Tile Flooring That Looks Like Wood [Buyer’s Guide]

There’s something serene and particularly enjoyable about coming back to a home that’s filled with beautiful, high-quality hardwood floors. They sound nice underfoot, they look luxurious, and they just help bring up the style of any home that they’re installed in. Unfortunately, hardwood flooring isn’t the best solution for everyone, and in some instances, there are far better solutions that must be considered.

If you’re looking for that hardwood flooring look, but you know that hardwoods aren’t suitable for the environment that you want to install them in, it’s best to look at wood look tile instead. This stuff looks surprisingly like real wood, it holds up really well, and it’s a good solution for rooms that hardwoods have no business being installed in. If this sounds like the type of solution for you, read on to learn more about this special tile flooring and how it’s much different than the typical ceramic tile or porcelain tile that you probably are familiar with.

Benefits of Wood Look Tile

It’s hard to say anything negative about beautiful hardwood flooring, but there are some downsides to using the material. Below are all the advantages of relying on wood look tile instead, and there are quite a few to pay attention to. If you are planning on getting hardwoods, think about some tile varieties as well before making up your mind. After reading through these benefits, you may just be looking for wood look tile for your flooring solution instead.

It looks just like wood:

When most people think about tile flooring, they imagine the uniform squares that show up in bathrooms, in commercial buildings, in showers, and in kitchen installations. These tiles are nice looking, but they are very far away from a realistic wood appearance. Anyone that loves hardwood flooring is most likely not a huge fan of tile flooring as a replacement for it, but that’s mostly because the person hasn’t seen high-quality wood look tile.

There are ceramic tile and porcelain tile varieties on the market today that look very similar to standard hardwood flooring. Not only do these tiles look so close to wood flooring that’s difficult to tell the two apart, but they offer many benefits that hardwoods do not. If you’re interested in getting a more durable solution in your home other than actual hardwoods, and you don’t mind the harder surface of tiles, then wood look tile could be the best option for you.


Even the toughest hardwoods are susceptible to scratches, water damage, warping with temperatures and wear over time. They can last for decades with proper care, but they are particularly soft on the surface compared to something like ceramic tile.

Both ceramic tile and porcelain tile are known for being very hard and exceptionally durable. These floors are less maintenance over time than hardwoods are because you don’t have to worry about sanding and to refinish all the time. Sure they will wear out eventually, but a good wood look tile will likely hold up much longer than wood will before it needs refinishing once again. Hardwoods and tiles have similar lifespans; the woods just require more upkeep to maintain properly.

Water resistance:

Hardwoods suck up water like a sponge, and they rot away while producing mold at the same time if they are left to sit in the moist environment for too long. This is a serious issue for anyone that wants a hardwood looking floor in an area where wet conditions are likely. Wood look tile is perfect for mudrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere else where moisture is common. Both ceramic tile and porcelain tile hold up to water surprisingly well, and you won’t have to worry about them rotting apart if you get a leak from your kitchen sink that you don’t notice immediately.

Beautiful appearance:

If you love the natural defects of hardwood flooring, you might not like how clean and crisp wood look tiling is, but if you want clean and neat flooring that still has the look of hardwood, then tile flooring could be for you. You’ll enjoy neat and uniform fittings between each piece without much variation at all. You’ll also love the way that all the grains are perfect in composition. This is something that many buyers actually end up enjoying quite a bit, even those that said they liked a more natural look initially. It’s nearly impossible to find a whole floor’s worth of perfect grain hardwood, but it’s simple to do when using a synthetic tile flooring instead.

Variety of colors:

It’s tough to get just the right color wood flooring if you want something a bit more unique. Sure there are plenty of people out there who are happy with the look of oak, pine or maple flooring, but others want a unique type of wood that’s difficult to obtain. If you want the look of something like acacia, but you don’t want to pay the added cost for the more difficult to obtain hardwood, wood look tile could be a better option for you.

You can get tile varieties that look like difficult to obtain hard or softwoods and then have the tile installation complete for less money than you would pay for the wood flooring. Wood look tile is close to the same price no matter what look you want, so you can pick out just the right color and pattern for your floor without having to worry too much about cost while you do. That’s one of the huge benefits when it comes to going with wood look tile varieties, over standard hardwoods.

Wood like Tile infographic

When to Use Tile in Place of Wood

There’s something particularly beautiful about hardwood flooring, but just because hardwoods look nice doesn’t mean that you should rely on them for every single floor throughout your home. There are going to be some instances where it makes sense to look at something like ceramic tile, or another tile flooring solution instead of hardwoods.

