12 Types of Tile: All the Different Varieties to Choose From

The types of tiles are amazing these days, especially if you consider the subcategories. But we can make it really easy to understand.

While carpet and vinyl were once considered sufficient flooring, the tile has slowly recovered as a luxury option. They are beautiful, durable, functional, easy to clean and require no professional maintenance.

Thanks to this fact and the variety of aesthetically designed tiles, they are no longer only suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.

If you have never done a tile project before, the number of types of floor tiles can surprise you. In addition to the material, size and style, the tiles also differ depending on the part of the house for which they are intended.

12 Tile types

But don’t be overwhelmed by this – there is a quick introduction to the different types of tiles; you need to know that this is your floor.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles have become very popular for adding a delicate touch to a room, but also for their versatility – they can complement almost any interior.

Ceramic tiles are made of clay and their charm is enhanced by their longevity and resistance to abrasion and scratching. This is one of the most popular types of tiles.

Because of their impressive durability, ceramic tiles are often used in areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic. The design possibilities are also numerous, as these tiles are glazed in different colours and patterns.

However, these tiles do not perform well in extreme heat or cold, or when water is absorbed. They can break over time, especially if you drop something heavy on them. Clay tiles are also available, but they are not durable enough for this use.

Porcelain tiles

The differences between porcelain and ceramics are small, but they do exist. That’s why many people consider ceramic tiles to be a kind of tile.

Porcelain tiles are made from a denser clay than ceramic tiles and are processed at much higher temperatures than their ceramic counterparts. This of course makes them more durable and more resistant to damage.

This also means that porcelain stoneware can be used at extreme temperatures because of its strength and low porosity.

Porcelain tiles are available in polished and unpolished finishes, making them suitable for a wide range of residential and commercial applications (with little foot traffic). Although glazed porcelain tiles are also available, they are less durable.

Quarry stones

Contrary to what the name suggests, vegetable tiles do not come from the many quarries that exist in the United States. They are made by grinding materials such as feldspar, clay and slate together and turning them into tiles.

These minerals place stoneware tiles in the competition of harder floor coverings. The low porosity also means that glazed tiles can be used both outdoors and indoors.

Mosaic tiles

The favorite: The mosaic tiles are proof that our ancestors, as early as the third century. millenium b.. Chr. were aesthetic. Mosaic tiles consist of small tiles and pieces of tiles, usually made of glass, which are joined together in decorative patterns to form a large tile supported by a grid.

Each small tile used is generally less than two centimetres wide and long. This makes it easier to install in confined spaces. However, it is essential to use the right cutting tools to achieve a flawless finish.

Mosaic tiles are often used in bathrooms, kitchens, countertops and floors, but can be used anywhere in the home. They do not flake easily, are stain and moisture resistant and are therefore suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

They are also easier to clean, and the joints make them more structured and non-slip than other tiles. If you like intricate patterns and colours, these are the most attractive types of tiles. I’ve even seen certain types of switches made of these tiles.

Marble tiles

Marble is a timeless material that has not lost its meaning as a synonym for luxury over the centuries. Marble is therefore a wise choice for those who want to add elegance and refinement to their home.

Marble tiles are part of natural stone tiles and are available in different colours due to the biodegradable materials with different components. Marble tiles are also available in different finishes, from brushed to polished, making them ideal for any room. There are many types of marble to choose from.

Despite its beauty, marble tiles are expensive and prone to spillage because of their porous structure. This makes it relatively rare, especially as a tile, in outdoor applications.

However, porosity can be treated to a certain extent by using a good surface sealant, which acts as an invisible protective layer that seals the pores.

Granite tiles

Granite slabs are ideal for areas with extremely heavy traffic. Made from hard, dense igneous rocks, granite tiles have a unique appearance due to the natural veining and colouring of the minerals in these rocks.

No two granite surfaces are the same. Their unique surface also physically distinguishes them from other stones. Granite tiles are available in different colours and, like marble, are associated with luxury.

These natural and durable tiles are highly resistant to scratches (especially after polishing) and acids. But just like marble, they are also very porous, which means they are easy to stain.

Travertine tile

Travertine tiles are made of a type of limestone that can often be found near hot springs and caves. Like other limestone products, they are available in different colours and have an anniversary, rough surface.

However, the finish of these tiles is extremely elegant and gives the room a natural look. The Roman buildings scattered all over Italy also bear witness to this, because they are built of travertine.

Today, travertine is used for the construction of swimming pool decks, walkways, bathrooms and other structures/places exposed to heavy water. Travertine is not only durable, but also easy to repair.

It also gets extra points for being 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Although it is cheaper than some other materials, travertine can still be expensive.

Slate tile

Another popular material for floor tiles is slate, which is derived from natural mineral deposits, making them extremely durable yet naturally beautiful.

The material is also able to keep the room warm and is very slip-resistant thanks to its natural grain structure. Although slate is cheaper than granite and marble, it is still considerably more expensive than ceramics.

Sandstone tile

Sandstone gives a wonderful natural feel to your outdoor space and is especially common for walkways, patios and pool environments.

These types of tiles are also available in different sizes, styles and colours and offer very earthy aesthetic spaces. Sandstone is a sedimentary rock consisting of quartz and sand.

Terrazzo tiles

Terrazzo tiles are a fusion of different types of materials such as glass, quartz, marble and granite.

The preparation process includes polishing, hardening and grinding. The result is a durable, smooth, attractive and shiny surface that aligns these tiles with those of public buildings.

Despite their beauty, terrazzo tiles are not necessarily the best choice for floors in homes because of their smooth character. To reduce this problem, you need to learn about the different types of carpet.

Onyx Tile

Made of onyx, a beautiful translucent limestone, onyx tiles are very similar to marble tiles. This unique appearance is the result of the stone’s high mineral density, making it an excellent choice for residential applications.

However, these stones are very brittle; to harden them further, materials such as fibreglass, fabric and resin are used. The unique shapes of the surface of these stones determine their use.

These bricks are available in different colours and are preferred for indoor use because of their light colour scheme. The preparation and installation of onyx tiles requires professional expertise, which significantly increases costs.

Wooden tiles

Wooden tiles, the latest innovation, are rapidly gaining popularity. These tiles retain the ability of the substrate to expand and contract depending on the level of humidity in the ambient air and are available in two main types: Hardwood and wood-based materials.

Hardwood floors do not require frequent replacement, require little maintenance and are easy to install. Moreover, these floors are free of dirt and stains and are extremely durable.

Hardwood floors also greatly increase the value of a property in the real estate market, so if you are looking for a return on your investment, this floor is an excellent option.

As the name suggests, fake wood tiles combine the beauty of natural wood with the hardness of traditional tiles. These tiles are waterproof, more durable, more versatile, more resistant to termites and easier to maintain than other types of tiles and are made of ceramic.

In addition, these tiles are scratch resistant, making them a popular option in areas with a lot of traffic. But unlike wood, they do not absorb water.

Tiles for every taste

There are many different types of tiles, each bringing their own beauty into the house. But in the end it comes down to what you want, even though each tile has its own space and time.

Now that you know the basic types of tiles, it is better to choose the floor of your dreams and create one that you will enjoy for decades to come.

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Editor: Rick Sausage

Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast whose life revolves around everything that has to do with home and garden. What started as a hobby has become a true mine of information and inspiration for both professionals and owners. Rick owns and publishes many of our content providers. To find out more about Rick and the operation, click here.

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