A How To Guide to Installing Wood Look Porcelain Tile

Wood Look Porcelain Tile has become one of the most popular trends in the flooring world. Glazed porcelain is easy to maintain and extremely versatile, and when you combine these features with a hardwood look, you end up with a type of flooring that’s literally the best of two worlds.

In recent years, thanks to modern technology and innovation led by the globe’s most forward-thinking flooring manufacturers, today’s Wood Look Porcelain Tiles are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural wood, except for the fact that these porcelain tiles can be installed virtually anywhere (think outdoors, kitchens, bathrooms).

One thing to realize about wood look porcelain tile is that the installation method can often times differ from the installation of other planks, The reason for this is that many of the longer planks crown in the middle. At first glance, your plank might look flat, but in actuality they are not. There will often times be a bowing effect, which might become an issue when you try to overlap (or offset) the planks.

Selecting the Correct Mortar for your Wood Look Porcelain Tile

With large format tile planks you want to use a medium bed mortar instead of thinset. The thinest bed of mortar that should be used is 1/2″ and in cases where concrete floors are uneven a thicker bed would be required. Yes, this uses more mortar and, yes, these types of mortars are more expensive, but this is not where you should try to save money. If you want your wood look porcelain tiles to stand the test of time you will need to use the correct materials and installation method.

Working with the bow effect of wood look porcelain tile

Many manufacturers and how-to guides will tell you that a full offset (or 50%) will increase the unevenness of your floor. A 50% offset means that the middle of your tile is exactly in line with the grout joint of the next row. This is a uniformed look many people would like, but the American National Standards Specifications for the Installation of Ceramic Titles sets the limit at 33% maximum offset, so that you don’t maximize the amount of unevenness and lippage between tiles.

But what if you really want that 50% offset look, which is popular for a reason – it’s clean and creates order and balance to any room?

There is a company whose wood look porcelain tile line allows this 50% offset, without fear of significant unevenness.

Get the exact look you want with the wood look porcelain of Flaviker

FlavikerFlaviker – founded in the 1960s – is one of the first companies to make a name for itself in the ceramic flooring industry. They combine cutting-edge technology with aesthetic innovation to continue to push the boundaries of contemporary surfaces, including that of wood look porcelain tiles.

Through endless trials and testing’s, Flaviker has found a way to create the most vast and luxurious line of wood look porcelain tile, while allowing customers to install the planks using 50% offset, a rarity in the wood look porcelain field.

Their installation process is considered one of the easiest and friendliest on the market. Each ceramic tile in their collection has specific installation specifications and, if followed accurately, will provide you with flooring that will maintain its beauty and integrity for many years to come.

Even a professional installer might run into obstacles and issues handling the bowing effect of many wood look porcelain tiles, particularly if you’re hoping to offset your planks by 50%. The Flaviker tile collections give you and your installers the most freedom, and least hassle, in capturing your desired look.

The Urban Wood line from Flaviker is fast becoming one of the company’s most popular collections. This collection is an interpretation of natural wood, with the inclusion of knots, grains, and other natural wood features.

TortoraWith natural veining and the warmth that is synonymous with wood, Flaviker’s Urban Wood line comes in five colors: Blanco, Grigio, Naturale, Avana, and Antico. And, because it’s Flaviker, you and your installers have far more freedom in how you design your flooring layout than with most other wood look porcelain tiles.

Click Here to view the Dakota Collection.

How to install different flooring tiles – a handbook for you

The Tile Council of North America is a nationally recognized council on how to install different tiles correctly using the correct grout and specifications, based on your tile. If tile is getting installed in your home or office, your installer should have the TCNA handbook – make sure of it.

Within this handbook are production selection guides for ceramic, glass, and stone tiles, as well as guidelines for web areas, information on substrate flatness requirements and much more. In other words, it’s a bible for all tile installations.

In the end, it’s always important that you refer to any installation instructions that are provided to you by your specific flooring manufacturer. If you cannot find these instructions, you should refer to the information provided in the TCNA handbook, or call Catalfamo, so we can help you properly install your flooring.

