Flooring: A Tile by Tile Comparison

Everything You Need to Know About the Different Kinds of Floor Tiles

When it comes to tile floors, there is a lot to consider. Should you go with ceramic? How about porcelain or glass?

The decision is not only a big one financially but it also has a large impact on the appearance and functionality of your home. Glass tiles may look good, for example, but they have no business lining the outside of your pool!

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Here is our guide to everything you need to know about the different kinds of floor tiles.

Different Kinds of Floor Tiles

First things, first you need to know about all your different options. There are over twenty different types of floor tiles. Let’s briefly go through them all so that we can understand the pros and cons of each choice.

white walls and white floor tiles
Empty white room with square windows and tiled floor

Cement-Bodied Tile

Cement tiles have been around since the 19th century, and they’re currently experiencing a bit of a boon in modern interior design.

Cement-bodied tile is a good choice for any area that has a lot of wear and tear such as a kitchen or bath. This tile is tough and durable. It will give years of service when properly installed and maintained.

Pros

  • Chips don’t show like ceramic tile chips (same with scratches).
  • Durable.
  • Cement tiles have an almost chic look that’s difficult to find elsewhere.

Cons

  • Porous. Must seal well. Probably you don’t want to put cement tiles in your bathroom, they can be more trouble than they are worth.
  • Costly.

Ceramic Tile

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.

Ceramic tile is 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.

Pros

  • Glazed ceramic doesn’t absorb water
  • Durable
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Huge variety of colours and designs

Cons

  • Not as impervious to water as porcelain (but also not as expensive as porcelain tiles)

Cork Tile

Most perfect for children and elderly at home. These tiles provide a certain amount of protection in case, someone, accidentally trips and fall. Cork tile is more durable than hardwood flooring, naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. It’s easy to install and easy to clean, just sweep and mop.

Pros

  • Soft to walk on
  • Looks great
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Scratches easily
  • Easily damaged (can chip chunks out due to its softness)
  • Must seal very well to repel water. It won’t seal perfectly so it won’t be as water resistant as porcelain or ceramic tiles.

Faux Wood Tile

Faux wood is the best of both worlds, it gives you the look of beautiful hardwood without the cost.

While faux wood tiles look just like hardwood to the naked eye, they are actually made from ceramic which means they are low-maintenance and, unlike real wood, mostly waterproof.

Pros

  • Scratch proof
  • Water resistant
  • Look great

Cons

  • Can be cold and on your feet

Glass Tile

Glass tiles are now becoming popular because of the increasing number of options that are customized depending on your wants and needs. The different types, shades, and tints of the glasses attached to the wall will beautifully reflect on the lightning inside your bathroom.

Thus, it has a variety of patterns to choose from depending on the styles and theme you want to apply. Multi-coloured glasses are now available used in mosaic arts perfect for accenting bathrooms.

With this kind of tile, installation needs extra careful and are susceptible to scratches. Highly durable, yes, but dropping something heavy at a great height will lead to crack or chipping the tile.

Also, 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.

Pros

  • Looks great (it shines)
  • Hard
  • Durable

Cons

  • Scratches
  • Expensive
  • Can chip along the edges

Granite Tile

Granite is a very dense, often speckled, and hard kind of tile that is most commonly found on kitchen counter tops, but can also be used on your floor. Polished granite is scratch and water resistant, but it is also quite slippery, so great for high traffic areas, but not great for bathrooms.

Pros

  • Durable and strong
  • Enjoy that granite look

Cons

  • Slippery
  • Expensive
  • Granite has a particular look that you may not like

Linoleum Tile

Linoleum is very inexpensive and versatile. While for some linoleum has gone out of style it still offers a great solution if you need to put a nice face on a beat up hardwood floor or if you just need an inexpensive yet effective solution for your kitchen or bathroom.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Easy to install
  • Soft, which can be comfortable
  • Biodegradable
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Susceptible to scratching
  • Requires a gas-off period during which it emits fumes (about a week)
  • Can age in appearance. Must maintain it well

Marble Tile

Marble is an extremely sturdy stone that exists in nearly each colour because of the variability of element minerals. Marble tiles have multiple finishes from polished to honed and brushed to tumbled, creating marble a perfect selection for any area in your home.

As a natural stone, marble tiles supply high aesthetic price and add each magnificence and price to a home. They’re pricey, however, and take care of marble tiles may be long. Their absorbent nature will build them vulnerable to stains, and usually not acceptable for exteriors or in landscaping.

Marble tiles are available at this flooring store in Tillsonburg.

Pros

  • Beautiful

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Susceptible to scratches and stains

Porcelain Tile

Next to ceramic tile, porcelain tiles are the most popular. The appeal of porcelain comes from its ability to emulate natural stone, brick, or wood—and without any of the maintenance. 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, colours, and styles to allow for versatility when designing a space.

Other applications for porcelain tile include bath or kitchen tile, high-traffic areas, and kitchen back splashes.

Pros

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install (for non-professionals)

Quarry Tile

Quarry tile is made with ground materials in a process that’s very similar to brick (though technically stronger). This tile type’s name implies that it comes from a quarry, but that’s not actually the case. Quarry tile is made from ground minerals, like feldspar, clay, and shale, that are ground together then baked at over 2000 degrees.

They get their name from where the ground minerals come from: a quarry. 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.

Pros

  • Naturally slip-resistant

Cons

  • Susceptible to staining

Slate Tile

Slate is a metamorphic rock which can be found in large deposits all over the world. Used in flooring for centuries, it comes in a range of colours, such as blue/gray, green, red, orange, or brown. There are often veins of colours running throughout the tile, meaning no tile is identical.

Slate is slip-resistant, even when wet or greasy, making it a perfect material for kitchens, bathrooms, or round the pool.

Pros

  • Many styles and colours
  • Durable
  • Able to replace individual tiles if damaged

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Cold
  • Unique: every tile is unique making planning a particular design difficult

Travertine Tile

Travertine tile is similar to limestone in that it offers a natural, one-of-a-kind look. It’s soft, subdued palette provides beautiful neutral tones. From gray to tan and beige, its 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 a once-a-decade resealing. If you are applying it to floors, make sure you know what type of sealant to use and what cleaning products to use.

Pros

  • Unique, beautiful appearance

Cons

  • Can be high-maintenance

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Other Types of Tile

There are a number of other types of tile which we left out that are great too. It all just depends on your needs and the look you are going for. Those include:

  • Limestone Tile
  • Metal Tile
  • Mosaic Tile
  • Onyx Tile
  • Pebble Tile
  • Quartzite Tile
  • Sandstone Tile
  • Terracotta Tile
  • Terrazzo Tile
  • Vinyl Tile

Conclusion

There you have it, a beginner’s guides to all the different types of floor tiles. Now you have to think about your budget, the look you are going for, and the purpose the tiles need to serve before you make your final decision.

Good luck!