Types of Tile Flooring

With the endless variations in tile types and styling, any look can be achieved through the use of tile floors.  Best of all, tile isn’t limited to just the floors! 

Many use tile in showers or as a back splash in kitchens and bathrooms. Here are several different types of tiles that can be used to personalize a home: 

Ceramic

Ceramic tile is one of the most popular tiles used in homes.  The process in which it’s made lends itself well to variation – meaning the color choices are endless.  Using clay materials, ceramic tiles are either pressed, molded or hardened using high temperatures in a kiln.  Ceramic tile can be divided into two types:

  • Non-porcelain: Non-porcelain is considered traditional ceramic.  It comes in natural tones but can be glaze-coated to any color.  This offers a beautiful tile floor in any hue imaginable.  One downside to non-porcelain ceramic tiles is that any chips will be noticeable, as the color on the inside of the tile will differ from the outside. 
  • Porcelain: Porcelain ceramic tiles are made using similar processes, but with the addition of new materials.  Feldspar, a type of crystal, is added in the form of dust to strengthen the tile mixture.  When melted, this dust bonds other ingredients together and creates a glass-like texture.  Porcelain is easier to color throughout, so chips are much less noticeable.  Porcelain tiles are much stronger than other floorings and are best used in high traffic areas.

Limestone

Limestone brings a natural look to bathrooms and kitchens.  It is a porous stone and looks almost identical as a tile as it does in nature.  Because of its soft and permeable structure, it shouldn’t be used in high traffic areas and needs to be properly sealed. 

Slate

Slate is also similar as a tile as it is in nature.  Tiles are cut directly from the stone, which means there will be bumps, chips, and uneven surfaces. To preserve slate floors, they need to be sealed to keep water from damaging the surface. 

Marble

Marble floors are a staple in high-end homes.  Their classic and timeless appearance is stunning in any room it’s used. One downfall of marble tiles, however, is its vulnerability to scratches.  Thankfully, these can be buffed out using the right materials!  

Granite

Granite and marble are very similar, but vary in natural designs and colors.  Marble tends to have ‘veins’ of different minerals running throughout the surface while granite typically has ‘specks’.  Both are great choices for flooring and add an element of luxury! 

Mexican Saltillo

Mexican Saltillo is a unique tile made in Mexico.  Its rusty-yellow coloring brings warmth to a home and reflects the natural clay it’s made with.  These tiles are usually man-made, so the standard 12 x 12 size will vary slightly from tile to tile.  Because they are made by hand, some have bumps, dings, and dips as brand-new tiles.  Many feel this adds character and a rustic feel to their home.  This durable flooring looks great inside and out.

Glass

Colorful glass tiles are often used in mosaics or to create a vibrant back splash.   They can be set into stone or installed like traditional tile, using grout.  Either way, this is a great way to add an unexpected pop of color in a bathroom or kitchen! 

Brick

Surprisingly, yes, brick is considered a tile and is used as a staple in many homes.  Brick adds an unmistakable rustic feel to the inside of homes when used on kitchen walls. They’re perfect for outdoor patio and sidewalk surfaces, but also for indoor hallways.  Brick pavers, just like any flooring, can be finished into a smooth surface and are very unique!