Décor | Life Style | February 25, 2023

The 10 Different Types of Tiles: A Buying Guide for your Home!

Whether you consider the process of producing tiles as art or not, you cannot deny the beauty these tiles bring to your homes. For instance, these tiles from Orvi’s Palacio Collection in many ways can only be described as a piece of art. Though you might have heard of ceramic and porcelain tiles, you would be surprised to learn about all the other beautiful options available out there. In our years of expertise building countless home interiors, we have in one way or another worked with every sort of tile there is. So, in this blog, we will try our best to impart our years of knowledge to you so that you can make the best choice for yourself.

1. Ceramic Tiles

Different Types of Tiles

Perhaps, the most well-known type of tile amongst people, ceramic tiles are used in almost all applications of construction. Though it’s preferred for high-traffic areas like kitchens, bathrooms, foyers and mudrooms. In many warm climates, homeowners prefer to use ceramic tiles even in their bedrooms.

Note: During our research, design professionals described the tiles as being very durable, impervious to water and stains, non-allergenic and consisting of a plethora of design options.

There’s a good reason for the increase in the popularity of ceramic tiles, which is its hard & solid surface does not attract or hold onto dirt, pollen or any other allergens, such properties of the tile make it elementary to maintenance. In case you are planning to DIY your way through your home’s flooring, there could not be a better option than ceramic, because it’s also very inexpensive. You can procure ceramic tiles for as low as ₹36/ sq. ft and if you are looking for something a little better in quality, it would cost you somewhere between ₹55/ sq. ft to ₹60/ sq. ft. Whereas the best quality ceramic flooring solution installed by professionals can exceed costs incurred from wooden flooring as well.

Most ceramic tiles are glazed, but unglazed ceramic tiles are also available on the market. The unglazed ceramic tiles must be sealed before installation to protect them from liquids and stains.

With new innovations in the industry, ceramic tiles can be given a plethora of designs. They can also be mixed and matched in patterns or even accented with custom designs or motifs. These tiles can also be printed on, to mimic hardwood and natural stones. Finally, the tiles can be shaped into triangles, rectangles and planks of a variety of sizes.

Also Read: The Psychology of Interior Design: Understanding how Design Affects Mood

2. Porcelain Tiles

Different Types of Tiles _ porcelein tiles

Often held as stronger, harder and more water-resistant than ordinary ceramic tiles, Porcaline is considered by many experts to be better than ordinary ceramic tiles. This is because of its manufacturing process, where the clay along with its finer materials is heated at a higher temperature, which results in a harder and less porous surface of the tile. The manufacturing process also allows it to mimic a variety of other building materials with high effectiveness.

Though at one point in time, porcelain tiles coasted subsequently more than ceramic, the rise in its popularity and demand has dragged the prices down to a comparable level to ceramic. These tiles can be easily procured in India for between ₹60/sq.ft to ₹70/sq.ft, while other inferior porcelain tiles can be found for even cheaper prices. However, the costs don’t end there, because these tiles require a certain level of expertise to be installed, you can expect to incur costs there as well.

Though the tiles are considerably tougher, dense and solid, the same hardness of the tiles also makes them brittle and susceptible to cracking. So, in case you are planning to use these tiles in high-traffic areas, make sure the tiles are classified with a PEI rating of at least 5.

Note: We recommend having an extra box of porcelain tiles in store, in case one cracks. This will mitigate the issues of colour matching.

One of the most practical advantages of porcelain tiles is that they can easily mimic all sorts of flooring materials including marble, granite, wood or even steel, bamboo or cork.

Also Read: Types of False Ceilings commonly used in India

3. Glass Tiles

Different Types of Tiles - Glass tiles

When most people think about glass, it might not instil as much confidence in glass tiles. But to put your mind at ease, glass tiles are as durable as ceramic tiles. Glass tiles are available in a variety of colours depending on the manufacturing process. And the same can also determine the thickness, size and shape of the tile, so it’s safe to say the tiles present enough flexibility with the designs and can be used in a variety of ways to decorate your home.

