With so many technical advances in hard surface materials it is very hard to tell the difference between a natural marble or timber floor and their imitation counterparts. With so many benefits attributed to porcelain tiles including stain resistance, UV stability, cleanability, large format options for easy installation with no sealing required and reduced grout lines. It is no wonder these gorgeous natural elements are being reproduced onto porcelain tile in a way that is more resilient to the wear and tear of everyday life.
Having a natural marble or timber floor in your home exudes status and luxury yet interior designers like Frances Cosway are even steering their clients away from the real thing towards look-alike products due to their many benefits. After viewing the timber tiles in Frances Cosways own home her clients were “ blown away by how lifelike it looked. Once I told them about the advantages of having a timber tile floor over natural timber they were absolutely sold. They are so impressed with the low maintenance, how easy they are to clean, that they are scratch resistant and are so easy to live with”. Technical porcelain is a highly durable material that remains unaffected over the years adding to its longevity.
When it comes to maintenance, natural marble needs a lot of upkeep as the natural material is so porous. It is susceptible to stains, chipping and discolouration over time and requires specialty products for cleaning. With this in mind, manufacturers including Porcelanosa have created a line of tiles inspired by natural marble that requires no maintenance.
Natural marble is beautiful and distinctive as no two pieces will ever be the same. Designers have had a love affair with natural marble for many centuries yet the stone is porous, meaning it can stain, scratch and discolour easily. Because of this, mable is not recommended for use in kitchens and countertops nor for outdoor applications. Natural marble also tends to be higher in cost due to its weight and exclusiveness. Installation costs are expensive due to the weight and handling.
Providing easier maintenance and affordability, marble look porcelain tiles are becoming increasingly popular. Porcelain is extremely strong and dense and highly resistant to stains, scratches and moisture. Technical porcelain tiles can also be used for numerous indoor and outdoor applications including kitchens and bathrooms. Porcelain will not fade over time and do not require any speciality cleaning products. Manufacturers are becoming so good at interpreting natural stone, you can barely tell the difference. Purists will always gravitate towards the real material but marble look tiles offer everything that natural stone can offer aesthetically with the durability of a porcelain tile.
Natural timber floors are prized for their aesthetic appeal. Hardwood floors can add warmth and character to any space in a variety of colours and styles. Timber is very durable and easy to maintain although is prone to scratching and dents and requires significant upkeep including sanding, staining, waxing and polishing. Timber floors are susceptible to humidity and moisture and can shrink or warp, therefore use in kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor areas isn’t recommended. Water damage can spell disaster for a timber floor.
Todays range of porcelain timber look tiles carefully imitate natural timber with ultra realistic detail. All the intricacies of natural wood are reproduced with absolute craftsman-like precision to ensure realism, right down to the wood knots and timber grain. Extremely hard wearing and durable and with slip-resistant options available, timber look tiles are able to be used in wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and for outdoor use. No specialty cleaning products are required which makes upkeep a dream.