Wood Effect Porcelain: Benefits, Uses, Styles and Tips
Wood Effect Porcelain: Benefits, Uses, Styles and Tips
- What are wood-effect porcelain tiles?
- 7 key benefits of wood effect tiles vs. real wood
- Where to install wood effect tiles in Irish homes
- How to choose the right wood effect tile for your home
- Why Tile Merchant?
You’ve probably seen or heard of wood-effect porcelain, but knowing whether it’s right for you and your home is another thing entirely. In this short guide to our indoor and outdoor wood look tiles, we’ll introduce you to the many benefits of porcelain imitations, as well as where they can be best installed around the house, and the sort of styles available to you.
Just remember, if at the end of this blog you’re still unsure about using wood effect porcelain tiles in your next home improvement project, you can always order some free samples from our collection and have them delivered straight to your door, anywhere in Ireland.
What are wood-effect porcelain tiles?
Wood effect porcelain tiles are just what they sound like: super strong and durable porcelain, made to resemble real, natural hardwood. Using ultra modern printing technology, porcelain tiles assume the knots and swirls, rings and lines, deep hues and warm shades of various types of wood: from mahogany and chestnut to oak and beech.
Porcelain makes a really great base for imitating a whole host of materials, including cement, marble, sandstone, and limestone. As a naturally robust product, porcelain takes on the beautiful appearance of wood without requiring any of the maintenance, cleaning, or sealing. It is therefore no wonder that Tile Merchant porcelain wood-effect tiles have become such a big hit with Irish customers, all across the country.
7 key benefits of wood effect tiles vs. real wood
Even if you’re hung up on wanting “the real deal” for your interior design project, or garden landscaping, we’re confident that by the end of this list you’ll be persuaded of wood-effect porcelain’s many advantages over natural wood. Let’s check out 7 crucial factors which tend to make porcelain tiles the superior choice.
We’ll start with something we’re sure you’re all wondering about: just how realistic can wood effect porcelain actually look? Well, short of popping into one of our three showrooms for a nosey, just take a look at this display bathroom showcasing our ever-popular Green Heart wood-effect tiles.
As you can see, wood-effect porcelain tiles look identical to real wood. Not only do they replicate the comforting hues of natural woods, they are also printed with a variety of textures to mimic the real life variations in pattern and print which are found in wood.
Knowing just how similar in appearance to the real thing our wood effect porcelain tiles are, we can now take a look at all of the other factors which help porcelain stand out from the crowd
Unlike real wood, which requires sealing and regular re-sealing against water, porcelain is naturally water resistant. This means your porcelain wood effect tiles won’t warp in the winter, or accrue damp and black mould when used in wetter parts of the house (i.e. the shower room).
Scratch and stain resistant
Natural woods are fairly absorbent, meaning that spills and splashes will quickly stain real wood flooring if not properly cleaned immediately. On the contrary, wood-effect porcelain tiles (and porcelain tiles in general) won’t hold a stain, and can be cleaned in an instant just with one wipe of a wet cloth.
Moreover, you can’t scratch a porcelain tile like you might accidentally scratch real wood, so no more worrying about scuff marks from the kids’ GAA boots or stains from their juice boxes!
Easy to clean and maintain
Cleaning and maintaining natural wood requires real work: the wood must be sealed on an annual basis against moisture and the elements, and to clean it requires specialist products. Porcelain, by contrast, requires no sealing whatsoever, and can be cleaned with a damp cloth or antibacterial wipe in seconds
Wood effect porcelain tiles, just like all of the tiles in our porcelain tile range, are made to last. Unlike real wood, the brilliant colour and sheen of our porcelain won’t fade over time. No matter how much direct sunlight these tiles are exposed to, they’ll always look like they do the day you install them.
Starting from around just €35/m2, despite the many advantages of porcelain wood look tiles over real wood, their price remains affordable.
Even with some of the slightly more expensive porcelain tile options, they remain cost effective over time, owing to their natural longevity and the lack of time and resources you need to spend maintaining the material. An ideal solution for anyone aiming to make their Irish home or garden investment last as long as possible.
Last but not least, it’s worth reinforcing just how incredibly versatile wood effect tiles are. Owing to all of their pros, listed above, they can be used in literally any room in the house – meaning that you can introduce the calming, restorative and rustic charm of natural wood to any room in the house, without worrying about how to keep it dry and clean.
Where to install wood effect tiles in Irish homes
Our customers across Ireland have been sending us some wonderful photos of their finished projects using wood effect porcelain tiles, proving our point that they are well-suited to literally any room in the house, and even outside! Let’s take a look.
