Faux wood tile is one of the hottest trends in home remodeling and home decorating. Paying tribute to beautiful hardwood flooring, faux wood tile is a ceramic tile that combines the rich, textured finishes and warmth of real wood with the durability, functionality and design flexibility of tile. And, it costs a fraction of what real hardwood flooring costs.
'The strong trend toward faux wood tile is due to its contemporary, sophisticated look and durability,' says Kirsty Froelich, design director with The Tile Shop, the nation's leading retailer of high quality, premium manufactured and natural stone tiles from all over the world. 'That's one of the reasons why you're noticing it in upscale boutique hotels. The other reason is more practical. Because it's water-resistant, you can use faux wood in parts of the home where moisture and water make real wood impractical, such as bathrooms, kitchens and foyers.'
Designers and homeowners love the abundance of available finishes in faux wood tile, from natural, earthy tones to colors that many homeowners would never dream of staining in hardwoods, like washed-out whites and light grays. These lighter colors have become increasingly popular in contemporary homes with open, light-filled spaces that bring out the tile's visual wood-grain texture.
Just because faux wood tile looks like a million bucks, doesn't mean it costs a fortune. The price per square foot is a fraction of what a homeowner would pay for real hardwood flooring, a point that has undoubtedly added to its appeal and rise in popularity.
Beyond faux wood, Froelich points to other hot tile trends, including:
Commercial style: Large-size tiles, typically seen in commercial or industrial settings, are all the rage in upscale homes. Large 12-by-24-inch tiles and extra large 16-by-24-inch tiles give rooms a big, spacious look. Instead of paint or wallpaper, consider using 10-by-30-inch long wall tiles to add rich texture and color to your living room or great room.
Glass and stone mosaics: Many homeowners are mixing little mosaic tiles consisting of different shades of natural stone with glass tiles in square, round and rectangular shapes to give their kitchens and baths a distinct, high-end touch of class.
Reclaimed wood tile: Homeowners love the look and feel of reclaimed wood - like the wood from an old barn, an old wooden ship or antique furniture. But reclaimed wood can be quite expensive. Now homeowners can add that reclaimed wood style with wall tiles made of ceramic or natural stone that offer a natural, authentic weathered look.
More texture: Homeowners are shifting away from shiny polished stone and moving toward more marble with a smooth or lightly textured finish. Homeowners are also mixing and matching different styles of tiles to create more contrast and a more layered, textured feel in their spaces.
Floor to ceiling: Tile isn't just for bathroom floors and kitchen backsplashes anymore. Because of the low maintenance and high durability of tile, many homeowners are wrapping the walls of their bathrooms and kitchens, from floor to ceiling, in tile. In living and dining rooms, entire walls of tile add a warm, yet contemporary accent.
Spa feel: The bathroom is still a place where a person can experience some peace and quiet in our busy, high-tech lives. That's why the trend of turning your bathroom into a European spa still continues strong with the use of natural stones and soothing glass tiles.
Timeless feel: For some homeowners, especially those who own an older or historical home, vintage subway tile or arabesque tiles deliver a classic, yet contemporary look that will never go out of fashion.
Simulated stone and incredible patterns: With new printing technology, homeowners can get the natural, unpredictable look of stone in ceramic tile, offering a lower cost option to obtain the high-class look of marble, slate or granite. In addition, a new wave of incredible patterns on ceramic tile is emerging for the more daring homeowner.
To learn more about tile trends and how to install tile, visit www.tileshop.com.