Now you can have your decorating cake and eat it too! With the new wood-effect tile collections available today, you can find simply stunning tiles that combine the traditional style of a real wooden floor or a wood-panelled wall, with the durability and easy installation afforded by modern materials.
Due to the kind of technology used in modern tile manufacture, the choice is virtually endless. From the selection of simple options replicating the grain of cut wooden boards, to reproducing the complex marquetry effect of small mosaics, wood-effect tiles offer everybody a terrific opportunity to create unique and stylish designs.
Wood-effect tiles come in a wide range of colours and textures. These cover the spectrum of woods found all over the world, from the pale Scandinavian ash, pine and spruce, in white to light brown and honey tones, to the ethereal silvery greys of Norwegian birch, and the rich mid-brown shades of traditional English oak, yew or beech. Or you can go for deeper and more exotic shades, with cherry, walnut, teak or mahogany – and right down into the darker realms of hickory, acacia or ebony.
Because contemporary ceramics and porcelain tiles are not limited by the expense and renewal of valuable real woods, the choice of finishes is really only limited by your design intentions and your imagination. For the trending Nordic look, popular mosaics or unusual avant-garde designs, wood-effect tiles are an ideal choice for their versatility, and can even encompass rare and exotic woods from around the world.
It is also possible to vary the size, style and installation of wood-effect tiles in a way that is not so easy to carry out with real wood. Many options are constructed in large format, long rectangular planks which are designed to represent floorboards, and can be laid in the same way, either in a regular parallel line or in the trending herringbone fashion. You can lay these tiles metro-style, in straight or staggered lines, or you can make patterns in geometric shapes by laying tiles both vertically and horizontally.
Smaller versions of these plank board styles can also be used on walls, and, to be right on trend in contemporary design, can be combined with different textures, colours and substances to make a unique and personalised statement. Marquetry is an intricate and highly sought-after form of wood mosaic usually used for furniture, but with the availability of contemporary wood-effect tiles, fascinating and unusual designs can be made in any home.
Whether you are looking for a simple rustic floorboard or sophisticated polished parquet, wood-effect tiles offer the versatility of shape, size, colour and water-resistance which would take a lot more ingenuity to achieve in real wood.