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Building & Renovating

6 Alternative Materials That Look Like Real Wood

Save time, money, and energy in using wood alternatives!

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Photography: Paolo Feliciano (main photo)

We will not argue on how beautiful a material real wood is. But it is no secret that solid wood is very high maintenance, difficult to purchase, and can come with problems that may surface in time—wood can warp and chip when untreated properly, and is prone to pests like termites.

There are also instances wherein we would like to use wood in areas of the house but can’t, because it might be exposed to moisture or these areas have high foot traffic. Or sometimes, it is just impossible (or too expensive) to purchase real wood. 

Luckily, there are alternative materials to natural wood, but with the same look and texture of the real thing! Here are six materials you can choose from:

Laminate


As commonly used finishing material for cabinets, laminates are a composite artificial material made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins. The upper layer is printed with a decorative pattern or color, much like wood.  Laminate flooring is good for main living areas and bedrooms, where the bottom layer can also insulate noise.

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Wood Laminate, P180 each, Wilcon Depot

Wood Composite


Also called engineered wood, this type is a mixture of several components that may include wood, plastic and straw. The particles and fibers from different woods are combined, and adhesives keep them bound together. A veneer is often applied to the outside in order to make the composite wood appear more attractive. They are less expensive than hardwood, and they are also weather-resistant when they have been painted or sealed.

Apo Mimicri Resilient Flooring, price available upon request, Wilcon Depot

Ceramic Tile


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Perfect for areas in the home where it is frequently wet and prone to stains or dirt. A wood-look tile provides the same beautiful, warm look you'd get from real wood. But, because it's made from clay, it resists moisture in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, or any other area of the house where water can go. Using grout to seal the tiles will help to make your tile resistant to water and mold buildup.

Mariwasa Summerwood Tiles, Available at all leading hardware stores

Fiber-Cement Wood


SCG SmartWood is non-asbestos fiber-cement wood substitute. SmartWood mimics the touch of the natural wood finishing. And not only does it offer a termite-free beauty of real wood, it also comes with superior features such as durability, flexibility, and easy care.

SCG SmartWood, price available upon request, SCG 

Wallpaper

Create accent wooden walls using wallpaper! The benefit of using wallpaper is that you can mimic the illusion of real wood and have it customized with prints of different types, colors, and wood grains of your liking.

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Komar Wall Murals, price available upon request, Wall Crown Design Center Inc.

Vinyl Tiles/Planks


These days vinyl flooring that looks like wood is not only diverse, it has matched and even surpassed real wood in terms of design, durability, value and practicality. Unlike wood flooring, vinyl is ideal for high-moisture and commercial settings. Wood flooring requires consistent, intensive maintenance and expensive repairs and is therefore not at all suited for commercial application. Vinyl flooring requires little to no maintenance and is easily repaired.

Kent Vinyl Tile, P59.75, Ace Hardware

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