Understanding the Different Types of Tiles: Wall, Floor, Bathroom, & Roof
Posted on June 28, 2021

Aesthetics places and rooms have become the norm of today, with terrific interior designs, quick home improvement projects, and DIYs. Gone are the days when tiles were only meant for bathrooms and kitchens. Today, tiles are employed in every room of the house, thereby, adding to the pleasure and overall look of your home.

If you’ve never ventured into the world of tiles, you’d be surprised to know the number of options you have in terms of material, design, colour, effects and much more. It can be a daunting task to choose the perfect one, especially when each kind of house and environment demand a different kind of tile. And, of course, you have to consider the budget, the size, and other characteristics.

Whether you’re planning to revamp your living room or are simply looking for some expert guidance to choose the best type of tiles, the article intends to help you out! Find out which tiles are most suitable for your project!

1. Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles are one of the most common types of tiles, owing to their large number of applications and versatility. You can find these everywhere, from the coffee shop down the street to your favourite store in the central area, to your friend’s bathroom. Their affordability and long-lasting characteristics make them ideal to be placed everywhere, whether it is the kitchen, bathroom, living room, or even patio. You don’t have to worry about splashbacks and build-up since they clean easily and are durable. It makes ceramic tiles a popular choice for bathroom walls and tiles, so don’t worry about the soap stain and safety. They are also common in the kitchen area since their easy cleaning discourages germ harbouring. Their popularity also originates from the fact that ceramic tiles have been here for centuries. They evolved, revolutionised, and now offer a variety of designs, from the most basic ones to the most modern ones.

Made using a red or white clay biscuit, they are baked in a kiln along with the glaze to ensure a shining, bright tile production. Some people also prefer the unglazed version as it gives a very artistic, rustic finish. However, glazed tiles offer more decorative patterns and aesthetics. The hard-wearing tiles come in several patterns, shapes, colours, and designs – it is only a matter of time before you find the perfect one. There is a lot of variation between the tiles. Make sure to purchase 10% extra to make them as equal as possible. 

2. Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles are often confused with their ceramic counterparts – but are different from one another when you have a closer look. For starters, porcelain tiles have a water absorption of 0.5%, making them nearly waterproof. The water-resistant quality makes them ideal for kitchen, bathroom, and other applications where you run a risk of spillage. Porcelain tiles are manufactured using fine and dense clay than ceramic tiles and are blasted in the kiln at a higher temperature, making them incredibly hard and durable.

The appeal and popularity of the porcelain tiles also arise from their ability to emulate almost any kind of design, including natural stone, brick, wood, marble, without any of the maintenance, wear & tear, and weathering. Their capacity to encompass any kind of design, colour and styles makes them a popular choice for all kinds of flooring, wall tiles, and space. To ensure that anyone looking for quality porcelain tiles gets what they deserve, Ferreira actively works with architects and designers to bring the largest collection of porcelain tiles.

The durability and variety of porcelain tile make them an ideal choice for outdoor tiling as they can withstand all kinds of harsh temperatures. They are also suited for the kitchen and bath area. Moreover, porcelain tiles are also often used in commercial and outdoor space.

There are two types of Porcelain tiles – Glazed and Unglazed.

Glazed Porcelain tiles are pretty popular these days as it allows for personalization and various designs. These tiles have a glazed pattern applied to the porcelain surface. Digital print technology makes it even easier to adapt to multiple design demands in the market. Whether you are looking for the marble-effect or the wood-effect, you get it all with the beneficial properties of porcelain material.

Unglazed Porcelain Tiles are simply tiles without any layer of glaze. The tile is curated from natural clay, with the colour running through the entire tile. However, the advantage here is that they are incredibly tough, resistant to wear and tear and retain their colour and natural look for years. The unglazed porcelain tiles are perfect for areas with high footfall like commercial spaces, restaurants, etc. 

3. Encaustic Tiles

Encaustic Tiles

If you are a fan of intricate pattern and colourful addition, encaustic tiles are a great choice. Popular since the 19th century, encaustic tiles maintained their reputation and sophisticated look throughout the centuries, and are still a very common choice for household and outdoor tiles. They add a traditional charm without compromising on the modern look with the help of geometric patterns and intricate designs that are heavenly to look at. The rich and sumptuous colours and patterns breathe life into any ordinary space, making them an absolute eye-catching wonder!

The patterns of the encaustic tiles are inlaid in the tiles rather than being painted on later. The designs stay on for a long time, even when the tiles start getting worn down. The durable quality makes it a convenient option for areas with high traffic. The decorative look can be a single pattern or a complete design that comes together when all the tiles are placed.

If you’re looking for a Victorian Era look or a charming period look, Encaustic tiles might be the most attractive option. You can also find various encaustic effect tiles made from porcelain to give you the best of design and durability.

4. Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles are an undying creative trend that spans centuries and still take away the prize for being a gorgeous addition to any space. The traditional mosaic patterns were made famous by Ancient Greeks and Romans, and today a mass production takes place to cater to their popularity and demand. They are very similar to the Encaustic tiles in terms of pattern and colour play, however, they are much smaller in size and create a slightly different overall look than encaustic tiles. Once laid as per the design, it gives an impression of many tiny tiles, offering intricate detail, contemporary designs, and durability, bundled in one.

You can find Mosaic tiles in a number of materials including Porcelain, Ceramic, and even Glass. Their various design offerings make them a great addition anywhere, whether it is your bathroom area, patio, or even the kitchen.

5. Cement Tiles

Cement Tiles

Cement Tiles move away from the traditional act of baking in a kiln and are pressed left to cure instead. They are not made from clay, but are, well, simply cement. Cement Tiles was a thing of the past until modern interior design brought them back to fashion.

Cement Tiles are very versatile with their patterns and colours and have a warm, summer feel to them. If they get discoloured over the years, they can be sanded and resealed. However, they are very difficult to lay and demand high maintenance to preserve their beauty. Due to the drawbacks, more than authentic cement tiles, cement-effect tiles are in fashion. They emulate the colourful patterns and waves of the cement tiles, along with the durability and advantages of porcelain or ceramic material.

6. Natural Stone

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural Stone tiles encompass various types of tiles, including marble, limestone, travertine, etc; which we will all have a look at. These kinds of tiles have been the foundation of civilization and still stand true and strong in many of the ancient monuments. Their durability, naturally occurring pattern and undeniable overall beauty make for a demanding design choice. That being said, Natural stone tiles require regular sealing & maintenance and are difficult to lay down. However, with modern technology, we can replicate the design, patterns, and beauty of natural stone in other types of tiles, including porcelain.

Let’s take a look at the different types of natural stone tiles and patterns available.

  • Marble Tiles

Marble Tiles stand on the costly end but are known for their elegant and sophisticated touch that can transform any room. Its varied texture is very appealing to the eyes and adds a lot of depth and character to space. However, Marble times are susceptible to scratches, etching, and stains. Owing to their sensitive and high-maintenance nature, they are mostly used in countertops, shower floors, and backsplashes. Check out marble-effect tiles for your spaces!

  • Granite Tiles

Granite tiles are also a natural stone that has a very similar look to that of marble. However, there are subtle differences between the two. Granite is also more durable and harder than marble, and hence less prone to chips and cracks. They are almost water-proof, and therefore, make a great choice for bathrooms, kitchen countertops, and wet areas.

  • Limestone Tiles

Limestone is also a popular type of natural stone tile. They deliver a rustic style lined with natural tones, shades, and designs that add an ancient and charming appearance to any space. However, they are not foreign to high maintenance practice. Limestone tiles are porous and need to be sealed properly for long-term usage. Moreover, in order to avoid ruining the look, you need to use neutral pH cleaning agents and avoid anything citrus. They make a great addition to any outdoor space instead of indoor areas.

  • Travertine Tiles

Travertine Tiles are similar to Limestone tiles, with their natural occurring aesthetic and neutral tones. As with other natural stone tiles, Travertine tiles are easily affected by water and require extra maintenance. If you’re planning to use these tiles, make sure you employ them in a low traffic area or on a wall, rather than on the floor.

Other Natural Stone tiles include Quartz and Slate tiles, offering the same amount of look and aesthetics as any other natural stone tiles. 

7. Quarry Tiles

Quarry Tiles

Quarry Tiles are made from ground minerals, like feldspar, clay, and shale. They are mixed and baked at extremely high temperatures. Contrary to popular belief, these kinds of tiles do not come from the quarry. They are extremely dense, non-porous, durable, and water-resistant as they are fired at high temperatures. However, they are easily stained, hence, are not a good use for the kitchen.

8. Metal Tiles

Metal Tiles


Metal Tiles are more popular for countertops and slabs rather than flooring and walls. They are incredibly durable and offer a very modern look. However, the prime concern with metal is their susceptibility to scratch. That being said, they are great for kitchen, bars but not really recommended for baths and outdoor use. Metal tiles are an excellent option for long-term use and withstand the test of time in look and function. If you’re looking for the same effect in more durable tiles, look for metal effect porcelain tiles.

9. Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta tiles are produced using special clay that is fired in a kiln or left out to dry. They are usually pink/reddish and are extremely porous. They are excellent for creating a country or rustic style and are usually used for outdoor use. However, Terracotta tiles are susceptible to crack and stain, owing to their porous nature. Many people like to invest in terracotta effect tiles rather than the original version as they are easier to maintain and offer more durability.

10. Glass Tiles

Glass Tiles

Glass Tiles are probably more glamorous than any other choice mentioned in the list. They are usually used as backsplash or shower tiles. The advantage of glass tiles is that it does not stain easily. But on the other hand, it is susceptible to cracks and chips. Experts recommend it for walls, rather than the floor.

This brings us to the end of our tile guide. Hope you found this helpful and informative. If you have any concerns related to the tiles, feel free to comment below, and one of our experts will get back to you.

Happy Tiling!