How to use natural wood look tiles in design

Farmhouse chic done right with wood look tiles (Tanglewood Mixed Planks) on the backsplash and beneath the kitchen counter.

Do you want to design with wood but your client would rather not handle the upkeep or costs involved? Then natural wood look tile may be up your alley. These tiles look like the real thing, but come in a variety of colors, formats, and sizes to give your design a unique edge. Plus, thanks to printing advancements, you’ll definitely enjoy the realistic details like graining and knots these tiles employ. Scroll through and learn about the benefits, the materials, and the ways to use wood-look tiles today.

The benefits of wood look tiles

Wood-look tile is a perfect example of how tiles can be both functional and beautiful. The coveted floor and wall tile options make a statement with their unique patterns, prints, and materials. They have countless benefits, which we’ll explore below.

A rustic farmhouse bathroom covered in wood look wall tiles (Oregon Agata Deco). 


Wood-look tile make an affordable option for either residential or commercial spaces. While the cost of timber, as we saw last year, is consistently trending upwards, with tile, this isn’t the case. The cost per square foot for standard ceramic wood look tiles or porcelain wood look tiles clocks in at substantially less than the real thing. 

The floors in this master bathroom have a french country chic approved look that’s sustainable and long-lasting (Retro Blanco Hex).


Tiles with a wood-look are also a more sustainable option. Whereas traditional wood flooring requires cutting down trees, and processing; wood look tiles do not. This makes them a more eco-savvy option which is great for homeowners looking to help out Mama Earth.

Captivating Japanese cherry blossom wood look tiles create a unique yet durable design in this home’s bathroom (Kasai Carta Sakura).  


If you have kids or pets, you know that over time, the foot traffic (and inevitable messes) can lead to traditional wood floors looking a bit lackluster. The scratches and potential rot from dragging in mud/rain don’t bode well for that material. On the other hand, wood look tiles are durable and offer protection against the elements as well as your favorite–yet messy–furry friends.

A beautiful example of feature wall tiles (Acadia Spiga Gris) in a residential shower using wood tile as a design focal point. (Emily of Palm Tile)

Low maintenance. 

On a similar note, unlike the upkeep needed for real wood, tiles require minimal effort. Once placed, you just need to sweep them (or vacuum them) on a regular basis and you need not worry about any damages. Additionally, these tiles are waterproof which, unlike wood, allows them to be placed in a variety of settings you’d otherwise be limited to. Think, bathroom wall tiles, shower tiles, and patio floor tiles.

Worn-in look wood look tiles make this cottage living room bespoke and unique (Oregon Collection).

Wood-look tile materials 

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of wood look tiles, allow us to introduce you to some of the beautiful wood look tile materials available for use!

Recycled glass wood look tiles 

A recycled wood look hex tile ( Tuckernuck Hex) was used in this coastal-inspired guest bathroom to create a design that’s an ocean lover’s dream.

If being super sustainable is your goal, then wood look recycled glass tiles will help you to achieve it. These beautiful tiles come in a range of formats–from herringbone tiles to standard 3×6 subway tiles — to provide the look of wood without the weight of consequences real wood brings. They’re made from recycled glass bottles which help to keep these materials out of landfills and have a natural beauty thanks to their varied, ombre bodies. The result? A win-win for materials!

Porcelain wood-look tiles

Creating a one-of-a-kind artistic floor-to-ceiling design with bold blue wood look tile (Urbana Wood Blue) this boy’s bathroom by is a stand-out.(photo: PJ Brick, design: Melcer Tile)

Porcelain wood-look tiles bring a massive ability to create the ultimate dream space. Taking the traditional style of graining and turning it on its head, wood look tiles made from porcelain can be funky, colorful, and downright pretty. While you can certainly find natural brown wood look tiles, if having a twist in your design is what you want, these wood look styles will help you out.

Traditional glass wood look tile

A classic glass hex tile (Ponderosa Hex) adorns the backsplash in this shabby chic bathroom design.

Traditional glass tiles are just as eye-catching as their modern counterpart (recycled glass tiles). These tiles have a high gloss facade and a myriad of tile shapes to help make any space atmospheric. The beauty of glass tiles is how low maintenance they are. Unlike traditional wood, they last a long time and are guaranteed to maintain their appearance.

Marble wood look tile 

A wooden gray marble backsplash tile creates a warm ambiance in this modern kitchen (Indi Wooden Gray).

Ever wondered about the result of mixing together ever-chic, sophisticated marble with tile? Sheer magnificence. The textured bodies pave the way in any design, giving off a timeless elegance and tying a room together with a warm, organic feeling. While wooden gray marble may require a bit more upkeep than porcelain wood tile, we promise, it’s worth the TLC with all the compliments you’re bound to receive. 

How to use wood look tile in spaces 

Use on kitchen backsplashes 

Contemporary coastal backsplash with recycled wood look glass tiles (Nantucket Surfside Herringbone) complemented by a matte white stove pot filler.

Wood-look tiles make an awesome addition to kitchen backsplash tile designs. With the wide range of materials available, you’ll never feel cornered. The tiles can make a home naturally in rustic farmhouse designs just as much as they could in a contemporary coastal design. The only thing to keep in mind is the decor being used around the item, color schemes, and end goals for your project. Depending on that, you’ll be able to decide whether wood look glass tiles or wood look marble tiles make a better fit!

