Wood-look ceramic tiles

Wood-look ceramic tiles

Wood is wonderful but it's not always the best flooring for a room. So if you're heart's set on wood but your head tells you it's a no-no, look to ceramics, because manufacturers have perfected their imitation of wood

By Noah Dugall
Peronda is one of Spain's leading tile manufacturers
Spain is one of the world's leading manufacturers of ceramic tiles and its industry is a huge innovator. Wood-look tiles are proving very popular at the moment, particularly for kitchens and hallways, and Peronda is a brand with an exciting range of designs. Pictured above: ‘Bretagne’ matt floor and wall tiles resembling aged wooden blocks and planks for attractive parquet effects, 45x45cm. peronda.com
 
Real wood is the number one choice of flooring; but that said, and for obvious reasons, lots of us don't want it in kitchens, bathrooms and areas that are subjected to heavy traffic...such as muddy boots and muddy paws. 
 
A good alternative is to go for a wood-look ceramic tile and before you say 'yuk, that sounds naff', do take a look at some of the wood-effect tiles that have hit the market recently. They look incredibly like the real thing, whether it's an aged parquet or sleek limed oak look you're after.
 
And if you live in cool climes, you can have underfloor heating so your tiled floor isn't freezing in winter, while if you live in a hot country, tiles are preferable to wood because ceramic stays cool, unlike wood which warms up in the heat. 
 
 
Porcelanosa's Par-Ker brand offers wood-look ceramic planks
Larix wood-effect planks from Italy's Refin Ceramiche
Castel rich brown wood-look tiles from Grespania are 29.5x120cm. www.grespania.com
Cava pitted and aged wood porcelain planks from Grespania, various sizes and colours
Teak planks from Roca's Botanica porcelain tile collection. www.ceramictile.co.uk
Cashew wood from Roca's Botanica tile collection. www.tilesdirect.co.uk
Be bold: go for parquet
 
We all know traditional parquet floors laid in wood or brick, and parquet is much in vogue again. Real wood parquet can be very expensive to lay, so why not cheat a bit with far more affordable ceramic parquet? Manufacturers such as Spain's Peronda, Grespania and Ibero Ceramica and have developed 'parquet blocks' which have a digitally-printed finish that makes them look just like wood, while offering the longevity and scratch-resistance of ceramic. Ask your dealer for:
 
Grespania's Cava porcelain floor tile in a vintage timber finish. The 'planks' come in different sizes and colours and can be used to create herringbone patterns. grespania.com
 
The Avignon porcelain floor tiles from Ibero come in five natural wood colours and are ideal for chevron patterns. They're available in 14.5x90cms or 45x90cm formats. iberoceramica.com.
 
And Peronda's Bretagne matt floor and wall tiles resemble aged wooden blocks and planks and are ideal to lay in parquet. 45x45 cms. 
 
For a Nordic stripped pine look, Vives 'Fremont Natural' from its World Woods collection, 120x20cms
Pamesa ‘Castle’ floor tiles have a natural wood look with varying textures, grains and patterns, 20x60cm format. Walls are clad in Ancona ceramic tiles. www.pamesa.com
The new timber
 
If you have a tiled bathroom, you'll know how easy those tiles are to look after - just wash 'em over once a week. Brits are quite stuck in their ways when it comes to rooms they feel are suited to tiles (ie bathroom and kitchen..), but with fantastic look-alike tiles in plank rather than the square biscuit format, it could be time to be a bit more adventurous and tile the conservatory or...heavens forfend...even a sitting room (underfloor heating is a must though...).
 
Experiment with a patchwork of mixed timber boards or go for panel-style wall cladding and stripped pine effects.
 
Products to check out include:
 
Plank ceramics from British Ceramic Tile and Italy's Refin Ceramiche
 
Sylan by Spain's Aparici - narrow ceramic boards that come in maple, teak or walnut effects. aparici.com 
 
Tau's Forever has narrow boards with a stripped wood look. Forever comes in a variety of colours and in 15x60 or 22.5x90cm formats. 
 
Pamesa's Ancona porcelain floor tiles have a natural wood look with various grains, textures and patterns and come in a unique 20x60cm format. 
 
Also see Roca's Botania vintage-inspired timber-effect porcelain tiles available in four colours and an innovative 15x90cm format; Vives' Halsa Bokna wood panel style ceramics and Natucer's Timber Espiga advanced extruded porcelain tile, available in special shapes.  
 
Many Spanish manufacturers' brands are widely available in the UK through dealers including: Topps Tiles; Ceramic Tile Company; Grestec Tiles. Your local independent tile shop should also be able to order them.
 
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