Tile has a rich history in the world of interior design. It can be used to add a colorful backsplash in your kitchen, create an art-deco accent wall in the living room, or provide a durable waterproof floor in your bathroom. But not all types of tiles are alike. Before you take on your next home renovation project, you’ll want consider the differences between wall tiles and flooring tiles.
Unlike decorative wall or backsplash tile, tile flooring must hold up against foot traffic, dirty shoes, pet messes, and more—all while looking beautiful. The good news is that most tile is naturally water-resistant, slip-resistant, and stain-resistant, which is why so many homeowners choose to use tile in both their kitchens and baths.
Tile is an excellent flooring option all around, but some materials are stronger than others. Let’s take a look at the three main types of tile flooring so you’re ready to take on your next home design project:
When it’s time to decide on a tile for your home, you can’t go wrong with ceramic, porcelain, or stone. However, you’ll want to consider the differences in appearance, durability, and thickness. Each flooring tile type is unique in its own way, with porcelain tiles being the strongest and impervious to water damage, and ceramic tiles being easier to cut and having a textured appearance that adds depth to your design.
Tiles can also come in many different shapes and sizes, from classic square to wood-like planks. Factors such as layout, installation, and grout influence the appearance of tile flooring. Whether tiles are placed edge to edge or used with grout can change the look of a space. As an alternative to grout, you may consider using smaller mosaic tiles between the primary tiles to create a unique look. Layout design can also deliver a similar effect, by having a pattern laid with tile or just by placing the tile on a diagonal.
When thinking about types of tile flooring, you should also consider the factor of thickness. A thicker tile is great for the floor—it will add durability and stand up to heavy foot traffic—while a thinner tile will be better suited to wall mounting. Mosaic tiles are great for accents and backsplashes because their smaller size lends to more intricate patterns.
The types of tile floors you choose can also influence your color options. While ceramic, porcelain, and stone are mostly neutral in color because of their natural makeup, new tile technology adds the option for fun mosaic colors and patterns. For a splash of brighter hues, you can always opt for glass tiles. Don’t be afraid to mix and match tile materials to create texture in your space or to fit tiles to your color palette and design taste!
Ceramic floor tiles are made from clay and minerals fired at a high temperature. These glazed tiles make good insets or accent pieces since they are able to mimic natural stone and wood and are available in a variety of patterns.
Ceramic tile is easy to clean, durable and available in many styles and textures. Whether you’re looking for a beveled tile, a crackled texture or a matte finish, ceramic tiles offer endless design options. If you have kids or pets, consider textured tiles, as they are less slippery and a safer flooring option
Porcelain floor tiles are ceramic tiles that have been fired at a higher temperature. This creates a denser tile that is more durable than ceramic tiles. In fact, porcelain is so durable that it is often used in commercial applications where the floor must stand up to high foot traffic and wear and tear. With a greater density, porcelain is more resistant to moisture, making it a great choice for bathroom floors.
Not only is porcelain durable, but it’s highly coveted for its style. Porcelain stone lookalikes come with authentic color variations, veining and pitting while porcelain wood lookalikes perfectly copy natural graining and hardwood patterns. Porcelain tiles are up to date on the latest trends with styles like washed cement effects, block flooring, and chevron patterns.
Natural stone floor tile comes in a variety of colors and textures giving you a wide range of options. Stone floors are perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. Depending on the type of stone you select, stone tiles can complement a wide range of styles from rustic to contemporary. You’ll also find that no two tiles are alike, giving your space a unique character.
Of all the types of tile, natural stone flooring is the easiest to resurface to hide damage incurred over time. From limestone to slate to marble to granite, there’s an abundance of natural stone materials to suit your design style.
Moreover, installing natural stone tile will increase the value of your home, as this material is highly coveted for its elegance and longevity. Affordable and accessible, you can easily update your kitchens with granite or add marble tiles to the bathroom all while boosting your home value.
When choosing tile flooring for specific rooms in your home, some types fare better than others. First, consider the lifestyle needs of your room:
The two most popular rooms to install tile flooring in our kitchens and bathrooms. But which type of tile should you use for each space?
Ceramic is the most popular tile for kitchen tile flooring since it’s available in endless color options, plus its low maintenance and durable. While less hard than porcelain tile, ceramic is often glazed in kitchen spaces to make cleaning up spills and stains easy.
Porcelain tile, on the other hand, is more often used for bathroom tile flooring because its waterproof, trendy, and cost-effective. Since the water absorption rate for porcelain tiles is less than ceramic, it’s better for rooms with high moisture levels. Depending on the style of porcelain tile you choose, the tiles can range from richly textured (which makes a great non-slip surface) to smooth marble tones.
We can help you find what you’re looking for! Your local Carpet One Floor & Home store is happy to help you with all your home flooring needs. Get your project started today!