Design Trends 2022 - Natural Wood Simulations in Tile and the Benefits

Design Trends 2022 - Natural Wood Simulations in Tile and the Benefits

Covid 19 has significantly changed the way all of us have lived over the last several years, and we are seeing people who have been "locked up" for too long craving the mental benefits of that spending time in nature brings. In an effort to bring more peace back into our indoor environments we are seeing the outside coming in and that is no more the case with the insurgence of interest in wooden flooring and panels. Not only is wooden flooring more popular indoors but we are extending the look to our outdoor patios and living areas to be more a tune to nature.

In the search for the right product; however, people are gravitating to more sustainable materials. Lauren Wicks, October 19, 2021, in a blog titled, "Top Designers Share the Interior Design Trends They're Most Excited About for 2022', speaks to how, "sourcing and clients (are) being more in-tune with brands that embrace sustainable practices. There appears to be a greater responsibility on the side of the designer and client to educate themselves on ways to create a home that honors nature as best they can instead of burdening it."

Manufacturers have responded to this need and clients can now choose from many different options that provide a more sustainable lifestyle. For instance, porcelain tile is hygienic choice, has the potential to reduce many health risks, and has a lifespan of up to 50 years. Not only that, there are many options that look exactly like wood and are beautiful!



Consumers are demanding more hygiene transparency than ever before in an effort to protect themselves from the pandemic. McKinsey and Company completed a survey of US consumers where over 79% of people surveyed have indicated they will continue to use the self-check out services in an effort to mitigate transmission of bacteria. It is not leap of imagination to recognize this trend will continue to evolve into the building materials they choose for the businesses and homes. The construction industry has responded with increased attention to LEED and WELL certifications.



Porcelain tile is one of consumers more health conscious choices. Ceramic and porcelain tile are:

  • VOC-Free (Volatile Organic Compounds,
  • Formaldehyde-Free,
  • PVC-Free (Polyvinyl Chloride),
  • Fire Resistant and Smoke-Free,
  • Non-toxic,
  • No plastic.

As porcelain tile is one of the denser products on the market to purchase, it is heavier and more impervious to water; therefore a better choice in areas where water and moisture occur as it is less likely to have bacteria and mold build-up. Naturally the grout can be susceptible to mold; however, products on the market that contain a product called "microban" significantly reduce the likelihood of mildew and mold build-up. Finally, porcelain tile is an easy to clean solution that does not require harsh chemicals to clean eliminating the need for continual maintenance on the product.


Porcelain Tile Lifespan of 50 Years

The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) released a market report in Q1 of 2021 that indicated Italian and Spanish tile as the largest exporter of tile to North United States. There is a reason for that. Ceramic and porcelain tile have a lifespan of 50 years, so while it may appear to be an expensive choice initially, over the long term it is one of the more economical and environmentally friendly choices. For example the TCNA completed a cost life-cycle study in 2020 that compares seventeen flooring products. We will take two of those products from the comparison to use as examples here:

 Floor Finish Installed Cost Life Cycle Cost Expected Life (y) Cost Per Year
Glazed Porcelain Tile $8.34 $17.64 50 $0.35
Sheet Vinyl $6.90 $13.90 10 $1.39

TCNA Green Report:  Life-Cycle Cost Study, 2020

As you can see porcelain tile outlives vinyl by forty years, while the life cycle cost of vinyl appears to be cheaper, one must factor the expected life span of 10 years so if you multiply that times 5 you would get $69.50 and a difference of ($69.50 - $17.64) glazed porcelain tile has a cheaper life cycle cost of $51.86, and cheaper cost per year by $1.04 ($1.39 - $0.35). One adds to that the environment benefits of porcelain tile with many LEED options and you can appreciate why it has become so popular in the last several years. 


Beauty of Porcelain Tile Simulated Wood Options

Porcelain tile simulated wood options now provide not only the beautiful look of real wood; but the feel as well. Highly sophisticated processes enable the tile that tactile feeling of wood that is so sought after today. And not only can it provide a feeling of wood; but we have the descendant ability to heat our flooring for the ultimate pleasure!


Yes, our choices of today for flooring and paneling have become more sophisticated and discerning. We demand more from our hard earned money and are more willing to do the research necessary to make the best choice for our lifestyle both inside and outside! In Canada spring is just around the corner, so let the spring projects begin!


To view more options on wood simulated designs for our outdoor living check out our YOUTUBE video.


Sharron Martens
February 9, 2021


Tile Council of North America, Inc. (2020). Green Report:  Life-Cycle Costs for Floor Finishes (per square foot) [Table]. (8)


Tile Council of North America, Inc. (2021, July 8). 1Q 2021 U.S. Ceramic Tile Market Update.


Tile Council of North America, Inc. (2020). Tile The Natural Choice:  Ceramic Tile for a Safe and Healthy Home.



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  • Sharron Martens
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