Wood, glorious wood! The natural fissures, tones and complexities of wood are compelling and beautiful. Wood is timeless, warm, calming, inviting, appealing… and relatively expensive too! Wood-look tiles, on the other hand, are a more affordable option to achieving similar results as wood in the home.
“Wood has always been a popular choice and part of the construction and finishes of buildings but with new technology, there are far more options available,” explains John Almon owner at Tile House.
Real wood is great for flooring and panelling in certain applications but has in many cases become extinct or very rare, adding to the cost. With the advent of digital printing, any wood (including extinct) can be produced in ceramic or porcelain and used in virtually any situation. This is great news for homeowners. With this style of tile printing, the wood grain, knots, saw cuts and natural tones are easily reproduced, and the difference between the real thing and porcelain is difficult to see. This naturally opens up a new world for décor and design and is proving very trendy. Where in the past, a limitation for porcelain used to be the length of the planks but now, the tile factories are able to produce “planks” up to the length of 2m. Ceramic/porcelain wood imitation tiles have the functionality and capabilities of not only being used in interiors and bathrooms but also patios and decks, restaurants, vented facades and more. In bathrooms, natural wood expands and contracts with moisture and heat; vinyl does the same with heat and glues don’t always work well in these situations. This shortens the lifespan and you end up with a splintered shabby look. Porcelain on the other hand is stable and easy to maintain. Factories also supply different finishes in the same colours so that one can apply an anti-slip for the shower floor and the smooth or polished version for the walls. The result is a home environment that works for you – without losing the natural look of real wood. The same applies to living rooms and patios or pool decks. One can lay a matt finish inside and then the same ‘wood’ outside with an anti-slip finish, thus having that desirable continuity and contemporary feel. Wood look tiles can also be laid to create a deck effect. Vinyl tiles don’t like the sun, whereas tiles, if laid correctly, are stable and durable.
Cleanliness and hygiene are major factors in restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Natural wood panelling and counter fronts create many nooks and crannies for dirt and creepy crawlies. Porcelain, wood look tiles; alike, solve these problems and their easy maintenance keeps health inspectors happy.
Whether at home, in an office or in a public space, wood-look tiles are great, versatile, timeless and on trend.
Written by: Mercia loves