Installing Realistic Wood-Look Tile

Hardwood flooring has been a classic choice for centuries, and for good reason: it’s natural, beautiful, and works well with any design. Unfortunately, hardwood flooring also requires maintenance, and upkeep can be difficult in damp or high-traffic areas of the home. Wood-look porcelain tile can provide the same visual appeal of hardwood flooring with higher durability.

Wood-look tile is created using inkjet printing. The pattern printed on the porcelain tile resembles wood grain, and at first glance, many cannot even tell the difference. However, proper installation is an important step in getting your wood-look tile just right.

There are a few tricks you can follow to make your wood-look tile look even more like real hardwood flooring. First, remember that while inkjet printing can make your tile look perfect, real wood grain has natural imperfections. When your wood-look tile is installed, be careful that you’re creating a random pattern, not something that looks symmetrical or synthetic. This is easiest if you’ve selected a pattern with a little variation. Additionally, choose rectified tile, which has smooth edges that can more easily mimic the look of hardwood planks than a non-rectified tile, which has variations on the edges.


You’ll also want to make sure your subflooring is level and smooth in order to prevent bowing of the tiles.  Grouting is also a tricky aspect. Make sure that you clean up extra grout quickly in order to prevent it from sticking to the texture of the tile, which will ruin the overall hardwood flooring effect.

Finally, lay your tile in a random pattern. It’s tempting to use a brick-like pattern, which is common in many applications, but is unrealistic when it comes to hardwood flooring. A random or herringbone pattern is more similar to the look of planks of hardwood flooring.

With these tips in mind, your wood-look tile will look just like hardwood flooring. If not for the durability and ease of care, you might even forget that it’s not hardwood flooring yourself.


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