11 Stunning Types of Tiles with Features, Uses and Maintenance Tips

Published On: Oct 20, 2023

If you're considering a tiling project for your walls or floors, you might be surprised to learn that there are numerous tiles than what meets the eye. So, before you get caught up in deciding on colour, pattern and patina, let's explore the types of tile available in the market.

Tiles are made from varying materials, all with distinctive qualities. Some tiles are ideal for underfloor heating, and some will be undesirable. Certain tiles will develop character over time, while others may have a timeless appeal. Natural stone tiles might need extra care, sealing and naturalist cleaning, whereas the latest porcelain tiles require less maintenance.

As for the modern types of tiles in 2024, there’s certainly a demand for vitrified tiles that mimic the look of wood, natural stone, and marble while offering robustness, easy maintenance, and cost-effectiveness with the lush appeal. Also resurging back, cement tiles celebrate the glory of hand-crafted geometric design and aesthetic colours.

So, to help you pick the desired choice, Interior Company brings you an ultimate guide listing the different types of tiles, characteristics, benefits, and tips.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles, made from kiln-fired clay, offer a vast palette of colours and patterns. They’re known for their versatility and resilience and come with a great price point. Although a tad delicate under heavy impact, these are the best tiles for home interiors.

Characteristics:

  • They come in two variants: glazed and unglazed
  • Scratch-resistant and stain-resistant
  • Slightly prone to cracking under the heavy impact

Ideal Applications:

  • Flooring in Home Interiors
  • Kitchen Backsplash
  • Striking Wall Cladding
  • Artistic Wall Decor

Maintenance Tips:

Use water and mild soap for routine cleaning of glazed ceramic tiles. Also, avoid air-drying tiles, as they may leave water stains. Instead, use a dry cloth to wipe them down.

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles

Another popular type of tile is porcelain, which excels in emulating the appeal of natural stone, brick, or wood. Whether polished, matte, or textured, these kinds of tile floor finishes suit every taste.

Characteristics:

  • Highly resistant to scratches, stains, and moisture, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor types of tile flooring materials
  • It provides an elegant finish without any upkeep or maintenance.
  • The only drawback is they are heavy to install.

Ideal Applications:

  • Suited for high-traffic areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Outdoor Spaces
  • Kitchen Floors

Maintenance Tips:

The cleaning and upkeep of different types of tiles, like porcelain, needs regular sweeping or vacuuming that helps prevent dirt and debris on the surface. Avoid harsh chemicals like on types of ceramic tiles that may damage the finish.

Also Read: 17 Modern Bathroom Tile Designs That will Add Wow Factor

Expert View- What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles variety?

Porcelain tiles boast an impressive strength as they are baked at higher temperatures, making them a superb choice for areas that see a lot of action. Also, porcelain tiles often feature simpler, more basic designs, while ceramic tiles are renowned for their versatility. Though ceramic tiles can be a budget-friendly and stylish choice, but can be incorporated indoors only, while porcelain has a hard-wearing nature and resistance to the elements, a better alternative for other outdoor spaces.

Vitrified Tiles

Vitrified Tiles

Vitrified tiles are a fusion of clay, quartz, silica, and feldspar and are highly durable and a cost-effective replacement for expensive tiles like marble or granite. From living room designs to commercial spaces, they can be installed quickly and have high strength.

Characteristics:

  • Water and frost-resistant and can sustain heavy moments.
  • They possess low porosity, making them highly resistant to stains and scratches.
  • Available in an extensive range of finishes, such as glossy, matte and anti-skid coating tiles.

Ideal Applications:

  • Living Rooms and Bedrooms
  • Dining Areas
  • Commercial Spaces
  • Exterior Cladding

Maintenance Tips:

Regularly vacuuming, mopping or sweeping is enough to prevent dirt and debris and keep the tiles clean. Avoid any harsh chemicals that may scratch the surface of vitrified tiles.

Also Know:Standard Tiles Size Available in India

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl Tiles

Vinyl tiles are a cost-effective flooring choice, mimicking the look of natural materials, from wood to stone and offering endless design possibilities. Resilient and water-resistant, they are easy to install and are preferable in high-moisture areas.

Characteristics

  • Composed of synthetic materials and lends a seamless look to the surface.
  • Available in a wide range of styles and can be fixed without breaking the existing floor.
  • Recyclable, highly resilient and water-resistant but non-biodegradable
  • Prone to dent with heavy furniture.

