Porcelain Tile that Looks Like Wood
Thinking about purchasing porcelain tiles? We compiled a list of some of the key considerations
you should take into account before making a decision, by creating a porcelain floor tile comparison chart that covers other popular porcelain tile alternatives. Simultaneously, the following comparison chart would help you as well to better understand the pros and cons of porcelain tile flooring.
However, since different characteristics of different floor tile options cannot be conveyed by words
or images alone, we have also partnered with leading online flooring wholesalers, and invite you to
choose up to 5 Free Flooring Samples of any kind, including porcelain tile that looks like wood.
All samples ship free, and would arrive within 1-2 business days straight to your door.
Obtaining free samples would allow you to really hold down the materials and test their quality and other attributes (e.g., durability, scratch-resistance, dimensions, feeling of the texture, color matching, etc.)
straight from the comfort of your own home. To choose and receive your free samples, simply scroll down to the bottom of the following comparison chart and click on the button in the relevant column.
In addition, you can click here to get a free installation cost estimate for your project.
Comparison Chart: Porcelain Tile vs. Hardwood Flooring vs. Luxury Vinyl Flooring vs. Travertine Tile:
|Porcelain Tile||Hardwood Flooring (Solid)||Luxury Vinyl Flooring
(Planks & Tiles)
|Durability||According to product specific PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) Rating (between 1-5; higher PEI = more durable). E.g, Class 3 and above suits both residential flooring and walls. PEI is assigned according to the results of a series of tests performed on the relevant tiles. Porcelain is part of the ceramic category, yet it is more durable than ceramic as it's far more dense due to its manufacturing process.||Mainly affected by the hardness of the specific wood specie chosen, as indexed by the Janka hardness rating (e.g, Brazilian walnut, with a 3680 Janka rating, is harder than White oak, that has a 1360 Janka rating). However, proper care and maintenance would often dictate how long it would actually last.||Modern luxury vinyl tiles (including vinyl planks that look like hardwood) is very durable, more than laminate and hardwood floors, though not as durable as porcelain. The thickness of the specific vinyl product's wear layer would indicate its relative durability.||Being a natural stone, Travertine is extremely durable compared to most flooring types, yet not as durable as porcelain.|
|What is it made of||Porcelain is actually a type of ceramic, produced with finer grain clay than ceramic. It is also fired at higher temperatures. In the case of porcelain tile that looks like wood (or stone, such as marble, travertine, slate, etc.), the porcelain is rendered with advanced High Definition print technology.||Single piece of real wood with tongue and groove edges. The planks may be delivered prefinished or unfinished.||Vinyl, felt, dyes and fiberglass, topped with a photographic image (of the wood or stone it mimics) and coated with a protective layer.||A form of limestone which develops usually from hot mineral springs.|
|Areas commonly used||Porcelain tile can be used for floor surfaces (most tiles can be used outside as well, as balcony and patio surface), and for interior and exterior walls as well. Porcelain tiles are a great choice for areas in which moisture can be expected such as bathrooms, kitchens, and even pool areas. Higher PEI porcelain tiles can be used at commercial settings as well.||Hardwood is more restrictive compared to porcelain, as it should not be installed in areas prone to wetness and moisture (such as bathrooms and basements), nor outdoors. High-traffic areas shall use harder wood to ensure the floor durability.||Extremely versatile, can be used in virtually every room, including basements, bathrooms and kitchens (any level of the home), as luxury Vinyl is highly resistant to water. Vinyl tiles and planks with a thicker wear layer can be used in commercial settings as well.||Living spaces, entrances, foyers, hallways. Travertine tile can be used for interior and exterior wall cladding as well. Can be used in bathrooms if properly sealed.|
|Dimensions||Typically 6″x6″ - 24″x24″; Wood looking porcelain tiles are usually manufactured in wood plank sizes of 6″x24″.||Length: random, Ranges 12″-84″; Width: 2.25″-6″.||Planks: Length: usually ranges 37″-47″; Width: 6″-8″.
Tiles: Usually 12″x24″, 18″x18″.
