Wood Look Floor Tile: What You Need to Know
Wood is a classic look that can suit any space. People see it, love it, and want it in their homes. The only problem is that real wood can be a pain to manage long-term.
Fortunately, with the introduction of wood look floor tiles, homeowners can enjoy all the benefits of having a classic aesthetic in their home while avoiding any of the drawbacks of real wood.
In this article, we'll explain what wood look floor tile is, how it compares to wood, reasons to choose tile, and how you can choose the right option for your home.
What Is Wood Looking Tile?
Wood look tile is exactly what it sounds like – porcelain floor tile that looks like wood. This product is specifically designed to emulate the texture and appearance of natural wood, but with the durability and low maintenance of tile. It's factory-made and much easier to produce than its naturally-derived counterpart, and is usually less expensive too.
Wood Looking Tiles vs Wood Flooring
Many homeowners find themselves with the dilemma of picking between wood looking tile vs. hardwood flooring for their home. It's definitely a tough decision to make – both options have pros and cons. To make things easier for you, we've broken down the most important factors to consider between these two materials below.
Cost & Installation
If you're like most homeowners, the first and most important factor in your decision is price. Wood look flooring costs are usually lower as floor tile is easier to install. It doesn't require any labor-intensive sanding, staining, or finishing steps that are necessary when installing real hardwood floors.
When it comes to durability, wood looking tile definitely has the upper hand. It's made from porcelain, which is much more water- and scratch-resistant than wood. The glaze also helps protect the surface from staining and fading over time, meaning that your hardwood floor tile will look new for much longer.
Stains are a unique factor to consider when comparing these two materials. Not only do you have the issue of literal stain – as in whether a surface can be toned with a dye or paint – but you also have the issue of stains from wear and tear. Both options have something to offer in this respect.
Real wood is meant to be stained, repainted, or re-sanded – tile isn't. However, wood looking tile is much more stain-resistant than real wood and won't need to be re-sanded or refinished as often.
You probably don't need to be told this, but wood is brown. While there are different shades and hues to choose from, it's still going to be fairly consistent. Wood looking tile is much more versatile in this respect. It can take on extremely realistic tones that are inspired by nature, or even come in more creative options like black, gray, and white tile.
Styles & Variety
Wood looking tile is available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and sizes. You can find wood look tile patterns in an array of combinations from mahogany to oak, and a variety of sizes to fit the size of your room. While real wood surfaces do come in a number of styles and colors, they are usually limited by what wood you’re using.
In terms of maintenance, wood looking tile also wins out over real wood. You can keep your floors looking their best with minimal effort. It’s generally as easy to care for as vinyl flooring – as long as you regularly sweep and mop the surface with a mild detergent, your tile will remain looking perfect for years to come.
Ask any pet owner, and they'll tell you that real wood floors can be a nightmare to maintain with an animal in the house. Wood looking tile, on the other hand, is a more pet-friendly flooring. Its water and scratch-resistant surface stands up to paws, claws, and other sharp objects much better than wood does. It also tolerates liquids much better – an added bonus if you have a pet that likes to slosh their water bowl around on kitchen floor tiles.
Is Wood Look Tile Out of Style?
Some people dismiss wood style patterns as out of date or passe – but they couldn't be any more wrong! Wood look tile is incredibly popular, and it's here to stay. With the new technologies that are being introduced in the industry, this type of tile is becoming even more realistic and stylish. It's a great way to achieve the classic look of wood without all the maintenance that comes with it. Whether you choose it for a unique kitchen floor tile, feature it in a cozy living room or hallway, it's one of the best materials you can use for a floor, and will never go out of style.
Does Wood Look Tile Need Grout?
Yes, wood look tile flooring does require a grout joint – usually one that's 1/8 or 3/16” wide. This is important in order to allow the tile to adjust to any minuscule movements of the subfloor, preventing breakage, lippage, and an uneven surface. Without the grout joint, your flooring won't be properly installed and may not last as long.
Caring for Your Wood Look Tile
When comparing tile to carpet, hardwood, and ceramic flooring, porcelain wood look tile is incredibly easy to care for. All you have to do is sweep and mop it regularly with a mild detergent, and you'll be able to keep it looking perfect for years to come. The key is to avoid using abrasive products when cleaning, as similarly to ceramic flooring, these can strip away the finish of your tile.
Choosing the Right Wood Look Tile Color
When it comes to buying floor tile, there's no shortage of colors and styles to choose from. From light beige to deep mahogany to camel brown tile, you can find a color to fit any room. However, the key is to choose a color that won't clash with your decor or overwhelm the space. If you're going for a more natural look, opt for matte porcelain tile in neutral and light colors like beige or gray. If you want to make a statement, consider options like dark brown wood look porcelain tile.
Whichever option you go with, make sure it's something that you love, as this type of tile is meant to last for years.