We specialize in Laminate Flooring for a very good reason. We believe in it as a solution for many flooring problems.
Laminate flooring is a free floating floor. That means it is not adhered to the subfloor. If your home experiences cracks in the slab, the laminate flooring will not be affected. It floats on a pad over the cracks and unstable areas. We are experiencing a large surge in demand for our product here in Texas because of our extreme drought conditions. This makes the ground expand and the foundation breaks. Ceramic tile telegraphs these cracks perfectly which means the tiles crack exactly the same as the slab.
The only correct solution to this problem is to tear out the tile. This is a costly and expensive process. Most installers charge between three to five dollars per square foot for the demotion. You can never get the thin set that is spread on the concrete to hold the tile down completely off the slab as well. This has to be ground off or floated over which is a very dust and dirty job. Also, the self leveling float that is used to fill the voids is very expensive. I have been telling people for many years that if you get ceramic or porcelain tile you had better make sure you really like it because you are going to spend a lot of money getting rid of it.
All types of flooring have dye lots. This includes vinyl flooring, vinyl planks, carpet, engineered flooring, ceramic tile, you name it. This means that when you experience damage to your floor in a specific area (and you will) you will not be able to get the exact same color shade to do your repair. When you drop something on your ceramic floor and it cracks, you will not be able to repair it. Even if you have some tiles left over from the original installation you will see the repair as well. You can never get the height of the repair perfect and you can always see where you mixed a new batch of grout. Laminate Flooring on the other hand is quite easy to repair because of it`s unique tilt lock design. Laminate flooring is the only type of flooring that has no dye lots. It is not dyed at all, it is a photograph and the color stays perfect from batch to batch. This means you can get material next year that perfectly matches what you already have. This brings me to a point. Direct Source Flooring has its own color line. We choose our colors and import them directly from the manufacturer. These are running line colors. We never drop colors from our color line. We don`t buy clearance, seconds or otherwise discounted materials from the manufacturer because we want you to be able to get more of the same material when you want it. The only exception to this would be if the manufacturer were to drop a color. We have no control over this. We have noticed over the years that both Kronotex and Kronoswiss have less drops that any manufacturer that we have seen. We have colors that have been in our line for 15 years.
Wood sub floors
Wood sub floors are a big problem when it comes to ceramic tile. It is almost impossible to have a wood floor and not have some movement when you walk on it. You can lay Hardi backer down first but the floor still moves and you have joints in the Hardi which are a problem as well. Ceramic tile on a flexing wood floor is always a mistake and all wood floors flex. Ceramic tile is not flexible. It is basically glass stuck down with a mortar based compound with the grout line filled with a mortar based compound. The least bit of movement will cause the tile to release from the sub floor, crack or at the least cause the grout between the tiles to pop out. Don`t waste your money on a ceramic tile floor, especially on a wood sub floor. With the laminate flooring you get a cushioned warm floor that flexes with the wood Trust me on this!
Cleanliness and ease of installation
I have installed a lot of ceramic tile in my life and hope to never have that experience again. It is dusty, nasty, heavy work. It is also dangerous to your health. I had a good friend that died. He installed ceramic for 20 years and died from lung cancer at the age of 42. Everything that you mix in the installation process contains silica which is a carcinogen and floats in a cloud around you as you work. I have installed all types of flooring and laminate is by far the cleanest installation process of all. After you sweep and lay down the pad that is it. I use a dust mask when I make cuts and I am working on a plastic moisture barrier the entire time.