Are porcelain tiles good?
As direct importers of natural stone for over 27 years, it's safe to say we love natural stone and its qualities! However, wood effect and stone effect porcelain tiles are becoming increasingly popular choices and there are many great reasons to choose porcelain flooring. With our curated selection of premium porcelain options, we thought a post that covers most questions on wooden floor effect tiles would be helpful (featuring some of our favourite projects with our wood planks, of course!).
Many customers ask if wood effect porcelain is a good choice for a busy, everyday family home – our answer – yes! Wood effect porcelain is both practical and beautiful. We have a wide collection from Italy and Spain with the finest state-of-the-art printing. Our collection of planks replicates the look of natural wood, whilst carrying all the benefits of porcelain. The beauty of porcelain is its engineered strength, easy maintenance, and ability to be used with underfloor heating – unlike natural wood. Available in a variety of shades and patterns, from an authentic oak look to a more contemporary washed effect, wood porcelain suits a range of interiors.
10 reasons to choose wood floor effect porcelain
Porcelain is engineered to be strong and hard-wearing, meaning it doesn’t scratch or dent like natural wood can from chair legs or heels. The print and glaze on a wood effect tile is extremely durable so is also unlikely to chip or fade. This makes it the perfect option for high traffic areas in homes, such as wood effect tiles in kitchens and even for commercial use.
2. Easy maintenance
Wooden floor effect tiles are very easy to keep clean with normal hoovering and the occasional mop. Steam mops and most universal floor cleaners can be used with wood porcelain, and they do not require any sealing. The ability to achieve clean grout joints means that daily dirt or dust isn’t trapped between each plank, we also have stain-proof grout options available, especially good for bathrooms.
The Henbury Antique Oak wood effect planks are a beautiful mid-tone brown, with soft detailing replicating the look of real oak. A wooden floor effect plank that carries a timeless, classic feel, working with all kinds of interiors - including the wood effect tiles in this kitchen. Much like all of our wood porcelain, the Henbury collection is suitable for underfloor heating and is very hardwearing and practical for all spaces.
3. Suitable with underfloor heating
We see more and more customers wanting underfloor heating in their projects and it is a frequent question asked if porcelain is suitable for underfloor heating. Natural wood isn’t suitable for underfloor heating, but wood effect porcelain is perfectly fine, with the correct application. Porcelain is ideal with wet or electric underfloor heating systems because it does not bow and is a great conductor and holder of heat – keeping those feet nice and toasty for longer!
4. Realistic nature
With the porcelain industry growing and expanding comes more state-of-the-art machinery. In turn, this means higher quality printing on the market and a large range of shades and patterns that can be achieved. Whether you are looking for a warm, oak effect floor tile or a contemporary dark wood plank, there are many options. Our full collection offers a variety of palettes and prints, with something to suit every style of home.
The Falmouth Sandy Oak wooden floor effect porcelain is a very neutral warm-toned plank with low variation. This wood effect plank is a fail safe porcelain option for any project and is seen beautifully in this kitchen space.
5. Suitable for floors and walls
The beauty of wood porcelain is that it is very light and thin, this makes it a great option for wall tiles, as well as flooring. The ability to do this, opens up plenty of possibilities and combinations. Read our blog post here for a popular wood effect and stone effect bathroom combination. We recommend opting for a wood look plank that will complement or contrast a stone effect tile – you can then choose the wood for the floor and stone look tiles for contrasting walls or vice versa.
6. Natural grip underfoot
Not only do these floor tile options offer realistic shades and prints, but many also have a subtle texture to replicate natural wood and its grains. This subtle texture provides a natural grip underfoot, making them a practical choice across groundfloors in family homes with pets or young children, as well as bathroom tiles.
The Belsford wooden effect plank is a versatile porcelain with a coastal feel. Replicating the natural look of driftwood, this range is perfect for both contemporary and traditional homes. Like all our porcelain tiles, they are suitable for both walls and floors. Shown here are the wood effect tiles in a kitchen and living room.
7. Rectified, flat and sleek finish
Natural wood can often curl or warp overtime, which results in an uneven level that can be hard to look after and cause problems. All our wooden floor effect porcelain is rectified, and with the correct installation, a flat and sleek finish can be achieved. With these tiles, grouting can be a close 2-3mm joint, which also minimises grout lines and helps create a true wood-look. A rectified tile is cut after the firing process - during the firing process, the clay mixture can expand at varying rates. To ensure the tiles are dimensionally stable, the tiles are cut afterwards, making the installation process easier and allows for thin grout joins.
8. Options for outside
Many customers love wood effect tiles for inside but would also like the option of laying outside. Our wood effect porcelain is frost resistant and can go outside onto a reinforced, solid concrete base. The Brompton Oak wood porcelain is an exclusive indoor, outdoor plank in a 20mm R11 'grip finish, specifically designed for external use – the perfect option to flow seamlessly from inside, to outside.
