With the appearance of wood and the durability of porcelain, wood look tile has become a big trend in the home renovation industry. Its popularity can be attributed to the wide range of designs that are available, from rustic and weathered barn board to classic looking smoothly finished planks. This means that you can achieve the benefits of tile flooring in the appearance of beautifully finished hardwood.
Where might you select wood look tile in your home? How about the bathroom. For obvious reasons, hardwood flooring is not a good choice for bathrooms. Although you could get away with in it a 2 piece powder room, you certainly would not want to have a hardwood floor in the master ensuite bath. The wood would be quickly damaged by moisture, leaving you with an expensive repair bill in short order. With plank tile, you can incorporate the appearance of long strips of hardwood, with sizes of most plank tile easily found in excess of 24 inches in length. Furthermore, you can integrate this into almost any bathroom design that you can think of. Do you want a wood plank look bathroom floor? No problem. How about a barn board feature wall in that ensuite bathroom? You could even use wood plank porcelain tile to completely finish a spa retreat and achieve a unique look like no other.
Further applications of wood plank tile include kitchens. While hardwood is often used as a flooring material in kitchens, you may want to consider tile for several reasons. One is its durability. Hardwood can be easily dinged and scratched in high traffic areas, creating a need for maintenance and refinishing in a way that does not apply to porcelain tile. Another big reason for going with wood plank tile in a kitchen is cleanliness. Spills happen whether we like it or not, and a big spill of water or an appliance leaking (such as a dishwasher, for instance) is not unheard of. Tile doesn't get damaged with exposure to water. If the spill is large and not quickly cleaned up, a hardwood floor could be a total write-off. Consider the fact that a porcelain tile installation can be grouted with a non-porous, single component grout that resists absorption and staining. This means that anything spilled would not be absorbed into the grout, and could be easily cleaned off with no compromise whatsoever. If you spilled soup all over your hardwood floor, this would not be the case.
Another application of wood look porcelain is in feature walls. Feature walls themselves have been popping up everywhere in both the residential and commercial settings. We've all seen hotel lobbies, office building atriums, home offices, entranceways, and staircase walls that have all been decorated with some type of wood look feature wall. There's no reason why you couldn't take a boring or otherwise plain wall in your house and have wood look porcelain installed to create a unique design statement or spice up a boring area. This is often done with natural stone or other products, and wood certainly has a place here. It just depends on what you like.
Tip: If you are thinking about going with a wood look plank tile for a flooring installation, but are worried about the coldness of a tiled floor, you should consider going with a heated floor. With a Ditra-Heat system, you can have convenient thermstat control over your heated floor, making cold tiles a thing of the past. This is a great solution for a kitchen, bathroom, or basement where you want to have tile installed but also want the flooring surface to be heated.