Just in case anyone else is trying to decide whether or not to install cold, hard tile in their house, I thought that I would share my response here.
In our first home, we had tile in our entryway, and I really liked it. It is so easy to clean. I think that it is the best option for entryways where wet and dirty shoes enter a home.
In addition, I walked on the porcelain tile that we bought before buying it and I really liked the feel of it. Cold tile doesn’t bother me. Truth be told, so far it hasn’t felt as cold as the vinyl used to feel under my feet downstairs. Plus, large porcelain tile looks better than vinyl. Since the cost of the tile installation (materials included) was very similar to what it would have cost to have vinyl installed, it was a no brainer for us.
Finally, we decided to install porcelain tile in our upstairs bathroom and in our entryway because the tile that we purchased has a 0.4% water absorption rate. The old vinyl in the upstairs bathroom was black (bleach wouldn’t remove it) and swollen near the bathtub. We wanted flooring that wouldn’t mold. We chose tile for the downstairs hallway and bathroom because tile is the best flooring to use on concrete. The vinyl used to feel cold and hard downstairs. When we took up the carpet at the bottom of the stairs, the padding was falling apart. In our main room downstairs, the padding is stuck to the floor. We had thought about putting Pergo downstairs, but the Carpet Pros installer told us that even with the moisture barrier, Pergo, isn’t the best option on concrete. Carpet and wood aren’t really good options either.
We are still trying to decide if we should eventually put carpet or tile in the main room downstairs. This room has always felt colder than the other rooms in the house. If we do decide to install tile in this room, I think that we might opt to heat the floor with this. I have heard that doing so not only heats the floor, but can also increase the temperature in the room by around 10 degrees. The thought of making this room warmer, makes the prospect of tiling it very enticing. Of course, we have to have the money to do so first, but I can always daydream.