Though glass may seem weak and brittle, but in truth, they are as stated before, as durable as any other tile available in the market. Moreover, glass tiles don’t have the same drawbacks as un-vitrified or even vitrified ceramic tiles in some cases. For starters, glass tiles are not porous by nature and are not susceptible to absorbing moisture. And since glass tiles deliver better aesthetics and functions than ceramic tiles, they also tend to cost more as well. The prices of these types of tiles can range from ₹40/sq.ft to ₹200/sq.ft depending upon the design and type of glass tile.

Note: We recommend hiring professionals to install glass tiles as these tiles require a certain level of expertise to install them correctly.

4. Cement Tiles

Different Types of Tiles - Cement

The First usage of cement tiles can be traced back to South France in the 1870s, however, it was the Spanish who perfected the craft. In current times, cement tiles have seen a tremendous boon in popularity in interior design. Though the trend is relatively new in the Indian market, cement tiles have been well-adopted by foreign nations across the globe. For instance, this tile maker Saied Hussain in Cyro, Egypt, has kept the art of tile making alive for over 50 years.

The tiles can be used for all sorts of applications, whether it’s for interior flooring or steam showers. However, if you plan to install cement tiles in an area prone to being wet, proper sealing of the tiles is required for their long life, as the tiles tend to absorb water. When it comes to its manufacturing process, unlike ceramic or porcelain tiles, cement tiles are produced entirely by hand and with mineral pigments.

Furthermore, because of the time and effort that goes into producing cement tiles, these can cost unbelievably more than the other tiles. The costs can range from ₹50/sq.ft for common unsophisticated tiles to upwards of ₹500/sq.ft for unique designs.

Note: Though the tiles can be used in bathrooms and other wet places, we recommend against them, as it would take a considerable amount of effort on your part to maintain them.

Also Read: 5 Ways Interior Designers Get the Most Out of a Client’s Budget

5. Marble Tiles

Different Types of Tiles - Marble

Marble tiles are known to be beautiful and can effortlessly add elegance to any space they are used in. Marble is a naturally occurring material that forms when limestones become recrystallised. These tiles are used in a wide variety of applications in home interiors, whether it’s for flooring or for an accent wall, they are exceptionally durable and waterproof. However, they are also susceptible to scratches and stains unless some sort of sealant is applied over them.

More often than not, even after applying sealants, these marbles tend to get damaged. So, it’s recommended only to be used in low-traffic areas. Moreover, these tiles can prove to be a pain to maintain, hence most people use them for countertops and accent walls. But it’s not all bad news, marble tiles are highly resistant to water and heat along with lasting for a long time.

Marble tiles are quite expensive, especially when you opt for the pretty ones, this is because of their unique patterns and their ability to make any space turn gorgeous instantaneously. The prices for marble tiles can range from ₹40/sq.ft for homogeneous cheap marble tiles to upwards of ₹5000/sq.ft for the more premium marbles. Furthermore, these tiles can be heavy and tricky to deal with, so we recommend hiring professionals to install them.

Also Read: Best Alternatives to Wall Paint for Your Home

6. Mosaic Tiles

Different Types of Tiles - Mosaic

Mosaic tiles have for a millennium filled its onlookers with awe, the artistic style of tiling hence been popularised throughout the globe with each nation giving the art its own twist. This has resulted in a plethora of styles, which are prevalent among design professionals to this day.

Unlike other tiles on this list, Mosaic tiles aren’t chained to a specific material. These tiles can be produced in a variety of materials including ceramic, porcelain, cement, glass and more. The benefits of mosaic tiles don’t end there, these tiles can be procured in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, styles and materials.

Moreover, these tiles are as durable as they are versatile in design, patterns and textures. Thus the use of the tiles can be seen in a variety of applications, but we recommend using these tiles only for accent walls and decorative areas. And when it comes to the prices, they can vastly vary according to the material, shape and texture. However, to give you an idea, the prices can range from ₹50/sq.ft to over a whopping ₹2000/sq.ft.

