If you are looking at buying a real wooden floor, or wood effect porcelain tiles, these pro’s and con’s of both will help you make an informed decision.
With nature and ‘outdoors in’ being key interior design trends of late, bringing many natural materials into the home, real wood flooring has taken centre stage over the last few years. Hardwood flooring can be very expensive, which is why many manufacturers and designers have spent a long time perfecting wood-look tiles to offer a beautiful, but cheaper alternative so that all homeowners can enjoy the stunning appearance of wooden surfaces.
Many tile manufacturers are now offering wood-look products that are extremely realistic. The latest technology offers embossing and high quality printing which not only offers a selection of tones and wood type to be printed on the tiles, but also intricate details like wood grain, knotholes and exceptional texturing and tone. These high quality floor tiles replicate real wood so well, they are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.
Despite wood-look floor tiles being so realistic and high quality, there are still some people who prefer the real thing. This is of course down to taste, but if you are looking at investing in a wooden floor (real or not) then it’s worth looking at both options as there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
The Advantages Of Real Wood
Hardwood feels warm when you walk on it with bare feet and naturally insulates the home, which is a great thing during winter.
Compared to floor tiles, hardwood flooring feels soft and comfortable underfoot
Hardwood flooring is without a doubt, naturally beautiful. It has a gorgeous glow, beautiful tones, details and a unique quality as every piece is different.
The Advantages Of Wood-Effect Floor Tiles
Suitable For Many Areas Of The Home
Wood-look floor tiles can be used in lots of different areas of the home because unlike real hardwood flooring, they have been made to repel moisture and won’t swell or shrink depending on the climate they are in.
Wood-look floor tiles are stain resistant and easy to wipe clean as liquids and debris doesn’t sink into them because they are impermeable.
Quite simply, no trees are harmed in the making of wood-look porcelain floor tiles.
Easily Made To Fit Your Needs
There are so many different styles and sizes of wood-look floor tiles you’d be hard pushed not to find any to fit your individual needs.
Easy To Replace
If damage is done to a single tile, they are extremely easy to replace with a tile that looks exactly the same as the one before.
The Disadvanatges Of Hardwood
Only Durable To A Point
Natural hardwood is resilient but it is only durable to a point. Hardwood flooring is susceptible to chips, dents, warps, cracks, dents and scratches. Difficult spills, pets with sharp nails, stiletto heels and heavy foot traffic are all issues on hardwood flooring.
Hardwood floors require attention and care to keep them looking beautiful. Cleaning can be difficult if the flooring is not sealed properly, and refinishing and resealing tends to need redoing regularly. Replacement pieces of exactly the same tone and style of the floor already laid can be very difficult to source because wood mellows and changes colour with age..
They Aren’t Suitable For All Areas Of The Home
Hardwood is not moisture resistant, is susceptible to shrinking and swelling and can fade and wear easily, which means it cannot be used in all areas of the home. It is not ideal for busy areas of the home, or areas with moisture such as bathrooms.
Disadvantages Of Wood-Effect Porcelain Floor Tiles
Not So Toasty Feet
Unfortunately, wood-look floor tiles are cold under foot unless you invest in underfloor heating.
Less Sound Absorbent
Wood-look floor tiles do not offer much noise insulation unless they are underlaid with a thick, high quality material.
Tiles Require Grout
As wood-effect floor tiles are indeed tiles, they do require grout as part of their installation process. A lot of people don’t like grout as it can stain and can be a trap for dirt and debris. Although wood-look floor tiles only need thin grout lines, they can still pose an issue and can be difficult to match to the flooring in order to create a seamless finish.
Which Will You Choose?
Both options will provide you with a stunning, natural-look flooring that will compliment any colour scheme and room design.