If you've never taken on a tiling project before, you might be surprised by the many different varieties of tiles available. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most commonly used, but there are also glass tiles, cement tiles, metal tiles, and stone tiles—to name just a few. To make it even more complicated, not every type of tile works for every job and, of course, there's your budget to consider. It's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed, which is why we did the hard work for you
Whether you're shopping for an immediate project or just planning for the future, we enlisted some experts to guide you through the 12 most common types of floor tiles and wall tiles. Find out which tiles are best for every type of home project to ensure you'll love your remodel for years to come.
12 Sleek Ways to Use Penny Tile Throughout Your House
Ceramic tile is one of the most common types of tile found in the home because it's suitable for many applications. "Increased durability makes ceramic tile perfect for any room in the house, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or even entryways," says Tony Castellano, senior merchant for The Home Depot. "It's easy to install, clean, and comes in hundreds of styles that can fit any design. For a bonus, if you're looking to renovate on a budget, ceramic offers a great price point."
When shopping, Castellano recommends checking the ceramic tile lot number to ensure you have a clean, uniform end result. "Additionally, make sure you understand the difference between glazed and unglazed. While unglazed gives an artistic, rustic finish, glazed ceramic tiles provide more protection for longer lasting floors."
Try: Restore Bright White 3x6 in. Ceramic Bevel Wall Tile, $2.16/sq. ft.; homedepot.com.
The other most common type of tile is porcelain, which differs from ceramic tile. "The appeal of porcelain comes from its ability to emulate natural stone, brick, or wood—and without any of the maintenance," Castellano says. "You get the same elegant finish without any of the upkeep or weathering. In addition, as it's an all-purpose tile, it comes in a variety of designs, colors, and styles to allow for versatility when designing a space. Porcelain can even be used outdoors, as it will not freeze, fade, or crack." Other applications for porcelain tile include bath or kitchen tile, high-traffic areas, and kitchen backsplashes.
The biggest drawback with porcelain tile is that installation can be tricky. While you can DIY an install, Castellano says many homeowners forget that you also need an adhesive when laying down this type of flooring.
Try: Wind River Grey 6x24 in. Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile, $1.89/sq. ft.; homedepot.com.
Glass tile offers a clean and minimalistic aesthetic to any project. Melissa Morgan, an interior designer and founder of M Interiors in San Antonio, Texas says, "The stain resistance of glass makes it a fantastic alternative to natural stone. Red wine and any acidic foods like lemon and vinegar are wiped up with ease without any permanent staining".
"A potential drawback is that glass will, of course, chip quite easily along the edges," Morgan says. For that reason, she recommends not using glass tile in high-traffic areas like kitchen and bathroom floors. Instead, she suggests using them in smaller applications with less traction, such as gently used tabletops or desks, around the fireplace, or as a backsplash.
Try: Bestview Grey 9 x 12-in Glass Lantern Mosaic Wall Tile; $12.98; lowes.com.
"Cement tiles have been around since the 19th century and they're currently experiencing a bit of a boon in modern interior design", says Docia Boylen, franchise owner of Handyman Connection, a home remodeling and repair service based in Lakewood, Colorado.
"Cement tiles are extremely versatile and can provide you with amazing patterns and colors," Boylen says. "Since the tiles are extremely porous, a patina can develop over time to enhance the pattern. They can also be sanded and resealed, like wood floors, if they get discolored over time."
The biggest drawback to cement tiles is that they're a beast to lay. Additionally, cement tile must be resealed once a month to maintain its beauty. Cement is best used in low-traffic areas and in small quantities.
Try: MeaLu Victorian Encaustic 8x8 in. Cement Field Tile in Turquoise/Blue/White, $20.99/sq. ft.; wayfair.com.
Though costly, marble tiles add an instant touch of elegance and refinement to any room. "If you're looking to add beauty to any kitchen or bath, laying down marble tiles immediately upgrades the space," Castellano says. "It also delivers texture and depth, as it's either patterned or veined. You'll never have the same piece."
Marble requires a lot of upkeep to keep it looking pristine. And like any stone, marble tile is susceptible to scratches and stains in addition to being difficult to clean. "Due to marble's predisposition to scratches, etching, and stains, it's best used in low-traffic areas unless a sealant is applied," Castellano says. "Many homeowners avoid using marble in countertops and instead add marble in decorative features, such as shower floors, columns, and backsplashes." By using it in smaller applications, you'll also give your budget a breather.
Try: Carrara White 3 x 6 in. Honed Marble Wall Tile, $6.98/sq. ft.; homedepot.com.
Mosaic tiles give you a chance to flex your creative interior design muscles because it comes in so many different shapes, sizes, colors, styles, and even materials. "Mosaic tiles work best on wall applications when an accent is needed. I recommend using them sparingly," Morgan says. She also notes that, depending on the type of tile you choose, mosaic tiles can look dated quickly. Keep that in mind as you select not just the tile, but the space where it will be installed.
