There are actually many reasons for homeowners to choose wood look tile flooring. First of all, you may not have enough budgets to install the real hardwood floor at home. Sure, it is super durable and it can create gorgeous finish, but then again, hardwood flooring is costly. Second, not all houses has the proper structure to support hardwood flooring.
Despite all of the challenges, you can always choose the alternative option: the wood-look tiles or planks. Thanks to technologies, you can now enjoy cool flooring that feels and also look like wood. If you don’t know it, you’d be surprised to know that this type of flooring is super authentic – just like the real stuff.
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Wood look Benefits
If you are a little low on the budget, wood look tile flooring can be an interesting alternative to real hardwood floor. Not to mention that wood look tiles are more durable and affordable. But of course, you should be aware about tiles strength and also flaws. It would be impossible to only expect good things from something – always be prepared for the possibility of downsides too. So, are you ready to go down the exploration lane?
Pros of Wood look Tile
Naturally, you can expect some great perks of the wood look tile flooring. What can you expect from it?
- Impressive value. If you want to create a stylish floor imitating the appearance of the hardwood floor, then wood look tiles can be a great option. You can even choose the ones having similar textures and shades to the real wood, improving the overall value of the house.
- Good durability. Tiles are pretty sturdy and durable. With proper and correct care, the floor can last for more than two decades. Don’t you love it when you don’t have to replace the floor from year to year? Tiles are your new best friend, especially if you don’t want to deal with complicated care and maintenance. Moreover, the tiles aren’t nagging – it can put up with the active babies and toddlers (including their temperament and feisty actions) as well as your clumsy (and careless) spouse. Be aware of heavy stuff, though. Tiles will definitely chip when you drop something on it, but if you can be careful and you develop a good cleaning routine, rest assured that your floor will last long.
- Easy maintenance. Another perk of wood look tile flooring is the easy maintenance and care. There won’t be any drama as you don’t need any expensive tools or complicated cleaners. You can have static broom, tile vacuum, or a regular mop to do the cleaning. The floor is able to deal with moisture and water, even in a large number. Whenever the floor is wet, it won’t buckle or warp. Don’t flood it, though, because it will be slippery. Use mild soap and (warm) water to do the cleaning. Don’t use abrasive or acidic cleaners as they will break down the grout and then cause extensive damage.
- Great versatility. Wood tiles are perfect for different kinds of rooms, including kitchens, bathrooms, and also basements. Tiles have good resistant level against humidity and dampness although you don’t need any adhesive or wood subfloor. But you need to check for the subfloor – it should be crack-free and it has even surface. Waterproof it and then seal the grout so water won’t be trapped (underneath it).
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The benefits of the wood look tile flooring don’t stop here as there are still more to expect from the floor. When it comes to various designs and styles, this one has myriads of options. The patterns, colors, and shades are abundant – and you can also enjoy custom design too. There are even tiles imitating weathered boards or sun-bleached planks to create worn and vintage look. Not to mention that the tiles are available in various sizes too. You will have fun doing the mix and match!
Moreover, tiles are perfect for homeowners with allergies. Unlike carpets, the tiles won’t accumulate dirt or dust. Allergens, dust mites, small insects, and irritants (such as pollen) won’t be able to hide on the floor. But be aware with textured tiles. If you want to choose it, it must be watertight. Crevices and cracks are ideal to collect liquid – leading to bacterial growth. In case you choose such a flooring, you should learn the manufacturer’s guidance for proper maintenance and care.
Another thing to like about the floor is the eco-friendly nature of the tiles. Whether you choose ceramic or porcelain tiles, they are free from VOCs, the dangerous chemical compounds that can emit odor or chemicals to the air. Not to mention that tiles with wood look-alike appearance are recyclable. The waste products would be grounded and then re-used for paving driveways and also road.
Cons of Wood look Tile
Despite all the good benefits of wood look tile flooring, it isn’t perfect and flawless. Expect some downsides, such as:
- Installation difficulty. If you are thinking about doing a DIY project for the floor, you may want to think again. This type of work is better done by the professionals with trained eyes. They know damaged subfloor or how to check for hairline cracks. They also know how to deal with imperfect subfloor, including finding solutions from water damage and dampness. Even if you believe in yourself, it’s advisable to leave it to the skilled and experienced pro. Yes, you will have to spend extra for the installation cost, but it is worth the spending.
- Low temperature. Tiles are cold – it’s the nature of the flooring. It won’t be a problem if you live in a hot areas or tropical climate. But when you live in a cold climate, the tiles can be pretty painful for your feet. You can either choose to install underfoot heating system or use area rugs. If you have pets, make sure to have a warm area for them.
- Uncomfortable feel. Tiles are sturdy and hard. If you have to stand on it for a long time, it can be quite uncomfortable. If you install the tiles in areas requiring you to stand for a lengthy time, you should consider having an anti fatigue mat. Rugs or carpets are also possible for your home office or bedroom.
- Possibility of slippery. Tiles have smooth and polished surface. It can be good, but it can be bad too. When wet, it can be slippery – which is dangerous for homes with elderly members and kids. It is also risky for pets. If you want to choose tiles for the bathrooms, mudrooms, or also kitchen, make sure to choose the non-slip types. There are tiles with grooved or hand-scraped designs – great to provide good traction in wet surroundings.
Ceramic vs Porcelain
Looking for premium quality of wood look tile flooring? You can generally find it within ceramic or porcelain flooring. Naturally, those two materials have their own characteristics. In terms of price, they are definitely different. Ceramic tiles would cost you between $2 and $8 for a square foot – the price depends on the quality. Porcelain tiles would cost you around $4 up to $12 a square foot.
If you want to know the durability, consult PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) scale. The scale is generally used to state the scratch resistance and hardness level of a material. If you want long-lasting ceramic tiles, you should go with at least rating 3 – higher would be better. You should know that tiles having rating 1 or 2 are more suitable for wall setting.
If you want to install the tiles in damp areas or areas with higher humidity level, you should go with porcelain because it has better water repellant quality than ceramic. You can also install porcelain tiles in semi-outdoor spots or areas with minor temperature changes. The porcelain won’t crack even when it deals with temperature fluctuations like patios or sunrooms.
Choosing the Right One
When it comes to tiles and the quality, density is crucial. But then again, density isn’t the major determining factor. You still need to check the quality inspection and also the certificate. You want to find products that pass the standard set by the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency as well as Tile Council of North America. Yes, they really do exist.
They consist of industry manufacturer and leader representative in this business. They are responsible for setting the criteria for installation, safety, production, and design of porcelain and ceramic tiles. You should find PCTA or TCNA certification mark when shopping for the items.
Premium tiles are generally constructed from high-resolution images to create sharp and real-like appearance. The tiles are supposed to imitate the color and graining variations of natural wood. Go with sharp and clear images for the tiles – they are made from quality materials. Also check for the tile’s rating chart – usually between V0 and V4. Higher ratings will give you more variations. So, when you do the shopping, look for this rate. Products with V1 rating, for instance, will have limited variations when compared to products with V4 rating.
Don’t forget to do your own research. Don’t rush things and make sure to perform thorough searching. If you can do it, you should be able to find the best and most suitable wood look tile flooring for your needs.