You’ve probably heard of carpet squares – those amazing pieces of carpet that you place on the floor in any pattern you desire and easily replace in the all-too-likely event of a spill or a stain. They’re typically used in playrooms, basements and commercial applications; anyplace where high traffic and stubborn stains are probable. You’ve also probably seen the sheer variety of tiles that genuinely look like hardwood planks. These are wonderful options for spaces like kitchens and bathrooms or even commercial applications where you want the look of wood but its proximity to water makes wood a poor choice.

But what about those places where you want the plush and welcoming look of carpet but need the durability and water resistance of tile? That’s where tiles that look like linen and carpet come into play.

There have always been tiles that have been inspired by rugs – think of the vibrant colors and rich patterns of Mediterranean tiles – but today’s latest offerings seek to mimic the color and texture of more traditional, plush fabric choices.

Carpet tile – porcelain tile with fabric lookCrossville Tile, for example, offers Ready to Wear, a line of porcelain tiles that resembles linen and is patterned with a classic warp and weft texture and tone. Just like your favorite outfit, these understated tiles can be dressed up or down, making them one of Crossville Designer Mattie Shannon’s favorites.

“In residential spaces, Ready to Wear is one of my favorite lines to use for laundry room floors! It can simply play up the laundry game and add a little texture and a hint of color in a subtle way,” Shannon says. “Commercially, Ready to Wear would be absolutely perfect for clothing boutiques!”

Ready to Wear is available in eight subtle shades varying from a khaki green to a smoky gray and in two sizes: 12” x 24” tiles and 2” x 6” accent pieces.

Another manufacturer – TileBar – opted for a carpet look with its aptly named Carpeta collection of porcelain tiles. Their 12 variations come in a range of colors, patterns (chevrons and solids), and sizes (24” x 24” squares to 12” x 36” rectangular planks) and boast a rich matte textural appearance that gives you the look of carpet without, as they say, “all of the vacuuming and upkeep.”

No matter which of the new fabric looks you choose, they are a healthier alternative for those impacted by allergies, since they helps eliminate the dust and dirt that can become embedded in carpet fibers and trigger an attack.

Picture these fabric look tiles in a sunroom, breakfast area, living space adjacent to a kitchen or even in a bathroom – anywhere water and weave normally would not mix. Then kick back and enjoy your maintenance-free fabric look!