This weekend, with the help of a few friends, we started laying our faux-wood tile floors and made some real progress, extending from the entry into the nursery, half bath and starting in the master bedroom.
The process is slow, but exciting! Now that we can see the actual end product, our spirits are definitely higher. Although we just started laying the floors, we researched for months before deciding on this type of flooring (read more about that here) and have spent many weeks looking at lots of examples of not only other wood tile looks in other homes, but also actual wood floors. We really wanted ours to look as close to the real thing as possible, while still having all the durability that made us go with tile in the first place. Here are a few tips that we’ve discovered and are implementing to help us get the realest look out of our faux wood tile.
1. Choose a tile printed using an ink jet. This means the variation and repeating pattern is greater than older roto-print type printing applications. It’s the most realistic you will get because they are based on actual digitial pictures of wood flooring. The tile we decided on, Nordic Brown from The Tile Shop, was printed this way and has more than 9 different print variations, which gives it a nice realistic look. When laying the tiles, we are being conscious of where the different patterns are laid–just like real hardwood flooring–making sure there are lots of different wood grains in each area.
2. Lay the wood tile in a random pattern. There are lots of examples of faux wood tile floors out there, and the pattern everyone uses is completely subjective. Because we wanted our tile to look as close to real wood as possible, after looking at tile patterns for weeks, we realized it would be best for us to actually look at wood flooring patterns instead. Through this we decided to go with a random pattern. We measured and cut the first piece of each row, eyeballing it to make sure the seams between planks were separated enough. In the above photo from the nursery you can see this in action.
3. Go for the smallest spacer recommended. In our case, we are using 1/16″ spacers (the planks are 6″x24″). Actual wood floors are butted up against each other, but obviously still have noticeable lines between each plank. Faux tile floors still need to be grouted like normal tile, but by opting for the smallest spacer and grout line possible, it looks closest to the real thing.
4. Speaking of grout–we still need to do that (we’re gonna do it in one big sweep at the end), but opting for a grout color a shade darker than our tile will keep things looking more natural. Again, totally subjective. That’s just what we’re doing, but we’ll cover that when it goes down.
As you can see, we still have quite a bit of work ahead of us, but we couldn’t be happier with how things are shaping up. In the above photo you can see Chris has the cuts and pattern laid out for the master and will hopefully get that mostly done tonight. The plan is to move all the furniture back upstairs on the 29th–which feels so close…yet unimaginable. Haha!