Note: Mosaic tiles are highly sophisticated and can be tricky to work around, so recommend not DIY your way around it rather you should hire experienced professionals to get it done.

Also Read: 10 DIY Home Decor Ideas: Decorate your home the way you like!

7. Granite Tiles

Granite is procured from naturally occurring coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock, which consists of mostly quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase. It can be used in almost any part of a home and can be found in both honed and matte slabs, also brushed and shiny tiles.

Known for their ability to add beauty and elegance to any space, granite tiles come in a variety of colours and patterns that are also hypoallergenic in nature. These beautiful tiles are extremely durable and subsequently less prone to cracking, however, they are also a little on the heavier side. Moreover, these tiles are waterproof and can be used in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. When it comes to the costs, they can range from ₹48/sq.ft. for cheap tiles to over ₹2000/sq.ft. for the best quality tiles.

8. Limestone Tiles

Much like granite and marble, limestone is also a naturally occurring stone, which is abundantly found in nature across the globe. Limestone forms when minerals calcite and aragonite precipitate out of water containing dissolved calcium. Limestone tiles remain one of the most popular choices for tiles because of their beauty and durability.

Though limestone is porous in nature, a layer of sealant on the tiles makes them a perfect choice for even the wettest areas like showers. These stones are great at creating rustic and earthy decor, so if are looking for something similar for your home, you should go for it. Furthermore, these tiles have been used in other applications as well, especially for accent walls, countertops and much more.

Because limestone tiles are so good at creating an elegant aesthetic and are considerably durable, these tiles can be expensive. They can range from ₹40/sq.ft. all the way to ₹1500/sq.ft. and more, they are also considered to be extremely hard to install, so we recommend hiring experts to get it done.

Also Read: Best Foyer (Mudroom/Entryway) Design Ideas For Your Home

9. Quarry Tiles

Akin to how bricks are manufactured, quarry tiles are also shaped with clay, and fired at a high temperature – 2000゜F. Contradicting its own name, quarry tiles do not come from a quarry and are hard, non-porous and unlike ceramic and porcelain do not require a surface glaze layer. These tiles are composed of minerals such as feldspar, clay and shale that are ground together before shaping into tiles.

Though quarry tiles are used profusely in commercial buildings, because of their ability to hide stains well and are very durable, these tiles can also be found in homes, where it adds a unique, warm feel to the rooms. Popularly available in red colour, quarry tiles are often mistaken for terra cotta, which unlike quarry tiles absorbs water. Apart from red, these tiles are also available in brown, grey and tan colours.

These tiles are very versatile, and thus can be used in both the exterior and interior of the home. Designers today are known to use these tiles as countertops, backsplash and general flooring. If you were wondering about the cost, these tiles can range anywhere from ₹100/sq.ft. to ₹700/sq.ft.

Also Read: 3 Most Popular Living Room Wall Colour Combinations of 2023

10. Metal Tiles

Metal tiles might not be as popular in home interior design as it is in commercial spaces, because of their durability and ease of maintenance. These tiles are generally made from copper, tin, aluminium or stainless steel often times recycled. In case these tiles are used in a home, it’s generally used on accent walls or in the kitchen as a backsplash.

Metal tiles are great at giving the space a certain industrial look, however, depending on the design of the tile it can also create a completely different vibe. Moreover, as most metals are, these tiles are non-porous and thus great for your bathroom. As far as prices are concerned, they can cost you anywhere between ₹110/sq.ft. to ₹1300/sq.ft.

If you look hard enough on the internet, you can find many other types of tiles used in homes and otherwise. However, the ones mentioned in this blog are often regarded as the best at what they are used for. Hopefully, this blog acquainted you with all the popular tiles available on the market. If this blog helped you in any way, consider checking out our other blogs as well.