December 16, 2021

Ask the Expert

Wood effect floor tiles buying guide

With such a wide selection of wood-look floor tiles, it can be a little confusing to find the right one for your décor. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the most suitable wood effect floor tiles. We provide information on looks, performance and recommendations to customise your spaces with the chosen tile.

 

Why choose wood effect floor tiles?

Contrary to popular wisdom, Mother Nature can be improved upon. When it comes to flooring, this is especially true of timber floors. Natural wood has its downsides, but timber-look floor tiles offer the authentic look and texture of wood without the associated problems. Ceramic and porcelain are the two materials most commonly used to mimic wood and offer significant and distinctive improvements, including the following.

 

Wood-effect-floor-tiles-1

Vancouver Sand 25X150 (Available in-store)

 

Advantages of wood effect floor tiles over natural wood flooring 

The main advantages of wood effect tiles over natural wood floors are as follows:

  • When wood is exposed to water, it deforms, buckles, and in extreme cases, becomes unusable. In contrast, porcelain and ceramic tiles are moisture-resistant. They are, therefore, the ideal choice for wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Timber floors are an organic material. This means they need to be treated or sealed and require constant care throughout their lifespan. In contrast, wood effect floor tiles do not need much maintenance. All you need is to just mop it off regularly with mild detergent cleaner.
  • Floor tiles are suitable for under-floor heating, while natural timber is not. 
  • Timber floors cannot offer the same anti-slip properties as porcelain tiles.

 


Wood effect floor tilesNatural wood flooring

#1 They are resistant to moisture.#1 When exposed, to water, it deforms and buckles. 
#2 They do not need much maintenance.#2 It needs to be treated or sealed and require constant care.
#3 They are suitable for under-floor heating.#3 It is not suitable for underfloor heating. 
#4 They may have anti-slip properties. #4 It cannot offer the same anti-slip properties.

 

Criteria for choosing wood effect floor tiles

Before we buy anything today, we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. This is a powerful resource that we should make use of before shelling out our hard-earned money. There are several factors to consider when choosing a wood effect tile for your home. Whether you are installing ceramic wood flooring throughout your home or just in a specific area.

All of these together will help you identify the right floor tile for the right space:

  • Colour. There are as many colour options as there are natural wood tones, from the lightest pine to the darkest mahogany.
  • Size and scale. There are exciting new tile sizes on the market today that replicate the typical dimensions of timber planks. This enhances the authentic feel of the timber effect, especially if the planks are put down in a staggered arrangement like wood.
  • Texture. It’s not just the appearance of the wood that makes the difference. The texture is important too. And for areas that can get wet, like bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor patios, the texture helps provide non-slip properties.
  • Costs. Porcelain and ceramic are very cost-competitive compared to timber flooring. Especially hardwood. Porcelain is more expensive than ceramic, but the investment is rewarded by a longer lifespan.
  • Material. Porcelain is recommended for higher traffic areas and outdoor decks. Porcelain is also less porous and denser than ceramic and, as such, performs better.

 

Home décor and timber effect floor tiles

The style of your home décor will influence the choice of colour, size and quality of the timber effect tile. From elegant parquet flooring in the living room to more practical, hard-wearing wood tiles in utility rooms. Rustic kitchens are enhanced with lighter pine colours, while grand living rooms with high ceilings and large windows can look even more dramatic with dark, brooding timber tones. For a cutting edge and fresh modern interior design, grey and washed timber colours lend a contemporary feel.

 


Rustic wood effect floor tiles

This style is ideal for highlighting traditional design kitchens, small living rooms, corridors or entrance halls. The distressed look adds character. Not recommended for open plan areas that draw attention to marked variations in colour.

 


Whitewood effect floor tiles

The crisp lines of modern construction, apartments or housing, are perfect for white wood effect floor tiles. Living rooms, open plan kitchens, bedrooms or bathrooms acquire greater light and character.

 

tanzania-white-25X50
Tanzania White 25X150

Grey wood effect porcelain floor tiles

When natural wood is left untreated, it takes on a silver-grey colour over time. The grey timber floor tile look is highly recommended for open plan kitchens and dining rooms. But also for any other area that needs to look nice, function well and be warm.

