Every home is an amalgam of many different materials. And tiles are one of the most important ones when it comes to home interiors. So choosing the right tiles for your need, lifestyle and location within the home is important for all homeowners. While we cannot make the choice for you, we can help you make an informed choice. Hence, Livspace brings you this ultimate guide listing the types of tiles, the USPs of each, where they can be used and how to maintain them. 

#1: Ceramic Tiles

ceramic-tiles
Ceramic tiles are unmatched in terms of variety and their usage

Ceramic tiles are basically made of clay, they are first moulded and then fired in a kiln. These types of tiles come in an amazing variety of colours and patterns. They are even available in trendy Mosaic, Moroccan, Peranakan and more such colourful designs. Although these are typically flooring tiles, their popularity as wall tiles is picking up.

ceramic-tiles-bathroom
Royal blue ceramic wall tiles in herringbone pattern on bathroom walls

What you need to know about them

  1. Scratch-resistant
  2. Stain-resistant
  3. Might crack if you drop heavy items hence better for walls

Where can you use these types of tiles

  • Flooring
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Wall cladding
  • Wall decor

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining such tiles

Usually, soap and water are enough to clean glazed tiles. Their grout line requires regular cleaning. Always wipe them with a dry cloth because air drying leaves water stains on them, and never use acid to clean these tiles as they get damaged. 

#2: Porcelain Tiles

porcelain-outdoor
Porcelain tiles are sturdy enough to use for outdoor flooring as well

These are also made of clay with a smattering of sand and feldspar and baked in the kiln. But they are fired at higher temperatures, making them denser and more durable. 

What you need to know about these types of tiles

  1. Scratch-resistant
  2. Stain-resistant
  3. Non-porous which means they absorb less water

Where can you use them

  • Flooring
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Wall cladding
  • Wall decor
  • Outdoor tiles

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining these tiles

The cleaning and maintenance for ceramic and porcelain are almost the same as they are made from similar materials. The only difference between these two types of tiles is that porcelain being the stronger version requires less maintenance than ceramic. 

EXPERT SPEAK: What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain?

“The main difference between these two tiles is that porcelain is stronger and non-porous because it is baked at higher temperatures. Also, porcelain tiles usually come in very basic designs while ceramic ones are legendary for their variety. However, ceramic tiles are cheaper and can only be used indoors while porcelain, being hard wearing, can be used in outdoor spaces as well”.

#3: Homogeneous Tiles

homogeneous-tiles
High-traffic unglazed homogeneous tiles are universal in their utility

Ceramic moulds, when fired at higher temperatures like porcelain is, we get homogeneous tiles. Since these types of tiles are usually unglazed, printing designs on them like on ceramic or porcelain, is not possible. 

What you need to know about these tiles

  1. Scratch-resistant
  2. Stain-resistant
  3. Non-porous which means they absorb less water
  4. Anti-slip

Where can you use them

  • Flooring
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Wall cladding
  • Wall decor
  • Outdoor tiles

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining these types of tiles

Homogeneous tiles require very little maintenance. The regular sweeping, mopping or vacuuming is enough to keep them clean. But, never use any abrasive methods like acid or metal scrub to clean these tiles. 

#4: Marble or Onyx Types of Tiles

marble
Light marble flooring for spacious looking rooms

Marble tiles are limestones crystallised in high heat and pressure. Limestone with aluminium and magnesium gives colours to marble and once crystallised, these stones are cut into tiles. 

What you need to know about these types of tiles

  1. Elegant, rich aesthetics
  2. Adds real estate value
  3. Scratches and stains easily
  4. Expensive

Where can you use them

  • Flooring tiles
  • Kitchen countertop
  • Wall cladding
  • Stairs and columns 

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining these types of tiles

Marble tiles require regular maintenance as they are porous and the sealant wears off with use. So, avoid using acidic liquids and abrasive soaps to clean such sensitive tiles

onyx
Onyx kitchen wall tiles are next best thing to stone!

