Not so long ago, the appearance of wood effect tiles was anything but convincing. Rather plastic-looking material with endlessly repeated
motifs made it difficult to overlook the obvious shortcomings of fake tiles. However, modern manufacturing techniques using embossing and fine detail
printing can replicate the signature features of many types of natural wood. As the Indigenous Light Fawn floor tile demonstrates, this includes not
only exquisitely simulated wood grain, but also effects such as knots and other timber blemishes, as well as convincing tonal variations. Such realism
can often make it almost impossible for anyone other than a specialist to tell the difference between an authentic wood floor and wood effect porcelain
flooring with any degree of certainty.
The advantages of natural wood flooring
In a world of unlimited choice, the majority of homeowners would seriously consider natural wood flooring as their primary option. Each
plank of genuine timber is entirely unique and the finished floor exhibits a glow and character which is all its own. Not only is the total effect
captivating, the tactile feel of natural material underfoot is also reassuringly warm and comfortable. Furthermore, natural wood is also a good insulator,
which can be an important consideration when planning not just the economics, but also the mood and feel of a particular space.
The advantages of wood effect porcelain floor tiles
Wood effect flooring can be used with complete freedom in almost any area of the home. This is because, unlike a natural floor, it is designed
to repel moisture and damp, and thus will never shrink or swell in response to different climatic conditions. In addition, porcelain replica wood tiles
are impermeable and stain resistant. So, not only will they avoid acquiring marks and blemishes as a result of debris and liquid spills, they are also
remarkably easy to clean and maintain. And if any tile should suffer damage, then a replacement can be easily sourced to preserve the look and character
of the room.
Wood effect flooring is also a sustainable, eco-friendly flooring choice which helps to preserve our finite timber resources. The Indigenous collection
includes tiles in a variety of shades, such as the Ash in a pale grey flecked with white, or the Bark tile which blends light and dark tones to simulate
a textured effect. There is also a good choice of plank widths, so it should be quite a straightforward matter to find a porcelain tile floor to match
your desired interior mood.
The disadvantages of natural wood flooring
Natural timber is a resilient material, but its durability has limits. Thus natural floors can often warp and acquire scratches and dents
during normal everyday service. Liquid spills, pets, fashionable heels and high-volume traffic can all leave their mark on your beautiful floor.
As a result, natural wood flooring requires more maintenance to keep it looking in top condition, compared to that of wood effect porcelain. And though
many would describe this as a labour of love, the process involves the occasional re-sealing and refinishing. Moreover, the delightful ageing process
which mellows the tonal appearance of the wood actually makes it hard to match up replacement flooring if this should ever be required.
A natural wood floor is not always the best practical choice for moist environments such as a bathroom, and will show signs of wear if laid in busy
The disadvantages of wood effect porcelain floor tiles
In the absence of underfloor heating, wood effect floor tiles can seem somewhat colder to the touch, and will be a less-effective sound
insulator than a natural wood floor. Another consideration is that porcelain tiles require grouting once they are laid in position. If the intention
is to closely replicate the look of a natural wood floor, then the grouting operation must be performed sensitively using thin grout lines and
a choosing a grout colour which enhances the planned finish.