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Angie's List: Wood Tile Vs. Real Wood Floors

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With a wide variety of colors and finishes, wood tiles are giving real wood floors a run for their money.

"The high definition that the manufacturers have been printing on these tiles give the grain a natural look. And then, like I said, the feel. You can feel the grain in it so it seems real," said flooring expert Cory Steenbergen.

So real, even savvy homeowners are usually fooled.

"When they look at them, they actually don't believe that they're actual tiles," said Steenbergen.

In addition to their realistic look, you don't have to worry about the wear and tear that frustrates many homeowners with solid hardwood flooring.

"This is way more durable," said Steenbergen. "You will never have fading, scratches, chips, nicks, the fading of the finish, doesn't need to be sealed. It's super easy to clean. There's no warpage, so you don't have to worry about water being on it."

"Wood-look tile is one of the latest trends these days for anywhere you might have a chance in getting water in your home," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List. "So, your kitchen, your bathroom, laundry room, even your basement."

While these tile planks are slightly more expensive than your typical tiles, flooring experts say they're a smart investment.

"They can range from $2 to $5 more than your 12x12 porcelain, but the quality that you get from them and the longevity of the tile, you can't beat it and it's going to give a nice warm, modern look to a remodel," said Steenbergen.

The downside? Tiles may help keep your home cooler in the summer, but they may not be so comfortable in the winter if you live in a cold climate. Installation also needs to be perfect. Angie's List says flaws will show.

"The key to installation of wood-look tile is that you want it to end up in the end looking like a hardwood floor," said Hicks. "So, it comes down to the grout. The color of the grout and the width of the grout is going to be very important to getting that finished look you want."

If you do choose wood-look tile flooring, Angie's List suggests you keep a few extra tiles just in case you need to replace one and the line you purchased is discontinued.

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