The look of hardwood flooring is a classic style that continues to survive trend changes, but there are a few drawbacks to this traditional flooring material. The potential for damage on a hardwood floor, whether solid or engineered, is certainly higher than with certain other flooring materials. The look of a beautiful hardwood floor can be soured by spills and scratches if you’re not careful.
So what are you to do if you want the classic look of wood flooring without the worry? Professional flooring installers can assist you with all the things you need to prepare but first, you need to know how a wood tile is created (no, it’s not finely crafted from porcelain forests). Wood-look tiles are manufactured from both ceramic and porcelain – with porcelain being the tougher, more scratch-resistant material of the two.
How do they get that woodsy look on the tiles? Think inkjet printing. Yep. The tiles are actually printed images of a real wood grain right onto the porcelain or ceramic. The higher the resolution, the better the quality (usually also pricier) of the tile.
What is Wood Look Tile?
Wood-look tile is a traditional tile – usually either a ceramic or porcelain base – that has been specially designed to look like wood. Realistic wood designs, available in a wide variety of styles and colors, are printed on the top of the tile to give the illusion of hardwood. Wood-look tiles are made in “plank” shapes to further enhance the effect.
Pros of Wood Look Tile
Wood-look tile is much more durable than traditional hardwood and requires far less maintenance to keep its original beauty. This tile stands up well to both foot traffic and spills, and it won’t end up scratched from shifting furniture the way a hardwood floor might. Wood-look tile can also withstand much more moisture and humidity than traditional hardwood can, making it a more versatile choice.
Wood-look tile is incredibly easy to clean. For daily maintenance, a dry sweep or vacuum will keep dust at bay, and you’ll want to go over your wood-look tile periodically with a damp mop as well for a deeper clean. In contrast to its hardwood counterpart, wood-look tile is less likely to be damaged by spills, which can easily be cleaned up with a damp mop or rag.
Wood-look tile is also an ideal choice for any room where you want to install radiant heating underneath your floors, as the tile will conduct heat well and evenly across your floor. With wood-look tile, you also do not have to worry about the flooring expanding and contracting – and potentially cracking – with the heat.
Cons of Wood Look Tile
While wood-look tile looks like real hardwood, it will have a different feel to it than a traditional wood floor. By nature of being tile, wood-look tile is harder than traditional hardwood flooring. Without a radiant heat system installed underneath, wood-look tile also tends to be colder underfoot than a hardwood floor.
Because wood-look tile is more durable and moisture-resistant than its hardwood lookalike, there are multiple opportunities to use this flooring choice throughout your home. You can use wood-look tile anywhere you would place hardwood flooring, including the living room. However, with the wood-look tile, you can now get the look of hardwood anywhere in your home. Wood-look tile creates a warm look in kitchens, bathrooms, and even outdoor patios.