The majority of wooden floors feature a dark brown hue. This shade is the most popular option because it matches with a wide variety of other colors. Darker colors are additionally preferable because they will hide any everyday wear and tear marks better than lighter shades. However, tile that looks like wood in a bleached or whitewashed shade can bring lightness and airiness to a small room, as opposed to deep brown shades that can make a room appear confined. Gray tile that looks like wood has also been popular recently. Gray has been on-trend for a while due to its sleek and stylish look. For something versatile yet chic, Courtney McLeod recommends choosing tiling in-between light and mid-brown, so you can go light or dark with any décor.
The three main wood grain designs are flat grain, straight grain, and curly grain. These patterns are often reproduced in tile that looks like wood for a more accurate appearance. Interlocked grain and closed grain are also wood options that are less commonly replicated in wood-style tiling. Per Frances Merrill, closed grain is the best choice for a Scandinavian look. The more tightly woven look is typical of Scandi style and goes well with light, bleached wood-style tiling. If you want a realistic appearance, look for tiling designed with a replica irregular grain. Irregular wood forms from the natural style of a tree, and includes knots and burls, both of which will make your tile that looks like wood less obviously fake.
Tile that looks like wood is most commonly made from either ceramic or porcelain. Generally popular choices for regular tiles, too, these materials are a great alternative to actual wooden flooring due to them being much lower maintenance. They are also often less expensive to buy and install. Plus, you won't have to worry about buying specialist cleaning supplies, as just warm water is enough to keep ceramic and porcelain shining. Ceramic and porcelain are also very good base materials in terms of patterns. As authentic wooden flooring is full of wood grain, tile that looks like wood can look even more convincing with purposefully ingrained marks and scratches. This will lend your home character and prevent the one-dimensional look that sometimes happens with faux wooden flooring.
Tiles made from porcelain are incredibly durable and can withstand heavy use before they start to show wear and tear. The same goes for ceramic -- though it isn't quite as durable as porcelain, it still stands high above vinyl and wooden flooring in terms of durability. Both materials are also highly resistant to scratches, so they're a good choice if you have pets or children. Ceramic is slightly less durable than porcelain due to it being more porous, which means it will absorb more water in the case of spills. This is also why porcelain tile tends to cost more than ceramic. Additionally, Andre Mellone states that matte tiles do not have the same durability due to the unglazed finish. Because of this, high gloss or tiles with a slight glaze are a better choice for long-lasting durability.