Try: Viviano Marmo Gray and White Flower Marble Mosaic, $14.99/piece; flooranddecor.com.
Granite is a natural stone that has a similar look and feel to marble because of its natural flecks, though there are some notable differences. "Granite has been overused and tends to look like a cheaper alternative," Morgan says. That's partly because it actually often is the cheaper alternative, which is nothing to balk at if you're on a budget.
Morgan recommends using granite tiles in a laundry room or other secondary space where performance and lower cost are your top priority.
Try: MSI Giallo 18" x 31" Granite Field Tile, $11.22/sq.ft.; wayfair.com.
Limestone is another type of natural stone tile. "To achieve a truly rustic style filled with natural tones, shades, and variation, lay down limestone tile," Castellano says. "It delivers a natural appearance that's almost reminiscent of ancient architecture and design. Durable but soft, limestone is also easy to shape and cut for specific patterns and placements."
One thing to keep in mind about limestone tile is that it's a porous rock. In order to ensure it lasts for a long time, it must be sealed properly, otherwise it will crack and etch easily. Also, cleaning limestone can be a pain. "To avoid ruining the stone, homeowners need to use neutral pH cleaning agents and avoid citrus and vinegar-based products," says Castellano. "That said, the rich appearance and variety of colors or size make it a great option for really any space, especially outdoors. I recommend using limestone outdoors in a patio space to give the perfect final look."
Try: Salvador Vanilla Ledger Panel 6 x 24 in. Natural Limestone Wall Tile, $3.39/sq. ft.; homedepot.com.
Like limestone, travertine tile offers a natural, one-of-a-kind aesthetic. "Its soft, subdued palette provides beautiful neutral tones," Castellano says. "From gray to tan and beige, the swirling surface produces an elegant and unique statement."
Just like other natural stone tile types, it's easily impacted by water, stains, and traction. For that reason, travertine tile requires extra maintenance and occasional resealing. "It's best to use travertine tiles in low-traffic areas of the home. Also, to avoid scratches, etching, or stains, many designers and DIYers will apply these tiles to walls instead of floors," he says. "If you are applying it to floors, make sure you know what type of sealant to use and what cleaning products to use."
Try: Daltile Travertine Peruvian Cream Paredon Pattern Natural Stone Floor and Wall Tile Kit, $10.30/sq. ft.; homedepot.com.
Quarry tile is made with ground materials in a process that's very similar to brick (though technically stronger). Quarry tile is made from ground minerals, like feldspar, clay, and shale, that are ground together and then baked at over 2000 degrees.
"They get their name from where the ground minerals come from: a quarry," Boylen says. "Since these tiles are fired at extremely high temperatures, they are naturally dense, nonporous, and water-resistant with an extremely low water absorption rate. They can be glazed or left in the natural finish. Another benefit is that they do not have to be sealed."
Though durable, quarry tiles are susceptible to staining, so they shouldn't be used in the kitchen. Boylen recommends them for high-traffic areas since they offer a sense of purposeful design and are naturally slip-resistant.
Try: VersaTILE 6 x 6 Quarry Floor and Wall Tile, $.53 cents/each; menards.com.
"Metal countertops offer superior durability and a chic and modern kitchen aesthetic," Morgan says. "Although the cost for this type of tile is usually similar in pricing to natural stone, it will certainly withstand the test of time in both look and function."
A primary consideration with metal tile is that it tends to scratch almost as soon as it's installed. Some people prefer this naturally occurring patina, which can soften the overall effect. If that's not your preferred finish, then metal probably isn't an ideal tile type for you. "Metal works great on any work surface, such as a kitchen, bar, or utility room," Morgan says. "I would not recommend it for baths or, depending on the climate, outdoor use."
Try: Luxsurface Penny 1" x 1" Metal Mosaic Tile, $18.29/sq. ft.; wayfair.com.
"Resin tiles are a great solution to combine styles you want," Boylen says. "These tiles look great and are water-resistant. Plus, they are perfect for the DIYer since you can make your own tile patterns. The 3D patterns are also popular with resin and it can imitate the look of water and stones."
Resin tile drawbacks include a propensity to chip, and yellow over time, especially when exposed to the sun. "I recommend resin flooring for water areas, like the bathroom and mudrooms. They also make great backsplashes and accent pieces," Boylen says.
Try: Bedrosians Ambiance Insert Rising Star 2" x 2" Resin Tile in Pewter, $6.40; wayfair.com.
