Flooring 101: The Different Types of Tiles

You might be surprised by how many different types of floor tiles are out there – it might be great to know that not every tile works for every job. 

If you have a project ahead of you, you’ll want to read this guide which covers all the different types of tiles that you can choose from and how they’re best used. We’ll go over how certain tiles are made, which ones are better for high traffic areas, and what to look for if you have a specific budget.

Ceramic & Porcelain 

Ceramic is the most common type of tile found in the home. It’s a durable tile, so it’s great for kitchen, bathrooms, and entryways — basically all high traffic areas. It’s easy to install so it’s great for quick projects. It’s also super easy to clean! Ceramic tile comes in hundreds of styles and designs so you can customize your look. If you’re on a budget, ceramic tile is the way to go as it’s one of the most affordable options. 

Porcelain tile is a little bit different from ceramic, but they are similar in that they’re affordable, customizable, and easy to clean. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are clay based and kiln fired, but the clays used to make porcelain have higher density and are fired for longer. 

Porcelain tile is great because it can emulate stone, brick or even wood. It can also be used outdoors since it’s less porous and won’t freeze.

Natural Stone

Natural stone, such as marble, is used for indoor flooring and wall applications. While it looks absolutely gorgeous, natural stone is porous by nature and more susceptible to stains and scratching so it might need more maintenance. This is important to think about when considering your lifestyle and also your time.  

Because natural stone is a little trickier to maintain, it’s better for lower-traffic areas and should always have a sealant applied. A great way people incorporate natural stone into their home is by adding it in small segments, so it acts as an accent feature. Think of things like backsplashes or shower floors. This is also a great idea if you’re on a budget but still want to incorporate something like marble into your home, as natural stone can be more expensive.

Natural stone is a great way to add extra elegance to a room and a wonderful choice, but it’s important to keep in mind the possible disadvantages when planning a redesign. 

Glass Tiles & Mosaics 

Glass tile is stain resistant and a great alternative to natural stone. It’s stunning as a backsplash either in the kitchen or bathroom, and it’s also easy to clean. Glass is perfect if you want an elegant and minimalist aesthetic. 

One of the things you may want to look out for when it comes to glass is that it can chip easily, so it’s not the best for high traffic areas. Glass also requires professional installation as the adhesive can be seen through the tile when done incorrectly. 

Mosaic tiles are wonderful if you want to express your creativity. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours, designs, and materials and you can use them on your floors or as a backsplash. Because they are eye-catching and colourful, you want to make sure mosaic tiles are either the centre of attention or they function as an accent piece. When planning to incorporate mosaic tiles into your home, make sure that the surrounding furniture, wall colours, or other elements don’t try to compete with them and instead add balance. 

Texture: What to Choose

The options you have when it comes to texture include glazed, matte, polished or semi-polished. 

Glazed tile refers to a special formula that is applied over the tile. It’s generally transparent and can help your tile last longer while giving it a beautiful glossy finish. Matte finished tiles have a granular and harder surface, and they are not reflective. Matte tile is nice for more modern or contemporary aesthetics. 

Polished tile refers to the process by which a tile is created, and can achieve a high and uniform lustre that is more glossy. Polished tiles generally require sealing, where glazed tiles do not. Semi-polished tiles are only given a partial polish which gives them a glossy appearance but follows the texture of the stone. This creates a non-slip tile that can be good for outdoor use. 

You’ve Got the Basics

No matter the scope or scale of your project, our guide can help you decide on which types of tiles will work best for you. There are a variety of different types of tiles out there for you to choose from, whether you’re looking for something more polished, rustic, or creative. We’ve got you covered. 

Continue browsing through our great selection of tiles so you can plan your next renovation.