Buyer’s Guide: understanding types of tile

understand tile styles



When it’s time to choose a new tile for your remodel you can easily get overwhelmed by the many options. From ceramics to natural stone here is your buyer’s guide to finding the style you love, with the function you need, all while staying securely within your budget.


​There are several types of tile, but the most common are ceramic, glass, and natural stone, which include granite, marble, and slate.


Ceramic tiles are made with clay and then glazed to create a strong surface. Ceramic tiles are good for high traffic areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms. They have a thick wear layer, which is resistant to scratching and does not absorb moisture. They come in almost every color and style. Although prices vary, ceramic tile is usually the most cost-efficient, ranging from around $3 to $30 per square foot. Although ceramic tile is beautiful it is not considered as sophisticated as natural stone tile.

CeramicNatural Stone

​Natural stone tiles are more refined. These tiles are not made from clay base, rather they are produced from the natural material that is excavated at quarries. The most common types of stone tiles are granite, marble, and slate. Limestone and travertine are also used, however, due to their natural characteristics, they require much more maintenance and care than other stone tiles. Due to its natural origins, the characteristics of each tile will depend on when and where it was excavated.

Natural StoneGranite

​Granite has a distinctive appearance due to the freckled minerals found in the rock. It is a very hard stone that will resist scratching which makes it great for high traffic areas. It also comes in a wide variety of colors. Since it is a porous rock it is susceptible to staining, so consider its placement carefully. It is also more of the more expensive stones running between $15 to $150 per square foot.


Marble tile is another popular choice; marble has beautiful veining and is available in many colors. It is more porous than granite and, therefore, should not be placed on kitchen floors. It’s also much softer leaving it susceptible to scratching. Marble tiles run for $15-$80 a square foot.Marble


​Slate usually offers a darker hue than other stone tiles. It is very dense and durable. It is naturally textured creating a non-slip surface. If it’s been smoothed, slate can make a great addition to a kitchen floor or other high traffic area. Although it produces a gorgeous effect, a slate floor may be slightly uneven, due to its natural texture. However, it is more cost efficient than marble or granite, running around $5 to $15 per square foot.


​Glass tiles are beautiful, they catch and reflect light, turning dark spaces into light airy rooms. They come in many styles and colors and are pretty low maintenance. However, they can be difficult to install, usually requiring a professional. Obviously, glass tiles create slippery surfaces and are not good for flooring, however, they are perfect for showers, accents, and backsplashes. Because they reflect light so well they can highlight imperfections so be careful when installing. Glass tiles range in price depending on colors and style and run somewhere between $10 to $50 a square foot.

​Each type of tiles bring its own unique characteristics, as well as its own advantages. Once you have considered the space and your budget, you will be able to find the perfect fit. For more on our tile installation and types of tile we install click here.

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