We recently had the opportunity to use porcelain tile that looks like wood in a full basement renovation (pics to come), and we are impressed with how far these products have improved. Just a few years ago, these imitations of wood flooring looked one-dimensional, lacked the natural variety of authentic wood, and overall would be rarely confused with the real thing.
Now, market demand and manufacturing improvements have dramatically improved the porcelain tiles that look quite close to real wood. Good quality porcelain tile is durable and suitable for many uses, including basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, mud rooms, and other places where there is likely to be moisture or heavy traffic. Heating elements can be used underneath it to keep the flooring space warm.
Here are three samples of porcelain planks from the Wood Talk series by Ergon. The background is real red oak, and you can see how the "grain" of the tile is deceptively close to the genuine article. These tiles are produced with a deliberately textured or dimensional surface so that it does not appear flat and lifeless to the eye. Available in various colors and non-repetitive grain patterns, we are looking forward to finding new applications for this improving product.