Wood effect tiles are all the rage at the moment, and it’s not difficult to see why. They are great value for money, realistic looking and extremely hard-wearing. If you are thinking of having wood effect tiles laid in your home, or are considering doing it yourself, read on for our tips on laying these stylish and versatile tiles.
Firstly you will need to decide on the type of wood effect tiles you want. As this trend has increased in popularity more styles have become available – giving you plenty of options. Texture can be important; some tiles have a smooth surface while others are slightly textured to resemble a real wooden floor. There is also an array of styles available, from natural looking to distressed – so make sure to pick out the one that suits your decor. If you want to make a small space feel larger, or feel you need some extra light in the room, go for a lighter coloured wood effect tile. If you want a bold and modern look, or have a bit more space to work with, try a striking dark wood look.
Material is also important, and while it might be tempting to go for a cheaper ceramic tile, a porcelain wood effect tile will be much more cost effective in the long run. Porcelain is a much harder tile material that’s extremely hard to scratch or chip. This makes it perfect for high traffic areas in your home such as kitchens and hallways.
When laying any tile on to the floor you need to make sure that the surface is level. There are a number of self-levelling compounds available that will allow you to quickly and easily level your floor – this will make tiling the floor easier and give a better finish on the tiled surface.
Before you actually start installing your tiles, lay some of them out so that you can check you are happy with the pattern and mark any cuts that need to be made. When laying plank shaped tiles in a brick bond pattern there can be some lipping, which can make the tiled surface look extremely uneven. As tiles bend slightly during the firing process the edges are not always completely straight and flat, which causes lipping when laid. To avoid this, we recommend that tiles over 500mm in length are bonded to a maximum of 30% of the length of the tile – rather than 50%.
Once you have decided on your layout you need to think about the joints between the tiles. On floors it is common practice to use a grout joint of around 3-5mm, although some rectified porcelain tiles can be fitted with a more narrow joint. Use spacers to ensure the joints are even. Use a dark grout to give the look of traditional floorboards, or a matching grout for a simple and clean look.
There are also optional extras you could consider when planning your wood effect floor. Underfloor heating is ideally suited to porcelain wood effect tiles, as the material will hold heat well but will not shrink or swell. Make sure your adhesive and grout is suitable for use with underfloor heating systems, and consider using insulating tile backer boards to improve efficiency. You can also extend your space outdoors by using a matching outdoor wood effect tile on your balcony, terrace or patio.
As porcelain needs little to no maintenance you can relax and enjoy your new wood effect floors as soon as the grout has cured. Porcelain tile cleaners are available which will help keep your tiles looking fantastic, but apart from that all your floors will need is a sweep and a mop.
Need more advice on wood effect tiles? Pop into one of our showrooms and speak to our knowledgeable and friendly staff.4
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