 


 

Timber effect floor tiles: room by room

Continuous flooring is a great option for an open living space for aesthetic reasons. Here, a solid colour tile is used throughout the ground floor. For more subdivided rooms, consider how each area is used individually. All rooms have different demands placed on them:

grey-wood-effect-porcelain-floor-tiles

Tanzania Silver 25X150 (Available in-store)
The bathroom

Wood effect bathroom floor tiles bring warmth and organic quality of timber to a wet area. A warm honey tone or a reddish cherry against the white of the sanitaryware is guaranteed to look stylish. 

▶ Tip:

A border around a small floor area such as the bathroom can add elegant and sophisticated detail.

Smart Tanzania Silver 22X90 (Available online & in-store)
Kitchens

Wood effect kitchen floor tiles provide peace of mind in one of the home’s most demanding spaces. Even if there’s an accident with the plumbing, no worries, tiles will resist getting wet.

Depending on the cabinets and the overall décor, match the style with the timber colour: grey ash and white pine look modern; light oak and maple reflect the light and look timeless; classic dark woods like walnut provide gravitas.

whitewood-effect-floor-tiles

Smart Tanzania White 22X90 (Available in-store)
Corridors and entrances

The timber effect tile can be used to great advantage in long linear spaces, like halls. Laying the planks in herringbone, chevron or parquet patterns can transform these spaces.

rustic-wood-effect-floor-tiles

Delaware Nogal 19.3X180 / 29.4X180 (Available in-store)
Living rooms

Match the colour and tile size to the décor. Wide tile planks will look authentic in large rooms with tall ceilings and large pieces of furniture. Narrower tiles are more suitable for smaller living spaces. The combination of rugs will look great over a timber effect floor tile.

▶ Tip:

Adapt your home to the changing seasons with rugs that can be taken up in summer and laid over wood effect floor tiles in winter.

How to lay wood effect ceramic floor tiles?

See here the step by step instructions on how to install wood effect ceramic floors:

  • First, make sure the floor to be tiled is completely level. A levelling compound may be required. You should allow this to dry for at least 24 hours.
  • Set out the tiles. Lay them out dry, starting in the centre line of the room along the main axis. Adjust the centre line to avoid or provide a symmetrical cut tile at either side.
  • Working on an area of 1 – 2 m², apply the adhesive with a notched trowel to the back of the tile. Install with a twisting motion to ensure adhesion.
  • Remember to stagger the tile planks to create an authentic wood look. Use tile spacers to ensure accuracy when grouting.
  • Use a tile cutter for clean cuts. If the room requires more irregular cut-around (for an alcove, for example), pliers are just the thing.
  • Allow the adhesive to dry for 24 hours. Remove the floor tile spacers. Mix grout according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Then apply the grout liberally with a rubber float at a 45° angle, making sure to get into every corner. Remove the excess with a damp cloth and polish off with a dry cloth after about 30 minutes.

PAR-KER® flooring installation

PAR-KER®, the original PORCELANOSA ceramic parquet provides flooring and cladding solutions for a variety of indoor and outdoor environments.

 

FAQs regarding wood effect floor tiles

It's all a matter of technology, high-resolution photography and printing onto the surfaces of ceramics and porcelain. Wood grains used to be repeated in unconvincing ways, but now wood knots and various grain effects are incorporated.

The rule of thumb is always to go one shade lighter than the timber colour. This helps to highlight the tiles rather than distract with the grouting which should always disappear into the background when it comes to timber effect tiles.

No. One of the principal reasons for choosing timber effect floor tiles is their warmth. This is down to the colour, pattern and texture of the tiles. If combined with under-floor heating and or scatter rugs the ‘warming effect’ is even more pronounced.

Timber effect wall tiles can be combined to great effect with timber effect floor tiles. The same tile for instance can become a feature wall in a living room or a headboard in a bedroom. The geometric parquet type wall tile is an example of how the warmth of a floor tile can be combined with a designer feature wall in the same ‘family’ of materials.

 

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