Have you taken a look at the home flooring market in the past 10 years? Suffice it to say that things have changed drastically. In addition to all the classic options such as natural wood, stone, carpet, vinyl and other synthetic materials, there are now a whole lot of new options in the area of tile.
Tile was once considered the cheapest, most durable, and perhaps the least exciting option for residential flooring. Most of the tile floors you saw were either a checkered pattern or a plain white surface.
Today’s tile market is truly a smorgasbord of choices. This is due to new technologies and methods, including unique printing, stressing and weathering techniques, that have allowed manufacturers to produce incredible new varieties of tile. Some of the most impressive tile floor designs are those that mimic natural materials such as wood or stone. At first glance, or even sometimes after walking on them, many people can’t tell the difference.
If your curiosity is peaked, check out these three types of modern tile flooring you probably didn’t know existed.
1. Natural Stone or Wood Tile
Wood floors are a perennial favorite with many designers and homeowners. What could be more classic than a beautifully finished wood floor?
As great as they are to look at and walk on, wood floors present their own unique set of challenges. Cost is one. They can be very expensive, depending on the type of wood you choose. They’re also sensitive to wear and tear, susceptible to water damage, and difficult to clean thoroughly.
Here’s where faux-wood tile comes in. Modern technology allows manufacturers to produce durable, quality-made tile that looks exactly like wood. Not only that, you can find just about every “type” or shade of wood available in the natural world. Imagine having the beautiful look and finish of hardwood in your home, and being able to mop the floor without a second thought. Tile that mimics hardwood is just as durable and low-maintenance as any other type of tile.
Another beautiful natural material that looks great on floors—but is expensive and difficult to maintain—is natural stone. Materials such as marble and granite provide a classic, luxurious feel. And when you have that look and feel in a piece of tile, you save a considerable amount of money. Your maintenance requirements are also much lower.
2. Three-Dimensional Tile
All tile used to be perfectly flat, but things have changed in that respect as well. New 3-D cutting and printing techniques have given modern tile a variety of textures and layers. Bathrooms and wall accents are some of the most popular places for 3-D tiles, as they give surfaces a dynamic and classy feel.
3. Tumbled Tile
Sometimes that “brand new” look just isn’t what you’re going for. People buy jeans all the time that have been washed and distressed, so why not tile flooring? Tumbling is a process that gives each piece of tile a more weathered, aged look. Depending on your style, this can give your flooring a surprisingly luxurious look. Plus, tumbled tile is eery bit as strong and durable as tile that has not been subject to the tumbling process.
There are even more varieties of tile to consider—including mosaic designs, glass tiles, and more. A look online, or at any home store, might surprise you. If you’re not sure exactly which way to go, or if you want to explore the possibility of new tiles floors, your local tile installation company is also a good resource. You can often get valuable information over the phone at no charge.
Good luck with your new tile flooring projects! We look forward to your questions and comments below.