Bathrooms naturally benefit from wooden interiors – the Scandi-inspired look feels fresh and inviting, like a pine log cabin in the forest or a Swedish sauna at a spa; perfect for cosy late-night baths, as well as refreshing morning showers.
Thanks to their natural waterproofness and anti-slip qualities, porcelain wood effect bathroom tiles bring the luxury of real wood to your bathroom, without any risk of nasty rot, damp, or mould build-up, or of you slipping
A gorgeous wood tiles kitchen floor can both elevate a traditional aesthetic, as well as ground more modern, minimalist or even industrial approach to kitchen style. For greyscale kitchens, why not check out our dark or grey colour wood look floor tiles.
Living rooms could benefit from both wood look floor tiles since this space tend to have a little more flexibility when it comes to style. Why not consider a wood-effect floor that won’t suffer the odd red wine spillage!
You could also opt to turn your boudoir into a wooden cocoon of luxuriously rich oak tones. Porcelain wood effect tiles can also be used with underfloor and central heating, so if you’re lucky enough to have that going for you in the bedroom, a wood look floor could make a fantastic new edition.
Often enclosed and narrow, hallways benefit from longer-format tiles and boards, as well as from lighter shades and colours. Our porcelain wood effect floor tiles offer just that: a neutral-toned tile perfect for elevating the look and feel of even the most constricted spaces.
Believe it or not, we even offer a range of wood-effect porcelain tiles for outdoor use.
These 20mm-thick wood-look tiles (Should you install 20mm porcelain tiles in your garden?) are even more robust than their indoor siblings, ensuring that they can be installed on any surface, and are able to withstand heavier furniture like BBQs, or even vehicles, if used to build a driveway.
So whether it’s a patio, party area, pathway or planter, outdoor wood-effect porcelain is never a bad choice!
How to choose the right wood effect tile for your home
Before you start browsing our complete range of porcelain wood effect tiles, it’s worth considering your options, as well as what you’re looking for in the perfect tile.
Because our porcelain wood-look tiles aren’t real wood, you can play around with colour much more than you’d be able to if you opted for the natural stuff. We stock a wide and diverse range of wood-effect colours, from naturally light and dark wood, to grey, white, beige and black.
Different sizes of wood effect porcelain gives you flexibility when it comes to choosing patterns.
You could opt for fancier herringbone or chevron pattern – creating eye-catching and fluid shapes to bring some dynamism to your space – or alternatively choose a more traditional pattern, such as a metro or brick wall lay, or random joint installation whereby planks are laid parallel to each other, with joints staggered at random.
Lastly, it’s important to consider the size of wood effect tile which will work best for your space.
We stock wood look floor tiles and wall tiles in large 120x23cm, medium 90x154cm and small 44x8cm formats. The choice is yours, but a good rule of thumb is: the larger the space, the larger the tile.
Conclusion: A cost-effective and versatile alternative to real wood
Not only do wood effect porcelain tiles look the part, but they are also a more cost-effective, maintainable and sustainable alternative to real wood.
Installed anywhere in the Irish home or garden, they can truly elevate a space, making it feel warmer, more relaxing, either rustic or modern, and ultimately more inviting. To find your dream wood effect porcelain tile, browse our range today!
Wood effect floor tiles are installed much the same as any other tile, both indoors and outdoors. Just make sure to prepare your surface, measure it properly to ensure you have the right number of tiles, plan your pattern ahead of installation, and use good quality bond, grout, and tile cleaner (all available at Tile Merchant!) to finish the job off.
Wood effect porcelain tiles are resistant to both stains and scratches, making them an ideal choice for households with mucky pups, messy kids, and clumsy adults!
You can clean wood effect tiles the same way you’d clean any other tile, with a standard household cleaning spray and wet cloth. You can keep the grout clean and healthy over time with grout cleaner, too.
Grout comes in many more colours than plain old white, these days, which is great news for the wood-effect porcelain enthusiast. Choose a darker or lighter grout than your imitation wood to create a bold, contrasting aesthetic, or opt for a grout close to the colour of your wood effect tiles to keep the look uniform.
Why Tile Merchant?
We offer extremely competitive pricing on our entire range of tiles and likewise. We stock a huge range of wall and floor tiles and our prices are competitive for retail and trade. Our stock is widely available in our tile stores in Dublin and Ashbourne (Co. Meath) which are open 7 days a week.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to shop our tiles online, we can supply you with samples delivered for free.
Article written by Calum
Cal Bannerman is a freelance writer, editor, podcaster and voice actor from the Scottish Borders. He runs the storytelling podcast "Stories from the Hearth" and lives in a wee Glasgow Flat with his partner and their cat".