A New Take on Wood


If you look at recent trends in decorating and home design, you’ll notice how 3D printing has brought the look of natural wood and stone to manmade products like tile. Years ago, when you’d buy a tile designed to resemble natural resources, they would appear fake and cheap. There is a certain prestige and richness to design with organic products. Today you can enjoy the realistic look of these expensive designs at a fraction of the cost thanks to the advanced technology offering beauty and realism to manmade replicas.

Bright designed bedroom with Retriever in the room
Used with permission of Kara Miller Interiors and Brantley Photography

Wood-look tile has become very popular and is predominantly featured in many decorating magazines. If you’ve ever seen what happens to natural wood flooring installed in a kitchen, you know why ceramic or porcelain tile are much more sensible. But wood-look tile available in both these materials allow people to enjoy the rich, warm look of wood with the durability of tile.

Tile in the kitchen area is preferable for many reasons; it is easy to clean, the design can tolerate heavy foot traffic and it will not require refinishing. The kitchen floor tends to have heavy things dropped on it, endure substances that stain like wine, and be subject to spills. For all these reasons, wood is a poor material choice for a kitchen which will require refinishing after a few years. Unless your kitchen is just for show, you are better off installing tile than having to refinish a wood floor every few years.

Living room with round chandelier, chairs, book shelfs, bar table
Used with permission of Marianne Simon Design

Wood-look tile comes in a wide variety of colors, varying from natural pine to mahogany to bleached look and grey tones to match today’s popular backsplash and paint choices. You can buy a matte finish, high shine, or hand-scraped look to achieve different effects. Some designs even feature wormwood holes, scratches, and stains to mimic naturally occurring defects in wood.

Creating a parquet tile floor or zigzag design is easy with tile and normally expensive when natural wood is used. Tiles come in a myriad of designs, featuring different effects, prints, colors, and patterns. We are seeing wood-look tile on floors and walls. They are predominantly featured in rustic, industrial designs inspired by home shows.

Kitchen with round glass table and orange chairs
Used with permission of Massucco Warner

You may find yourself installing tile in rooms you would normally install wood or carpet because the wood-look lends itself to every decorating style and environment. Few would ever consider putting wood in a bathroom where there is constant exposure to water, but wood-look tiles lend themselves beautifully to modern bathroom designs. You can even bring the look of wood to an outdoor patio for a splinter-free deck that won’t warp or require refinishing.

So, if you’ve recently had an estimate to install wood flooring and were aghast after getting a quote (the prices of wood have gone sky high), consider installing wood-look tile as a less expensive, but equally tasteful alternative that will last longer and won’t require maintenance. Wood-look tile is a trend that is likely to last decades as we continue to find new and exciting ways to incorporate it into our home décor.

Thanks to somertile.com for consulting.


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