7 Types of Tiles & Their Best Uses - A Definitive Guide
Tile floors are unique, and they form a cohesive and elegant pattern. The tiles can be found in various colors, textures, and shapes, creating a personalized floor aligned with your style statement.
However, tiles differ in quality, appearance, and usage; of course, they vary in price point. There are so many types of tiles out there - how are you supposed to choose the right one for your project? When you plan for a tile installation, you may be overwhelmed by which tiles to choose, which is why we have done the hard work for you.
Whether you have an immediate project in the bucket or just planning for the future, This comprehensive guide will help you understand the 7 most popular types of tiles, and their best uses, helping you to make an informed decision for your next home improvement project.
What are the Different Types of Tiles?
There are different types of tiles available; they come with their precise set of benefits and features. Let's check out the guide to help you select the right tile for your needs:
1. Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tiles are made from natural clay and are prepared at high temperatures. Ceramic tile is among the most popular tile types for indoor and outdoor use. It is durable, easy to clean, and comes in a wide variety of patterns, colors, styles, and sizes. Ceramic tiles are versatile materials that can be used in a diversity of ways to add style and function to your home.
Ceramic tile can be used on floors, walls, backsplashes, fireplaces, and more. When it comes to ceramic tile, there are two main types: glazed and unglazed.
📍 Glazed ceramic tile has a smooth, glossy surface that is impervious to water. This makes it a good choice for areas with a lot of moisture or water usages, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms.
📍 Unglazed ceramic tile has a rougher surface and is more porous than glazed tile. It is best suited for areas with less traffic or water usages, such as living rooms or bedrooms.
📢 Easy to find
📢 Resistant to staining
🚩 Difficult to install
🚩 Installation requires specialized equipment
🚩 Crack or chip easily if they are not installed correctly
2. Porcelain Tiles
Porcelain tiles are denser and more durable than ceramic tiles, which makes them ideal for high-traffic areas and areas subject to wear and tear. However, they are more expensive than ceramic tiles. But Porcelain tiles are less porous and more resistant to staining and moisture than other ceramic tiles.
📍 The tile is available in various colors, designs, and finishes, making it a versatile option for indoor and outdoor use.
📍 When selecting porcelain tile for your home, it is crucial to consider the climate and traffic patterns in the area where it will be installed.
📢 Wide range of colors, styles, and sizes
📢 Low maintenance
🚩 Brittle and can be slippery
🚩 Difficult installation
🚩 Grout requires sealing
3. Mosaic Tiles
Mosaic tiles are one of the most popular types of tile, and for a good reason. They are incredibly versatile and can be installed aligned to design applications, from backsplashes to floors. Mosaic tiles come in diverse colors, materials, and sizes, so you can easily find a style that fits your aesthetic. Mosaic tiles combine small pieces of glass, stone, or other materials to create a unique pattern.
📍 Mosaic tiles can be used to create intricate designs. The tiles are also durable and easy to clean, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
📍 When choosing mosaic tiles for your home, remember that they can be pretty slippery when wet. If you have a plan on using them in an area with the potential for water spills, consider opting for mosaic tiles with a textured surface to help prevent slips.
📢 Elegant design
📢 Easy to clean
📢 Luminous appearance
📢 Durability (Tiles that pass ASTM standards)
🚩 Susceptible to scratches
🚩 Susceptible to scratches
4. Glass Tiles
Glass tiles are made from melted silica sand, soda ash, limestone, etc., and can be either clear or colored. They have a glossy finish and reflect light well. However, glass tiles can be stained easily and are not suitable for use in high-traffic areas. Glass tiles are among the other most popular choices for backsplashes and accent walls.
📍 They are available in various colors, sizes, and shapes, making them a versatile option for any design.
📍 Glass tiles also have a high degree of resistance to staining and fading, making them a good choice for areas exposed to sunlight.
📢 Brightens Spaces
📢 Easy Cleaning & Maintenance
🚩 Tricky Installation
🚩 Difficult to repair
5. Marble Tiles
Marble tile is a classic and luxurious option for flooring, backsplashes, and countertops. It is found in a broad range of colors and patterns, making it a versatile material for any design style. While marble is more expensive than other materials, its durability and aesthetic appeal make it a wise investment for your home. Marble tiles come in a wide range of designs, but their porous nature makes them susceptible to staining.