Click Here to view the Dakota Collection.

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A Glimpse at Wood Look Porcelain Tile

Hardwood’s beauty with porcelain’s durability.
A glimpse at Wood Look Porcelain Tile

woodlook_tileTwo of the most reputable types of flooring available these days are wood flooring and porcelain/ceramic tile. It was only a matter of time, then, before the two merged into something of a super floor – Wood Look Porcelain Tile.

For years consumers have wanted to install hardwood into moisture-rich areas such as their bathrooms or kitchens, but couldn’t, because hardwood would not perform well in these settings.

Then came the advent of Wood Look Porcelain Tile, which allowed these consumers to incorporate a hardwood look into any space (outdoor, indoor, commercial, residential) with the water resistant durability of ceramic or porcelain tile. But when it first came out, Wood Look Porcelain Tile options were limited. As technology continues to advance, however, these wood look tiles are able to capture virtually any style of wood available, from rustic to modern and realistic.

Below are some of the leaders in the Wood Look Porcelain Tile world, who continue to push the limits of technology and our imaginations.

Click Here to view the entire line of Tile & Stone

ceramiche_supergresSupergres – Travel: Supergres combines innovative technologies and avant-garde research to design high-quality wood look porcelain tiles for both residential and commercial settings. All Supergres tiles are manufactured in Italy and enjoy the Ecolabel certification, which demonstrates its commitment toward environmentally friendly products.

Their wood look porcelain tile line – Travel – consists of four varying shades that are well suited for most projects. North White and East Grey are softer, brighter hues, while South Gold and West Brown offer a darker approach to the wood look.

ceramica_sant_agostinoSant’Agostino – Nature & S Wood: Sant’Agostino has two lines dedicated to the art and function of the Wood Look Porcelain Tile. Located in Italy, Sant’Agostino has always celebrated the perfection and artistry that’s provided by pure Italian porcelain. Their high-end line of tiles have been sources of inspiration and wonder for consumers for more than four decades, who continue to turn to Sant’Agostino for the finest in high-quality Italian porcelain.

Nature comes in five lines: Bisque, Brown, Grey, Honey, and White (in both 8 x 48 and 6 x 48 tiles), while S Wood comes in traditional colors such as Nut, Gold, Sand and Brown, as well as the unique and bold Black.

edimaxEdimax – Wood_Ker: Italy’s very own Edimax is committed to offering aesthetically perfect flooring choices that are designed to be used in a variety of commercial and residential settings. Wood_Ker is their flagship Wood Look Porcelain Tile line, and complements any space with its natural colors. Wood_Ker is produced with an innovative technology that replicates knots and grains, adding to the authenticity of the look. Colors come in Nut, Grey, Cream and Brown.

leaLea – Bio Plank: The very essence of environmentally friendly has been redefined with the introduction of the Bio Plank by Lea, which also features a patented Microban antibacterial protection. The Bio Plank combines practicality and aesthetics while pushing forward the latest technologies in flooring. Wood flooring has never looked so modern and sheik than when displayed in the stunning colors of Bio Plank, including Fume, Oak Noisette, Oak Lava, Cottage Blue, Brown Cottage, Oak Ice and Smoked.

A push toward elegance, practicality and class

Since the dawn of the flooring era, hardwood and porcelain have remained kings. Both exude different looks and feels. Often, we equate porcelain tiles with bathrooms, kitchens, and large, mansion-esque homes. Wood flooring has been looked upon as a way to connect to nature without compromising beauty.

However, wood flooring has its drawbacks, including its versatility and longevity. Porcelain tile, on the other hand, has often been looked as as limited in where it “looks good.” With the advent of Wood Look Porcelain Tile, consumers can essentially have their cake and eat it too. They now can enjoy all the visual benefits of hardwood, and the functional benefits of porcelain, in one gorgeous tile.

Click Here to view the entire line of Tile & Stone

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Precious Stone Design

This material was inspired by the grandeur of marble beauty with the strength and practicality of porcelain.


