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SELECTING THE MOST REALISTIC WOOD-LOOK TILES

SELECTING THE MOST REALISTIC WOOD-LOOK TILES

Wood-look tile hit the market about 10 years ago and has only been gaining in popularity since. Real wood floors are warm and welcoming, but can’t handle humidity, water, pets, and kids like tile can. So, when wood-look tile was first manufactured, it was the best of both worlds. Today, wood-look tile has grown into its own product category.

When you’re selecting a wood-look tile, there are a few things to look for if you want to make sure you select the best wood replica for your design.

GRAPHICAL REPEAT

Each wood-look tile actually has a picture printed on it. Tile manufacturers use specialized technology that scans real wood and replicates it on tile with ink-jet printing. Some wood-look tiles only repeat their pattern every few tiles, which means you’re not going to get that natural wood variation showing knots or grains in more detail. However, a high end wood-look tile will have upwards of 30 or more “faces”, which will give it a much more natural, effortless wood look. Faces are how many individual tiles in a series have a different graphic before it starts repeating. The higher number of faces, the more authentic the tile looks.

THE FINISH

The surface finish is another thing to look for when looking for the most realistic wood-look tile. As with natural wood flooring, some finishes are polished and shiny, while others are matte and rustic. Wood-look tiles offer the same thing. Softer finishes are great for vintage and reclaimed wood looks and semi-glossy finishes are for more traditional looking wood tiles. Newer to the market is a higher gloss tile finish for a clean, polished, and modern looking wood floor.

SHAPES AND SIZES

Most hardwood floors are narrow planks. Tile comes in planks as well, in fact they come in several widths. Wider real wood planks tend to warp more readily than narrower planks, plus they can be more costly. Wood-look tile allows you to create designs that are much more intricate for much less cost and worry than hardwood, especially if you want a parquet floor or wide planks, or other specialized shapes and sizes.

Larger size tiles are more difficult to manufacture, so when wood-looks were first made, they were 6” x 24”. Now the manufacturing capabilities have so advanced that they can make planks all the way up to 72” long or more. In addition to this increased length to give a natural wood look, some collections offer variable sizes within the collection.

We hope you come to enjoy Wood look porcelains as much as we have over the years. It’s perfect for any lower level project instead of wood, or particularly for beach houses or houses by bodies of water- both situations can make real wood warp due to water leaking. Wood look porcelain solves this problem, and keeps the same beautiful image. Finding a realistic wood look is really about the details. A complex grain, touchable texture, and a finish that echoes real wood make for tile that’s hard to tell apart from the real thing without a very close inspection. Visit the Tiles Unlimited Tile Showroom and Bathroom Design Center to experience wood-look tile in person.

SELECTING THE MOST REALISTIC WOOD-LOOK TILES