📢 Upscale appearance
📢 Natural material
📢 Accommodates radiant floor heating
📢 Environment Friendly
📢 Easy to polish
🚩 Porous stone
🚩 Requires sealing
🚩 Scratches Prone
🚩 Stains easily
🚩 Slippery and brittle
6. Granite Tiles
Granite tile is one of the most popular tile types for indoor and outdoor use. It is incredibly durable, easy to clean, and has a natural beauty that many homeowners love. When choosing granite tile for your home, it is essential to remember that there are different grades of granite – each with its unique look.
📍 The most popular type of granite tile is called "first quality" or "A grade." This type of granite has very few imperfections, making it ideal for areas where you want a high level of durabilities, such as countertops or floors. First-quality granite tile is also the most expensive type of granite on the market.
📍 If you are looking for a more affordable option, "second quality" or "B grade" granite may be a better choice for you. Second-quality granite is an excellent choice for areas where you don't need the absolute highest durability, such as walls or backsplashes.
📢 Exceptionally Durable
📢 Hypoallergenic Flooring Option
📢 Heat Resistant
📢 Scratch & Stain Resistant
📢 Various Color Options
📢 Low Maintenance
🚩 Difficult To Install
🚩 Requires Expert Service
🎯 Pro tip: When shopping for granite tile, be sure to ask about the grade of the tile before making your purchase to choose the suitable tile for your needs and budget.
7. Limestone Tiles
Limestone is a sedimentary rock. It is formed from calcium carbonate deposits. Over time, these deposits compress and form layers of limestone. This process gives limestone its characteristic grainy texture and a porous surface.
While limestone is not as hard as some other types of stone, it is still durable and can withstand wear and tear. Limestone tile is a popular choice for indoor and outdoor applications because of its beauty and durability.
📍 Limestone tile comes in a variety of colors and shades, making it easy to find the ideal match for your home or business. Because it is a natural stone, each piece of limestone tile is unique and has its own individual charm.
📍 Limestone tile is a great option if you're seeking a classic look that ever goes out of style. It's also affordable to add natural beauty to your home without breaking the bank.
📢 Less expensive
📢 Naturally aesthetic
🚩 Requires regular maintenance
🚩 Prone to damage by high traffic
Bonus: Peel and Stick Tiles
If you're searching for a quick and easy installation option, then peel-and-stick tiles are the way to go. These tiles are self-adhesive, so all you require to do is peel them off from the backing & stick them to your desired surface.
They're ideal for small projects or areas where you don't want to encounter the hassle of grout. However, peel-and-stick tiles are not as durable as other tile options and aren't suitable for areas with much traffic or moisture.
Peel-and-stick tiles are ideal for backsplashes or accent walls. If you decide to use peel-and-stick tiles, make sure you clean the surface well before you apply them.
How to Choose the Suitable Tile for Your Project?
When planning a tiling project, choosing the right type of tile for the installation is important. Consider your specific project, whether you're looking for durability, style, or easy maintenance.
There are many different types of tiles, each with unique properties. For example, ceramic tiles are popular for floors and walls because they're durable and easy to clean. But if you're looking for a tile that has more personality, porcelain or glass tiles might be a better option.
👉 To choose the right tile for a project, start by considering what type of surface you'll be tiling. If it's a floor, you'll need a tile that can withstand foot traffic and is slip-resistant.
👉 Once you've determined the type of surface you're working with, look at the different styles of tiles available. Ceramic tiles come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, while porcelain tiles tend to be more uniform in color. Glass tiles can add elegance to any space, but they may not be suitable for all surfaces.
👉 Consider your budget when selecting tiles. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are usually less expensive than glass or stone tiles, but many affordable options are available in each category.
How to Clean & Maintain Tiles?
Tiles are a versatile and sustainable flooring option that can be used in multiple settings, both indoors and outdoors. While tile is durable and easy to care for, it does require some regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining tiles:
👉 Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove debris and dirt.
👉 Mop with a mild soap or cleanser designed for tile floors. Avoid abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the surface of the tile.
👉 Periodically check for grout discoloration or cracks, and seal or repair as needed.
👉 For glazed tiles, use only non-abrasive cleaners to avoid dulling the finish.
There is no definitive one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the right type of tile for your home. With so many different types of tiles on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is ideal for your needs and the design elements. You can read this guide, narrow down the options, and choose the perfect type of tile for your home. Also, you can explore online tile stores to explore more tile types and designs. Do you have any experience with tiling? Share your tricks in the comments.