With various sizing this material can be used for floors, walls and tops.The versatility of the thickness is key to designers for residential,commercial and yacht projects. Especially when your project has height or weight restrictions.


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Why Use Commercial Bamboo Flooring In Your Home

Bamboo Flooring by Duro Design

When revamping the floors in your home, you will want to give careful consideration to the beauty of bamboo flooring. However, you may find that there are different types of bamboo flooring – residential and commercial. If you are tough on your floors – moving furniture, wear high heels, have children running about, or just walk heavy in general – you will definitely want to go with commercial bamboo flooring in your home.

Commercial bamboo flooring is more expensive, yes, but it may end up reducing future costs later on. By investing in your floor now, you will save money by not having to replace it in the future. Commercial bamboo flooring is created for harder and tougher use than your typical bamboo flooring. Even though regular bamboo flooring is durable and strong, with commercial bamboo flooring, you get the added strength and durability of woven strands.

Typical bamboo flooring is created when the bamboo stalks are cut into strips, which are then glued together under extreme pressure. This leads to a solid plank product. For commercial bamboo flooring planks (typically called strand-woven bamboo), however, both smaller pieces and strips are woven together, molded, and then pressure-glued together at high-intensity levels in order to create a more durable product.

When bamboo strands are actually woven together, you get this commercial grade flooring that has become the economical choice for those folks who want to make an eco-friendly statement, but still want a beautiful durable product. If you invest just a little more in your flooring now, years later you will not have to deal with the headache of moving & displaced furniture and avoiding the area under construction. Choosing the right flooring up front will save you both time and money later.

Both products are created for high traffic areas, but strand/commercial bamboo flooring scores higher on the flooring durability scale than your typical bamboo flooring does. Both will look beautiful in any home.

For all of those homeowners who want the glossy and smooth finish to last for years to come, the choice between commercial bamboo flooring and typical bamboo flooring is clear.

To speak with one of our design consultants, please call us at 1-800-764-1633.

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Allergy-Free Floors









If you have a child or family member who has allergies to dust, pollen, and other common allergens, you are probably wondering how you can make your home more allergy-free. Some homeowners consider a whole-house air purifier, others choose certain kinds of bedding, and still other homeowners choose to battle allergies with sprays and spritzers.

But you may be overlooking one of the sneakiest causes of indoor allergies: your flooring!

That’s right. Many homeowners choose carpeting and fancy rugs to brighten up a room and create a warm environment underfoot, all the while sneezing and wheezing. All carpets and rugs are safe havens for allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust. Even if you take your shoes off at the door to avoid letting plant pollen in, pet dander from beloved pets and every day dust can settle in the fibers of carpet and rugs; when stepped on, these allergens erupt from below right up to our noses. Those with allergies may also experience watery eyes and hives – in addition to sneezing and congestion.

Vinyl flooring can also be a culprit when it comes to irritating your body’s defensive systems. Vinyl can be created using dangerous and noxious chemicals, which can put out irritating fumes. These fumes can tickle the nose and set of a storm of sneezing. Dangerous chemicals in carpet and vinyl tiling can also exacerbate asthma symptoms. In addition to the creation process, certain adhesives that are used to glue carpet and vinyl flooring in place can cause irritation as well.

A few great alternatives to carpet, rugs, and vinyl flooring are stone tiles, bamboo flooring, and ceramic tile. All three of these flooring options can be seen in high-end homes all across the United States – and you certainly cannot beat the durability of stone or ceramic tile.

Both of these flooring options are strong and hold up in many different home environments. If you’re looking for an earthy alternative in areas that see a lot of foot traffic (the entryway, the kitchen, the bathroom, or in a finished basement are all great examples), ceramic or stone tile are wonderful and allergy-free choices.

For areas like a living room, bedroom, or other area where you prefer the look of wood, go with bamboo flooring. This option is sustainable, renewable, and durable. Not to mention allergy-free! The allure of bamboo flooring is sure to draw admirable looks through clear and non-watery eyes.

To speak with one of our design consultants, please call us at 1-800-764-1633.

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How Green Is Your New Floor?

