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Instead of buying the real thing, Arizona homeowners who want to redo their floors are now considering choosing porcelain tiles that look like wood instead of installing the real thing.

It’s all part of a world-wide trend that began a couple of years ago thanks to state-of-the-art 3D digital printing. Porcelain wood-grain tiles were a hit almost immediately. But local dealers say homeowners are also interested in buying tiles that look like travertine, slate, marble or even linen. Here are some attractive details about the wood-grained porcelain tiles:

  • Cost – One prime reason for choosing what some call “faux wood” is that it’s cost-effective. Although the tiles themselves may cost about the same or a little less, installing them is less expensive and complicated. Tiles don’t have to season in your house for two weeks or more before you lay them as they do with real wood planks. If you buy high-quality tiles, installation should go smoothly.
  • Durability and long life – Real wood flooring can scratch, dent or warp. It needs refinishing and resealing every couple of years. Wood-grained porcelain tiles will hold up forever and are color-permanent and abrasion-resistant. They cannot be cut, torn, gouged or punctured. You’d hesitate to put real wood in a kitchen or bath, but the faux wood can even be cleaned with a wet mop and can be used to line the walls of a shower.
  • Tons of choices – Many showrooms carry as many as six series of porcelain-wood tiles, in more than 25 colors, and with six sizes to choose from. Your tile can look like dark-stained walnut or like reclaimed wood from a well-weathered New England barn. You can buy square tiles to create a parquet design. Some homeowners are not just finishing the floors in porcelain-wood, they’re doing the walls as well as a design statement.
  • Grouting is important – Be careful about the grouting that’s done between faux wood planks. It has to be done carefully so that the tiles look just like wood flooring.



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