Although wood tile has been on the flooring market for many years, it has dramatically increased in popularity in recent years. This popularity spike is due to major improvements to the technology used in manufacturing, which has resulted in a high quality, realistic alternative to wood.
There are many reasons to hop on the trend of wood-look tile flooring, but as with all flooring options, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration before deciding if this flooring is the right choice for your household.
Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of tile that looks like wood, what you can expect to pay for a wood-look tile floor, and reviews of some of the best brands on the market.
Advantages of Tile That Looks Like Wood
One of the key advantages that wood-like tile has over actual hardwood flooring is that tile is extremely durable and not easily damaged. Unlike hardwood floors which easily scratch and dent — especially when used in high traffic areas of the home — wood tile does not easily scratch. This makes it an ideal flooring option for pets and families with children.
Along the same lines, tile that looks like wood is also virtually waterproof. This means that can enjoy the appearance of hardwood floors without worrying about water spills, flooding, or even your kids tracking snow or rain in from the outdoors. Even better, this also means that you can install wood-like tile in high-moisture rooms of your home where hardwood floors would not typically be used, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.
Another key benefit of tile that looks like wood is that it is a sustainable flooring choice that you can feel good about! Hardwood flooring requires cutting down trees, some of which can take more than 25 years to grow to maturity. This practice can lead to deforestation, and in turn, increased levels of pollution. Meanwhile, Tiles can be crafted from clay, and can even utilize post-industrial waste.
If you have ever lived with hardwood floors, you are probably aware that they need to be refinished every few years to look their best. Since tile floors are highly durable and resistant to scratching, denting, and moisture, you don’t have to worry about this tedious, and often costly task. In the chance that your wood tile flooring does incur damage, it is much easier to replace one or two tiles than the process of repairing hardwood floors, which typically requires professional assistance.
Tile that looks like wood is also much more affordable than traditional hardwood flooring. Yes, as with all flooring options, you will need to spend a little more to get a high-quality wood-look tile that will last for years to come, but even if you opt for the more costly options on the market, you will still end up spending less on wood-look tile than you would on real hardwood floors.
Available in a Variety of Colors + Styles
Another factor contributing to the rising popularity of tile that looks like wood is that wood-look tiles are available in a vast array of colors and styles, with thousands of options available to homeowners on the hunt for the perfect floor for their home. Aside from these thousands of available styles, many manufacturers also allow customers to create or customize their own wood-look tiles, combining different textures, finishes, and colors.
Disadvantages of Wood-Look Tile Flooring
Cold to the touch
Tile is an excellent heat conductor, which means that it cools off very quickly and can feel quite cold to bare feet. Due to the coldness associated with tile flooring, it may not be the best choice for those living in cooler climates. However, if the coolness of tile is holding you back, you may want to consider an underfloor radiant heat system, which will keep your home (and more importantly, your feet!) toasty all winter long.
Looking for a warmer flooring option? Carpet flooring comes in great styles nowadays!
Expensive to Install
Although it is cheaper to purchase tile than hardwood flooring, it is more expensive to install tile because there is more manual labor involved in the installation process. This is because tile should not ever be installed over wood or plywood, which can warp and crack the tile, or over an uneven surface. This, in turn, means that the existing floor or subfloor must often be modified and leveled before tile can be installed over it, leading to higher labor costs.
Despite the fact that the exceptional hardness of tile is what makes it a highly durable and long-lasting flooring option, this hardness can also be quite uncomfortable when used in areas where you plan to spend a lot of time on your feet, like the kitchen, leading to back and foot pain. The hardness of tile that looks like wood, can also be dangerous for young children and those prone to falls.
Difficult to Replace
Yes, it is difficult to damage tile flooring, but not impossible. In the rare chance that you do chip or break a tile, it can be difficult to find replacement tiles that perfectly match your existing wood-look tile. However, by keeping this in mind and purchasing extra materials when you install your floor you can avoid this drawback of wood-look tile.
Tile that looks like wood is having a major moment in home design at the moment, however, it may not be install 10 years from now, which is important to keep in mind, since tile floors can be quite difficult (and costly) to tear out. If you decide to opt for tile that looks like wood, be sure to choose a timeless style that will not look outdated in 10 or 20 years.
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What can you expect to pay for wood-look tile flooring?
It can be difficult to estimate exactly what a wood-look tile floor will cost because tiles that look like wood vary greatly in price and installation costs will have a major impact on the overall cost of your new floor. This said you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $30 per square foot for wood-look tiles. Prices vary based on a variety of factors with porcelain tile typically costing more than ceramic tile. On average, you can expect to pay $10 per square foot for porcelain tiles and $6 per square foot for ceramic tiles. The price depends on your preference of looks and durability.
When it comes to wood-look tiles, installation is where the costs really begin to add up. This is due to the fact that, as previously discussed, these tiles are somewhat difficult to install and almost always require paying for professional installation. Depending on whether or not you need to modify your subfloor, the price of installation will vary. However, one safe way to estimate what you will spend on installation is to add 60 percent to whatever you spend on purchasing your tiles.
Reviews: Where to purchase tile that looks like wood
Thanks to its recent rise in popularity, wood-look tile is pretty easy to find at major retailers across the nation. Below are a few of the best places to consider when purchasing tile that looks like wood.
If you don’t want to set foot in a hardware store, Wayfair’s online marketplace is the place for you. The online home goods retailer boasts a wide selection of wood tile options from top brands including Florim, MS International, and Datile.
If you want to see your tile in person before purchasing, Home Depot is an excellent option. With convenient locations throughout the country and a large selection of the most popular brands at a variety of price points, Home Depot will have something for every style and budget.
Another solid online option for purchasing tile that looks like wood is FlooringInc. The best part is, that this online retailer will send you samples to look at, so you can enjoy the perks of shopping in hardware store without even leaving your couch!
On the hunt for a bargain? With over 250 wood tile options at extremely competitive prices, this online retailer is a great option for homeowners looking to save time and money on the tile shopping process.
Reviews: What brands to purchase
Still not sure where to start when it comes to purchasing tile that looks like wood? Learning a little more about the leading brands is a great way to narrow down what you are looking for. Below are reviews of several top retailers of wood look tiles.
If budget isn’t a restriction, this Italian-based retailer offers high-quality wood tiles that are designed using the latest flooring technologies. In addition to offering cutting-edge designs, Florim is also committed to using sustainable manufacturing practices that are good for the environment.
For homeowners on the hunt for quality wood-look tile at an affordable price, Daltile is the manufacturer for you. In the flooring industry since 1947, Daltile offers one of the widest selections of tiles that looks like wood, with a large offering of budget-friendly options.
Known for their selection of natural stone, this flooring giant also offers a beautiful selection of realistic wood tiles. The brand currently manufactures eight wood tile lines, that give customers access to a vast selection of washes and styles.
This manufacturer is known for their glass and mosaic tiles, but now offers a small offering of tiles that look like wood. Although product line is limited, their wood-look tiles are quality and are very realistic.
If you are on the hunt for luxury tile that looks like wood, this timeless Italian brand is exactly what you have been looking for. Known for their elegant styles, available in a variety of realistic washes and colors, Provenza Ceramiche is a wonderful option for homeowners seeking a luxe design.
Another luxury flooring manufacturer, Porcelanosa has about 400 showrooms within the U.S. One major benefit of sticking with this brand is that they have a specialized staff with designers who can give you free samples, offer discounts, and give design advice.