17 Types of Tiles: Different Varieties to Choose From

Tiles are available in abundance in the market, especially with different types and materials that are forever evolving, which makes your decision to choose one tile quite difficult and exciting at the same time. While there are many different types of tiles that you can choose from, there are certain popular tile categories that you can choose from as per the space and the kind of design you want. Here is a list of 17 tiles that you can choose and make your space colourful, durable and long-lasting.

1. Ceramic Tiles

The holy grail of tiles, every tile list starts with ceramic tiles. They are delicate-looking tiles that add a factor of versatility to any space. They are impressively durable, which is why they are so popular for use in residential as well as commercial spaces. Available in a wide variety of sizes, colours, designs and patterns, ceramic tiles have the most opted-for tiles.

2. Porcelain Tiles

It is quite easy to get confused between porcelain and ceramic tiles. Although they both are made of clay, the clay in porcelain is denser as compared to ceramic and is also baked at much higher temperatures. This makes them sturdier than ceramic tiles. They can be laid in all kinds of spaces – residential and commercial. They are available in various designs, colours, sizes, and finishes for you to choose from.

3. Quarry Tiles

Contrary to its name, quarry tiles are not manufactured in quarries. Rather, they are made by mixing feldspar, shale and clay. The materials used to make quarry tiles make these tiles harder and tougher. They have low porosity, which makes them suitable for use in both indoor and outdoor spaces equally well.

4. Wooden Tiles

Wood look tiles are also quite a popular choice when it comes to creating standout spaces. They resemble traditional hardwood flooring without having to deal with the issues that come with wooden flooring in different climatic conditions. These stunning tiles have the durability and longevity of tiles, along with ease of maintenance. This is the reason why wooden tiles for flooring are hugely popular.

5. Mosaic Tiles

To nail a particular aesthetic, mosaic tiles can be used to make a space look more engaging and colourful. They are small tiles combined together to bring out a decorative pattern. If combining tiny pieces of tiles is not something for you, you can opt for tiles printed with a mosaic-like pattern on them.

6. Marble Tiles

For those who love marble flooring, but hate the maintenance aspect of it, marble design tiles can be the best choice for you. Thanks to their stunning design, you can now add an opulent touch to spaces where you would have never even thought of using natural marble – such as bathrooms or kitchens, where natural marble can get easily stained!

7. Granite Tiles

To get a strong underfoot in spaces where there is exposure to higher foot traffic, you can opt for granite tiles. These tiles are a lot stronger and much more dense than regular tiles, thanks to the igneous rock that they are made from. You get the natural veining and speckling that of natural granite stone but in a more versatile and viable tile form.

8. Travertine Tiles

Manufactured using limestone that is usually found around caves and hot springs, travertine tiles come with a rough surface. They look rustic and raw, while simultaneously being trendy and contemporary. You can get a modern European look by installing travertine tiles in your space. They also have low porosity and high durability, making them a great choice for any space.

9. Slate Tiles

While slate tiles are slightly more expensive than the popular ceramic tiles, they are considerably cheaper than natural marble or granite. They are usually installed in areas that exude a warmer aesthetic. The naturally grainy texture gives them an individualistic character and they can give your room or space a unique look.

10. Sandstone Tiles

You might have noticed sandstone tiles in many outdoor spaces like a passage, a walkway, etc. The natural-looking texture of the sandstone tiles makes them the top choice when it comes to meeting the requirements of a durable, yet eye-catching tiling option.

11. Terrazzo Tiles

A mixture of marble, granite, quartz, and glass is what makes up terrazzo tiles. While they are extremely good-looking, they might not be a suitable choice for flooring since they are slippery and can pose a risk of slipping. If you must use it for your flooring, use them sparingly in conjunction with anti-skid or matte finish tiles to reduce accidents.

12. Onyx Tiles

Onyx tiles are white and beige-coloured tiles that are extremely translucent and fine-grained and have a look that is very similar to marble tiles. The pattern is a result of the rich density and gives the tiles a unique appearance. These tiles are quite fragile and hence, they are mixed with fibreglass and resin to make them stronger. The installation of onyx tiles requires specialised labour which can increase the overall installation costs.

13. Glass Tiles

For a clean and minimalistic appearance, glass tiles are a fantastic alternative to stone tiles. They are high on stain resistance and hence can be used in kitchens and dining rooms, where spills and stains are inevitable. That said, glass tiles can be easily cracked and chipped and require mindful usage.

14. Cement Tiles

These are quite popular since they can provide you with a variety of designs in various colour combinations. Since they are very porous they can discolour over time, but they can be sanded and resealed from time to time to keep their colours intact. Since they need regular, monthly maintenance, a lot of people find installing them a cumbersome affair.

15. Limestone Tiles

Another kind of natural stone tile, limestone tiles are another extremely popular way to achieve a rustic look full of colours, textures and patterns. They are easy to cut and can be placed as per the space requirement. Since limestone is porous it requires regular sealing to ensure its longevity. Cleaning them can also be a difficult task since it is possible to ruin the tiles with acid-based cleaners.

16. Metal Tiles

Although they were not so popular in residential areas, metal tiles are slowly gaining popularity, especially for use in kitchens as countertops. Made using metals such as tin, copper and aluminium, these tiles are great for the environment as they are naturally recyclable. They have a natural gloss and reflective surface that can be used as an accent feature in various spaces and even on backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms.

17. Resin Tiles

If you are looking for the perfect DIY installation, resin tiles are a great option. You can also opt for peel and stick options. These tiles are water resistant and highly durable, making them a great flooring choice for wet areas like mud rooms and bathrooms. You can even get custom prints and 3D designs that can add another dimension to your space.

And there you have it – 17 different types of tiles, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. Before you zero in on a tile for your space make sure you weigh the pros and cons and their functionality in that space.

Author Bio:

Isha Tandon has worked within the architecture and interior design industry as a flooring consultant expert – specializing in tiles, stones, and terrazzo. She has worked with Orientbell Limited, a leading tile manufacturer in India, as a product development manager in the design team and has recently joined the marketing team as their digital content expert. Her experience comes in handy in understanding the audience as she creates value-driven functional & informational content for the readers. She creates lifestyle pieces that focus on interior design products, trends, and processes. She loves to travel to historic places with rich architecture.

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