The Brompton Oak wood effect porcelain is a beautiful rich oak colour replicating the look of wood with realistic knot and grain details. A perfect choice for a wood look plank with all the hardwearing and durable benefits of porcelain. The first of our wood effect porcelain paving suitable for outside in 20mm with a matching 10mm internal tile coming soon.
9. No fade or discolouration
As mentioned, our curated range of wood effect tiles use the highest quality printing on the market. One major benefit of porcelain over real wood is that it will not fade in sunlight or discolour over time, meaning your floor will keep looking beautiful for years to come! A porcelain print is extremely durable and hardwearing, so will not be bleached from sunlight or fade in colour or pattern.
10. Variety in combinations and options
With our growing range of wood effect porcelain, there is a chance to be creative in combinations and find a shade or pattern that is just what you are looking for. Whether it is a bathroom project, or full house renovation, we hope our collection inspires and shows the different plank sizes, laying formats and shades you can opt for. Many customers may wish for a neutral and understated plank such as the Falmouth Sandy Oak wood effect porcelain or others may look for a dark and moody wood effect tile such as the Tudor Oak porcelain.
The Appledore Limewash Oak wood effect porcelain is a popular choice for customers wanting to create a light and airy feel in their home. This Appledore collection comes in two neutral shades with soft patterning throughout – replicating the look of oak. This collection works exceptionally well with both bright and neutral decor, as the gentle look compliments any colour scheme.
So, there we have it! A comprehensive guide for why you should choose wood effect porcelain in your home. We hope this helps you in your decision making, we are always available over the phone to discuss your project ideas and assist however we can! We recommend visiting our wood porcelain page to browse the full range and order your free samples. Our wood effect porcelain can be viewed in our 4 UK showrooms – Leicestershire, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Suffolk with large displays on the floor and walls.
Wood Effect Porcelain FAQ's
What is wood effect porcelain?
A porcelain tile is a man-made product that combines kaolin clay, finely ground sand and feldspar. The clay mixture is fired to an extremely high temperature (upwards of 1200 c) resulting in a very dense tile that benefits from a low water absorption rate – typically this stands at 0.5% or less.
Wood effect porcelain is a great option for busy homes as it is durable and requires little maintenance (in most cases there is no sealing necessary). Most wood effect tiles are colour-bodied with a realistic pattern printed onto the surface of each tile to provide a wood look flooring option. Wood effect porcelain is suitable for floor and wall tiles.
A few points to consider…
R Rating? Porcelain is rated with an ‘R rating’ which offers guidance on its suitability for specific areas. For example, a porcelain with an R rating of 9 or 10 is suitable for indoor use, however we would always advise an R11 rating (grip finish) for outdoor areas.
Rectified? During the firing process, the clay mixture can expand at varying rates. To ensure the tiles are dimensionally stable, the tiles are cut after the firing process. A rectified tile makes the installation process easier and allows for thin grout joins of around 2.5mm.
What is the difference between a ceramic and a porcelain tile?
In short, ceramics are fired at a lower temperature which makes them a little less dense than a porcelain. Whilst they are not suitable for outdoor use, they are a good budget option for indoor areas and are durable enough for residential use. Another notable difference is the clay – in a ceramic a red clay is used instead of white clay. The red clay body means a chip in the glaze would expose a reddy/orange clay vs the neutral clay of a porcelain.
What tile size and format should I choose?
A fixed size is available in all our wood effect porcelain ranges. Most popularly, a 1200mm x 200mm plank is a common tile format and will replicate the look of traditional wood flooring. There are also wider and shorter planks available such as 950mm x 240mm or 900mm x 150mm. These planks are best installed using a third brick bond or less, which staggers the grout joins and avoids any bowing in installation.
You can also install wood effect porcelain in herringbone or chevron pattern which are wonderful tile formats to give a bit of a different look and feel to a space. We suggest employing the work of a professional tiler to do this as it requires skill to achieve a sleek and consistent finish.
Do you have porcelain tiles that look like wood?
Yes! We have a curated range of wood effect porcelain tiles made to give an authentic wood look appearance. These porcelains from Italy and Spain are made with the finest state-of-the-art printing. Shop our collection here, available in a variety of shades and patterns, from an authentic oak look to a more contemporary washed effect, wood porcelain suits a range of interiors.
Do you have a tile showroom with wood effect porcelain displays?
We do, we have several UK showrooms with floor and wall displays of our wood effect porcelain tiles for you to see the beauty of wood look flooring in a larger setting and help you make a decision. Visit our showrooms page to learn more and book an appointment, with a member of our friendly team ready to help you with your project.