Is your decor friendly to faux?

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page - Joseph Pu­bil­lones

Al­though tile that looks like wood has been around for years, I don’t think there is a home im­prove­ment store or tile dis­trib­u­tor any­where in North Amer­ica that hasn’t suc­cumbed to this tile trend. Ad­vances in dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy have made these tiles look as good as real wood floors. They come in a va­ri­ety of fin­ishes, from glossy to matte, and with the ap­pear­ance of al­most any species of wood. Ini­tially de­signed for work ar­eas such as kitchen and bath­rooms and out­door ar­eas as well. There are good rea­sons to choose this type of tile, some which might en­tice you to do your en­tire home. First, there is the vis­ual warmth that a wood floor gives. These tiles can be used in all rooms for a uni­fied look, from the en­try hall to the liv­ing room and din­ing room to bed­rooms. These can elim­i­nate tran­si­tions from dry rooms to wet ar­eas such as bath­rooms, kitchens and even base­ments.

Then, there is the ease of main­te­nance. The clean­ing process be­comes much eas­ wax or threat of scratches or dents on these “wood” floors. Since they are made of porce­lain, these floors can be eas­ily vac­u­umed or swept and then sim­ply mopped with wa­ter. In ad­di­tion, there isn’t the rou­tine sand­ing and re­fin­ish­ing ev­ery cou­ple of years as there is with wood floors.

An ad­di­tional ben­e­fit of this porce­lain wood-like tile is tem­per­a­ture con­trol. Porce­lain is a great ther­mal con­duc­tor. It will pick up the air tem­per­a­ture whether you are heat­ing or cool­ing it. If in­stalling in a colder cli­mate, ra­di­ant heat can be in­stalled un­der­neath the tile for a warmer ex­pe­ri­ence.

The va­ri­ety of tile sizes, shapes, color and tex­tures make wood-like tiles ex­tremely adapt­able to any style of decor. Some tiles have knots and pat­terns in the tile, which can make them more ap­pro­pri­ate for a tra­di­tional look, more coun­try look­ing or even for a beach­style decor. Sleeker, evenly col­ored tiles are more ap­pro­pri­ate for tran­si­tional or con­tem­po­rary decor.

Some would ar­gue that these wood-look­ing tiles also have an en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit. Since these tiles are porce­lain, no trees are cut down, thus cre­at­ing an added bonus. These are some of the rea­sons wood-look­ing tiles are so pop­u­lar to­day.

There are some caveats when con­sid­er­ing wood-like tiles. In kitchens and other ar­eas where one stands for a long pe­riod of time, porce­lain tile can gen­er­ally be tough on your feet and back. To mit­i­gate fa­tigue, gel mats or run­ners are rec­om­mended in the work ar­eas.

De­pend­ing on the sub­floor of your dwelling, the cost of in­stal­la­tion can vary, some­times even more than wood or other type of floor­ing. Some in­stal­la­tions may re­quire the ad­di­tion of ce­ment boards or self-lev­el­ing mix. Porce­lain tile, al­though con­sid­ered as one of the most durable floor­ing, is also sus­cep­ti­ble to cracks and chips in heav­ily traf­ficked ar­eas.

Fi­nally, as is the case with most trends, wood-like tiles will one day be dated. As a friend, I only rec­om­mend these tiles in ar­eas where noth­ing else will do. Namely wa­ter-prone ar­eas and beach­front prop­er­ties.

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