Hardwood flooring brings a timeless sophistication to a home, but it is costly, hard to maintain, and shows wear easily. Wood look porcelain tile provides the look you love about luxury hardwood with a host of additional benefits. The durability, ease of cleaning, and range of styles have made wood look tiles a popular choice in flooring. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of this flooring choice will help you determine whether or not it makes a suitable choice for your home or business.
Wood Look Porcelain Tile Pros
Wood look tile is much less expensive per square foot than traditional hardwood flooring, making it a much more budget-friendly option. Both hardwood floors and porcelain tile typically require professional installation. Make sure to factor in the price of installation into your overall budget.
Many Styles Available
Wood look porcelain tile is made using a professional-grade inkjet technology that prints the look of wood onto the surface of the tile with incredible realism. The surfaces of the tiles are often even textured to mimic wood grain. Because it is man-made, wood-look porcelain tiles comes in a wide array of colors, finishes, and textures to choose from. Traditional oak, rich cherry, and rustic driftwood finishes are just a few of the many options available. With such an extensive selection, it is easy to find a wood look porcelain tile designed to elevate the style of any room.
Easy to Maintain
Like all porcelain tile, this flooring option is easy to maintain. Using a broom or hard-floor vacuum removes all dry dirt and debris from the floor. When a deeper clean is necessary, a traditional mop and bucket with some soapy water is all that is needed. The fact that it is so easy to clean makes it both a pet and allergy-friendly choice as well.
Traditional hardwood is extremely susceptible to scratches and water damage. Wood look porcelain tile is strong enough to install from the front door through the kitchen or even the bathrooms. It does not scratch or show signs of wear with foot traffic. Not only will it hold up to the daily wear and tear that a family brings, but it is also incredibly water resistant and will not swell or warp when exposed to moisture. Using the same flooring throughout an open concept home can make a space feel larger because it eliminates transitions that break up a space.
All porcelain tile receives a score on the PEI scale according to its durability. For the strongest results, look for wood look porcelain tile with a PEI rating of four or five. As with any porcelain tile, wood look tile can break or chip if heavy items are dropped on it.
Cons of Wood Look Porcelain Tile
Treating Scratches and Refinishing
Even durable floors are subject to scratches and chips over time. When installing wood look tiles for the first time, make sure to store some extra tiles to use in case any repairs are needed. Finding an exact match to wood tiles for repairs down the line can be nearly impossible because the styles are always changing. With hardwood flooring, scratches can be buffed out and floors can be refinished down the line to get a fresh look. Porcelain tile does not allow for either of these options so consider choosing a timeless style to avoid having to change up the look down the line.
Just like traditional porcelain tile, wood look tile requires grout to keep it in place. As the floors are used, the grout can start to look dirty or dingy. Occasionally, a thorough grout cleaning is needed to refresh the look of the floors. To reduce the chance of the grout appearing dirty, choose a darker grout color to start with. Darker grout colors naturally conceal more dirt, but they are only a good match for darker tile finishes. Fortunately, there are some easy tips for choosing the right grout to match your porcelain tile.
Porcelain tile can be hard and cold under foot, especially when you spend a long time standing. Adding area rugs with non-slip rug pads or ergonomic mats can cut down on the hardness of the floors. Some of the wood look tile varieties are also compatible for use with a radiant flooring system.
To get the most out of the wood look tiles, professional installation is strongly recommended. There is an art to cutting porcelain tiles down to size. This can be a very time-consuming process, especially when installing multiple rooms worth of flooring. If the flooring ever needs changed in the future, professional removal may be a consideration as well.
Installing wood look tiles is more challenging than traditional porcelain tile because wood-look tiles arrive in long, narrow planks that resemble natural wood boards. These long planks are much easier to break in transportation or while making cuts. Make sure to follow manufacturer instructions carefully during the installation process, as some tiles require a sealer to be applied over the tiles and grout to complete the process.
What Have You Decided?
Wood look tiles have become a go-to choice for homeowners that appreciate the traditional elegance of hardwoods but the flexibility and durability of porcelain tile. This less expensive and waterproof alternative to hardwood flooring is suitable for use in any room of the home, including wet areas, making it easy to get a cohesive look throughout a large space. With so many benefits, it is clear to see why this flooring is such a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties.