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Trending in the Aisles: Wood-Look Porcelain Tile

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With the advent of advances in ink-jet printing technology, newer floors that look like wood can be made on porcelain tile. The Home Depot has been leading the way with various types that we sell that provide a durable floor that looks like wood, but with none of the upkeep and routine maintenance of hardwood floors.

In fact, if installed properly, one can almost do a double take when looking at it. You could almost be fooled that it is real wood, as shown in this great pattern in the image below.

Remember, that porcelain tile is more impervious to water absorption than ceramic. This means you can place it anywhere inside or even outdoors, something where ceramic can't go, since it isn't frost proof and porcelain is.

This durable tile can be installed anywhere where you desire a wood-look where wood couldn't normally go, such as a basement floor, shower surround, and even as a kitchen countertop.

Be aware that these tiles install exactly in the same manner as other tiles, over a suitable subfloor with mortar and grout between the tiles. If you do very thin grout joints, you can still have the look of interlocking planks, and the tiles will perform their best.

I've had customers wonder if grout can be avoided; if you can simply butt the tiles up next to each other without it. It's possible, but you run a huge risk of water seeping through, which can in turn damage the subfloor underneath and loosen the tiles as well. Grouting as well as sealing is the best line of defense for keeping the tiles in place.

To view all wood-look tiles sold online and at your local Home Depot store, please click here. Since this new printing technology isn't limited to just wood, there are other surfaces it can mimic like fabric, so be sure to look out for those as well.

Let us know if you have any further questions regarding this great type of tile.


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Posted 2015-06-06T20:40:20+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL Joseph_HD_ATL
I installed this type of tile in a bathroom almost four years ago and they look amazing.  It's not necessarily a look for everyone but the homeowner was just stunned.  For those thinking of a DIY project, I would like to offer a few suggestions:

  • These tiles are now available in sizes up to 4 ft. in length.  Check with your local rental centers to see how large of a wet saw they have.  The tiles I installed were 3' long and I rented the largest saw I could find, 36".  The saw really could only cut about 34" so it required a bit of effort to make rip cuts.  The other option is to freehand the cut with a angle grinder with a diamond blade.  That's less of a concern if the cut edge will be covered with something like baseboard moulding but still needs to be considered.  Also, the larger the saw, the larger the rental fee.
  • All very large tiles require a very flat floor and imperfections that wouldn't be noticed with smaller tiles can make larger tiles difficult to install so there is no "lippage."  Lippage is when one tile sits higher than the adjacent tile.  The tiles themselves also need to be flat.  Before purchasing it would be a good idea to check a few of the tiles for flatness using a straight edge or level at least as long as the tile.
  • Grout lines help to hide the natural variation in the width of tiles and provide a bit of a "fudge factor," helping to disguise minor mistakes when laying the tile.  The smaller the grout line, the more consistent the wide of each tile needs to be.  If very narrow grout lines are desired, make sure the tiles are "rectified" which means they've gone through an extra step in the manufacturing process to produce a uniform width.  Even then, it may be a good idea to randomly measure a few tiles to ensure the tiles are uniform.  Smaller grout lines also means more care must be used when laying the tile.

Hope this helps....

Posted 2015-06-07T02:02:55+0000  by Adam444
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