For damp environments:

If you’ve never had wood floors before, you might not realize just how susceptible to moisture wood is. Not only can extreme moisture cause wood floors to warp, but it can also cause the floors to rot away and virtually fall apart. Sure you can get some hardwood flooring that’s coated to resist moisture, but it’s best to avoid these floors in overly damp environments like kitchens and bathrooms. In their areas, it’s much better to go with a wood look tile instead.

After the tile installation, you’ll have a flooring variety that will hold up to heavy moisture over time. Most tile varieties are built to withstand constant water, and many are even used in shower installations. A good ceramic tile or porcelain tile will offer you the sturdy flooring solution that you need without all the downfalls of a hardwood. If you choose a wood look tile to go in this space, you can even enjoy the pattern and appearance of wood, without having to worry about your floors rotting away and falling apart.

For homes with pets:

While it’s tempting to put gorgeous hardwoods throughout your home if you truly love the look of these floors, that often isn’t the best solution if you have pets. Hardwoods don’t do very well with animals, and they will wear out over time because of them. The main reason for this is because the surface of most wood floors isn’t very hard at all. Over time an animal’s nails will wear out the top coating on the floor, and start to scratch and gauge the surface of the floors as well.

Instead of using a wood floor, you could go with a faux wood tile flooring instead. There are some very convincing porcelain tile or ceramic tile options on the market today that will give you a wood feel, but with a much stronger and more durable surface. Tile flooring is tough, and many of the tile varieties will go along with your décor ideas as well. With your wood look tile you’ll enjoy the style elements of the wood but will enjoy a longer lasting and easier to maintain floor solution instead.

Consider Using Porcelain Tiles

If you’re looking for top quality tile flooring with a wood look tile, consider porcelain tile. This type of tile is very heavy and known for its durability. When you want a real wood look while in an environment that is known for being damp, such as for basement flooring, kitchen flooring or in a bathroom environment, porcelain tile is an excellent option to at least consider.

This type of flooring is very durable and excellent for high traffic environments. Porcelain tile can last for decades after being initially installed, and it’s simple to replace one piece or another if any of them are damaged as long as you keep some extras handy. That means you can easily maintain these tiles for a long period without too many issues at all. If you want to enjoy one of the best tile varieties available today, a good porcelain tile installation is worth considering.

Porcelain Tiles - Big

It’s important to keep in mind that though porcelain tile is highly durable, and it looks nice too, it’s also heavy and expensive. That means it isn’t the best option for upstairs rooms, and it probably isn’t a good solution if you are looking for a budget option either. Always consider the different tile varieties that you have available to you, and never go with the first option that you take a look at. Instead also think about the other tile varieties as well. Porcelain tile is an excellent option, but ceramic tile or other tile varieties might work better in its place.

Think about Ceramic Tiles

Though porcelain tiles make excellent wood look tiles, they aren’t the only option available by any means. You can also pick up some nice ceramic tiles for tile installation that will work just as well.

With so many tile varieties out there to choose from it can be difficult deciding what you should use. That’s why you should take the time to get to know each option well. Below is an overview of ceramic tiles and why they’re worth going with in place of porcelain.

Ceramic Tile - Big

While porcelain tile is harder, more water-resistant and more long-lasting than ceramic tile is, it’s not necessarily the best solution for every flooring need that you have.

Ceramic tile is more affordable than porcelain tile and easier to install as well. That means if you are looking for cheaper tile installation, you should look at ceramic tile varieties.

It’s also easier to replace if a piece is broken, which means that you might be able to handle the repair yourself, and if you can’t, you could hire someone to come in and do it for you for less money than porcelain would set you back.

Ceramic tile and porcelain are very similar, but ceramic tends to break more easily, it wears out faster and comes in fewer design varieties. If you’re looking to save some cash while getting a decent sturdy tile flooring solution, ceramic tile is a good option, but there are few reasons other than cost savings to choose it over porcelain tile.

Whether you decide to go with porcelain or ceramic when it comes time for your tile installation, both tile varieties offer a lot over standard wooden floors. If you are looking for a way that you can enhance your home with the look of wood, without the maintenance that comes with it, wood look tile is worth considering seriously. Just make sure that you take the time to consider all the tile varieties out there and that you choose the right option for your need. Ceramic tile and porcelain tile will both work well, but one is better than the other every single time depending on your particular situation. Take the time to decide and then enjoy your new beautiful floor.

Tile Flooring That Looks Like Wood [Buyer’s Guide] was last modified: March 30th, 2018 by Express Flooring