyl flooring have made it into one. So, which is the better buy? We will discuss durability, appearance, installation, price, and resale value. Hopefully you’ll have more insight and be better able to make your decision by the end.

Vinyl vs. Tile, Round 1: Durabilityvinyl vs tile

Its multi-layered composition makes vinyl plank flooring quite durable. The floor flexes upon impact, allowing it to withstand impacts, even large ones. Its top layer is the wear layer. This layer protects the surface from scratching and staining. Since it’s soft and flexible, it’s pretty difficult to damage. Additionally, it’s hard for moisture to reach the core of the plank because it has to pass through so many layers in order to do so.

Ceramic tile is known for its strength. It’s a hard material that doesn’t get affected by changing environments or home accidents. But, if a crack does occur to it at any point, the tile can be hard to repair. Unlike vinyl, ceramic isn’t flexible. The flooring type does not have the ability to flex at the point of impact. This actually makes it more vulnerable to damage, despite its hardness.

The last point…

Ceramic tile doesn’t earn its name unless it has a water absorption rate of <0.5. 0.5 is not 0, meaning water can still seep through the surface and cause issues. This isn’t as much of an issue as vinyl. In fact, some vinyl plank flooring is offered 100% waterproof.

Durability Winner: Vinyl

Vinyl vs. Tile, Round 2: Appearance

Vinyl is more of an acquired taste. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t look good, it’s just that homeowners can have an issue with it not being real hardwood. But, if you look past that, vinyl plank flooring can bring great value with its cheap prices and good looks. The resemblance between vinyl and real hardwood is only getting better. The planks are wider than normal hardwood flooring, but as far as appearance goes, vinyl does not suffer much. Vinyl shares the same versatility as hardwood. It can be made to imitate practically any type of hardwood and tile.

Of course, ceramic tile carries a significantly different appearance than vinyl. Ceramic has more of a timeless look that blends in more than it stands out. It is consistent and can be a nice compliment to kitchen cabinetry and general home furnishings. As long as you can keep the tile grout clean, ceramic can maintain its clean appearance.

Appearance Winner: Well, it depends on your preferences. You decide! But, vinyl’s versatility might give it an edge over tile.

Vinyl vs. Tile, Round 3: Installation

DIY installation is an option when it comes to vinyl flooring installation. The flooring type can simply be glued or nailed to a subfloor. As long as the subfloor is clean and flat, you should be able to install it easily. You can also install vinyl flooring using the click-lock method. This method is similar to fitting vinyl planks together like a puzzle.

Ceramic tile requires mortar and grout in order to be properly installed. This can be messy and tedious. Therefor, the installation process for ceramic is best left to professionals. The ability to install the tile properly is essential. If it’s not laid correctly, it will be more vulnerable to cracking.

Installation Winner: Vinyl

Vinyl vs. Tile, Round 4: Price

Vinyl is significantly cheaper than ceramic. Quality varies with all floor types, so you’ll be able to find both vinyl and ceramic flooring on the low-end and the high-end. That being said, vinyl flooring is more affordable regardless.

High quality ceramic tiles will cost considerably more than vinyl planks. Add in the cost of installation and you will be paying even more. Essentially, the thicker the ceramic tile, the more expensive. According to Floor Critics, thicker tiles will typically cost between $4-$8 per square foot. Although, thin ceramic tiles can be sold for less than $1 per square foot.

Price Winner: Vinyl gives you more value per dollar.

Vinyl vs. Tile, Round 5: Resale Value

Vinyl is typically bought for functional purposes rather than for appearance purposes. While it looks pretty nice, it’s basically a type of flooring that can be easily maintained and is hard to damage. Due to its functional purposes and lower cost, home evaluators do not value vinyl flooring very highly.

Ceramic holds a more classic, long-term appeal. Thus, it carries more weight in resale value. It won’t add the kind of value that you’d get from hardwood or natural stone flooring, but you should see at least a slight increase in home value with ceramic tile.

Resale Value Winner: Ceramic

Overall, vinyl outscores ceramic tile 4 to 1. Does this mean that you should purchase vinyl over ceramic? Not necessarily. Ultimately, it’s up to your preferences, along with your household’s needs. Ceramic tile can go a long way appearance-wise, but vinyl offers more for its price.

No matter what type of flooring you decide on, know that you can find it at Nadine Floors! We carry both vinyl and ceramic flooring. We’ll also install your new flooring for you! Call Nadine Floors at (469) 666-4530 or visit our website, Also, check out our blog for more useful home remodeling input.