OK, so I was shopping for countertops with a friend, while we did choose a gorgeous granite for her kitchen, what stood out most in my mind from that trip was the gorgeous ceramic tiles I saw that look like wood. If you don’t believe me, see if you can tell the real wood floors from the faux tiles below….
Allright, so it’s a trick question… these lovely photos are all tiles. Were you fooled?
Now, now, before you get all, “Well that’s all nice and good, but I’d never go for it because I want/need/love real wood,” allow me to expound upon a few of the advantages of ceramic/porcelain over hardwood floors…
- Avoid the anathema of all hardwood owners… the dreaded chips, nicks, and scratches. Anyone who has paid for hardwood and then cringed when their friends arrive for a party wearing high heels knows the dangers here.
- While wood can expand or crack in wet environments, tile resists moisture, allowing a wood look on decks, around pools, or in baths or kitchens.
- You can make those planks as wide and/or long as you want without paying out the wazoo. Modern looks call for wide planks, but let’s face it, those wide planks don’t fit within every budget. With tiles you can easily get widths of 8″, 12″, 16″, or even 20″.
- With tiles you can have radiant heating… and as it was so well put in Dwell, anything else is just blowing warm dust around your house.
- Tile is supereasy to clean and maintain.
- Tiles stay cool, which is a blessing over summer months or for those who live in warm climates.
On the downside… well, tiles provide for less noise insulation (although cork underlayments and other under-tile insulators are available), less comfort for those who are standing for long periods of time, and may have less appeal for homebuyers who are not in the know. It’s also recommended that you keep a few extra tiles just in case you need to replace a chipped tile and the line of tiles you’ve bought is discontinued. I’d also advise being supercareful about your grout color… if the color is off, it will make it obvious that it’s tile right away.
So, having said all that… here’s a roundup of the coolest wood tiles I’ve seen.
Love the varying widths of the Xilema porcelain tiles (shown here in Ciliego).
The hyperrealistic porcelain tiles from Sant’Agostino Ceramica come in 16 colors.
The clever W-Age ceramic tiles from Provenza provide look you could never achieve with real wood: crosscut to show the rings. Downright cheeky if you ask me.
I like the contemporary look of these Timber Glen tiles from daltile (shown in Cocoa).
Halcon Ceramica’s Forest line (shown here in Caoba) looks nicely weathered.
The Fondovalle Ironwood line comes in 4 colors, including awesomely modern Nero Bruciato, shown here.
Novabell Ceramiche has three lines of wood look tiles, including the above-pictured herringbone pattern.