How many different types of tile are there? ›
6 Main Types of Tiles.What is the best type of tiles? ›
Ceramic tile is one of the most common types of tile found in the home because it's suitable for many applications. "Increased durability makes ceramic tile perfect for any room in the house, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or even entryways," says Tony Castellano, senior merchant for The Home Depot.What is the strongest type of tile? ›
Known as the most durable type of tile on the market, porcelain is harder, denser, tougher, and less porous than ceramic tile.What are the advantages of tile? ›
- 1 – Water-Resistant. Tile is especially smart in areas of high humidity and moisture. ...
- 2 – Durable. Tile resists dirt, stains, and wear much more effectively than most carpet or hardwood. ...
- 3 – Eco-Friendly. ...
- 4 – Unique Style. ...
- 5 – Boost Your Resale Value. ...
- 6 – Affordable. ...
- 7 – Low Maintenance.
Tile. Ceramic Tile: At less than $1 per square foot, durable ceramic tile makes an excellent inexpensive flooring option.What to consider when choosing tiles? ›
- Before you start. Think about the style of your home. ...
- Tile size. Small-sized tiles are usually suited to small residential areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.
- Room size. ...
- Colour. ...
- Grout. ...
- Texture and pattern. ...
- Natural light. ...
- In the end.
2. Which tile is the most versatile? Explanation: Slate can be used as roofing shingles, it can be used indoors as well as outdoors, because of its natural looks and range of colours.Is porcelain tile better than ceramic? ›
Durability: The density of porcelain tile makes it more durable than ceramic tile while being less subject to wear and tear. This makes it more suitable for commercial use as well as in the home. Water Resistance: Porcelain tile is almost impervious to water compared to ceramic tile.Which is more expensive ceramic tile or porcelain tile? ›
While both ceramic and porcelain are less expensive than most renovation materials, their price differences are due to their density differences. Porcelain tiles are therefore more expensive than ceramic tiles.Do porcelain tiles crack easily? ›
Hard, dense, and solid, porcelain is resistant to most heavy stresses and can even be used in commercial environments. Be aware, though, that the hardness of porcelain can make it slightly more brittle than standard tiles, which means they can be more susceptible to cracking.
What are pros of ceramic tiles? ›
- 1) Affordable. One of the main advantages of ceramic tiles is that they're more affordable than other kinds of flooring. ...
- 2) Maintenance. ...
- 3) Hard and Durable. ...
- 4) Versatile Designs. ...
- 5) Allergen Reducing. ...
- 6) Fire-Resistant. ...
- 7) Easy Installation.
- Water Resistance. ...
- Durable. ...
- Easy Maintenance. ...
- No Allergy Concerns. ...
- Harder Surface. ...
- Ceramic is a Cold Material. ...
- Heavier Weight.
- Kajaria Ceramics Ltd. Contact details.
- Somany Ceramics Ltd. Contact details.
- RAK ceramics Ltd. Contact details.
- Orient Bell. Contact details.
- Asian Granito India Ltd (AGL) Contact details.
- NITCO Ltd. Contact details.
- Cera sanitaryware Ltd. ...
- Bajaj Tiles.
Subway tile is the most traditional and popular tile pattern, and it typically comes in a rectangular shape of all degrees and colors. The most well-known pattern is akin to offset bricks, however, you can also "stack" them vertically or horizontally.What type of tile is easiest to install? ›
Best for: Ceramic tile is typically affordable, durable, easy to install and comes in a nearly endless array of colors and designs.Which tile size is best for flooring? ›
|Small shower floor||1-inch square|
|Small shower walls||1-inch square to 4-inch square|
|Moderate or large shower walls||4-inch to 15-inch by 30-inch|
|Bathroom floor||1-inch square to 12-inch square, or up to large-format|
Kitchen tiles that should be durable, moisture resistant, and hard-wearing. So, either porcelain or ceramic tiles are best for kitchen floor tiles. Marble and granite tiles are also viable floor choices for the kitchen.What type of tiles are best for living room? ›
For this reason, porcelain tiles are often considered the best tiles for the living room floor. Porcelain tiles are hardwearing, largely slip-resistant and extremely strong.What type of tile is best for bathroom floor? ›
Porcelain tile is the best of all worlds for bathroom flooring, as it is waterproof, stylish, and cost-effective. Like stone, porcelain tile can achieve a rich, textured, solid feeling. Like vinyl, it is waterproof and is fairly inexpensive. Like wood flooring, tile looks great.What are the disadvantages of porcelain tiles? ›
Cons to consider: Although porcelain tile is extremely durable, it does occasionally chip, particularly around the edges. This may not be noticeable with through-body composition, but it is a concern. Porcelain tile is typically more expensive than ceramic and other popular flooring materials.