 Use for outdoor restaurant patios

A chic outdoor restaurant uses multicolored wood floor tiles to create a tropical oasis (Tanglewood Aqua).

If there’s one thing that makes traditional wood unappealing for patio floors it’s the level of maintenance required. Sealing, painting, and repairing wood patio floors can be a time and money suck. To avoid that, using wood look porcelain tiles in commercial areas like outdoor restaurants or bars is prime. These tiles will allow for all weather conditions, will handle spills like a champ, and any scratching from chairs will go unnoticed. The investment in these tiles will be as sustainable for your business as they are for the planet.

Create cozy kitchen floors

White wood floor tiles with varied textures provide a rustic, clean look to this home’s kitchen (Oregon Rustic Bianco Deco). 

With the ability to be both dramatic and serene, there’s little wonder why wood looks are a go-to for use on kitchen floors. These tiles have the ability to create a soothing atmosphere and blend well in a myriad of design styles; from modern farmhouse to coastal chic. It’s an extremely versatile look. Plus, they can add an element of neutrals which help to instantly brighten the room (not to mention keep it on-trend in 2022!)

Use for spacious bathroom floors

When french country meets modernization, the result is a gorgeous bathroom design with chevron light wood floor tiles (Acadia Spiga Blanco).

Wood tiles aren’t limited to just traditional plank styles or contemporary hex styles. No, these beautiful porcelain tiles can be found in a creative chevron lay pattern that makes for a multi-dimensional design. Using chevron wood tiles on the floors or walls of a home can give an added element of interest while still remaining timeless in years to come. When used in a master bathroom, the result is a flawless flow of spaciousness. Topping the floor tiles off with a freestanding tub is a great way to add a French country-approved vibe inside, too!

 Use for retail spaces 

Black and gold porcelain wood tiles create an upscale retail experience in this commercial store (Kasai Notte Koi).

One area that may be overlooked yet is prime for wood looks, you wonder? Retail shops. Using wood look tiles here gives a fashionable edge. Black and gold wood look porcelain tiles can give off space-defining designs with their unique pattern and texture. You can pair a black pattern porcelain tile with a dark gray large format porcelain tile, as shown above, to develop a well-rounded appearance suited for modern tastes. 

Use in laundry rooms 

Multi-tonal wood hex floor tiles are the perfect addition to this transitional laundry room (Royal Wood Bianco Hex).

One of the best uses for wood look tiles is using them in mudrooms or laundry rooms. With their sheer range of options, there’s a fit for each room making the first impression for guests truly unmatched.

Wood tiles can do so much to these rooms; from making a space a bit more playful with a hexagon pattern to creating a contemporary design with a herringbone pattern. One of the most unique wood look tiles, to us, is a multi-tonal one. These have a mix of dark wood and light wood to create natural dimension and shadows. It can give any floor or wall design an updated, modern look. This helps to hide any mud or water traction while still giving off a lightness any homeowner will approve. 

Use in pre-fab home showers

Pairing rustic multicolor wood look wall tiles (Tanglewood Mixed Planks) with chevron shower floor tiles, this small prefab home bathroom is a stand-out.

A smaller bathroom inside a prefab or mobile home can bode well with wood look tiles. Using the aforementioned colors available in porcelain tile formats, you can really go wild and create a stunning shower design that wows guests. It’s a great way to maximize the smaller space and inject a bit of style with visual movement all at once. Using plank style wood look tiles gives off a modernized country style that’s sure to go over well in a modern farmhouse mobile home, guaranteed. 

Use in hotel showers

A hygge inspired Scandi chic hotel room bathroom with floor-to-ceiling light wood tiles (Oregon Rustic Bianco Deco).

Using wood tiles in hotel room bathrooms is a great way to offer a home-away-from-home respite. With their intricately shaped, well-defined, and must-dimensional facades, they work well as a floor tile or a  wall tile in the hotel bathroom. Using both in a floor-to-ceiling look (like above) and you have yourself a truly timeless and awe-inspiring sanctuary for guests.

Use in common waiting areas 

Whitewash hex tiles (Retro Blanco Hex) are used on the floors of a commercial waiting room to add a soothing, welcoming touch.

If there’s one thing wood tiles can provide, it’s a rustic, cozy feeling. They work exceedingly well as floor tile options in a commercial space that craves a modern yet calming touch. Using hex floor tiles with a wood-look can help achieve just this. With their resemblance to antiqued wood, the result is an ever-chic floor tile design that is both slip-resistant and scratch-proof. 

 Use for residential decks

A residential home uses wood look patio tiles to create a water-proof surface year-round (Tanglewood Planks). (Photo: Design Works) 

The last and final way to use wood looks is outdoors for residential homes. Just as they work extremely well for commercial restaurants, these tiles also work well for homes, too. Thanks to their strong bodies and weather-proof nature, they can be placed as backyard decks around pools or in the backyard of waterfront properties. Seemingly endless ideas with one end in mind: beauty!

Since you’ve reached the end, we bet you’re full of inspiration and ready to find the perfect tile for your design, aren’t you? If this sounds right, click here to explore all the tile options you can use for your design today!

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