Wood Effect Floor Tiles

Grey Wood Effect Floor Tiles

The world of interior design is evolving consistently and thanks to the aid of technology, it’s becoming more affordable for home-owners to build and decorate their house with their imagination being the only limitation. The endless range of products and designs on offer means that buyers now have a plethora of options to choose from. The tile industry has undergone a transformational change in the last few years. Long gone are the days when tiles were available in limited sizes, colours and finishes. The rapid advancements and innovation in tile manufacturing has translated into durable and economical tiles in infinite breathtaking designs.

Wooden flooring has been a long standing preference for interior designers and home-owners because of the classy, timeless and elegant look they convey. The gleaming quality of wooden floors coupled with the natural feeling they provide is admired by many. However, the expensive and inherent characteristics of hardwood floors can limit their practicality. Wood effect floor tiles which provide an authentic wooden feel have been gaining popularity for many years now. The latest inventions in the field of tile manufacturing such as ink-jet printing and digital imaging have radically transformed the outlook towards the use of tiles. Now, ceramic and porcelain tiles are manufactured to imitate the look of natural stone and wooden flooring in a cost-effective way.

A Brief History

Ceramic tiles have been associated with architectural use for a very long time. The earliest use of ceramic work dates back to the Egyptians in almost 4000 BC. The wide spread and industrial scale production of ceramic tiles started in 1950’s. This resulted in ceramic tiles becoming cheaper and more economical to use for middle-class households. The North American and European countries became the hub of tile production and consumption. Over the past 50 years, the technology related to manufacturing ceramic tiles has consistently evolved resulting in innovations related to tile designs and patterns.  

Ceramic tiles use clay as their key ingredient. Clay materials are excavated and shaped into a mold. Common ceramic tile production processes includes compressing dry or slightly wet material into the mold which is then subjected to extreme pressure and temperature in a kiln. Italy has been a front runner in the mastering the art of tile making and has led the way for the rest of the world. The prowess of Italian engineers in innovating new designs and technologies contributed immensely to this field and revolutionized the industry. 

Cersaie 2015

Bologna, Italy annually hosts Cersaie, the world’s largest exhibition of tiles where buyers from around the globe eagerly await the presentation of new designs and innovations for the market.  2015 saw a considerable focus on wood effect tiles in a huge array of sizes and finishes.

The use of wood and timber has been a part of furniture and floor design for many years. Customers love the grained effect of woods and the graceful aura they provide to the interiors. However, the majority of home owners are discouraged by the expensive and water sensitive nature of natural wood flooring.

With the advent of cutting edge technologies, ceramic tiles can be manufactured to offer authentic wooden effects without all the disadvantages of natural hardwood flooring.  

Whenever there’s a need, an invention follows. The case of wooden effect floor tiles is not much different. The rise in demand for an alternative to natural wooden flooring was surging for many years. An efficient substitute for expensive and high-maintenance woods was long overdue. Finally the answer arrived in the form of ceramic and porcelain tiles which provided a flawless wooden feel and experience. There are a whole lot of advantages for these tiles over the traditional wood. We have compiled these obvious advantages which are listed below showcasing the edge that wood effect tiles have over their natural counterparts.

Cost Effective

One of the most important factors to influence the decision of customer’s while shopping for flooring materials and products is the cost. Money is undoubtedly a relevant factor which plays a crucial role in determining the buyer’s choice. Hardwood floors provide class and elegance to interiors but also tend to be heavy on the pocket. This expensive side of real wood is also coupled with the load of heavy expenses for their installation which can be difficult and require experience and skilled workmanship. Thus, overall the investment on hardwood and natural wooden flooring can get really difficult to finance. The industrial level production of ceramic and porcelain wooden effect tiles means that they are really cost effective.

Ink Jet Tile Production

Innovations like ink jet printing have ensured that wood like tiles are available in a vast array of designs and shades. You will easily be able to buy a wood like tile for any shades matching solid wood designs available in the market. Flooring made from solid wood has a high cost simply due to the price of the constituent material. The ceramic and porcelain tiles use clay as the main raw material which is lot cheaper than natural timber or wood. Their widespread production ensures that you will always spend less when deciding to buy wood like tiles instead of hardwood flooring. The maintenance cost is also considerably lower on tiles, as unlike real wood they require no re-finishing. Should a tile ever become damaged, a single tile or small area can be easily replaced without affecting the remainder of the floor.

Durability

Wood effect tiles are far easier to maintain as they require less attention. They also have a much lower porosity level than hardwood floors. This means that any liquid spilled on the solid wooden floors can be easily soaked up causing damage to the material. Tiles however are a whole lot easier to clean as one simple mop or brush stroke can remove any messy spills or other clutter. This aspect especially applies to house-holds including young children and pets. Tiled floors can be a godsend for parents in busy families.

