Cheaper Alternatives To Popular High-End Surface Materials

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While materials sourced from mother nature are superior, they don’t necessarily fit well in areas of the house that demand more. Cue these dupes that make working hard look good.

Wood-lookalike tiles

When it comes to impersonating wood, tiles present homeowners with an endless array of options to cherry-pick from – each varying in tone, type of finish and grain patterns to cater to different tastes and themes. Application-wise, this surface is undoubtedly the most versatile of the lot as it can be laid across and in almost every part of the home.

Image credit: WOW Design

Image credit: WOW Design

Distressed wood tiles

In reality, distressed wood will not stand a chance in a splash-prone zone like the bathroom. Tiles that masquerade as this timeworn material are more than equipped to take on the task.

Image credit: Soon Bee Huat

Image credit: Soon Bee Huat

Wood-like KompacPlus

It may measure a mere 6 mm thin, but the KompacPlus panel is a heavyweight in the performance category. This innovative material is extremely durable, holds up to water and heat exposure, and is a cinch to clean – making it the perfect solution for those who adore the beauty but not the fuss that comes with a wood countertop. In addition, its slim profile means that you can have it mounted over an existing counter – no need for messy and costly hacking works. Not just for counters, have it installed across your backsplash for a seamless finish. A bonus: KompacPlus allows owners the flexibility to apply this veneer on vanity tops, floors, walls and furniture as well!

Image credit: KompacPlus

Image credit: KompacPlus

Wood-inspired vinyl flooring

Advancements in vinyl floor technology have endowed this utilitarian surface a host of improved features that include enhanced durability and a far more realistic look and feel of authentic wood underfoot. Unlike the genuine article, vinyl is able to withstand constant contact with liquids and is better at controlling acoustics indoors. Installation is a breeze too with its nifty interlocking system – plus, you can even have it laid atop an existing tiled floor.

Image credit: Wood Culture

Image credit: Wood Culture

Marble-inspired KompacPlus

Although its wood-effect designs are popular with homeowners, KompacPlus also offers a series of finishes that resemble marble and other natural stones such as quartz and travertine.

Image credit: KompacPlus

Image credit: KompacPlus

Marble-lookalike ceramic tiles

If you can’t afford the price tag that comes with acquiring slabs of luxurious rocks for your abode, marble inspired tiles might be up your alley. Here’s a tip: if you wish to cover the living room feature wall or kitchen backsplash with marble’s splendour, choosing larger format tiles would trick the eyes into thinking they’re the real deal. This is because, with fewer grout lines, there would be lesser breaks in design to encourage visual continuity.

Image credit: KDOT Associates

Image credit: KDOT Associates

Engineered stone

A recipe that comprises quartz minerals and polymer resins and pigments render the engineered quartz a resilience as well as heat, stain and scratch-resistant properties that work well under the pressures of a hardworking kitchen. It is non-porous as well, allowing an extension of its application beyond the cooking space and into the bathroom on vanities and bath surrounds. Perfectionists will adore the uniformity in its colour, pattern and texture – unlike the irregularities that come with naturally-occurring stones. What’s more, there’s a depth to the design – an almost three-dimensional façade that is accentuated by the play of texture and tone. Take note though, quality does come at a price. But rest assured, the investment is a worthwhile one.

Image credit: Silestone

Image credit: Silestone

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