The soft warm tones of wood inspiration continue to lead the flooring industry. As technology evolves and practicality plays a more important role in our lives we suddenly find our homes changing too. Many of us love the natural beauty of wood plank floors, while others will argue that tile flooring is just as beautiful and is a more logical choice. What is the most beautiful and yet easy to maintain? The solution to our dilemma is now right before us. There is finally an affordable option to flooring that combines the practicality of tile and the sophistication of wood. Technology in the tile industry has produced tile that looks so much like wood you’d have to get down on your hands and knees to see the difference. Little details like grain, knots, and variations in shade are easily replicated on tile. Tiles range from a finish that is an exact replica for dark stained walnut to wood from a well-weathered French fishing boat. With reclaimed wood so on trend, buying wood tile is an alternative to searching for the perfect hundred-year-old barn wood, and tiles are available in dimensions that wood is typically not found.

What is faux wood tile? Faux wood tile is simply a ceramic or porcelain tile that emulates real wood. Ceramics are an ancient craft that date back more than 4,000 years, originating in Ancient Egypt around 4,700 BCE. The origin of the word “ceramic” is derived from the Greek word “keramos,” or pottery. The art of tiling spread west from the Middle East and became popular in Europe during the 11th century with the introduction of mosaic flooring and panels. Tiles are made from clay, which once shaped and dried, are fired in a kiln at very hot temperatures. This process hardens the tiles, creating bisque that can then be glazed and fired a second time. Tiles can also be used unglazed although the color range is limited to the natural shades of the clay.

The beauty of hardwood flooring is timeless, yet fleeting. Unfortunately, the biggest disadvantage of hardwood flooring is that it can easily scratch from furniture and everyday foot traffic. Faux wood tile is much more scratchproof. By using wood tile in high traffic areas, you don’t have to worry about the chips and scratches you might see on real wood floors and it is perfect for pets too. Ceramic tiles are also popular choice of flooring due to their aesthetic appeal, as well as their durability and easy care. A properly installed ceramic tile floor will outperform and outlast nearly any other floor covering product created for the same application. Glazed ceramic tile resists stains, odors and dirt and can be cleaned with a damp mop or common household cleaners. This means you can enjoy the gorgeous beauty of your flooring for decades or even a lifetime.

Faux wood tile is a perfect combination of wood and tile, offering good looks and functional benefits. You can use this versatile flooring material anywhere—indoors or out. Wood can fade when exposed to too much sunlight and warp when exposed to too much moisture. If you were hoping for hardwood in the kitchen or bathroom, you may find that desire short lived, as wood and water don’t mix well. Wood-look tile can go just about anywhere, including in the shower and outdoors-where wood just doesn’t cut it. It actually repels liquid, eliminating problems with staining, mold, and warping. If you wish to create texture and imply a beautiful wooden touch in your bathroom or kitchen, consider placing faux wood tile as an alternative to hardwood floors. While standard square tile sizes will always have their place in home décor, rectangular tiles – otherwise known as planks — are gaining popularity. New 12-by-24-inch tiles are an excellent choice in bathrooms and 6-by-36-inch tiles or 8-inch by 8-feet planks (often in wood-grained looks) are a favorite for living areas. Using longer planks can help smaller spaces look larger, and create an appealing consistency across multiple rooms.

Faux wood tile now comes in a variety of colors and textures offering limitless design possibilities. Due to a new inkjet technology, you can even find finishes you cannot find in the wood flooring market. For instance, everyone loves the look of reclaimed wood. However, since reclaimed wood is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners, it’s no easy task finding a perfect piece. Even if you find one, the price may be quite expensive. Thus, remodeling experts will recommend faux wood tile, as it can give you the authentic beauty of reclaimed wood without breaking the bank.

Many designers are also driving the reclaimed wood trend across the floor and up the wall in many bedrooms and family rooms. The popularity of reclaimed wood accent walls is exploding, and tile is a great way to pull off the appearance of it. One of the main benefits of the faux wood tiles is that they won’t snag your linens and upholstery the way weathered wood can, and there’s no danger of exposure to old lead paint or toxins from wood pallets. It’s a healthy alternative to fashion.

Lastly, when making your final decision in flooring please consider sustainability. It is another significant reason to consider these beautifully crafted faux wood tiles for your home. Nearly 20 million trees are cut down each year and are utilized for home construction and flooring. Wood-look flooring can help reduce this staggering number and limit your footprint on the environment. Every time you stroll through your home you will be reminded of the warmth and welcoming look of wood knowing you did not destroying a single tree in the process.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design