porcelain wood look tile. what are your thoughts.

8 Replies

I am doing a basement apartment and have settled on this porcelain wood look tile.  

I am choosing it for the durability and for the fact that I got a great labor rate on the job.

the apartment is pretty small with the kitchen and living room sharing the same 15x15 space

there is a laundryroom/ foyer and an open hallway to keep the place from looking too claustrophobic  but i wanted one flooring type throughout the whole apartment. 

so my choice was either tile, or vinyl plank because of the water from the kitchen and bath

my current concern even though I am going to continue with this project

is that after seeing it installed in a hotel room in Pheonix i was surprised that it looked more like vinyl  plank than tile or wood.

sort of a let down if you ask me.  it almost makes me think I should just go with a nice traditional tile 

anyone else had personal experience with the porcelain wood look tile are there some brands types or colors that are superior to others?

i am sure this super 8 motel didnt get the top of the line tile.

I'm always leery of thing that try to look like other things. But for a basement, tile is really your best choice due to potential moisture issues (esp in your climate) That said, I  googled some photos of the stuff. I think the ones that try to match a finished wood look are a bit "fakey" looking but the ones that are more weathered wood look (greyish/beige tones) are kind of cool looking.

hmmm i sort of feel you on that. 

the weathered looking ones are great for traction as well.   greyish beige  spot on with that 

Thanks for your thoughts.  i think i needed a mental nudge.

We have the wood-look tile in our bathrooms and love it. I don't think anyone would mistake it for hardwood, but I don't think it looks like vinyl plank either. We got ours at Home Depot. The picture makes it look lighter - it's actually quite a bit darker and has more of an even tone. 

My only issue with it is that it is so trendy. I'd be worried that in a couple of years you'd just want to roll your eyes at it. That said, I did consider it in my own home, but for the reason I mentioned above, I decided against it. There are some tiles I have come across at work that mix concrete and wood patterns, which makes it more subtle and abstract. I would consider one of those. I do like the idea of wood look tile over a traditional tile (like a 12x12) because the proportions aren't so dated, and it offers visual warmth. I definitely agree that running the same flooring throughout the living area is a good idea.

thats very intriguing mixing concrete and wood textures.

i think you bring up a good point about possibly looking dated ten years from now.

my hope is to keep this floor down for some time. so i do want as timeless a look as possible.


Have experience with a lot of it over the last 7-8 years, when it first came onto the market there were lots of issues with inferior product and it 'cupping'. This is still an issue with the cheap stuff. You always get what you pay for in construction materials so I'd recommend avoiding home depot materials, bargain retailers etc... and paying a little bit more for a name brand manufacturer of this product with a good track record for quality.

Think about possibly a 1/3 staggered joint instead of the 1/2 staggered joint, it looks a bit better with this product.  People who like hardwood but are looking for a more bullet proof product love this material.

If your basement floor is a concrete slab with control joints that will be layed over, I highly recommend looking into an anti fracture membrane to counter act the possibility of horizontal movements in the slabs at the joints, if there is any signs of vertical movement at the joints I would avoid any tile installations no matter what the product is.

We put two different colors of this type of tile down in our home in NY.  Darker Grey in the kitchen/bathroom/laundry room and lighter brown in the master bedroom.  We thought it looked great and it really helped move our house.  We did end up going with a higher end product (some imported Italian stuff) so it was a little bit pricer than the baseline stuff you'll find at the tile outlets.  But it looked really nice and was great to put down.

Best of luck with the tile selection!

Hi Travis, I moved recently from Italy to Florida and I wonder if you could tell me here or privately the brand of the tiles that you like and if they are lasting well. We have great italian brands but as everywhere also cheaper ones. I am trying to find some nice imported stuff for my house in gainesville.Thanks

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