Natural woods have the property to expand in humid environments which can lead to cracks due to the wood adjusting in size. This drawback detracts from the elegant appearance often resulting in customers feeling disappointed with their product selection. The option of wood effect tiles however has effortlessly solved this dilemma as they offer all the classy looks and exotic feeling of hardwood flooring without the well-known drawbacks. With wood effect tiles, you can sit in comfort knowing that they are durable and resilient enough to withstand spillages, high heels and heavy furniture.

Versatility

Barnwood Wood Effect Floor Tile

The customization options available on natural wood floors are fairly limited compared to tiles which provide wood effects. The hardwood flooring is made up of wood directly derived from nature and whilst customisations such as paint washes, distressed surfaces and parquet patterns can be made, the cost is prohibitive an availability scarce. Tiles however use cutting edge technologies which are capable of manufacturing any customised design that can created as a digital image. This has led to a huge range of attractive and unique designs available allowing you to choose an exclusive wood effect tiled floor that perfectly suites your home.   

There’s a deluge of wood like tiles available to buy through on-line tile retailers and along with traditional bricks and mortar stores. With such a wide selection of choices at your disposal, you are guaranteed to find a tile design and pattern which complements your liking.

Environment Friendly

Deforestation

A staggering 20 million trees are cut annually to feed the furniture market. This has many clear repercussions on the health of our planet. You can take great pride and comfort in knowing that your wooden look tiles have made a positive impact on the environment. Invite your family and friends over comfortable in the knowledge that they’ll be no uncomfortable questions about the rain forest source of your timber floor! Your ecofriendly tiles will give you the same suave and dignified look without causing harm to a single tree, great news for future generations. The wood effect tiles also have long lasting tenure of service as they are made to resist any damage from natural causes including moisture. Moisture from spillages and humid environments can have an adverse effect on natural wooden flooring as wood is highly porous and has the tendency to retain moisture easily. This aspect severely limits the durability of hardwood flooring often meaning they are removed and disposed of  well within their expected lifetime.
Wood effect tiles strike a perfect balance between affordability and durability to provide the buyer with an irresistible choice safe in the knowledge of their environmental credentials.

Application

Traditional wood may fade and eventually become dull when exposed to excessive sunlight which makes them impractical to use in conservatories or other areas with extensive sunlight exposure. Tiles which provide a wooden effect however, smartly deal with this issue as they remain unaffected in even the brightest of summer seasons. They can be easily used in many places including office buildings, shops or hotels. This adds to their versatility and increases their appeal among many customers.

Water Damaged Real Wood Flooring

Another great edge that the tiles hold over natural woods is that they are mostly resistant to moisture. This makes them an excellent bet for use in areas of high humidity or where spillages are likely. It is a well-known fact that wooden furniture and flooring disagrees with moisture and liquid spilled on them which can cause permanent damage. This makes areas such as bathrooms and kitchens strictly off-limits for natural wooden flooring. Wood-like tiles however can be installed seamlessly without worrying about the effect of sunlight or water. The problems offered by hardwood flooring such as bending, warping, dents and cracks can become redundant if you opt for a wooden effect tile.

Longevity

Wood effect tiles are highly resilient can last for decades. The tiles themselves won’t wear out and the wood design has proven timeless over history. On the other hand if not cared for properly, natural wood floors may demand regular refinishing and repair. This is primarily because wood is porous and requires surface treatment such as laquer or oil which becomes worn and patchy, requiring sanding and reapplying. Wood can also easily expand and contract in accordance with the change in climatic conditions. However, tiles have no such issues, requiring no sealing and can withstand change of seasons effortlessly. Cleaning wood also requires the utmost care and attention as it can sustain scratches and surface damage if the right cleaning products are not used. This is not an issue with tiles as a simple mop or brush can be sufficient to relieve the floor of dust and stains.

Parquet Wood Effect Tiles

It is abundantly clear that wood effect tiles offer an exceptional alternative to natural hardwood flooring. The long list of advantages makes it evident that buyers can get the best of both worlds if they choose to buy tiles which offer the elegance that wooden flooring provides. The obvious drawbacks with natural wooden flooring can also be amply taken care of by the use of wood-like tiles. Tiles can also help you save a lot of money as they are considerably cheaper than hardwood flooring. This is an important aspect that influences the decision making process of many buyers. Wood effect tiles are resistant to moisture and climatic changes, this gives them a clear advantage over natural wooden flooring. Additionally, excessive sunlight can cause the hardwood floors to lighten or darken which is not the case with tiles. Wood effect tiles can also be seamlessly blended with electric under floor heating systems that keep the floor warm and comfortable to walk on.

Wood effect tiled flooring has definitely become one of the major trends in the home decor industry today. Their allure justifies the convenience that they offer in terms of their affordability and versatility.