|Typically 4”x4” - 24”x24”|
|Thickness||9.5mm (= 3/8″, Industry standard)||Usually 18mm (= 3/4″)||2mm – 10mm; to be chosen according to the situation and desired wear layer; 3mm and above would generally suite floating floor installations; thicker tiles may be recommended if installed directly over concrete to allow for more cushion.||10mm – 13mm|
|Warmth and Feel||As a trade-off for its durability and versatility, Porcelain feels harder and colder underfoot compared to other flooring options such as vinyl tiles and hardwood. However, It is always possible to install radiant heating below the tiles, or use an area rug.||Sturdy, solid rich feel underfoot, However, can feel very cold at winter time, and radiant floor heating is not suitable for real solid hardwood.||Softer and warmer underfoot compared to real tile. Vinyl Planks with attached cork underpad (9.5mm thick) feature even better cushion and foot traffic noise insulation.||The natural stone texture adds a luxurious antique feel, yet similar to porcelain, travertine feels quite hard and cold underfoot.|
|Cost (material prices)||$1.00 - $20.00 /sq ft||$2.00 - $8.00 /sq ft||$1.00 - $5.00 /sq ft; Easy click and lock installation significantly reduces labor costs.||$2.00 - $9.00 /sq ft|
|Total Cost (with Installaion)|
|Ease of Cleaning||Easily cleaned with a damp mop. Glazed porcelain tile is easier to clean, while unglazed porcelain tile is more slip-resistant.||Typically, commercial suitable cleaners may be used on hardwood floors, according to the specific manufacturer instructions. However, hardwood floors cannot be left wet.||Cleaned with a damp mop or a swiffer; special cleaners might be required for thorough cleaning (such as neutral-pH agents).||Dry dust mopping; when washing is needed, use a pH neutral agent and water. If used as exterior, rinse with water at least once a year. Stains may be removed with natural poultices.|
|Environment friendly||Considered very eco-friendly: Porcelain is made from natural materials; Kiln fired at extremely high temperatures which reduces finished product VOC emissions to zero; Has one of the longest life cycles of any flooring products in the market today.||Real wood flooring requires cutting down trees; On the bright side, it is a more renewable resource than natural stone (such as travertine), artificial chemicals are barely used in the manufacturing process, and wood is a recyclable material.||Vinyl is difficult to recycle as it is a synthetic material. However, it may be recycled into new vinyl. Presumably less energy-consumptive in its transportation and manufacture compared to other flooring materials, contributing to its eco-friendliness.||Fairly; in the long term travertine is a renewable resource; natural and sustainable compared to other materials.|
|Colors and pattern variety||Porcelain tile is manufactured in a wide range of textures and colors, including textures which mimics real wood, natural stone, and even metals. Porcelain is also available at various finish types: matte, polished, and rectified (natural). Full body porcelain is colored all way through, while glazed porcelain is white with color only on the surface. Some porcelain tile that looks like wood are also available in an embossed finish to further mimic real wood grain.||All traditional wood patterns and colors.||Vinyl planks are available at all traditional wood colors; Vinyl tiles are available in different stone patterns.||Natural colors and patterns which vary from tile to tile; Different finishes: honed, polished, brushed and tumbled, which effect how glossy or rugged the texture is. Different edge design is available as well.|
|Ease of DIY Installation||A professional installer is recommended (as it is important to decide upon which mortar/grout has to be used, and upon the appropriate installation method and maintenance practice).||Requires specific level of expertise.||Allows for an easy floating installations; no need to adhere the tile with mortar significantly eases up the installation. It is also easier to cut down (usually only a utility knife or a table saw are required); a glue-down application may be used for commercial settings. Non-grouted installation allows replacing a damaged tile with ease.||Generally, a professional natural stone installer is recommended.|
|Care and Maintenance||Virtually no maintenance required compared to natural stone or wood floors. No sealing or waxing is needed.||Keep clean from dirt and debris to avoid surface scratches. Protective pads are recommended. Sharp objects (such as high-heels, pet claws) shall be avoided. Use only the recommended cleaning solutions. Hardwood flooring needs to be refinished about every 5 years in order to preserve it from long term wear.||Very low-maintenance, no refinishing is required, easy to clean. Much easier to replace an individual tile As opposed to grouted tile (in case of damage).||Can last for a lifetime beautifully when cared properly; Sealing is required periodically, more often if the area is frequently in contact with water.|
|Fading due to UV exposure||No||Yes||No||No|
|Climatic Suitability||Thanks to its high density, Porcelain tile flooring suits all climates, generally for exterior use as well.||Best suited in areas with temperatures ranging 60-70 Fahrenheit, and on or above grade (not below ground) locations. (Engineered wood flooring can be suitable for a wider range of temperatures and humidity levels)||Suitable in any climate (Indoors).||Suits all climates for indoors use; For outdoors use in extreme cold climates - check specific product specs.|
|Installation surface restrictions||It is advised to install porcelain tile directly over level concrete. In case of a top plywood layer, laying a cement board first is recommended. Generally, it is not advisable to install porcelain over subfloors such as vinyl.||Thick solid hardwood can be installed on over concrete. Thinner hardwood installations should include a moisture barrier, (e.g, plywood subfloor). Always follow manufacturer's instructions.||Can be installed above existing subfloors such as tile, vinyl, linoleum, plywood and wood floors. Since vinyl tile is relatively thin compared to traditional flooring, always check the manufacturer recommendations (not following it may void the warrantee).||Similar to porcelain, existing flooring should be removed first, and existing subfloors should be repaired or replaced. It may be recommended to use Ditra underlayment or cement boards according to the situation.|
|Pattern repetition||In the case of Porcelain wood grain tile (sometimes referred to as ceramic wood tile), or a stone grain tile, the pattern may repeat about every 8 tiles.||Each plank is natural and unique; rustic grade hardwood would include more mineral streaks and knots.||Usually repeats every 8 planks/tiles, therefore laying out the tiles in advance before installing is recommended.||Each tile is absolutely unique, as Travertine is a natural stone.|
|Scratch and dent resistance||Great resistance to scratches. However, any tile can eventually chip if a heavy object is dropped on it.||Even the hardest hardwood flooring will scratch, yet it can be sanded multiple times. Janka specie hardness also affects the resistance.||Vinyl plank flooring and tiles are very resistant to scratches, denting, and staining.||Sturdy natural stone resistance, however, travertine is the softest among all other natural stones.|
|Can it be installed over radiant heat||Yes.||Not advisable, as solid hardwood naturally contracts according to the content of moisture in the boards. Engineered wood flooring is designed to support radiant heating.||Generally yes, check specific product information.||Yes.|
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