Home Style: The natural look is the latest trend in tiles

One style of tile is wiping the floor with the rest this summer – the wood-look wonder-tile.

The latest technology has been harnessed by chic tile makers such as Marazzi, Iris and Sant’Agostino to produce a floor covering that looks so natural that it’s hard to believe the evidence of one’s eyes.

We have come a long way since auntie’s lino with the garish pebbles painted on. At Home Store you will find a wide and inspiring collection of wood-look tiles, and the charming and knowledgeable Marie-Laure Luciano is on hand to guide you to the right choice.

Tiles, French WoodsFor a seamless, space-enhancing look, use tiles from the French Woods collection by Iris

“Over the past couple of years there has been a remarkable leap forward in the technology used to produce tiles that imitate natural wood,” says Marie-Laure. “The look, colour and texture gives a perfect impression of natural materials.

“The range is truly remarkable. We stock tiles that look exactly like sun-bleached boat decking, others that bring to mind rustic planking, and some that mimic perfectly the parquet from a bygone era.”

Tiles, Royal NutStep back in time with the sophisticated parquet look of Royal Nut from Sant’Agostino. New tech methods means these tiles reflect the irregularities that occur in real parquet.While not wanting to put carpenters out of business, it is hard to resist the arguments in favour of a tiled floor. Inside the home, you can forget the tiresome chore of waxing and polishing a wooden floor – the new tiles will keep their perfect surface for an eternity.

Outside, there are advantages to tiling aside from the ease of cleaning, safety being one of the most important. Many of us have come a cropper at some time or other on wet and slippery wooden decking, and keeping that sort of surface free from algae and rot can take up an awful lot of time and effort.

“The anti-slip surfaces used in modern tiling are tested to the highest standards, so whether the tiles are to be used for the ‘plage’ around the swimming pool or for, say, an eating area, you can be certain that you and your guests will stay upright!” says Marie-Laure reassuringly.

The Home Store tiling team are full of good ideas to enhance your home. They advise the use of larger tiles to create a feeling of increased space, in some cases recommending the use of wood-effect “super-tiles” that come in sizes up to 240cm in length – veritable planks that are used to stunning effect.

Marie-Laure has another tip for those households where space is at a premium.

“It used to be the case that clients would insist on a clear distinction between the tiling used for inside the home and that used outside, on terraces for instance.

“These days the savvy homeowner will keep the same wood-effect tiles running from interior floors to the outside, drawing the eye forever outwards and increasing the illusion of spaciousness.”

Tiles, Jungle LuxMarazzi Collection Treverkmood WoodsTiles, MarazziSant’Agostino Jungle Lux Collection

Another area in which tiling trumps other choices of floor covering is that of heating. In a move away from unsightly and space-consuming radiators, house designers have gone for underfloor heating big time. This form of chauffage can be fatal to a parquet floor, drying out the wood with resultant warping and cracking.

With the modern tile this is not a problem. They are made to conduct heat, and the warmth and comfort provided by such a mixture of room-heating and practical flooring dispels the notion that tiles inside a home make the rooms feel “cold” and uninviting.

Having helped their clients with the choice of tiles, the Home Store team are on hand to advise on the right way to select a tiler with the right skills and the right price. A word of caution: good tiling is a special skill and the best-executed jobs often take longer than the customer expects.

So be prepared to allow a little more time and you’ll be taking the right steps towards a perfect floor.

Products can be found at Home Store: www.homestore.fr


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