Ideal Applications

  • Kitchens Backsplash and Flooring
  • Basements
  • Rental Properties
  • Playrooms and Home Gyms

Maintenance

Among the types of tiles, Vinyl tiles are low in maintenance and require only regular sweeping or vacuuming that helps prevent dirt and debris from accumulating on the surface.

Glass Tiles

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles are a modern marvel, boasting a reflective surface that adds depth and dimension to home interiors. Their translucent nature allows light to play through, creating a splendid visual appeal.

Characteristics:

  • Bounce light around, making spaces feel brighter and more open
  • Provide maximum stain resistance in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Slightly delicate and might be prone to chipping or cracking

Ideal Applications:

  • Adds a contemporary flair to kitchen spaces
  • Perfect for bathroom showers
  • Around fireplaces or tabletops

Maintenance Tips:

These kinds of tiles are easy to clean just use mild, non-abrasive cleaners to preserve the integrity of the glass surface. In addition, keep grout lines clean to prevent discolouration and maintain the overall appearance.

Cement Tiles

Cement Tiles

Cement tiles are handcrafted, embodying a rustic charm with earthy hues. These artisanal marvels are composed of a blend of cement, sand, and pigment, resulting in a uniquely textured surface. Their intricate patterns and diverse colours make them a standout choice for interiors seeking a touch of heritage and craftsmanship.

Characteristics:

  • Hand-crafted kinds of tiles ensure a one-of-a-kind finish.
  • Durability and longevity, standing the test of time with proper care.
  • Need occasional sealing to maintain its beauty and prevent staining.

Ideal Applications:

  • Low-traffic areas, kitchen backsplashes.
  • Bathroom Floors
  • Outdoor Patios

Maintenance Tips:

Opt for pH-neutral options to clean the surface and apply a penetrating sealer to sustain the tile’s appearance.

Marble Tiles

Marble Tiles

Though expensive, this natural stone tile exudes a unique appearance and opulence, adding refinement to any room. If you’re looking to add texture, aesthetics, and depth to the space, laying down marble tiles accentuates the interiors.

Characteristics:

  • It boasts its own veining and colouration, bringing a flair of luxury.
  • Highly durable and offers good insulation properties.
  • Marble is susceptible to scratches and stains.

Ideal Applications:

  • Entryways and Foyers
  • Bedroom/Living Room Flooring
  • Bathroom Vanities
  • Fireplace Surrounds

Maintenance Tips:

These various types of tiles need a lot of upkeep when it comes to cleaning.  A mild or natural cleaner should be applied to clean the surface. At the same time, harsh chemicals or acids need to be avoided.

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles

Want to make a stunning statement in your interiors? Opt for Mosaic tiles. These minuscule hand-cut pieces of stone, glass, or ceramic form intricate patterns and induce an artistic style to your home.

Characteristics:

  • They work best as wall accent decor elements, injecting personality into the space.
  • Available in an array of materials, shapes, colours, and styles, each providing a distinct look and feel.
  • Highly combustible and eco-friendly tiles.

Ideal Applications:

  • Backsplash Designs
  • Shower Floors and Walls
  • Accent Walls and Decorative Features
  • Balcony Flooring

Maintenance Tips:

Mosaic tiles require routine cleaning, especially between grout lines to prevent discolouration and maintain the overall appearance.

Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta Tiles

This age-old material is composed of soft clay, moulded into tile-shaped frames, then dried and kiln-fired, creating rich, earthy-red tiles. With its mellow appearance, this tile variety brings a rustic look to the space.

Characteristics:

  • Handmade Terracotta tiles lend a natural feel and finish.
  • Opt for pre-sealed terracotta tiles to avoid maintenance issues and they can be utilised in wet areas.
  • It's remarkably long-lasting and works well with underfloor heating.

Ideal Applications:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Hallway
  • Living Room

Maintenance Tips:

Apply neutral cleaner specially formulated for clay surfaces. Avoid using acids or vinegar as they contain solutions which may break down the sealant and not be good for the appearance of the surface.

Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo tiles are formed by combining crushed stone or glass with a binding agent. It is available in the form of tiles and decoratives and exudes both sophistication and artistic flair.

Characteristics:

  • Unique patterns and colours, due to which they are expensive.
  • Stronger and more resistant to wear, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Highly customisable and sustainable choice

Ideal Applications:

  • Flooring
  • Backsplash
  • Countertop
  • Wall Decorative Accents

Maintenance Tips:

Hard chemicals or bleach should be avoided, always use a mild pH-neutral cleaner to keep these kinds of tiles looking their best.

