Tile That Looks Like Wood Pros and Cons

Hardwood flooring is one of the most impressive looking kinds of floors in existence.

Being a very sought after flooring type, hardwood flooring is not only impressive looking, but it is also easy to maintain, provided the floor does not encounter a lot of traffic.

However, there are some major turn-offs when it comes to hardwood flooring.

First, they not only cost a lot to install, but take a very long time to install. Hardwood flooring is easily one of the most costly types of flooring in existence.

Hardwood floors are also very difficult to maintain if they encounter a lot of traffic. They can also get affected by a lot more things than any of their counterparts. Different than other kinds of flooring, hardwood can break down and degrade over time at much faster rates, for example.

Fixing and replacing a cracked hardwood plank is much more difficult than fixing a cracked ceramic tile. This is yet another thing that makes hardwood flooring less than suitable, especially if the floor encounters a lot of traffic.

While hardwood flooring is very impressive looking, it is not suitable for the majority of homes, where the floors encounter a lot of traffic and need to be cleaned regularly. That is why tile that resembles wood exists. They look just as impressive as any given hardwood floor, but are not as troublesome to maintain as hardwood can be.

Tiles that look like wood come in many forms, each with their own good and bad qualities. These will all be explored later.

If you want your floors to look every bit as impressive as any given hardwood floor but do not want to deal with some of the inconveniences that come with hardwood floors.

What kinds of tile can resemble wood?

Think of what a hardwood floor looks like. Most hardwood floors have a distinct look that features different plank like tiles that are often differently colored. Some of the more impressive looking hardwood floors also have a distinct shine to them, which often needs to be maintained constantly.

These are the two qualities that set most hardwood floors apart from other kinds of hard surface flooring. Many say that hardwood flooring has an appearance that is in a league of its own in that no other kind of floor can match its aesthetic value.

But considering that the only two things that decisively set hardwood flooring apart from its counterparts is that the planks all have different shades and that some hardwood flooring contains a polish like luster, plenty of alternatives exist. Practically any tile or plank can resemble wood, it is just a matter of how close you want these alternatives to resemble wood.

Before exploring these different tiles and their designs, it is important to explore the properties of a hardwood floor in terms of how they look and feel.

What separates wood from other kinds of floors?

Of all the types of flooring, hardwood floors are easily the most impressive in terms of aesthetics.

But what makes them this way, and how is this level of appearance repeated in their counterparts? The first thing that separates hardwood floors from other floors are their color schemes.

Because wood is organic, it takes in oxygen in many locations and in different amounts per location. The reason why wood has its natural diversity in its color is because of this property. Some areas of wood contain less oxygen than others, and this results in different color schemes of wood.

What makes wood absolutely distinguishable is that the oxygen of wood is spread out in unpredictable patterns. However, the fact that wood is completely natural means that it can break down at much faster rates than other kinds of floors. If anything wet comes in contact with wood, the wood will begin degrading immediately no matter how fast the substance is cleaned. This may not be immediately visible, but it will be noticeable over time.

This anomaly is why hardwood just does not stand the test of time that other floors do, and is also a major reason why tile that resembles wood is in much higher demand than wood floors.

Now that you know what sets wood apart from other floors, it is time to explore what other tiles do to copy the very attractive designs that hardwood flooring yields.

How do other tiles “copy” the designs that wood tiles and planks contain?

As mentioned previously, wood gets its “look” naturally, as different oxygen sources of it create the designs on their own.

So how do other tiles “copy” this, and do they look as genuine?

Most other tiles mirror the design of hardwood flooring by coming in crafted and manufactured designs for each tile. This makes the tiles somewhat resemble the impressive look that is a part of most hardwood floors. You’ll especially see this in floors that utilize planks, such as luxury vinyl plank and even linoleum in some cases. Both of these floor types are much more popular than hardwood floors because of this.

As far as ceramic tiles are concerned, very few of them contain designs that resemble hardwood floors, and if they do, they look very predictable and not nearly as impressive as luxury vinyl plank or linoleum.This leads into a very common criticism that some may have about tiles or planks that look like wood: The fact that the designs can look like they are predictable.

Tiles and planks that look like wood still look like imitations

Even with all the design technology that many linoleum, luxury vinyl planks, and even some ceramic tiles contain, there is no way that the design of hardwood flooring can be perfectly copied.

If you pay enough attention to floors that resemble hardwood flooring, you’ll notice patterns. In fact, some of the lower-end “imitation” hardwood tiles and planks contain designs that are obvious in their imitation, containing very predictable design patterns that very rarely impress anybody.

This is definitely something that makes hardwood floors much better than tiles and planks that resemble them. In terms of design, it is literally impossible to perfectly for any given plank or tile to completely look like wood.

If you are looking for tiles that perfectly resemble your former hardwood floor, you are out of luck. There is no way that the look of a hardwood floor can be perfectly copied. It just cannot be done.

Other floors are much easier to maintain than hardwood

There is a reason why hardwood floors have earned the title of “most difficult floor to maintain” for decades.

If you get a hardwood floor installed in your home, you absolutely cannot expect it to last. Most of their counterparts can last years longer, if not decades.

This is even true for linoleum, which is usually nothing more than reinforced hardwood that has a much tougher coating and surface.

So while tiles and planks that resemble hardwood may not perfectly resemble hardwood, they more than make up for this drawback with the advantage that they are much, much easier to maintain.

In order to keep a hardwood floor perfectly maintained for them to actually last a lifetime, you’ll need to do all kinds of things to make sure that they last. Sanding, refinishing, and resurfacing are all harsh realities of hardwood flooring.

While these kinds of things also apply to other floors, you do not need to perform nearly as many maintenance procedures as you would a hardwood floor.

Conclusion

Hardwood floors remain one of the most impressive looking and longest lasting flooring in existence, but this comes with a price.
That price is constant maintenance. If you want your hardwood floor to look really impressive and if you want it to last a long time, be prepared to take all kinds of measures to maintain it to perfection.

Even worse, if you do just one thing wrong in maintaining a hardwood floor, you’ll probably need to get it replaced.

If you want your floors to look as impressive as hardwood floors but without needing to perform the constant maintenance that hardwood floors demand, consider installing tiles or planks that resemble these hardwood floors.

No, these tiles and planks do not perfectly resemble the very natural look that most hardwood flooring promises.

But in most cases, these imperfections in design are negligible. There do exist some imitation hardwood floor tiles and planks that give themselves away, but they are not only rare but very easy to detect and avoid.

Hardwood floors are starting to become a thing of the past, and one day their counterparts will be able to look nearly exactly like them.

Rid yourself of the stress of maintaining your hardwood floor and install tiles or planks that resemble your hardwood floor instead. You will not regret it.

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