Guide to buying tiles: Types of tiles

Guide to types of tiles

With so many different types of tiles available to you the choice can be overwhelming. To help simplify things, we recommend you decide what kind will best suit your project before shopping for your new tiles. Here’s an overview of the main types of tiles to assist with your decision.

Ceramic tiles

The ceramic tile is the most popular and cheapest type of tile for home use.

Ceramic tiles are available in a vast range of designs, colours, effects, and sizes. They’re waterproof as well as easy to maintain and clean but only suitable for indoor use.

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are manufactured from denser clay and treated at much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles. This process makes them more durable and hard-wearing than ceramic tiles. Some porcelain tiles are suitable for external use.

Porcelain tiles can create the effect of natural stone, brick, or wood.

If you plan to use porcelain tiles for flooring, you’ll need to apply a special adhesive layer.

Glass Tiles

Glass tiles are most suited as a decorative finish, a splashback or an accent tile, particularly in a bathroom due to their water resistance. Advances in glass technology mean modern glass tiles are suitable for flooring, but they’re most commonly used as wall tiles. They naturally reflect light, which can give the illusion of space.

Glass tiles can be difficult to cut and will require specialist cutters.

Marble Tiles

Every marble tile is unique, which creates an elegant and luxurious looking finish. However, marble tiles are high maintenance and expensive, so not your everyday choice of tile. Marble is easy to scratch, so best avoided for high traffic areas.

Marble tile

Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone tiles include limestone, granite, travertine, and slate. They create a natural-looking and rich finish but can be susceptible to staining and water penetration. For that reason, they will require sealing and regular maintenance.

Cement Tiles

Cement tiles, otherwise known as encaustic tiles or concrete tiles, are hard wearing and highly decorative. These tiles are hand made using a blend of cement, mineral pigments, marble powder and fine sand, with the pattern inlaid into the tile’s body. This process ensures that the pattern remains even after several years of wear so they can be polished back to life.

The major drawback of cement tiles is that they require careful sealing and regular maintenance.

Natural stone tiles

Metal Tiles

Like glass tiles, metal tiles lend themselves better to an accent tile or a feature tile. They’re durable but highly liable to scratching so not ideal for heavily used areas.

If you’re still unsure, we can advise you on the best types of tiles for your project and have a varied selection of tiles in our showroom for you to browse.

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