Fun, fun! You’re going to install a new floor in your beautiful home, your castle. You’re spending time with the flooring consultant and your interior designer and want to choose a floor that is perfect for your house.

If you choose hastily, your new floor may leave you with regrets on down the road. Flooring, if chosen incorrectly, will haunt you, your family, and your guest for years to come. Do you or your family members have allergies? Do you enjoy allowing noxious fumes to linger in your home like a business deal gone south?

Green floors are a flooring option that is both environmentally friendly and one that comes with few regrets. Let’s take a look at a few of the flooring options in order to evaluate which options are the greenest ones for your home.

While it is true that vinyl floors will not need harsh chemicals for cleaning this common flooring option, harsh chemicals are used in the construction and the installation. This can mean that you will be feeling (and perhaps even smelling) the effects for years to come as the chemicals break down over time.

Another common option is carpet. Carpets and rugs, especially ones that come from Asia, can also contain chemicals that are emitted into the air. These chemicals can be especially irritating for those people who have allergies or who are sensitive to certain smells. Additionally, you will need to replace carpeting after the padding has worn down or when the fibers become too dirty to be cleaned. Shipping from overseas also gobbles up lots of fuel, which means carpet made overseas is less green than its domestic competitors.

Cork Flooring
This flooring option is at the top of the green flooring list. Cork flooring is created by harvesting the bark of the cork tree and processing into a flooring sheet or tiles. Don’t worry though, the bark of the cork tree will be replenished in another nine years, allowing for another harvesting. Cork trees themselves can live for around 200 years, giving farmers many years of cork bark. Cork floors are also made from used wine and champagne corks, which might otherwise be thrown into a landfill. This flooring option is completely renewable and a great choice for those who want to mind their eco-conscience.

Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo flooring is yet another brilliant green flooring that has been making a big splash on the luxury flooring scene. Bamboo is a type of tall grass that matures in only five years. The grass stands are woven together to create a strong and durable floor with a smooth, glossy finish.

To speak with one of our design consultants, please call us at 1-800-764-1633.

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What is Carbonized Bamboo Flooring?

By now, you have probably heard of the new luxury flooring option of bamboo. This eco-friendly flooring is available to consumers who are choosy about what kind of flooring product is installed in their homes. Bamboo flooring maintains a smooth, yet glossy appearance that can be stained to just about any color tone you desire.

But there is a different kind of bamboo flooring that has been creeping onto the luxury flooring scene—carbonized bamboo flooring. While you may not know what it is, this treatment of bamboo flooring has slowly gained acceptance in the world of luxury flooring.

Carbonized bamboo flooring is created by taking strips of bamboo and boiling them. This heating process changes the processes of the natural sugars within the bamboo fibers. When this process is completed, you have a different type of bamboo product.

Carbonized bamboo flooring is mainly done in order to achieve a different type of color within the bamboo strip. Naturally, bamboo is a light tan – almost yellow – color. You can compare this coloring to the color of straw. This kind of flooring can lighten up a room, surely, but it is not for everyone or every flooring situation. Some people want a deep, rich hue to add elegance to a room.

Manufacturers will use the carbonizing process to broaden the amount of options available to homeowners and interior designers. After this process has been completed, you will find many different flooring options available – from dark tan to a rich, dark mahogany color.

However, there is a negative side effect. As bamboo is carbonized, it will lose some of its strength –up to one third of its strength, actually. However, the rest of the treatment of carbonized bamboo flooring works to re-strengthen it. Part of this re-strengthening treatment includes the application of an aluminum oxide finish. You will want to consider very carefully where you place carbonized bamboo flooring in your home, as it is probably more suited for an area that doesn’t get too much traffic, like a dining room or a study. If you are still concerned about the strength of bamboo, be sure to get bamboo plants that are strand-woven, which is the stronger bamboo option. This means that the actual fibers of bamboo are woven together, creating a stronger product than typical bamboo flooring planks.

Carbonized bamboo flooring is a beautiful way to personalize your home, and is a great choice for those choosy homeowners who want a greener flooring option.

To speak with one of our design consultants, please call us at 1-800-764-1633.

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