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A Tile To Remember

A wide array of possibilities emerge when using timber-look porcelain tiles in your outdoor areas. Timber-look tiles can dramatically change your alfresco space, bringing an added sense of warmth and sophistication. Leigh Marie Dodd speaks with Hannah Melick, sales and marketing consultant at International Ceramics, about the many benefits of installing timber-look tiles in your outdoor space.

Please describe your business and the types of products you specialise in.
HM:
International Ceramics has been a family-owned and -operated business for more than 35 years. We specialise in surface materials of the highest quality, sourced mainly out of Europe. We have large format porcelain slabs that can be used for facades, feature walls, and benchtops, as well as a distinct range of floor and wall tiles. Our materials include porcelain, ceramic, timber, vinyl, glass, marble, and natural stone.

In your opinion, why do you think timber-look tiles are becoming increasingly popular in outdoor projects?
Timber-look tiles eliminate the problems that come with having real timber floors. They are scratch and stain proof, fireproof, and will not ever fade or change colour. Unlike real timber, you won’t have the high foot traffic areas, or areas exposed to the sun looking different to the rest of your flooring. You can use them on the floor or walls, and they can really make a beautiful statement. Real timber cannot be given a compliant slip rating, whereas porcelain can. This means that you can use timber-look tiles around your pool.

Images courtesy of International Ceramics

Why should homeowners opt for timber-look tiles instead of traditional flooring alternatives?
Timber-look tiles are currently a highly valued option when choosing a flooring material. The natural properties of this essentially ceramic material give timber-look tiles several advantages over traditional wood flooring, while still retaining the warm and inviting appearance of wood. Timber-look tiles have revolutionised the world of flooring, uniting the warm elegance of natural wood with the technical benefits of ceramic tiles. It is thereby suitable for areas subject to high traffic, such as shopping centres, restaurants, beer gardens and foyers where natural wood would not perform adequately.

Its surface finish is unaffected by the sun, with no need to apply any type of treatment or follow a special maintenance procedure. Its low porosity makes it the ideal material for wet zones. In addition to its resistance, durability and easy-to-clean properties, this naturally inspired ceramic material offers a wide range of decorative possibilities.

What are the visual and practical benefits of installing timber-look porcelain tiles in an alfresco area?

– Fire and water resistant: It can be installed in any space, either interior or exterior. In addition, the material is fireproof and can be used in kitchens without the risk of fire.

– Easy to clean:
Its composition makes it highly resistant to chemical cleaning agents and its low porosity prevents the absorption of damaging agents in cleaning products.

– Unchangeable in sunlight: The surface of the flooring can withstand sunlight without any discoloration or changes in the original tones.

– Low maintenance: The flooring does not need any specific maintenance product or any treatment after installation.

– Texture: We work with organic and natural pavements, full of veins and knots. With the Combinations collection, we take this a step further; we use linear and geometric shapes that give amplitude and texture to the pavements.

 

– Sustainable material: We work with environmentally sustainable materials and production processes. We want to preserve our legacy, so it can be passed on to future generations.

– Non-slip: Thanks to the wood graining, the flooring has a natural, comfortable feel which also prevents the risk of slipping. For this reason, we recommend its installation in rooms with a lot of traffic.

– Rectified: The design of the edges of each piece improves their aesthetic and dimensional features. It also makes installation more practical and convenient.

– A thermal sensation that is both warm and cool: The nature of the material gives that fresh feeling that is so sought-after in the hotter months, controlling the room temperature in summer. It also allows the installation of radiant central heating to fill the room with warmth. Consequently, it offers the wellbeing you’re looking for all year round.

– Hardness and resistance: We adapt the technology and the hardness of the materials to offer pavements that are capable of withstanding day-to-day use. Its resistance allows this tiling to be well-suited for places with a constant average traffic, such as hotels, shops or restaurants. In addition, it is resistant to knocks and accidents due to falling objects.

What are the environmental benefits of using timber-look tiles?
One of the great benefits of choosing timber tiles over natural timber is that you are not cutting down our precious forests to produce your flooring. Timber tiles use natural clay to manufacture the porcelain ceramic bodies. International Ceramics uses manufacturers that are also environmentally friendly, using only green products and methods to create the tiles.

In your opinion, what style of home does timber-look porcelain tiles best suit as an external finish?
As timber is such as versatile material, timber-look porcelain would suit almost any style of home for an outdoor area. International Ceramics source a huge range of different wood-look varieties in a large number of sizes with realistic patterning, making it easy to find something to suit any situation.

What other materials and décor would you recommend incorporating within an outdoor space to complement timber-look porcelain tiles?
International Ceramics have a large range of beautiful surface materials, we find timbers works with almost anything, for example; 

Images courtesy of International Ceramics
Images courtesy of International Ceramics

 

you may want to add timber tiles to an industrial design scheme using lots of grey and concrete to warm it up, or use a light timber with whites and beige to create an airy, coastal look. The combinations are limitless!

What other areas of the home can timber-look porcelain tiles be placed to achieve a harmonious result?

Timber-look tiles can be used in almost any application. International Ceramics have found when the same flooring is continued throughout the entire house and through to the outdoor area, it creates a large and open feel, and adds a sense of luxury.

What final advice do you have for readers who are considering installing timber-look porcelain tiles within their home?
Come into International Ceramics and let our tile experts make your life easy! We have the skills to advise you of the tile best suited to your project.

Images courtesy of International Ceramics