Opting for wood-effect porcelain stoneware for a new floor in the home is undoubtedly one of the most interesting, functional and contemporary choices you can make. This type of stoneware is the perfect solution for creating a warm, yet at the same time extremely practical environment. Wood-effect porcelain stoneware is not just an excellent alternative to parquet; it’s also the ideal solution to bring quality and atmosphere to a setting, without all the frequent maintenance issues posed by wood.
How to lay wood-effect porcelain stoneware
Dec. 27, 2020
What to consider before choosing a laying solution
Wood-effect stoneware is versatile and dynamic, also in terms of composition, and offers a variety of laying solutions. These options should be weighed up carefully at the design stage, as should other surfaces, paying close attention to a number of essential points related to the dimensions of the setting, the natural light sources present (windows, French windows…) and the type of furnishing style you have in mind for the setting, also taking into consideration the colours of the walls. To plan the result carefully right from the construction stage, it’s important to take account of the type of wood effect to purchase – light or dark in colour, with a subtle or more marked grain – and the length of the strip tiles, which will depend on the end result you wish to obtain.
The choice of both the colour/effect of the wood and the format of the tiles will play a central role in the type of installation. Specifically, smaller stripe tiles are suitable for more complex laying solutions, such as a square pattern, or the extremely popular herringbone, in either the Italian or more complex French or Hungarian versions, while larger strip tiles are suitable for diagonal laying patterns, as well as the more common straight laying combinations.
As regards the colour of the wood-effect porcelain stoneware, it’s important to always take account of the size of the setting (a bright, spacious setting offers more freedom in terms of colour), and of the furnishing style you have in mind for the setting once it’s complete. Lighter, more natural, or even white wood-effect stoneware are ideal for furnishing combinations in keeping with Nordic style, or on-trend styles such as boho chic, while darker combinations with a more pronounced grain pattern are perfect for more traditional, classic settings, and more saturated shades of distinctive colours such as grey form the perfect backdrop for striking settings with a more essential, contemporary style.
Laying patterns for wood-effect porcelain stoneware
Among the most common options for wood-effect porcelain stoneware are undoubtedly two classic solutions – straight and diagonal – as well as a number of more complex, creative patterns.
The straight laying scheme, parallel to the short side or the long side (depending on the dimensions and depth of the setting), is one of the easiest: ideal for making the most of natural light, it can be created with strip tiles of various lengths (also by alternating different lengths), and is perfect for bringing out the best in the grain pattern of the flooring. Another classic option is the diagonal laying scheme, created by installing strip tiles of various lengths at a 45° angle from the walls; this solution is ideal for enhancing historical settings and spacious rooms, and for situations where the walls are out of square.
There are a number of more original, complex alternatives to these two “traditional” patterns, such as the herringbone pattern (in the Italian, French and Hungarian variants) and the horizontal or diagonal square laying pattern. In the Italian herringbone pattern, one of the most common and widely used, the individual elements are laid at a 90° angle, to create a delightfully striking effect.
Alternatives to Italian herringbone are Hungarian or French herringbone (typical of wood floors in settings of particular prestige and now also common on ceramic flooring), with rectangular strip tiles cut at a 45° angle that can be used to create a striking symmetrical effect that differs from the classic laying scheme. Also known as Chevron, this pattern is especially suitable for more modern interiors furnished in Scandinavian style or in the currently popular industrial style.
Last but not least, another interesting solution is the horizontal or diagonal square laying pattern, which can be created with small-format tiles. Extremely characteristic and distinctive, it looks best in bright, very spacious settings, to be completed and furnished in a contemporary style.