What are the disadvantages of ceramic tile? ›
Ceramic tiles are extremely hard. While the hardness of ceramic is considered to be an added value, as it makes them easier to clean and maintain, there is also a downside. The hardness makes it uncomfortable to stand on them, while the kitchen is an area where the user has to stand for a prolonged period.What type of tile is less slippery? ›
Terracotta tile, quarry tile, and brick have high COF ratings, so they are very slip resistant. Honed natural stone, slippery like glass, is one of the lowest COF-rated floor tiles.Should bathroom floor and wall tile be the same? ›
Floor tiles and wall tiles can match, but certainly do not have to. Most importantly, floor and wall tiles should create a cohesive look by either combining monochromatic colors, coordinating patterns with colors, or pairing complementary solid colors together for an aesthetically pleasing result.What kind of tile for a shower? ›
Choose ceramic tile, porcelain tile, or quarry tile, which are all part of the ceramic tile family and are ideal for areas exposed to water. This sounds obvious — of course, you want your shower and bathroom to be waterproof.Is porcelain tile waterproof? ›
First, porcelain tiles are smooth rather than porous. They won't absorb liquids like ceramic tiles, even in very small amounts. So, porcelain tiles have a significantly lower absorption rate. They are considered both waterproof and frost resistant.What is the most popular tile pattern? ›
Subway tile is the most traditional and popular tile pattern, and it typically comes in a rectangular shape of all degrees and colors. The most well-known pattern is akin to offset bricks, however, you can also "stack" them vertically or horizontally.What is tiles and its types? ›
Tiles are usually thin, square or rectangular coverings manufactured from hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, baked clay, or even glass. They are generally fixed in place in an array to cover roofs, floors, walls, edges, or other objects such as tabletops.What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles? ›
The main difference between a porcelain and ceramic tile is the rate of water they absorb. Porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5% of water whilst ceramic and other non-porcelain tiles will absorb more. This is down to the stuff used to make porcelain tiles. The clay is denser and so less porous.What tiles make a room look bigger? ›
Plain colored tiles are an excellent option to give the illusion of a larger space. Use plain patterned tiles with only minimal contrasting colored accents. A lighter colored tile can expand the perceived size of any room. Cream and natural tones for solid colored tiles will definitely make any room appear larger.What is the hardest tile pattern to lay? ›
The Versailles pattern stands out as one of the most complicated and exquisite tile layouts. This puzzle-like design is made up of different sized rectangles and squares. While Versailles is commonly designated for floor designs, don't be afraid to display it across the walls of your home.
What is the easiest tile pattern? ›
STRAIGHT LAY PATTERN
This is the most commonly used tile pattern of all, and the easiest to do. The tiles are simply laid side by side in a straight line, to give an overall even grid pattern. It's a good choice of pattern for rooms where you don't want the tiles to distract from other design features.
Class 3: Light to Moderate Traffic: Ceramic tile for residential floor, countertop and wall applications. The most common residential floor tile. The glazing on these tiles is most often very durable, and the strength of the tiles can handle the stress of most traffic areas.What is the most popular floor tile? ›
White-Washed Wood-Look Tile
And white-washed wood looks are at the top of the list. In addition to the coastal, beachy look, whitewashed tile floors are also excellent for the now-trending farmhouse style in homes, particularly in the kitchen.
Cons to consider: Although porcelain tile is extremely durable, it does occasionally chip, particularly around the edges. This may not be noticeable with through-body composition, but it is a concern. Porcelain tile is typically more expensive than ceramic and other popular flooring materials.Which color tiles is best for floor? ›
Floor tiles will last for many years so it is best to choose a neutral colour that will stand the test of time. The amount of natural light in your room may determine whether your floor tiles need to reflect light (lighter colours) to make the room feel larger or if a darker colour will suit.What type of tile is best for kitchen floor? ›
What type of tiles are best for kitchen floor? Depending on the use of your kitchen space, either porcelain tiles or natural stone tiles would be the best tiles for a kitchen floor. Both of these options are hard wearing and durable enabling them to withstand considerable wear over time.Do porcelain tiles crack easily? ›
Hard, dense, and solid, porcelain is resistant to most heavy stresses and can even be used in commercial environments. Be aware, though, that the hardness of porcelain can make it slightly more brittle than standard tiles, which means they can be more susceptible to cracking.Is there a difference in tile quality? ›
Unlike other materials that are graded, the tile grading system does not indicate the quality of the tile, it just categorizes the tile by its ideal usage. For example, tile with a PEI grade of 1, which is the lowest, can last for years and look gorgeous when it's installed as a decorative wall tile.Is Bone China better than porcelain? ›
Compared to bone china, porcelain tends to be significantly heavier and more brittle, which can lead to chipping. What is Bone China? Bone china, also composed of kaolin, feldspar and quartz, has the greatest strength and resilience of all ceramics with the addition of bone ash to its raw materials.