Granite Tiles

Granite Tiles

This natural stone formed deep within the earth’s crust and has a similar feel to marble. It is a durable, harder, and cheaper alternative to marble and incites an air of sophistication to any interior space.

Characteristics:

  • Moisture and stain resistance, plus stand up to wear and tear.
  • These types of tiles are more varied in colour, patterns and appearance.
  • Polished granite tiles gleam with a high-gloss finish, while honed options give a matte appearance.

Ideal Applications:

  • Kitchen Countertops
  • Bathroom Vanities
  • Flooring

Maintenance Tips:

Granite flooring requires regular cleaning with a soft mop, warm water and a mild cleaner. Additionally, never use acidic cleaners and immediately mop up spills to sustain the appeal.

Additional Types of Tiles

Here are other different types of tile designs:-

  • Limestone
  • Travertine Tile
  • Quarry Tile
  • Metal Tile
  • Zellige Tile
  • Resin Tile

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How to Choose the Best Tiles for Your Home?

Choosing the right kind of tiles for your home can elevate utility and convenience while inciting an aesthetic sense to your space. Here are some Key factors to consider when selecting different types of tiles:

  • Consider the function of the space before laying the tiles. For instance, in high-traffic areas like kitchens or living rooms, go for durable types, like vitrified tiles.
  • While selecting the tiles, consider local weather for a safe and comfortable environment. Anti-skid tiles are ideal solutions for hot and humid regions that can prevent accidents due to slippery surfaces.
  • Check the size and shape of the tiles that can significantly impact the overall appeal of the living space. Larger tiles can boost the grandeur appeal, while intricate tile patterns infuse texture and character into the room.
  • Select the desired design and colour from the tiles category for your home. Neutral-coloured tiles are versatile and fuse with an array of interior styles. However, you can be daring and opt for bold and vibrant tiles in small areas to make a powerful statement.
  • Set a budget before selecting the kind of floor tiles. If you are looking for a cost-effective option, ceramic and porcelain tiles are preferred for kitchens and bathrooms. Check the durability, resistance, and maintenance when making your decision.

Tile It Right!

In the diverse world of tiles, each type brings its own distinctive personality to the fore. From the timeless allure of marble to the artisanal charm of mosaic, there’s a tile for every vision and space. Whether it’s the dynamic duo of porcelain and ceramic that caters to different needs and preferences or the strength and beauty of vitrified tiles, offering a marriage of form and function. Choose a desired design and create a tapestry of textures, colours, and patterns to elevate the visual appeal of your home.

*Images used are for illustration purposes only. Interior Company does not hold any copyright to the images unless mentioned explicitly.

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    Which type of tiles is best for the floor?

    The best types of tiles depend on the purpose of the area. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are incredibly durable, economical, resistant to stains and moisture, and available in varied styles to suit different preferences.

    How many types of tiles are there?

    There are different types of tiles, from ceramic, porcelain, and vinyl to vitrified, mosaic, terrazzo, and granite, each providing a unique and distinctive appearance.

    Which tiles are the best in quality?

    Porcelain tiles are one of the most preferable choices for types of tile flooring materials due to their exceptional durability and versatility.

    What are the four types of vitrified tiles?

    Popular types of vitrified tiles are- Soluble salt, Double charge, Full Body, and Glazed.

    What is a vitrified tile?

    Vitrified tiles are a fusion of clay, quartz, silica, and feldspar and are highly durable and a cost-effective replacement for expensive types of tiles like marble or granite. These kinds of tiles are laid indoors and outdoors.

    What are Class 3 tiles?

    Class 3 tiles refer to a classification system that is suitable for areas with moderate foot traffic, such as residential spaces.

    Which tile is better ceramic or vitrified?

    Vitrified tiles are generally preferable to ceramic tiles due to their additional verification process that enhances durability and resistance to stains and moisture. They are an excellent choice for areas with heavy foot traffic.

    Which tiles are best for a house?

    Selecting the types of tiles for a house depends on the specific areas. For instance, porcelain and vitrified tiles are better choices in high-traffic zones like living rooms or hallways. For bathrooms, ceramic tiles work well. Natural stone tiles like granite or marble can lend elegance to your bedroom interiors.

    What is the most popular type of tile?

    Porcelain is one of the best tiles for home, on tap with a wide range of design options and styles.

    Which type of tile is expensive?

    Marble and Granite tiles tend to be more expensive due to their plush appeal and process of extraction and finishing. Additionally, hand-made tiles with intricate designs can also be pricey.

    What are the materials of the tile?

    Tiles can be extracted from various materials, including clay, porcelain, marble, granite, glass, cement, and vinyl.

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