Faux Wood Tile or Real Wood? Help Me Decide.

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Wood texture has been a huge trend in design in recent years. We saw it first with the popular use of reclaimed barn wood in the home: from flooring and accent walls to furniture and decorative pieces, wood texture adds instant warmth to a space.

The wood-like look is now trending in tile. With recent advancements in manufacturing technology, the color and grain in some faux wood tile can look remarkably realistic and with some of the higher-quality choices, even feel like wood to the touch. Below are some frequently asked questions about faux wood tile to consider when determining if the choice is right for your home.

bathroom floor with porcelain wood grain tile

Will faux wood tile look fake?

Many faux wood tiles are realistic in both look and texture.

We steer our clients toward selections that replicate the color and texture of wood and even feels a bit like the real thing when you run your hands along it. The only difference is that it feels harder underfoot.

To create the wood look, images of real wood are printed right onto the tile. Technology advancements such as the use of high-resolution digital imaging or inkjet printing and high-tech manufacturing create textured tile that with a natural look and feel.

High-end tile manufacturers offer more variations in pattern to better mimic the real thing. Avoid products with few differing tile images since in nature no two planks of real wood are identical. Choose tile with 20 to 30 differing patterns in which grain, knots, distress, and shading vary.

Will grout lines detract from the authenticity?

Wide grout lines will detract from the wood plank look.

For larger format tiles, we typically specify a thinner grout line like 3/16th of an inch. We often match our grout choices to the tile, so the focus is more on the tile rather than the grout joints.

faux wood tile shower niche

Should I choose porcelain or ceramic?

Porcelain is denser and less porous than ceramic making it a better material for high traffic areas or wet areas like backsplashes or showers.

Where can I apply faux wood plank tile?

Almost any place you would consider adding wood in your interior spaces, you can install faux-wood tile. Wood tile planks are very long and rigid. Unlike real wood which has some give, you must apply large format tile to a perfectly flat surface. You can level out real wood floors by sanding them. You cannot sand tile!

In order to apply wood tile planks, your floor needs a maximum allowable variation of 1/8 of an inch in a space of 10 feet. Otherwise you’ll end up with un-leveled sections and gaps.

Is tile too cold?

If you want the look of wood without the worry of its maintenance, faux wood tile is a great alternative. In terms of tactile comfort, tile is cooler to the touch. This is a consideration for cooler climates and for those with cold sensitivity. Radiant heating is often used in tile floor locations (especially in bathrooms) to mitigate the cold feeling underfoot.

How much maintenance does faux wood tile require?

Depending on its location and type of grout used, porcelain tile is a relatively easy surface to maintain. We recommend epoxy grout for most of our tile installations for its durability and stain-proof properties. Occasional cleaning with mild household detergent is all you need to keep your tile in beautiful condition.

Want to learn more?

For more questions, please email office@nextstagedesign.com or call us 408-323-5300.

If you are considering a remodel and would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced remodeling consultants, call or *use our online scheduler.

*When selecting a date/time, please allow at least one business day, or 24 hours, for our team to schedule your consultation.






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Whether you want to learn more about the remodeling process or are looking for some design inspiration, we’ve got just what you need to get the creative juices flowing!
Schedule a complimentary in-home design session today!