You might ask yourself: Why would anyone want to use stone or porcelain tile to mimic wood? There are a number of reasons why tiles that are wood-like are preferable to real wood floors.
For one, they are not as easy to damage as wood floors, that often have to be sanded down and refinished every few years due to the wear and tear on them. They are easier to maintain than wood because you only have to reseal them a few times a year. Wood floors need constant polishing to look their best.
Wood-like tile doesn't stain easily once it is sealed, which is a major plus when compared to real wood that stains easily even when polished simply because it is more absorbent. Thus, wood-like tile for floors tends to be more pet-friendly too.
In an area like a kitchen, where you are constantly dropping liquids, wood-like stone tiles are a better choice than hardwood floors. You can even use stone floors outside to create a "wood deck" that will last forever and need little maintenance.
Here is what you need to know to get wood-like tiles for floors that look stunningly natural.
#1 The Look of Wood Is Paramount
Fine porcelain tiles can be created to have any look or pattern that mimics wood through printing techniques that make the process very exact. Wood-like tile for floors isn't all brown, either, and it can come in the light shades of ash that are common in today's modern homes. The key to ceramic stone tile is to get the right pattern and then have an expert installer put it in. This is definitely not a do-it-yourself job as the way the tile lays and how expertly it is installed will determine whether it looks like a wood floor or a tile floor. The natural grains and layering need to match from tile to tile across the floor to get the best effect. Marble has a look of wood in the darker colors, like this Cedar Dark tile.
See how these different tiles look like wood in this YouTube video.
#2 Stone Tiles Can Come With Natural "Grains"
Besides printing on ceramic tiles some stone tiles have natural-flowing "grains" that can produce the knots and swirls typical of wood tiles. Stones like marble come with their own grain-like patterns that when in darker colors, like brown, can appear to be very woodsy. If cut and laid in planks, like wood floors, you might think they were really wood. However, you don't have to use something as high-end as marble to get fine grains. Travertine and limestone can have layered lines and striations reminiscent of wood so they also can make wonderful tiles to work with in a wood-look-a-like flooring project. This Noce tile looks like Bamboo flooring just because of the beautiful grains inherent in it.
#3 You Can Match Stone Tiles To Get a Wood Texture
The texture of wood floors can be soft to the touch or smooth, depending on whether they are highly polished or just waxed. Stone tiles can achieve a high shine, similar to polished wood floors depending on whether they are honed and polished or not. However, the stone tiles tend to retain their shine much longer than hardwood floors and thus require less maintenance to achieve the look. Marble is one type of stone that is easily polished to a high shine, but if you prefer a softer look, you can opt for travertine, like in this example.
#4 Color Variations in Natural Stone Give a More Wood-Like Appearance
Slate and ledgestone have unique color variations that hark back to woodsy tones. When cut in appropriate tiles and put on the floor in plank layouts, they can also look like wood. Limestone has the color variations and the striations that can make it look like an ash floor when laid correctly. Take a look at a few different floors and how the color variation enhances the look and feel of wood in stone floors.
#5 Wood-like Floor Layouts Make Any Stone Seem Wood-Like
What types of layouts can make a floor look like wood? We've already discussed the plank flooring, which can be large planks, like in this example:
However, if the planks are made more into strips like a hardwood floor, and laid out in overlapping patterns, almost any stone tile can be made to look like wood, just by the way it is laid out. However, if you want something that looks like parquet, all you need to have done is to use different types of stone for the different "wood" pieces or use different color tones of the same stone. Some wood floors are even laid out in herringbone patterns, which is ideal for different types of marbles. Take a look at this marble in herringbone pattern and imagine it for your floor in a darker shade.
Get The Best of Both Worlds
You can get the look and feel of wood floors without the fragility and high maintenance that go with them. There are stone tiles that already have a wood-like appearance and can be polished to a high shine or left with a softer look. If you pay close attention to create a woodsy layout, whether in plank, strips, or parquet floor styling, it instantly creates the illusion of wood no matter what stone you pick. Don't limit yourself to dark colors, if you prefer a lighter palette. There are plenty of wood floors that are lighter in tone and so even limestone can be used for a stone wood-like floor. If you still have any questions about how to get that wood-like tile floor, please comment below.