It took me a long time to come around to warming up to this idea:
The idea of using fake or imitation decor, materials, etc.
Take, for example, laminate wood flooring: I’ve never been a fan of the stuff. Sure, it looks good; but, when you walk on it, there’s a difference you can actually hear that tells the story of whether it’s real or fake. Each step made upon it makes a “tap” sound, just like the metal makes on the underside of tap dance shoes. Each step is hollow and plastic sounding, unable to sound off the “ring” of quality you’d rather it make.
When wood look porcelain tiles came out, I kind of smiled and thought…
“I’ll never use those.”
Back then, the “boards” were about 18” long. And with real wood boards being much longer than that typically, who did they think were they fooling?
Also, the grout joints were huge. There was a lot of irregularity in the edges, so they had to be bigger.
It was just so obvious that those wood look tiles were nothing more than imposters. However…
That was then, and this is now...
Today, wood look tile flooring is quite different in comparison to its former self. I mean really...
This stuff looks just like real wood!
Even long “boards” are now available, sometimes featuring lengths that stretch up to 36" long. They have rectified edges where you can butt the tiles together, with grout lines that are barely visible, if visible at all! And the depth and texture of the tile truly provides a beautiful depiction!
Lately I’ve been seeing this stuff everywhere.
At the 2015 New American Home in Vegas that we toured during #BlogTourVegas; in Ruggles Green, a trendy restaurant here in The Woodlands; and in the new products that every single tile distributor in America seem to be debuting all of the sudden.
It’s everywhere — and I love it!
Now you can enjoy the look of a wood floor, even within your home’s wettest place, the shower.
You can enjoy the look of a wood floor in the busiest restaurant or grocery store or building lobby, in commercial spaces, where wood flooring was once thought to not be durable enough.
I really love how these products are opening up new opportunities for designers to use a wood look tile.
There are gorgeous options available that actually make wood look tile a truly desirable design element. I’m not talking here, however, about choosing a wood-look tile with the intention of it “faking” wood necessarily, but with the intention of instilling the flavor of a wood-visual in a space. It’s like faux bois — you know it’s not real wood, yet you respect and appreciate the artistry required to produce an authentic-looking replica and you get the hint of nature it inspires.
Because, if you're thinking of installing wood look tile all over your new home because you think it will be durable and pull of the look of a real wood floor, think again, because…
What's the one thing that will give it away?
Drop a quarter on a wood floor. Now drop a quarter on a wood look tile floor...
Hear the difference? Of course you do.
Walk across a wood floor in leather soled shoes...
Now walk across a wood look tile floor in leather soled shoes...
Hear the difference? Of course you do.
Walk barefooted across a wood floor...
Now walk barefooted across wood look tile.
Feel the difference? Of course you… (Oh you get the picture! ;-)
I always like to keep in mind the resale value of a home and what would be considered of value installing in a big way in your home.
I consider what a real estate agent would write up in the description of the home’s “For Sale” ad. You don't often see… “Tile flooring throughout!” However… “Hardwood flooring throughout” ...paints a prettier, more attractive picture that’s undoubtedly a selling point prospective homebuyers would be eager to seek out.
The bottom line, regarding wood look tile flooring:
It’s not wood. Everyone will know it's not wood. Maybe not right away, but after a bit. However, with that said…
Use it for what it is: tile; tile that deserves to be appreciated, because the material is of quality, the look is interesting and it evokes a natural element in a space.
Ultimately, when you’re choosing the type of flooring you want to use throughout your home, the question you have to ask yourself is this:
Do you want a wood floor or a tile floor?
That is the decision you’re making.
Remember, it can be durable and beautiful, but you're not fooling anyone. :-)