To the uninitiated, onyx is basically a marble look alike. These affordable tiles mimic the veins of marble and are made of quartz and other engineered additives. 

What you need to know about these tiles

  1. Looks like marble but is stronger
  2. Comes in larger dimensions than regular types of tiles
  3. Moderately heat resistant 
  4. Not completely scratch or stain resistant

Where can you use them

  • Indoor flooring
  • Backsplash
  • Wall cladding

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining onyx tiles

The primary thing to remember while cleaning onyx tiles is that it needs to be handled with care. Therefore, don’t use lemon juice, baking soda or any such strong cleansing agents on these types of tiles. Instead, use just warm water with a mild detergent to clean them. 

#5: Granite Tiles

granite-tiles
Outdoor tiles made of highly durable and water-resistant granite stone

Granite is a naturally occurring stone, mined in quarries and then cut into tiles. This pricey option is the ideal kind of flooring tiles if you have pets. 

What you need to know about these types of tiles

  1. Highly durable
  2. Completely water-resistant
  3. Hypoallergenic
  4. Difficult to install

Where can you use them

  • Flooring, indoor and outdoor
  • Kitchen Backsplash
  • Kitchen countertop
  • Stairs

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining these tiles

Regular cleaning is advised with non-abrasive liquids and these types of tiles also need occasional polishing to maintain their shine.  

#6: Terrazzo Tiles

terrazzo-tiling
Modern terrazzo floor and wall tiles in bathroom resulting in vogue aesthetics

Terrazzo is a composite material made of small chips of marble, granite, glass etc. and is held together with a concrete binder. It can be set in-situ and is also available in the form of tiles and decoratives.

What you need to know about terrazzo tiles

  1. Available in a host of colours and patterns
  2. Highly customisable
  3. Stronger and more seamless
  4. Durable
  5. Eco-friendly

Where can you use them

  • Flooring
  • Kitchen Backsplash
  • Kitchen Countertops
  • Decorative items

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining these tiles

Terrazzo tiles are much easier to clean as they have a seamless surface. However, always clean these types of tiles with neutral pH cleansing agents. 

#7: Quartz Tiles

quartz
Premium quartz accent wall tiles for your elegant home

Apart from quartz these types of tiles have resin, sand, pigment and sometimes crushed mirror in them. It mimics granite but is a synthetic tile, cheaper than every other natural stone tile.

What you need to know about these tiles

  1. Highly durable
  2. Modern and contemporary style decor
  3. High-traffic areas
  4. Stain and scratch resistant
  5. Non-porous
  6. Heat and scorch resistant 

Where can you use them

  • Flooring
  • Bathroom flooring and walls
  • Kitchen countertops
  • Decorative walls
  • Kitchen backsplash

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining such tiles

Quartz requires very low maintenance efforts. Also, there is no need for sealants or non-abrasive soaps for these types of tiles.

#8: Terracotta Tiles

terracotta
Distinctly brownish or red terracotta flooring tiles are quite common in Malasia

Another kind of ceramic made by firing red moulded clay in kiln is terracotta. It is later glazed so it can be protected from water and moisture. 

What you need to know about these types of tiles

  1. Rustic natural charm 
  2. Strong and durable
  3. Resistant to mould and bacteria
  4. Easy to maintain 

Where can you use them

  • Indoor and outdoor flooring
  • Roof tiles

What are the dos and don’ts of maintaining these tiles

These types of tiles are pretty strong but should be cleaned using warm water and a soft brush to avoid scratches. Also, avoid using acids, vinegars and ammonia solutions as they can break the sealant. 

There are other types of flooring materials such as these 5 Extremely Durable Tiles for Kitchen. We hope you found our list of tiles sufficiently informing and you can now confidently choose for you home. 

How Can Livspace Help You?

Want stunning interiors? Livspace can help you! All you have to do is book an online consultation. If you prefer meeting in person, you can also find Livspace designers at the IKEA Damansara store. Hurry up and get quality home interiors from the best in the industry!